Because of its advanced culture and military might, Rome represented the world in microcosm. The lives of its most prominent citizens represented all human actions, and had far-reaching consequences for all of Western Civilization. In Julius Caesar
, the principal characters seem conscious of this, scrutinizing their own actions as if the balance of history upon them were palpable. At times, they seem deliberately to make their speech or actions overly dramatic—even hammy
—as if they were aware of their presence on a stage that the whole world would turn to for all time.