Asked • 06/19/19

Did Shakespeare consider Julius Caesar a tyrant or a martyr?

I've seen the Shakespeare play *Julius Caesar* interpreted in two different ways (by people with different social and political views, naturally): - **either** Caesar as a power-mad tyrant who got his comeuppance, and Brutus and Cassius as freedom fighters sadly defeated by Caesar's former lackeys who now sought power themselves; - **or** Caesar as a martyr murdered before his time, and Brutus and Cassius as power-hungry killers on whom righteous vengeance was taken by Caesar's friends. What is the evidence - either from the text of the play itself, or from surrounding evidence, if any - of **which of these interpretations the writer himself intended?** Note that I'm *not* interested in any analysis of actual historical events, except inasmuch as they may inform us about the play by comparison. I'm asking about how *Shakespeare* was trying to portray Caesar and the conspirators who killed him. Or to put it another way (assuming everyone involved thought themselves in the right), from whose point of view was the play meant to be written?

1 Expert Answer


Max M. answered • 06/20/19

5.0 (336)

Harvard Literature major with 20 years of coaching writers

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