Philip Weller caricature
Philip and Weller hugging

Welcome to my web site, now under development for more than twenty years.   
-- Philip Weller, November 13, 1941 - February 1, 2021
Dr. Weller, an Eastern Washington University professor of English and Shakespearean scholar for more than 50 years.







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to
Julius Caesar,
Act 2, Scene 2, line 107

Note to JULIUS CAESAR, 2.2.107, 'my robe'



Historically, Julius Caesar's robe would be his best toga, the one he would wear to a meeting of the Roman Senate. It would look like the toga depicted in the statue of Caesar Augustus, below.

Statue of Caesar Augustus


However, it may be that no one in Shakespeare's time had an accurate idea of what a roman toga looked like. See, for example, sketch below, known as "the Peacham drawing." It dates from about 1595 and depicts characters in another Shakespearean play set in Rome, Titus Andronicus. Titus, on the left, holding a staff, is a Roman general. Behind him are figures probably meant to represent two of his soldiers. Titus is wearing clothes that look vaguely Roman, but the soldiers, in their puffy breeches, are purely Elizabethan. No one in Rome ever wore any such thing.

Drawing of characters in Shakespeare's TITUS ANDRONICUS


Therefore, what Shakespeare may have had in mind was the kind of robe that was worn by ministers of state in Shakespeare's time, such as the one depicted below in the portrait of William Cecil, Lord Burghley, the chief advisor to Queen Elizabeth I.

Portrait of William Cecil, Lord Burghley