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English Literature   >   Shakespeare: Julius Caesar


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Shakespeare: Julius Caesar

In this course, Professor John Roe (University of York) explores Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. We begin by thinking about the sources for the play, focusing in particular on the works of Plutarch, before moving on in the second module to give a summary of the plot. After that, we think about who we could consider to be the hero of the play, before turning in the fourth module to consider the extent to which Julius Caesar is a ‘Machiavellian’ play. In the fifth module, we explore Brutus’ famous soliloquy “It must be by his death”, before moving on in the sixth module to consider the role of the people in the play. In the seventh module, we provide an analysis of Mark Antony’s famous “Friends, Romans, countrymen” speech, before turning in the eighth and final module to the figures of Cassius and Casca, and think about the extent to which Shakespeare himself might have been a Republican.


In this module, we think about some of the sources for Julius Caesar, focusing in particular on the works of Plutarch and Shakespeare’s earlier works, as well the reasons for Shakespeare’s turn from English to Roman history after 1599.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Roe, J. (2018, November 21). Shakespeare: Julius Caesar - Sources [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Roe, J. "Shakespeare: Julius Caesar – Sources." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 21 Nov 2018,


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Prof. John Roe

York University