Deep in the Shadows
For those who have read the play Julius Caesar, it is easy to speculate that it is an accurate autobiography of Caesar’s last days before he was murdered. Without presented with the historical facts, this assumption remains unchallenged. Yet this is far from the truth, and its playwright William Shakespeare had planned it this way, as we shall view shortly. The many altercations interlinked in this writer’s story include incorrect biological relations between Caesar and the other characters and Caesar’s authentic personality and questionable motives are sugarcoated.
The reason as to why this powerful novelist’s story of Julius Caesar is not a custom retelling of his life is because of Shakespeare’s reaction to pressure. In the late 1580’s when he first began writing, he was surrounded by the overwhelming influence of other playwrights and the constant demand for fresh, innovative plays based on past historical events turned into elaborate exaggerations. These types of plays were crowd-pleasers and must-seers. Shakespeare felt compelled to produce as many plays as possible in order to get his name above his competition. Although he had little education, he possessed a working vocabulary of over 54,000 words, and he skillfully evoked his talents into literary works teeming with words that sprang to life. His highly qualified skills in writing earned him a phenomenal reputation.
When compared to the life of Caesar, this play neither accurately paraphrases the biological relations and marital associations between the characters, nor does it hint at any rumors circulating Caesar’s existence. Octavious, identified as Caesar’s adopted son in the play, was really his grandnephew. Shakespeare’s heedlessness in mentioning Caesar’s love affair with the queen of Egypt Cleopatra raises to question the validity of Caesar and Calpurnia’s relationship. Shakespeare leaves out the fact that Calpurnia did indeed know about her husband’s affair, causing their relationship to appear undaunted. If she had known, it would have been revealed by constant exchange of wit or tone of voice evident in their conversations. The rumor currently rotating historians’ circles as to whether or not Marcus Brutus had any biological ties to Caesar remain unmentioned. As he was taking his final breaths Caesar proclaimed to Brutus “and you my child?” Annalists have confirmed that Brutus’ mother was a lover of Caesar, which surfaces the unnerving inquiry if he was Caesar’s son.
In the play everyone is praising Caesar upon his arrival in Rome after the defeat of Pompeii. This suggests that the people beheld this man with honor...