Asked • 07/16/19

Why does Shakespeare's Julius Caesar switch to Latin for the "Et tu, Brute" line?

Like all of Shakespeare's plays, his *Julius Caesar* is of course written and performed almost entirely in English. But there is one line of this particular play - perhaps the most famous - which is always reproduced in the original Latin: > CASCA: Speak, hands, for me! > *CASCA first, then the other Conspirators and BRUTUS stab CAESAR* > CAESAR: **Et tu, Brute!** Then fall, Caesar. > *Dies* > <sub>-- Act III, Scene I (bold emphasis mine)</sub> I've actually never liked this change in language, because it spoils my suspension of disbelief - it reminds the audience that these characters were in ancient Rome and likely to be speaking Latin rather than English, and therefore that all the *rest* of the dialogue in the play isn't true to life - so I'm curious about what it's supposed to add to the play. **Why this brief switch from English to Latin?**

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