Julius Caesar has been made emperor of Rome for life, and many also want to make him king. Some in the Roman Senate envy Caesar his success, and others fear what he may do with his power, and so Caius Cassius and a band of patricians decide that Caesar must die, but they believe they need the support of Caesar's friend, the popular Marcus Brutus, to lend legitimacy to their plans. Brutus already seems to fear Caesar and soon succumbs to their influence and joins their plot. The conspirators discover that assassination is a messy tool for achieving power, however, and ruling Rome is much more complicated than simply removing Caesar.
The Folger Shakespeare Library edition includes useful contextual glossaries, providing definitions, historical notes, and additional information to help understand the language of Shakespeare as you read.