Julius Caesar features three suicides and one suicide by proxy. After Antony and Cleopatra, these amount to the second highest suicide count in Shakespeare’s oeuvre; unsurprisingly perhaps, given that both are Roman tragedies. Characters frequently announce and comment on the gesture of Roman death, and in its philosophical discussion of the topic, Julius Caesar is more explicit than any other text in the canon. By the late Elizabethan and early Jacobean period, the concepts of ‘Romanness’ and suicide were inextricably linked. Thus, apart from creating verisimilitude with regard to historical accuracy, the repeated and varied references to suicide as a Roman convention – in Julius Caesar as well as in other Roman contexts – function as meta-drama. Shakespeare toys with the expectations of his audiences, for whom suicide was a prime constituent of what makes a Roman. 1