Shakespeare based his tragedy Julius Caesar upon the Sir Thomas North’s English Translation of Plutarch’s Lives of The Noble Grecians and Romanes. Despite the fact that he used this as the basis for this tragedy, he made some small changes to the events that took place during Caesar’s life, as if he made up the story himself. He made these changes for many dramatic purposes to cause certain dramatic effects in his tragedy. One of these changes would be in act two scene one when the conspirators gather in Brutus’ orchard to make sure everything is set for the assassination of Caesar. In the original Lives this event took place the morning of the assassination before Caesar went to the senate, but in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar this event took place the night before the assassination. He most likely did this to create a sense of suspense and a feeling of fear and anxiety in the audience and show an uncertainty and maybe paranoia in some of the conspirators. Another event that Shakespeare changes from the original Lives is the speech that Marc Antony makes at Caesar’s funeral and his reading of Caesar’s will in act three scene one. In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, the assassination, the burning of the body and the funeral, and the reading of Caesar’s will all took place one after the other. In the original Lives the funeral of Caesar did not take place until the day after he was assassinated and the senate took their sweet time in reading Caesar’s will to the people of the Roman empire. Shakespeare in all likelihood did this to create rising action, make it more fast paced, build to a climax. He was most likely trying to invoke a sense of curiosity and engagement in the audience and to show a sense of discontent, confusion, and frustration in the characters. The many changes that Shakespeare makes in the events of Caesar’s life, from Plutarch’s Lives, were done for many different reasons for dramatic purposes and effects to create feelings in the audience and show the feelings of characters in the tragedy of Julius Caesar.

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