Shakespeare never intended the play to be historically accurate. In fact, he clearly expected the actors to appear in Elizabethan dress. Furthermore, he gives Rome the medieval invention of the mechanical clock, a notorious anachronism. However, Shakespeare's Romans share a distinct cultural heritage and society, including Roman society's implicit ideals and assumptions. When Antony calls Brutus, "the noblest of the Romans," he is referring to the specific "Roman" virtue, associated with the Republican government Brutus dies defending. The protagonists in the plot are never able to overcome the pressure of the Roman values, and thus are not completely free to invent themselves, relying instead on the cultural values provided.
Thus, a person who wishes to look at this play from a new original angle will be inevitably faced with a considerable amount of contradictions in literary sources. Even the best services that provide educational materials about different religious studies and historical sources cannot supply the writer with absolutely correct information about all nuances of Shakespeare’s work. For example, it is a critical commonplace that Julius Caesar is one of Shakespeare’s “Roman” works, a rubric also applied to Antony and Cleopatra, The Rape of Lucrece, Titus Andronicus and Coriolanus. The obvious setting notwithstanding, academics diverge widely on what, if anything unites these plays, or even on what Rome is implied to present. A brief list of the most admitted concepts is as follows: