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Seminar paper from the year 2010 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Linguistics, grade: 1,7, University of Bonn (Anglistik), course: Hauptseminar, language: English, abstract: 1. Introduction William Shakespeare is the most important playwright of the English Renaissance period. His career bridged the reigns of Queen Elizabeth I and James I. When the play Julius Caesar was first performed in 1599 at the Globe theatre1, Queen Elizabeth I had been on the throne for nearly 40 years. She was 66 years old at that time and she, like Caesar, did not have any children. People feared what would happen after her death. Shakespeare commented on this political situation by writing Julius Caesar. Censorship did not allow direct comments on contemporary political affairs. 2 Julius Caesar is the shortest play by William Shakespeare full of fast action and rhetoric. It takes place in ancient Rome in 44 B.C. It was a time when the empire suffered greatly from a clear division between citizens represented by the senate and the plebeian masses. The people feared that Caesar's power would lead to Roman citizens being slaves. That is why Caesar was assassinated. This paper will deal with the commoners and their treatment by the tribunes in the opening scene of the play. It will also give an insight into the speeches of Brutus and Antony and their effects on the plebeians in the second scene of the third act.

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