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date: 23 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Revisiting the relation between Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and its primary classical source, North’s translation of Plutarch, this essay argues that the play rejects the clarifying master narratives that readers expect such sources to provide and addresses how history, rather than what history, is made. The play presents historical motivations, actions, and outcomes as disorganized, disjointed, and short-sighted, and human agency as fractured by inevitable contingencies.

Keywords: Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, history, source, agency

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