In Julius Caesar, the audience is able to see both the private and public sides of Caesar and Brutus. Caesar is a powerful confident man who leads great armies and effectively rules the Roman empire, yet he is not without weakness. He is highly superstitious, suffers from epilepsy, and ultimately proves to be human when murdered by his closest friends. Similarly, Brutus is strong and refuses to show weakness when in public, whether it be speaking to the plebeians or leading an army into battle. However, we see through his intimate conversations with his wife Portia and with Cassius, that Brutus is often unsure and greatly pained. Specifically, after fleeing Rome, Brutus learns that his wife has committed suicide, and is heartbroken when discussing it with Cassius. However, as soon as soldiers enter his tent, he pretends to not know of her death, and when told of it, does not react with great emotion.
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.