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FLAVIUS and MARULLUS, tribunes.

ARTEMIDORUS of Cnidos, a teacher of Rhetoric.

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PINDARUS, servant to Cassius.

CALPURNIA, wife to Cæsar.

PORTIA, wife to Brutus.

Senators, Citizens, Guards, Attendants, etc.

SCENE: Rome: the neighbourhood of Sardis: the neighbour

hood of Philippi.

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Historic Time.-From October 45 B.C. (Cæsar's Triumph), or February 44 B. C. (the Lupercalia)-I. 1. synchronises the two occasions, cf. vv. 35 and 72-to autumn 42 B.C. (battle of Philippi).

Dramatis Persona. First given by Rowe. For Antonius, Marullus, Varro, Claudius, Ff have Antonio, Murellus, Varrus, Claudio, all clearly unauthentic. The name Calpurnia appears always as Calphurnia; Shakespeare found both forms in Plutarch; it remains uncertain which he wrote. The true form (Calpurnia) is thence adopted by most modern edd.

INTRODUCTION

JULIUS CESAR was first published in the Folio of 1623. The Cambridge editors justly emphasise the extreme correctness of the text there given, and conjecture that this play 'may have been (as the preface falsely implied that all were) printed from the original MS. of the author.' It was entered in the Stationers' Register, November 8, 1623, among the plays of Shakespeare 'not formerly entered to other men,' and then first published.

The most important evidence for the date of Julius Cæsar is the following passage in Weever's Mirror of Martyrs, or the Life and Death of Sir John Oldcastle (printed in 1601):

The many-headed multitude were drawn

By Brutus' speech, that Cæsar was ambitious.
When eloquent Mark Antonie had shewn

His virtues, who but Brutus then was vicious?

Shakespeare's only known source, Plutarch, merely mentions the funeral speech of Brutus; summarises Antony's in three lines of quite a different purport; and knows nothing of the many-headed multitude's' ready change of front, exhibited with peculiarly Shakespearean sarcasm in the play. The inference is forcible that Shakespeare's Julius Cæsar was already familiar to the stage when Weever wrote. Weever, however, tells us that his Mirror was 'some two

years ago [ie. in 1599] made fit for print.' The style and metre of Julius Cæsar are compatible enough with the date of Henry V. But its close and numerous links between our play and Hamlet speak for the date 1600-1; and the lost play of Cæsar's Fall on which, in 1602, Webster, Middleton, Munday, Drayton, were at work for the rival company would have been a somewhat tardy counterblast to an old

piece of 1599. Other signs of the deep impression it made point to the later date. Julius Cæsar was certainly not unconcerned in the revival of the fashion for tragedies of revenge with a ghost in them, which suddenly set in with Marston's Antonio and Mellida and Chettle's Hoffman in 1601. Jonson made his own fashions. But the sudden appearance of the man of little Latin in the arena of Roman tragedy put him on his mettle, and there can be little doubt that his massive Sejanus (1603) conveyed an unavowed challenge: If Julius Caesar, however, greatly stimulated tragedy at large, it struck a blight upon the dramas of Cæsar's death, hitherto a very flourishing growth. After the abortive effort of Henslowe's men, and Alexander's probably quite independent tragedy, printed in Scotland in 1604,3 no English poet again attempted to vie with Shakespeare. In rude German prose Julius Caesar was repeatedly acted by the comedians abroad. A puppet-play, doubtless founded on the

1 With which it is in fact classed, on purely metrical grounds, by the latest investigator of Shakespeare's metre, Goswin König (Der Vers in Sh.'s Dramen, p. 137).

2 It will suffice to mention here Mr. Fleay's belief that Jonson abridged and corrected Julius Cæsar into its present

drama, is mentioned in

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1605. A century later the Duke of Buckingham divided the play into two tragedies, Cæsar and Brutus, neither of which was ever performed.1

And in Voltaire's Brutus and La Mort de César Shakespeare achieved his first (as yet very qualified) triumphs over the dramatic traditions of the Continent.

The suggestion that Julius Cæsar was prompted by the conspiracy of Essex in January to February 1601 (Furnivall, Acad., September 18, 1875, and Preface to Leopold Shakspere) is interesting, but the links are far too slender to support any inference as to the date.

As has just been stated, the Fall of Cæsar was familiar on English stages before Shakespeare wrote, as well as the kindred subject of Cæsar and Pompey, -a kind of First Part to the History. The very early (and perhaps mythical) Julius Cæsar recorded to have been performed at Whitehall in 1562 possibly included both. A lost play, Cæsar Interfectus, by Dr. Eedes, was acted at Oxford in 1582. Gosson mentions a Cæsar and Pompey in his School of Abuse (1579), and Henslowe another in his Diary (1594). None of these survives, but Shakespeare seems to be cognisant of their existence. His opening scene is addressed to a public familiar with the history of Pompey and Pompey's sons; 2 Polonius' description of his performance of the murdered Cæsar at the University, indicates that that subject was in vogue there; and some apparently purposeless deviations from Plutarch are probably concessions to an established dramatic or literary tradition. Thus the famous Et tu Brute' had occurred in the True 27 f.

1 The Tragedy of Cæsar and The Tragedy of Brutus, both printed 1722. Their relation to the original has been elaborately handled by O. Mielck, J. B. xxiv.

2 Similarly v. 1. 102 implies familiarity with the suicide of Cato,

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