Angry crowds cheering for a popular leader. Political elites plotting the downfall of a colleague. Passionate discussions about how to best protect the nation’s core values. These are all scenes which appear again and again in the newspapers of the 21st century — but they are also key themes of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, an intense political drama about the meaning of true leadership. When Brutus, Cassius and other conspirators agree to murder the infamous Roman dictator, they believe they are acting for the greater good. But Rome quickly falls into chaos and civil war when its powerful leader is gone. Are there any lessons to be learned about today’s political turmoil?
Brutus is one of Caesar’s closest friends, but he is torn between his personal loyalty and his dedication to Rome. He decides to help murder the dictator. When Caesar sees Brutus among the group of assassins stabbing him to death, Caesar utters three words that are still used to indicate betrayal today: ‘Et tu, Brute?’
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