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What is the summary of Act 1 of "Julius Caesar"?

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Quick Answer

Act 1 of William Shakespeare's play "Julius Caesar" introduces the major themes and characters of the play by showing Caesar's ambition and the machinations of the conspirators. The first scene displays the Romans' love for Caesar, and the second and third ones introduce Caesar and his enemies.

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Full Answer

In the first scene, two tribunes confront two commoners. The commoners are skipping work to celebrate Caesar's triumph. Upset by the citizens' reverence for Caesar, the tribunes mock them and tell them to get back to work and then set about taking down the decorations the people have put up in honor of Caesar.

The second scene opens with Caesar, his wife Calpurnia, Mark Antony and other attendants in a public place. A soothsayer warns Caesar to "beware the ides of March," but he ignores the warning. Cassius then begins to talk to Brutus about Caesar's tyrannical ambitions in an attempt to get Brutus to join Cassius and the other conspirators in opposition to Caesar. Brutus agrees to think the proposal over.

The third scene opens with Cicero and Casca discussing the amazing occurrences happening in Rome, such as earthquakes, tempests and roaming wild beasts. After Cicero leaves, Cassius and Cinna meet up with Casca to discuss their conspiracy and the importance of convincing Brutus to join.

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