Perhaps the most fascinating part of these history plays is the fact that they do not completely adhere to history.
Gerald Erickson reviews Parenti’s book on the historical Caesar and states that Caesar was “a truly legendary figure whose image in traditional history and literature diverges from the historical reality.” Based on information known about conflicts of class, assumptions are made concerning how Caesar may have conducted himself in trying to govern the Roman people.
Shakespeare offers the perspective of the governed individuals, by showing Brutus and Cassius as trying to free Rome from potential tyranny.
As Shakespeare dramatizes, Cassius and Brutus led the assassination fueled by pride, fear of Caesar’s power, and greed for their own authority.hakespeare drew the basic story line, characters, and order of events from his sources, primarily the historical knowledge of Caesar’s life and Plutarch’s interpretation.
However, there are many facets of the play which did not occur in history and are different from Plutarch.
His downfall is that naÃÂ¯vetÃÂ© and his bad decision-making. When the conspirators gathered at his house, Cassius asked for an oath from each conspirator. During the meeting, Cassius suggested that Mark Antony should also be killed, along with Julius Caesar. He also started a civil war against Cassius and Brutus.
During the war, both Cassius and Brutus commit suicide.
The story of Roman ruler Julius Caesar seems to be one such instance, where Shakespeare makes a “distinction between Caesar the man and the spirit of Caesar” (Yu 89).
This implies that Shakespeare was purposefully making changes to history in an attempt to make a point because he had a lesson to teach and he tailored the facts to his needs.
These deviations are especially noticeable when comparing Shakespeare’s dramatic play with Plutarch’s more historical account.
Plutarch has a highly expanded timeline compared to Shakespeare, who makes everything happen within a matter of days rather than weeks or months.