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Variations On Texts About The Life Of Julius Caesar

1585 words - 6 pages

Through this year we have covered the history of civilization starting with its roots in ancient Greece up to its evolution in Rome. During all this time in history there has been many names that stand out such as Plato, Socrates, Alexander the great and Homer, but one of the most famous, ridiculed and admired of all of these influential people in history is Julius Caesar. Some blame him for the fall of the Roman empire, some try to point out the irony in his death, and others just look in awe at all this man accomplished. There have been many books, plays, movies, and lectures done about Caesar, his many accomplishments, and defeats. Those with the most importance are the play The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare, The movie Julius Caesar directed by Uli Edel, the book The 12 Caesars by Suetonius, and the lecture given by Mr. Hagney on the life of Julius Caesar. All of these sources seem to touch the basic issue of who Caesar was, but after that they all take different approaches for explaining his assassination, personal life, and his role in the senate.Before discussing what makes all these sources unique, there has to be what I believe to be some basic background information about Caesar. Caesar was born around 100 B.C.E and died in 44 B.C.E. His father died when he was sixteen, and shortly after that he was elected the high priest of Jupiter. Caesar also suffered from epilepsy and there have been many documented instances when he showed the symptoms of this disease. Caesars rise to power was mainly because of his campaign in Gaul, which he conquered in approximately 8 years and came back a hero. He also had many mistresses, the most notable of whom was the Egyptian queen Cleopatra. Finally Caesar was killed in 44 B.C.E. by members of the senate who conspired against him approximately 66 in all. This is Caesar in a nut shell, but this is not where the story ends, in fact the most interesting part of the legacy of Caesar is all the stories and explanation given about his life, and while they are based in fact, some of the stories told use their artistic license to make the audience idolize, or sympathize with Caesar.The first source of information that I would like to analyze is the one that many consider to be the most famous. This play marked the start of the legendary globe theater, and brought a new found interest to Caesars story. The name of the play was The Tragedy of Julius Caesar and it was written by Shakespeare. The play starts out with Caesar parading through the streets of Rome after his return from Egypt and the death of his adversary, Pompey. It then continues on to foreshadow the assassination of Caesar, observing the conspirators more than Caesar him self, which gives this play a unique perspective on how the plot unfolds. The best way to look at The Tragedy of Julius Caesar is to first see what Shakespeare decided to omit. First there was the issue of Caesar mistresses especially Cleopatra who is not mentioned...

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