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Though a staple in high school English classes, Julius Caesar is not a simple play. Seemingly irreconcilable forces are at work: fate and free will, the changeableness and stubbornness of ambitious men, the demands of public service and the desire for private gain. Drawn from history as recorded by Plutarch, the major characters-Caesar, Brutus, Cassius, and Mark Antony-are complex, as are the twists and turns of their fortunes. What kind of man rises to power? What price does he pay when he becomes a politician? These questions raised by Shakespeare are relevant in every age, whether ancient Rome, Elizabethan England, or even in our own day.