Julius Caesaris atragedybyWilliam Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1599.It portrays theconspiracyagainst theRomandictatorJulius Caesar, his assassination and its aftermath. It is one of several Roman plays that he wrote, based on true events fromRoman history, which also includeCoriolanusandAntony and Cleopatra.
Although the title of the play isJulius Caesar,Caesaris not the central character in its action; he appears in only three scenes, and is killed at the beginning of the third act. Theprotagonistof the play isMarcus Brutus, and the central psychological drama is his struggle between the conflicting demands ofhonour,patriotism, andfriendship.
The play reflected the general anxiety ofEnglandover succession of leadership. At the time of its creation and first performance,Queen Elizabeth, a strong ruler, was elderly and had refused to name a successor, leading to worries that acivil warsimilar to that of Rome might break out after her death.