Act One The play opens with citizens of Rome celebrating the triumphant military leader, Julius Caesar. On the feast of Lupercal, a soothsayer addresses Caesar, warning him to “beware the ides of March,” meaning the fifteenth of March. He unfortunately ignores this.
Meanwhile, Brutus and Cassius speak privately. Brutus is a highly respected Roman and a leader in the community. Cassius is a citizen of Rome who is known for being very serious and well-read. Cassius attempts to convince Brutus that Caesar is a dangerous leader and that he must be wiped out before he makes slaves of all Romans. Brutus promises to think on Cassius’ words, but remains ultimately unconvinced.
They learn that Mark Antony, a close friend of Caesar’s, has offered Caesar a crown (three times, to be exact). To the public’s disappointment, he refused the offer of monarchy, fainting after the third time. Despite this, and after much inner debate, Brutus decides to join the conspiracy to prevent Caesar from causing any harm to the people of Rome should he ever be crowned.
Act Two Brutus is pacing in his garden, when the rest of the conspirators arrive to organize their plans. After they leave, Brutus is confronted by his wife, Portia. She is concerned about him-- he hasn’t been sleeping, he seems not himself, and now he is receiving strange guests at all hours of the night. He brushes her off, insisting that he simply doesn’t feel well.
Caesar also endures a sleepless night when his wife, Calpurnia, is haunted by nightmares. She dreams that her husband is in great danger, and begs him to stay home. He refuses, dismissing her concerns.
Act Three The next day, at the Senate, the conspirators fear that their enterprise has been discovered when an acquaintance casually wishes them good luck. Fortunately, their plans are undetected, and they proceed with the assassination.
Casca is the first to strike; he stabs Caesar in the back of the neck. The others quickly follow suit, with Brutus going