Julius Caesar

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The story of Julius Caesar’s assassination has been told both historically and fictionally. Historical sources focus on the facts of the assassination, while fictionary works focus more on the characters and the drama of the story. Because of the different purposes of the sources, there are many differences between the historical and fictional stories. William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar adds certain details and dramatic elements to make the story more interesting and to make the play more enjoyable. Historical sources such as Roger Bruns’s Caesar and Manuel Komroff’s Julius Caesar present an more accurate account of the events that occurred on and around the Ides of March. There are however, because all of the sources are telling the same story, even more similarities. Reading all of the sources can give a reader an understanding of not only what really happened and why, but also what the people involved were probably like. The time before Caesar’s death has many differences in how events happened rather than if events happened. Both historical accounts record that Caesar had recently returned from a long military campaign that sent him to the far reaches of the Roman Empire. Shakespeare’s account tells of a recent victory over Pompey but does not say that Caesar returned from a massive campaign. In Komroff’s account, The conspirators had planned for much longer than the other authors recorded. Komroff wrote that the conspirators convinced the Senate to offer Caesar the crown. The conspirators then placed a crown on a statue of Caesar that was quickly torn down by Caesar’s friends. “Then, a few days later, as he was riding through the streets of Rome, a crowd of people who had been led on by the Aristocrats hailed him as King” (Komroff 161-162). The final offer of the crown occurred before a large crowd of Romans, when a crown was placed on Caesar’s head he took it off and said “The Romans have no kings but their gods” (Komroff 162). Caesar refused the title every time because he knew that the second he did, the people would turn against him. Caesar also knew that the conspirators were behind these offers and was not about to play right into their hands. In both Shakespeare’s and Bruns’s works, Mark Antony was the one who offered the crown to Caesar. He did not do it to harm Caesar but out of respect for Caesar.

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