YMMV: Julius Caesar

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Obviously Brutus, but also Caesar. Is he a skeptic who refuses to pay heed to the soothsayer (see Arbitrary Skepticism below) or a highly superstitious figure who refuses to "beware" the Ides of March because it would be challenging fate and willingly goes to his destiny, only showing sadness at discovering Brutus among his killers? Or is he just too arrogant to pay heed to any warning of danger?
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: The play's 'message' can easily be read as "Democracy is bad because people are sheep," given all the scenes showing how quickly and easily the public's loyalties can change and be manipulated: Act I, Scene I, as well as their rapid switch of loyalties from Caesar to Brutus and back to avenging Caesar following the assassination. Of course, in Shakespeare's day this wouldn't have been a family-unfriendly aesop, as democracy didn't catch on for another few centuries.
    • The point is Rome was already beyond healing before the assassination attempt, this desperate last-minute action done by a mix of opportunists and led by a Well-Intentioned Extremist proves too little and too late. The play in later eras, along with Coriolanus, was often used by left-wing and liberal artists to warn against decay and corruption of government and civic society. Orson Welles' anti-fascist version of Caesar was one among many examples that showed, how Brutus was the Tragic Hero of democracy.
  • Ho Yay: Tons of it, especially between Brutus and Cassius. During Act 4, Scene 3 they have what literally appears to be a lover's quarrel, while alone in a tent together:
    Cassius: I denied you not.
    Brutus: You did.
    Cassius: I did not. He was but a fool that brought
    My answer back. Brutus hath rived my heart.
Just after that:
Cassius: You love me not.
Brutus: I do not like your faults.
Cassius then desperately laments he is "hated by one he loves," jealously accuses Brutus of loving Caesar more than him, and offers his dagger to Brutus, asking him to stab him in the chest because he cannot bear the misery. Ironically, he later asks the same of a servant after learning erroneously that Brutus is dead; the servant obliges. Brutus returns and kills himself upon Cassius' sword. Sound familiar?
  • Memetic Mutation: It's Shakespeare. He was influential.
    • "Et tu, Brute?" (For anyone who has been or feels betrayed.)
    • "The ides of March"
    • "Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war!"
    • "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears!"