Images and Self-Images in Julius Caesar
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Images and Self-Images in Julius Caesar book
The most notable feature of Shakespeare’s use of his source material in Julius Caesar is the way in which he conflates events. This process begins in the opening scene where the dramatist combines Caesar’s triumph over Pompey’s sons. Brutus supported Antony’s request to take charge of the funeral arrangements, thereby enabling him to stir up the crowd against the conspirators. Shakespeare concentrates these events into the meeting between Antony and the assassins immediately after Caesar’s death and the forum scene. Caesar’s enemies took secret delight in his huge financial outlays, designed to gain friends and win popular support, believing that he would exhaust his financial resources. Shakespeare uses Plutarch’s brief description of the contrived pleas on behalf of Publius Cimber, but creates for Caesar a speech which suggests he has fallen victim to the image of the great man.