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Julius Caesar: Shakespeare In Performance PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: Julius Caesar: Shakespeare In Performance
Author: William Shakespeare
Publisher: Published January 31st 2007 by Not Avail (first published 1599)
ISBN: 9780713683578
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

768020.Julius_Caesar.pdf

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This volume brings Shakespeare's play to life. It contains excerpts of important scenes and passages from multiple productions, the full text of the play, production notes, and interviews and essays from notable Shakespeare scholars and performers.

30 review for Julius Caesar: Shakespeare In Performance

  1. 5 out of 5

    Madeline

    Julius Caesar, abridged: BRUTUS: I love Caesar! CASSIUS: He's a power-hungry bastard. I think we should kill him. BRUTUS: Dude, we totally should. DECIUS: Happy Ides of March, Caesar. Ready to go to the Senate? CAESAR: I dunno. My wife just had a dream about you and the rest of the senators washing their hands in my blood, so I think I'm going to call in sick today. DECIUS: Okay, I'll just tell the guys that you're a pussy who lets his wife tell him what to do. They'll understand. CAESAR: I'll get Julius Caesar, abridged: BRUTUS: I love Caesar! CASSIUS: He's a power-hungry bastard. I think we should kill him. BRUTUS: Dude, we totally should. DECIUS: Happy Ides of March, Caesar. Ready to go to the Senate? CAESAR: I dunno. My wife just had a dream about you and the rest of the senators washing their hands in my blood, so I think I'm going to call in sick today. DECIUS: Okay, I'll just tell the guys that you're a pussy who lets his wife tell him what to do. They'll understand. CAESAR: I'll get my coat. *Caesar skips off to the Senate, confident in the knowledge that he's in a Shakespeare play, where dreams don't predict anything and main characters never get offed* CAESAR: Hey, why didn't anyone tell me it was Bring A Dagger To Work Day? THE ENTIRE FUCKING SENATE: WE KEEL YOU! CASSIUS: Good, he's dead. Now to hold a huge funeral and let his best friend deliver the eulogy to the large, violence-prone mob. BRUTUS: Cool. Take it away, Antony! ANTONY: So the guys who killed Caesar aren't bad guys, really... CROWD: WOOOO! WE LOVE BRUTUS! ANTONY: ...but Caesar was generous and humble and basically god on earth, and they totally killed him in cold blood. CROWD: RAAAAAAA! KILL THEM ALL!!! *grabs torches and pitchforks and kills fucking everyone, including a random poet who has the same name as one of the conspirators. I'm not even joking.* BRUTUS: Man, ruling Rome was a lot more fun when we weren't being invaded by Octavius. CAESAR'S GHOST: BOOGEDY BOOGEDY BOOGEDY! AVENGE...oh, wrong play. Uh...BOOGEDY! BRUTUS: Oh, hey Caesar. CAESAR'S GHOST: Uh...that's it? Not even an "eek?" Fine, whatever. I'm going to see you a second time, by the way. BOOGEDY! BRUTUS: Huh. That was weird. CASSIUS: GOD DAMMIT WE'RE LOSING THE WAR! I AM OVER THIS SHIT. Hey you, hold my sword while I impale myself. SERVANT: Sure thing. CASSIUS: *dies* BRUTUS: Let's see: Rome is being destroyed, all my friends have either been killed or comitted suicide, my wife just poisoned herself, and I'm about to be captured by enemy soldiers. *turns to audience* HEY, DOES ANYONE KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS? AUDIENCE: SUICIDE TIME! BRUTUS: THAT'S RIGHT! *dies* THE END.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bill Kerwin

    In the course of teaching high school sophomores for thirty years, I have read Julius Caesar more than thirty times, and I never grow tired of its richness of detail or the complexity of its characters. Almost every year, I end up asking myself the same simple question--"Whom do I like better? Cassius or Brutus?"--and almost every year my answer is different from what it was the year before. On one hand, we have Cassius, the selfish, manipulative conspirator who, after the assassination, shows h In the course of teaching high school sophomores for thirty years, I have read Julius Caesar more than thirty times, and I never grow tired of its richness of detail or the complexity of its characters. Almost every year, I end up asking myself the same simple question--"Whom do I like better? Cassius or Brutus?"--and almost every year my answer is different from what it was the year before. On one hand, we have Cassius, the selfish, manipulative conspirator who, after the assassination, shows himself to be an impulsive, loyal friend and an able politician, and, on the other hand, Brutus, the conscientious intellectual and lover of the republic who becomes, under the weight of his guilt, an irritatingly scrupulous moralist and an inept general more concerned with reputation than success. And then of course there is Antony: brilliant, vicious, unscrupulous, and ultimately as unknowable as a tornado. This is a great play about politics and human character.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Keeten

    “Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once. Of all the wonders that I yet have heard, It seems to me most strange that men should fear; Seeing that death, a necessary end, Will come when it will come.” Beware the Ides of March. Beware to those that have aspirations to rule. You may encounter many enemies. People who will thwart your plans. People quite possibly afraid of your genius. People suffering from delusions of grandeur. I always say keep an “Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once. Of all the wonders that I yet have heard, It seems to me most strange that men should fear; Seeing that death, a necessary end, Will come when it will come.” Beware the Ides of March. Beware to those that have aspirations to rule. You may encounter many enemies. People who will thwart your plans. People quite possibly afraid of your genius. People suffering from delusions of grandeur. I always say keep an eye on the son of your favorite squeeze. Marcus Junius Brutus, what a fickle man, you are running around like a plucked chicken looking for your missing head. ”He seems completely blind to reality, an ineffectual idealist whose idealism cannot prevent him from committing a senseless and terrible crime.” You let the insidious Cassius fill your ear with dilettante, conspiratorial nonsense. ”Cadaverous and hungry-looking, much given to brooding, and a great reader; a scorner of sports and light diversions, a very shrewd judge of human nature, and deeply envious of those who are greater than himself.” So the question remains, is Cassius the shrewd judge of character, capable of seeing the future, or is he the man consumed by jealousy who wants to see the mighty Julius Caesar fall? You fell for that first man of Rome, the republic is your responsibility, and all that. As it turns out, you aren’t the only dagger maestro in your family. Gaius Servilius Structus Ahala, a distant relative of yours, saved Rome from another tyrant named Spurius Maelius. Of course, that is all in the far distant past and might even be a myth, but Cassius knows the right buttons to push. ”And therefore think him as a serpent’s egg, Which, hatch’d, would, as his kind, grow mischievous, And kill him in the shell.” You might have said the line Brutus, but the stench of it, the green gray smoke of it, smacks of Cassius. Wouldn’t it have been more prudent to see what Caesar intended to do with his power before you stab, stab, STABBED him to death? “Et tu, Brute?” That must have felt like a punch in the gut given that you had his blood all over your sword and hands at the time. Caesar’s parting guilt laden gift to you. I’m just putting a few thoughts out there in the wind. How’d you feel about Caesar putting the sausage to your mother? Did the bedposts banging against the wall feel like a drummer hammering your skull? Maybe Cassius doesn’t have to be that convincing. Cassius It must have been a real kick in the subligaculum when that hack William Shakespeare named the play after Julius Caesar. My god, man, you have four times the lines, and for most of the play Caesar is nothing more than an apparition. An annoying apparition, by the way, who keeps showing up at the most inconvenient times and saying things like, ”Let loose the dogs of war.” Letting Marc Antony live was probably a mistake. He isn’t the brightest star in the firmament, but he is a brave soldier. A good leader, but better as number two than number one. You aren’t really a mad dog killer after all, so the thought of killing Antony is like crunching on the bones of a stale dormouse. ”Of course will seem too bloody, Caius Cassius, To cut the head off and then hack the limbs, Like wrath in death and envy afterwards; For Antony is but a limb of Caesar. Let’s be sacrificers, but not butchers, Caius. We all stand up against the spirit of Caesar.” Magnanimous of you, Brutus. Well said, but did you think ZOINKS after Antony dropped that rap battle speech at Caesar’s funeral. Marc Antony ”Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears; I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him. The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones; So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus Hath told you Caesar was ambitious: If it were so, it was a grievous fault, And grievously hath Caesar answer’d it. Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest– For Brutus is an honourable man; So are they all, all honourable men– You remember the one, right? The speech where he basically calls you a douche bag under the guise of singing your praises. I’m not going to talk about the disaster at the battle of Philippi. I think that might have been where the term Caesar salad came into common usage. Marc Antony and Octavius join forces and break the will of your men. We are all ready, way past ready, for you to fall on your own sword. In fact, I would have happily given you a firm Caligae to the arse if you needed a little extra encouragement. If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten

  4. 5 out of 5

    Darth J

    This tale in a nutshell:

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    The Tragedie Of Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare The Tragedy of Julius Caesar is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1599. It is one of several plays written by Shakespeare based on true events from Roman history, which also include Coriolanus and Antony and Cleopatra. Although the play is named Julius Caesar, Brutus speaks more than four times as many lines as the title character; and the central psychological drama of the play focuses on Brutus' struggle betwee The Tragedie Of Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare The Tragedy of Julius Caesar is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1599. It is one of several plays written by Shakespeare based on true events from Roman history, which also include Coriolanus and Antony and Cleopatra. Although the play is named Julius Caesar, Brutus speaks more than four times as many lines as the title character; and the central psychological drama of the play focuses on Brutus' struggle between the conflicting demands of honor, patriotism, and friendship. ... عنوان: تراژدی قیصر : نمایشنامه در پنج پرده؛ تراژدی ژولیوس سزار؛ ژولیوس سزار؛ اثر: ویلیام شکسپیر؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: سال 1971 میلادی عنوان: تراژدی قیصر : نمایشنامه در پنج پرده؛ اثر: ویلیام شکسپیر؛ مترجم: فرنگیس شادمان (نمازی)؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، بنگاه ترجمه و نشر کتاب، 1334، در 161 ص، موضوع: نمایشنامه های انگلیسی - سده 16 م از همین مترجم: تهران، شرکت انتشارات علمی فرهنگی، 1382، در 177 ص؛ شابک: 9789644459733‬؛ تراژدی ژولیوس سزار که به اختصار ژولیوس سزار نیز نامیده می‌شود، نمایش‌نامه‌ ای اثر ویلیام شکسپیر است، که گمان می‌رود در سال 1599 میلادی نوشته شده‌ باشد. این نمایش‌نامه درباره ی توطئه‌ ای ست که در سال 44 پیش از میلاد، علیه ژولیوس سزار، دیکتاتور رومی صورت گرفت، که به قتل او و نیز شکست توطئه‌ گران در نبرد فیلیپی، منجر شد. شکسپیر دو نمایش‌نامه ی کوریولانوس، و آنتونیوس و کلئوپاترا را نیز، از رخدادهای تاریخی دوران امپراتوری روم، اقتباس کرده‌ است. اگرچه عنوان نمایش‌نامه ژولیوس سزار است، ولی سزار شخصیت اصلی نمایش‌نامه نیست؛ او تنها در سه صحنه حضور دارد، و در ابتدای پرده ی سوم کشته می‌شود. مارکوس بروتوس، بیشتر از چهار بار، و هر بار چندین خط، سخن می‌گوید، و بار روانشناسی نمایش، کشمکش او برای انتخاب، بین شرافت، وطن‌ پرستی، و دوستی با سزار است. ا. شربیانی

  6. 4 out of 5

    Henry Avila

    The most powerful, famous man in Roman history, her greatest conqueror, loved by the adoring , poor population, of Rome, ( and Cleopatra, also) that has brought glory and prosperity, too, the army will follow anywhere he leads, certain victory and riches to the soldiers, the Senate has given numerous awards to him, Rome's enemies tremble at the name of the mighty Caesar, but of course nobody is loved by all, men are small, petty, and jealous, why should he be above them, (fearing he, becoming K The most powerful, famous man in Roman history, her greatest conqueror, loved by the adoring , poor population, of Rome, ( and Cleopatra, also) that has brought glory and prosperity, too, the army will follow anywhere he leads, certain victory and riches to the soldiers, the Senate has given numerous awards to him, Rome's enemies tremble at the name of the mighty Caesar, but of course nobody is loved by all, men are small, petty, and jealous, why should he be above them, (fearing he, becoming King) the less talented and not as successful, always will ask this eternal question...The world is full of chaos, by men who believe in a cause, they never see the consequences, of their actions, what happens, afterwards, most don't care . A conspiracy by a conservative faction of the Roman Senate, organized by Marcus Brutus and Gaius Cassius, an upper class clique, the aristocrats, didn't like Caesar's rule, but pretended to be his friends, had contempt for the plebeians, (common citizens) and on the Ides (15th) of March, 44 B.C. stabbed the great, brilliant warrior, 23 times ( Et tu, Brutus?) . Those Senators were out of touch with reality, believing they would be praised for their treachery, yet when Mark Anthony, gives a fiery speech, to the dazed, vast crowds, asking them, when will there be another man, like him, never, they shout back, at Caesar's funeral, (but Brutus, said he was ambitious) and shows the bloody body , clothes, of the fallen, and reads his will, giving every poor citizen ( who he loved), a vast amount of money and a park, his own gardens, to the lowly , riots ensue, the surprised assassins, flee for their lives out of the huge city...At the decisive battle of Philippi, in Greece, Mark Anthony and young Octavian, (Augustus Caesar) Julius Caesar's great-nephew, fought Brutus and Cassius, a total of 400,000 soldiers , for the control of Rome, the winners live, the losers die...but none were generals like Caesar... A great, immortal play, that asks who is right and who is wrong , Brutus and Cassius or Caesar, generations past, and in the unforeseen future, will deliberate this unanswerable question, politics can be deadly, when one group believes they know best, anyone opposing them, will be butchered, for the good of the state, these pitiable people, cease to be human, the killers, destroy , but the blood sprays on all, as later the victims, friends, fight back , vengeance is very sweet, thousands , even millions may perish, but the gore continues unrelenting, until the people have had enough, or no one is left, it may go on for a long, long, while, though. There are no noblemen, in hate...

  7. 4 out of 5

    James

    Book Review In 1599, William Shakespeare published his famous tragic play, Julius Caesar. In this tragedy, he explores the effect of power and trust across many characters, those who have it and those who are hungry for it. Several memorable lines originate in this play, offering guidance on how to go about building a network of friends and an army of enemies. Most readers are familiar with the story of vengeance and betrayal when it comes to Julius Caeser, and this is the central theme in Sh Book Review In 1599, William Shakespeare published his famous tragic play, Julius Caesar. In this tragedy, he explores the effect of power and trust across many characters, those who have it and those who are hungry for it. Several memorable lines originate in this play, offering guidance on how to go about building a network of friends and an army of enemies. Most readers are familiar with the story of vengeance and betrayal when it comes to Julius Caeser, and this is the central theme in Shakespeare's play. How do you know when you can truly trust someone? What happens when hearsay changes someone's mind? Who do you turn to when you've been betrayed by someone you thought was trustworthy. These are persistent motifs across literature for hundreds of years. As one of the original literary works focusing on it, this classic has set a high standard for using one's words versus using your physical prowess to convince someone to do something they might not normally consider doing. There are a lot of strong images and passages to re-read in this play, each giving you different slices of life and hearty challenges to dissect. Of all Shakespeare's plays, I'd put this one towards the top of most analyzed. It's worth a read and teaches you a bit about history, too. About Me For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lyn

    “Et tu, Brute?” These lines have haunted audiences and readers for centuries, since The Bard first presented the play, believed to be in 1599, when Shakespeare would have been 35. Bringing to life scenes from Roman history, this tragedy, more than presenting a biography of the leader, instead forms a study in loyalty, honor, patriotism and friendship. “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears; I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him; The evil that men do lives after them, The good is oft in “Et tu, Brute?” These lines have haunted audiences and readers for centuries, since The Bard first presented the play, believed to be in 1599, when Shakespeare would have been 35. Bringing to life scenes from Roman history, this tragedy, more than presenting a biography of the leader, instead forms a study in loyalty, honor, patriotism and friendship. “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears; I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him; The evil that men do lives after them, The good is oft interred with their bones, So let it be with Caesar ...” Antony’s speech has been memorized and recited by hundreds of thousands over the centuries and still stands as a testament to subtle revenge and stubborn leadership. “Be patient till the last. Romans, countrymen, and lovers! Hear me for my cause, and be silent that you may hear. Believe me for mine honor, and have respect to mine honor that you may believe. Censure me in your wisdom, and awake your senses that you may the better judge. If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of Caesar’s, to him I say that Brutus' love to Caesar was no less than his. If then that friend demand why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my answer: not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more” Like Milton’s Satan, and Shakespeare’s Edmund from King Lear, the most interesting character in the play is the villain Brutus. But was he truly a villain? He was certainly written as a sympathetic antagonist. His conflicting thoughts on loyalty and honor form the most memorable elements of one of Shakespeare’s finest plays.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Bookdragon Sean

    "But Brutus says he was ambitious; And Brutus is an honourable man…. " Oh yes! So very, very, honourable was our dear Brutus….. To think these two were once friends.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dolors

    The juxtaposition that Shakespeare brings forward in this historical play, which resembles a tragedy in textual tonality and structure, is the double-edged facets, the private and the public, that coexist in Julius Caesar, the quintessential dictator. The ruler’s weaknesses show unobstructed in his private life. Irascible, proud and vulnerable to superstition, the Caesar ignores the voice of fate represented by the Soothsayer that tries to warn him against the surges of unrest that pervade in th The juxtaposition that Shakespeare brings forward in this historical play, which resembles a tragedy in textual tonality and structure, is the double-edged facets, the private and the public, that coexist in Julius Caesar, the quintessential dictator. The ruler’s weaknesses show unobstructed in his private life. Irascible, proud and vulnerable to superstition, the Caesar ignores the voice of fate represented by the Soothsayer that tries to warn him against the surges of unrest that pervade in the fatidic 15th, the Ides of March, the date of his assassination. But are the personal defects of the Caesar reason enough to murder him? Do they really threaten the hegemony of the Roman Empire? Or are the conspirators spurred by envy, or even, misled by their self-imposed sense of justice? Can the tormentor become the victim? The collision between high idealism and pragmatism, corruption and politics, reason and irrational expectations, and the recurrent theme of preordained fate versus free will sets the frame for the characters to unfold Shakespeare’s unyielding grasp of the ambiguity –or the twisted nature?- that defines human nature. Brutus’ noble intentions prove to be nothing more than an unequivocal desire for power and validation. His urge to simplify events ignores the fact that both people and actions are never wholly right or wrong; that one should adapt to the countless tonalities of life, that one should sometimes suspend judgment. Cassius’ ambition invalidates him as a valid, fair leader and Marc-Antony’s loyalty is but a dull reflection of the gullibility of the populace, an undistinguishable mass of fervent venerators that can easily be transformed into a barbarous mob. Only Octavius complies with the unspoken requisites to become Julius’ successor. With a rather lukewarm temperament, he appears almost impersonal, detached and oblivious to emotional strife. Is maybe Shakespeare implying that the popular man, the leader, is but a “Hollow Man”, a stuffed creature, whose public image serves to disguise his true personality? What is there to hide about mankind that can’t stand the glance of common citizens? Where is his true spirit left to wander about? Shakespeare’s version of the downfall of Julius Caesar is a quiet, subversive text where there is little space for his usual puns, wordplay and fast witted dialogue. The somewhat direct style distinguishes this play from the others I have read, which might be an attempt to create a language that presents no barriers to understanding, transcends genre, narrative, context and challenges preconceived notions about history; and ultimately, about the person who unobtrusively stares back at us in the mirror every morning of our undistinguishable lives. Words are glowing ambers that lead to ourselves, that lead us to merely being. Caesar’s might be ancient history, but ours, which is his, and Shakespeare’s, is not. “Remember us –if at all- not as lost Violent souls, but only As the hollow men The stuffed men.” T.S. Eliot, “The Hollow Men”

  11. 4 out of 5

    Joe Valdez

    To celebrate William Shakespeare on his birthday in April, I'll be studying three of the Bard's plays which I've not yet seen. My Shakespeare plan is to locate a staging of the play, listening to and watching it on my Macbook while I follow along to as much as of the original text as is incorporated in the production. Later, I read the entire play in the modern English version. A good friend I've had since high school recommended this system to me and I think this has been a very good system for To celebrate William Shakespeare on his birthday in April, I'll be studying three of the Bard's plays which I've not yet seen. My Shakespeare plan is to locate a staging of the play, listening to and watching it on my Macbook while I follow along to as much as of the original text as is incorporated in the production. Later, I read the entire play in the modern English version. A good friend I've had since high school recommended this system to me and I think this has been a very good system for delighting the mind in Shakespeare. This month, I plan to dive into three of Shakespeare's political dramas. Scholars estimate that Julius Caesar was written in 1599 and was probably one of the first plays to be performed at the Globe Theatre in Southwark, which began construction in January of that year. Sir Thomas North's translation of Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans by Plutarch provided Shakespeare with much material, not only his dramatization of Caesar's assassination in 44 B.C., but most of the playwright's Roman based plays. Shakespeare took great liberties with history, condensing three years of battle into six days, expanding the roles of Portia and Calpurnia and putting his own words into the mouths of the historic figures. The staging I chose was the BBC Television Shakespeare production from 1979 starring Charles Gray as Caesar, Richard Pasco as Brutus and Keith Mitchell as Marc Antony. There were no familiar faces to me in the cast, but they acquit themselves well, particularly David Collings as Cassius. The set design and movement for the first two thirds of the production were rich and invigorating. As for the play, I was not very compelled. Much of it felt like I was checking a box off, or worse, completing an assignment for school. The major attribute of Julius Caesar is Shakespeare's atom-splitting dialogue, some of which has transcended centuries. Act one, Scene 2. SOOTHSAYER: Beware the ides of March. Act one, Scene 2. CASSIUS: Men at some time are masters of their fates: the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings. Brutus and Caesar: what should be that 'Caesar'? Why should that name be sounded more than yours? Act one, Scene 2. CASCA: It was Greek to me. Act three, Scene 1. CAESAR: Et tu, Brute? Then fall, Caesar! Act three, Scene 1. ANTONY: And Caesar's spirit, ranging for revenge, with Ate by his side come hot from hell, shall in these confines with a monarch's voice cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war, that this foul deed shall smell above the earth with carrion men, groaning for burial. Act three, Scene 2. ANTONY: Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears. I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him. The evil that men do lives after them. The good is oft interred with their bones. So let it be with Caesar. Act four, Scene 1. ANTONY: Octavius, I have seen more days than you. And though we lay these honours on this man, to ease ourselves of divers sland'rous loads, he shall but bear them as the ass bears gold, to groan and sweat under the business, either lead or driven, as we point the way. And having brought our treasure where we will, then take we down his load, and turn him off, like to the empty ass, to shake his ears and graze in commons. Julius Caesar chronicles the plot of eight Roman senators, instigated by the lean and hungry Cassius and fronted by the stoic orator Brutus, to murder the populist Julius Caesar, who the Roman senate is preparing to crown as king. There are a few exciting parallels to recent events in the U.S., with men of honorable intentions conspiring against a leader in the name of freedom, when really, they're envious of his popularity and fearful of his mandate to change things. Shakespeare also demonstrates the fickleness of the public to hail Caesar as a champion one moment and curse him as a tyrant the next, based on what's trending in the Forum. There are two female roles in the play: Brutus' wife Portia and Caesar's wife Calpurnia. They're almost the same part, wary of the danger to their powerful husbands and not wanting them to leave the house. Of course, neither Brutus or Caesar pay any attention, going to capitol and getting their fool selves killed, ultimately. I was compelled here or there by Shakespeare's facility with witty dialogue, particularly the opening scene of the play featuring Roman rabble marching to hail great Caesar, but the play is hardly funny considering the subject matter. The last third drags with asinine battle involving characters I never felt compelled with emotionally. Joe's Current Ranking of Shakespeare Plays (From Most to Least Favorite): 1) Hamlet 2) Much Ado About Nothing 3) Twelfth Night 4) As You Like It 5) Macbeth 6) The Merchant of Venice 7) A Midsummer Night's Dream 8) Othello 9) Julius Caesar 10) King Lear 11) Romeo and Juliet 12) The Taming of the Shrew 13) The Tempest

  12. 4 out of 5

    Darwin8u

    “What a terrible era in which idiots govern the blind.” ― William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act 2, Scene 1 Julius Caesar was one of my first Shakespeare loves. I remember in Jr High memorizing (and I still can remember most of it) Mark Anthony's eulogy to Caesar ("Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears..." It was powerful and was an early indicator for me of language's potential energy. Within those lines there were several messages, foreshadowing, etc. It turned me onto both Shakespear “What a terrible era in which idiots govern the blind.” ― William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act 2, Scene 1 Julius Caesar was one of my first Shakespeare loves. I remember in Jr High memorizing (and I still can remember most of it) Mark Anthony's eulogy to Caesar ("Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears..." It was powerful and was an early indicator for me of language's potential energy. Within those lines there were several messages, foreshadowing, etc. It turned me onto both Shakespeare and the Classics. I'm now coming back to Julius Caesar 25+ years later. Hopefully a bit more mature. With a bit more body hair. Certainly, with more experience with Shakespeare, the Classics, and politics and the original JC. I've now read considerably Livy, Edward Gibbon, Suetonius, and probably most importantly Plutarch. But even with all of this 'source' material, the play itself still seems to capture the imagination in ways that history (both modern and ancient) can't. Shakespeare can tease out and nuance things (obviously made up) that gives live to Brutus, Caesar, Anthony. It was ironic too that I was reading Julius Caesar right after (unplanned) the June controversy with the New York Public Theatre's production where they used a Trump-like character to play the part of Julius Caesar. The brouhaha could easily have been predicted. The closer our contemporary leaders become to actual tyrants, the harder it becomes for their supporters to digest their images being used to portray an assassinated Julius Caesar. The closer we edge to the end of the Republic, the more relevant and less popular Julius Caesar will be with those in tyrannical camps. It all holds up. It still feels relevant and even a bit dangerous. Favorite Lines: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.” (Act 1, Scene 2) "But, for my own part, it was Greek to me.” (Act 1, Scene 2) “...for the eye sees not itself, but by reflection, by some other things.” (Act 1, Scene 2) “Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.” (Act 2, Scene 2) “Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!” (Act 3, Scene 1) “Of your philosophy you make no use, If you give place to accidental evils.” (Act 4, Scene 3)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Manny

    I once performed the whole of Mark Anthony's "Friends, Romans, Countrymen" speech on the steps outside the Great Hall in Trinity College, Cambridge, wearing a bedspread as a toga and with a bucket chained over my head. It's a long story. I think I still know the speech by heart.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Elise (TheBookishActress)

    this review is rated M for Memes I really do love this play but I've been memeing about it for five hours straight at this point to cope w my Overly Large Yet Worth It Role so we'll talk about why I love this show and then we'll end with the long list of terrible memes (also why the FUCK did I give this four stars. it's a five goodnight I love this underrated play) WHY THIS PLAY IS FUCKING AWESOME Okay, first of all, and no one else cares: it's pretty damn historically accurate as Shakespeare goes this review is rated M for Memes I really do love this play but I've been memeing about it for five hours straight at this point to cope w my Overly Large Yet Worth It Role so we'll talk about why I love this show and then we'll end with the long list of terrible memes (also why the FUCK did I give this four stars. it's a five goodnight I love this underrated play) WHY THIS PLAY IS FUCKING AWESOME Okay, first of all, and no one else cares: it's pretty damn historically accurate as Shakespeare goes. And I'm a stressed Latin student. So that was nice to see. It's also a really good play as characters go. Every character parallels around three other characters in interesting ways; Brutus especially is a foil to all of the other three leads. All the relationships between the characters are so interesting and heartbreaking. This is also just one of the best-written plays I've ever read. I love how Shakespeare varies his meter for every character. Okay, example time: Brutus ends at least half his statements with weak endings rather than in typical Iambic Pentameter. Cool, right? Maybe it's not if you don't know what any of that meant. Nevermind. But my nerd ass loves it. Also, so much rhetoric. That assembly scene changed me as a person. You could write a freaking term paper on that scene and still not fully analyze the whole thing And it's still a relevant story today!! This play has some really fucking relevant political commentary. There's actually a line in this play about how this bloody scene, this surprise betrayal, will be reenacted a thousand times over in the future, and it's maybe the most brilliant line of all time, ever. I love it. I can't believe we cut it. Beyond all that, though, this is just one of the most narratively strong plays I've ever read. This is my favorite kind of tragedy. Every single character has sensical motivations!! There's no villain!! There's no fate as the villain!! Every bad thing that happens is the result of a character decision. I just really love this play narratively. SOME MEMES, FOR YOUR ENJOYMENT — I can't believe Brutus and Cassius are being chewed on by Satan in hell they didn't deserve this @Dante you take that shit back they were just trying to stop a fucking dictator good god — comparing Caesar to Trump is unfair?? Caesar cared about poor people how is that comparable to our current president — please just look at this — add “bro” to every single line of The Tent SceneTM and it's 100% better trust me I Am A Scientist — et tu, brote — some people?? stab emperors?? to coup?? — Cassius every single time something goes wrong: time to die lmao — au where this whole thing takes place on tumblr and Antony's speech is just a callout post and no one stays in their lane — that Mean Girls version of the speech is really fucking accurate she even gets in "Brutus is just as cute as Caeser" and if that's not something Cassius would say I don't know what is — sorry Shakespeare I really do love your work I don't only make memes about it — and yet: holy fuck (i'm really sorry) — this play is literally Macbeth except less supernatural, more Roman, and more gay — there's also this weird Romeo-and-Juliet esque triple suicide? in which a character who has never shown up before is suddenly Cassius' best friend and then they kill themselves and lie dead next to each other over a misunderstanding? it's weird — and then Brutus comes in and dies too so... triple suicide? cool?? — I feel like I should mention that random new character is quite literally named Titty-nius — Shakespeare, on his 1610 ao3 account: lmao let's write a crossover of Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth except... Roman au — this play invented the bury your gays trope — or maybe someone just yelled "the floor is stabbing Caesar" — I'm so very sorry for this review I regret it already Blog | Goodreads| Twitter | Youtube

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kalliope

    What is this play about? Is it about Julius Caesar, as the title says? Well, he is assassinated half way through the play and disappears (Act 3, scene 2). Granted, his ghost reappears later on, but it is not the ghost of the caliber of Mozart’s (and Lorenzo da Ponte’s) commanding Commendatore. JC’s ghost exists only in Brutus mind as his conscience. For even if Brutus thinks that it is the ghost’s revenge to “turn our swords toward our own stomachs”, the only time the ghost speaks is to say “I a What is this play about? Is it about Julius Caesar, as the title says? Well, he is assassinated half way through the play and disappears (Act 3, scene 2). Granted, his ghost reappears later on, but it is not the ghost of the caliber of Mozart’s (and Lorenzo da Ponte’s) commanding Commendatore. JC’s ghost exists only in Brutus mind as his conscience. For even if Brutus thinks that it is the ghost’s revenge to “turn our swords toward our own stomachs”, the only time the ghost speaks is to say “I am your evil spirit, Brutus”. JC does not seem to have a huge stature anyway. His triumph celebrated at the beginning is not Rome’s but his very own, since his victory consists of having defeated Pompey’s sons, i.e. his personal enemies and not the enemies of Rome. We also see that his wife Calpurnia has little trouble in convincing him not to go to the Senate, and only a moment later Decius easily changes his mind again and persuades him to go nonetheless. When he subsequently preaches his own steeliness to the senators (“I could be well moved if I were as you... “), he is not believable. He just seems conceited. So, no, I do not think it is about JC. May be the play is about Brutus, the most interesting of the characters and the one with the most lines. He is drawn into the plot by Cassius’s astuteness and tricks, and throughout the play we are reminded that he is acting with the good of Rome as his main objective. His famous soliloquy in Act II is a defense of the nobility of the act. But both his weakness in falling prey to Cassius conniving and the loss of empathy when he coldly dismisses the memories of his deceased and yet beloved wife (“No more, I pray you…”) detract from his being the prime candidate. No, in spite of Antony’s words at the end (“This was the noblest Roman of them all…”), he remains elusive. Cassius's role is that of Best Supporting Actor. The play ends leaving the future eerily open. From history we know what happened next and the cotemporary public must have also known it, but there is no hint in the play on which way Rome will go not even on what the alternatives are. Of course there are always the eternity themes that Shakespeare is so extraordinary at developing and with which his plays are always loaded, themes as Ambition, Loyalty, Omens and Destiny, etc… Analyses of these are well trodden. I will not venture in this fertile direction. In previous readings I was approaching the plays by William Shakespeare as Classics existing in the historical vacuum of eternity. But in my current protracted reading of these works, it is the parallels of the plots with contemporary events or circumstances that are interesting me greatly. In 1599 when the play was first performed (possibly the first in the new Globe Theatre) Queen Elizabeth was 66 but looked and acted a lot older. She had lost a lot of her glamour and the icon-making machinery had begun. The boost that the triumph over the Spaniards had brought was eroding, and new problems with Ireland were coming to the limelight. The bitter rivalry between the Earl of Essex and Lord Burghley, and later with the son Robert Cecil, was keeping courtiers at bay. The secret services were increasing their control and pressure which only contributed to a greater feeling of terror. And meanwhile, there was still no clear heir to the throne. People must have felt rather itchy about the political instability and the uncertainty that the immediate future held. Of course causality between events of the day and a play produced in any given period are hard to detect, let alone to prove. This is not a play-à-clef. But in choosing plots and devising how to develop them, Shakespeare must have known what would ring a bell in the minds of the public. If, when seeking entertainment, the Londoners were to choose a play over bear-biting, the play had to be engaging. The author's ability in verbalizing human passions by reminding everybody of their concerns is what makes these plays so very special. I see then Julius Caesar as a tragedy without a hero. And the open “what now?” with which it closes, can be better understood if we become aware of the insecurities with which contemporary audience were about to enter into the following century. PS: Orson Welles put on a production in 1937 in which the setting was the contemporary Fascist and Nazi Europe (Caesar as Mussolini?). This is available as Audio. A GR friend recommended the modern film “Me and Orson Welles” in which it seems some of the OW original footage has been included. I have ordered this DVD but have not seen it yet. I can’t wait. PPS: The film disappointingly does not include any original footage of the 1937 play, and is somewhat silly.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Joseph

    "Cry havoc and release the dogs of war" The recent uproar over the Play in the Park version of the play. Huey Long, Margret Thatcher, Tony Blair, Barrack Obama, Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy (as Calpurnia) all had their moments in the play as Caesar without the uproar. I can see the make Rome/America great again, but I do not see Trump refusing the crown thrice or leaving 75 drachmas to every man or donating his private gardens and orchards. It's just a play.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mizo ۞

    أَفَكُنــتُـم تُفَـضِّـلــون أَن يَعيشَ قَيْـــصَر , وَأن تَـموتُــوا جَمــيعاً عبيـــداً له , على أَن يَــمُـــوت قَيْصَـــــر , وأن تعيـــشُـوا جَميــعاً رِجَالــاً أَحــرارا ؟ شكسبير , يا عم شكسبير . ماذا تفعل بي بالله عليك ؟ أنّى لكَ بهذه القدرة أن تكتب وتحلل وتشرح أكثر الاشياء تعقيداً , ثم تجمعها في باقة مميزة من الكلام الفصيح والشاعريّ الجميل ؟ ... يوليوس قيصر , ايقاع اسمه بنفسه على اذن السامع مهيب ! فكيف بأن تعلم سيرة حياته وبطولاته ؟ قيصر هذا , هو الغازي الكبير , ودكتاتور روما الشهير , يُقار أَفَكُنــتُـم تُفَـضِّـلــون أَن يَعيشَ قَيْـــصَر , وَأن تَـموتُــوا جَمــيعاً عبيـــداً له , على أَن يَــمُـــوت قَيْصَـــــر , وأن تعيـــشُـوا جَميــعاً رِجَالــاً أَحــرارا ؟ شكسبير , يا عم شكسبير . ماذا تفعل بي بالله عليك ؟ أنّى لكَ بهذه القدرة أن تكتب وتحلل وتشرح أكثر الاشياء تعقيداً , ثم تجمعها في باقة مميزة من الكلام الفصيح والشاعريّ الجميل ؟ ... يوليوس قيصر , ايقاع اسمه بنفسه على اذن السامع مهيب ! فكيف بأن تعلم سيرة حياته وبطولاته ؟ قيصر هذا , هو الغازي الكبير , ودكتاتور روما الشهير , يُقارن هذا الانسان بجنكيز خان ونابليون وهتلر , ففي أوروبا , كان اسمه وحده كافٍ لاسكات عويل الأطفال , وكان في قلوب أعدائه رهبة منه عظيمة . وكيف لا ؟ وهو غازي بلاد البريتون ومحطم رؤوس بلاد الغال : ودكتاتور روما ! إنّه باختصار : قَيْـــــصَر ~ عَظيــــمُ الرُّوم ***************** هذه المسرحية تعَدّ من أوائل ما كتب شكسبير من المسرحيات , فبعد انتهائه من كتابة تاريخ ملوك أوروبا (هتري وريتشارد والملك جون) , جاء بترجمة لكتاب "السّير" لبلوتارك والذي هو من تراجم يوليوس قيصر , ثم حولها مع كثير من التصرّف الى مادة مسرحية متشرّبة لكثير من الافكار . ومن أبرز ما فعله شكسبير وفيه تتجلّى عبقريته هو انتقائه للمادة المتوفرة في المصدر , وفيما أضافه من مخيّلته وقولبته للأحداث بطريقته الشكسبيرية , مستخدما نفس التقنيات في تصوير الأحداث كالتي استخدمها في "مكبث" مثلا .. وبالنسبة لي , فإن تحليل المسرحية والحديث عنها يجب أن يأتي على 3 فقرات : وهي : - الانسان (الشعب) - الملك (قيصر) - الوطن (روما) فلنبدأ :D : 1 ~ الانسان وجهة نظر شكسبير على الانسان في مسرحيته , هي نظرة الى "الاجتماع او التجمع الانساني " وليس على الانسان كفرد . فذكر الانسان في المسرحية لم يأت الى في القسم الثاني منها , بعد موت قيصر , وهو الذي يمثل شعب روما الماشي مع التيار . يصوّر لنا شكسبير الشعب بأنهم مجتمع مع الأغبياء , الذين يتأثرون بالعواطف أيما تأثر , والذين تحركهم الكلمات فقط يمينا وشمالا , فتارة مع قيصر وتارة مع بروتي وتارة مع أنطونيو , وهي وجهة نظر -بلا شك- قريبة من الحقيقة , فقد تحدّث لوبون عنها كثير الحديث في "سيكولوجية الجماهير" , وما زلت أذكر قول الكاتب الرومانيّ (نيجروزي) عن الجماهير حين نُعِتوا ب " الاغبياء" قال : " إنهم أغبياء , ولكنهم كُـثر " , وهذا جدّ صحيح . لذلا أولى شكسبير أهمية كبيرة لهم في مجرى الأحداث على مر الرواية . فبدونهم , لا معنى لقيصر , ولا لغيره ... 2 ~ الملك لم يُحسن شكسبير تصوير قيصر , ولا أنصح لقارئ هذه المسرحية أن يتخذها كأساس تاريخي , فإن قيصر هنا , هو رجل أُعطى السلطة بغير حساب , يسهل التحكم فيه , زوجته تقول شيئا فيطيعها , وصديقه يقول شيئا فيخالف زوجته ويطيعه , وصوّره شكسبير على أنه متصنّع الشجاعة لا متلبّس لها . فحين تنبأه زوجته أنه ميت وهي حلمت بذلك , يصرخ ويقول لها : " الجُبَنـاءُ يَمُـوتُونَ مِرَاراً قَـبلَ مَوْتِهـم , أمّا الشّـجْعَانُ فَلا يَذوقُـونَ طَعــمَ المَوْتِ إِلّا مَرَّةً واحِــدَة " وعند قوله لهذه المقولة , تذكرت فورا قول ساراماغو : “نقول إننا بخير حتى لو كنا نحتضر. وهذا متعارف عليه بأنه استجماع للشجاعة،وهي ظاهرة لم تعرف إلا لدى البشر.” ولكن قيصر صوّر بطفولة قوله هذا , ولا ضير ... ******** في جولجوثا , صُلب يهوذا الاسخريوطي , وفي ساحة واترلو , ترك الجنود الحرب وخانوا نابليون , وفي قصر روما , هجم الأخ على أخوه , فما الرابط بين القصص الثلاثة ؟ الرابط هو شيء واحد , تفسّره مقولة " احذر من صديقك ألف مرة " , يوليوس قيصر الذي أجبر أوروبا على الركوع تحت قدميه , قتل من أعز اصدقائه , بروتس , وخلدت كلمته العظيمة قبل موته بلحظات تخليدا عظيما . حين قال : Ettu, Brute? " حتى أنت , بروتس ؟ " لذلك , ترتفع قيمة هذه المسرحية ليس فقط كونها مسرحية جيدة التكوين , بل لأنها مخلّدة لاحدى أعظم اللحظات في التاريخ , وخاصة الروماني . 3~ الوطن روما ! أيْ روما العزيزة ! ما كنتِ , وما كانت هيئتك ؟ هل انت ساحرة فأصبح قتل قيصر هيّن للبشر ؟ أم أنك كنت أساسا وهميا لتبرير قتله ؟ اعلموا يا اصدقاء , أن روما هي سبب كل المشاكل في المسرحية , واعلموا أيضا أنها كانت الرابط الوحيد بين كل الشخصيات , فلو اختلف كل الشخصيات , يبقى اتفاقهُمُ هلى شيء واحد , ألا وهو حبّ روما والتضحية لها ان السيوف التي قتلت قيصر , كانت باسم روما . وان الارض التي قتل فيها قيصر , هي ارض روما , وان الدم الذي سال من قيصر أو من عدوه , كانوا بلون روما , وهكذا : روما روما روما .... هكذا , أرض روما هي أرض النزاع والحب . وتبقى الكلمة التي قالها بروتس قبل انتحاره : رومــــا ! ********* سأختم بسرعة : ان لم تقرأ مسرحية "يوليوس قيصر " لشكسبير , فأنصحك أن تقرا مسرحية "يوليوس قيصر" لشكسبير :D تم بحمد الله

  18. 5 out of 5

    Romie

    basically: bros loving each others, deciding to kill their greatest bro and ending up going on a bro war.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Loretta

    Another excellent play by William Shakespeare!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    What a terrible era in which idiots govern the blind. Here's the plot: a demagogue threatens democracy and his own allies in the Senate have to decide whether to remove him. So you can see why the Public Theater's minds went to recent events when they staged Julius Caesar in Central Park. Their version, set in modern times and featuring a familiar-looking Caesar, has made some headlines, and I won't lie: the murder scene was disturbing to watch. Art often tries to be dangerous, but it rarely succ What a terrible era in which idiots govern the blind. Here's the plot: a demagogue threatens democracy and his own allies in the Senate have to decide whether to remove him. So you can see why the Public Theater's minds went to recent events when they staged Julius Caesar in Central Park. Their version, set in modern times and featuring a familiar-looking Caesar, has made some headlines, and I won't lie: the murder scene was disturbing to watch. Art often tries to be dangerous, but it rarely succeeds. This production, which we attended on its final weekend, felt dangerous. no picture-taking was allowed so these are media images - you'll have to take my word for it that I was there But "Alas," protesters outside, "Thou hast misconstrued everything." The knives are metaphors. We're talking about the dangers of tyranny here. The central question of the play is, were the conspirators right to remove Caesar? And Shakespeare, who, let's not forget, was paid by kings to play for kings, isn't exactly antiauthoritarian. You should not expect him to endorse kingslaying, and he doesn't. "As he was valiant," says Brutus, "I honor him. But as he was ambitious, I slew him." And how ambitious was he? Was Brutus right to fear for democracy? There's a key scene that answers that question. In it, Caesar, who "would not be a wolf / but that he sees the Romans are but sheep," is offered a crown, three times, and refuses it. The smartest person in Rome, Cicero, then gives a brilliant speech. And here's the funny (and quintessentially Shakespearean thing) about that scene: we don't see it. It's narrated to us by Casca, a conspirator, who tells us that he thinks Caesar was just holding out for a better crown. And that speech by Cicero? Well, it was in Greek. Casca didn't understand a word of it. The famous phrase, "It was Greek to me," represents Shakespeare allowing you to decide. you're about two minutes from seeing this guy's junk But whether he was a tyrant or not, certainly the result of his removal is chaos. No one wins. What happens after Caesar is another Caesar - Octavius, his adopted son, depicted in Central Park wearing (of course) a dorky flak jacket. He and Marc Antony go to war against the conspirators; Brutus and Cassius (view spoiler)[commit suicide; (hide spoiler)] by the end nothing has really changed. Once Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon with his army - we're talking about history here, not just Shakespeare - democracy in Rome never recovered. When you ask, "How can we protect democracy? Is it by taking extreme measures to remove the threat? Or should we hope our government can survive him on its own?" Shakespeare answers, there is no right answer: if things have gone so far that you're asking this question, you have already lost. Bummer that we couldn't have watched this play a couple years ago, then. “How many ages hence," asks Cassius, "Shall this our lofty scene be acted over, / In states unborn and accents yet unknown!” and you're like I don't know, hopefully just one more?

  21. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    “Awake your senses, that you may the better judge.” If all you know about “Julius Caesar” is reading it in high school, you need to revisit it. It is a much deeper and richer text then I assume most high school readings of it allow. I gave "Julius Caesar" a 4 star rating compared to other Shakespeare, not to literature as a whole. The Bard is in a class of his own. The introduction to this play by Douglas Trevor is spectacular. Insightful, interesting and easy to follow. It is one of the best intro “Awake your senses, that you may the better judge.” If all you know about “Julius Caesar” is reading it in high school, you need to revisit it. It is a much deeper and richer text then I assume most high school readings of it allow. I gave "Julius Caesar" a 4 star rating compared to other Shakespeare, not to literature as a whole. The Bard is in a class of his own. The introduction to this play by Douglas Trevor is spectacular. Insightful, interesting and easy to follow. It is one of the best intros I have ever read to a Shakespeare play. Don’t skip it! Shakespeare opens this play with thoughtful and subtle character development. To really appreciate this piece you have to pay attention to what he is doing in the first act. The careful exposition is some of the most complex of the canon. And when Act 3 hits, look out! Act 3:2 contains the famous contrasting funeral orations delivered about the recently assassinated Caesar, and is the highlight of the text. Brutus delivers a logical, straightforward appeal to the Romans as to why he slew Caesar. Marc Antony however delivers a whopping emotional barn burner that beautifully manipulates the common rabble. Shakespeare’s use of irony in this scene is gripping. The assassin (a killer!) delivers the most honest dialogue in this text, whereas Marc Antony is a deceitful puppet master. In even more delicious irony Cassius, who manipulated Brutus into joining the conspiracy in the first place, (and about whom Caesar very accurately says has a “lean and hungry look”) fears the manipulative Marc Antony and vigorously tries to convince Brutus not to trust him. The reason is simple, Cassius knows his own kind. Marc Antony’s “Friends, Romans, Countrymen” speech is perhaps one of the greatest pieces of rhetoric written in English. It is a joy to read. Using all 3 rhetorical appeals (logos, ethos & pathos) Antony masterfully manipulates and directs the actions of the citizenry all while profusely stating he is doing the opposite. You can’t help but admire the guy, and the artistry of Shakespeare on display here. I believe it also offers some insights into how Shakespeare viewed humanity and our foolish natures. How easily reason can leave us, and how easily emotion is used to control. “Julius Caesar” is really a play about Brutus, and he is indeed the noblest man in the text. From his reasons to taking down Caesar, his personal business dealings, his obvious love for his wife and even his treatment of his servants-all are a testament to his being an “honorable man”. Marc Antony on the other hand manipulates the masses, betrays and gossips about his allies, and seeks power for the wrong reasons. Shakespeare is saying something here about how shallow relying on one’s public words can be. They tell us nothing really of the truth of the individual. The Pelican editions of Shakespeare contain some simple yet informative essays, “Theatrical World” & “The Texts of Shakespeare” that preface every play in this Pelican series. They are worth a read. As for the Pelican Shakespeare series, they are one of my two favorite editions since the scholarly research is usually top notch and the editions themselves look good as an aesthetic unit. It looks and feels like a play and this compliments the text's contents admirably. The Pelican series was recently reedited and has the latest scholarship on Shakespeare and his time period. Well priced and well worth it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Piyangie

    This is Shakespeare's interpretation of the life and the assassination of Julius Caesar, the incidents that occur following the tragedy, and the plight of the conspirators and assassins. The theme behind the story is universal. Where one wields power, there is always abundant of men who will win his trust and confidence and then shrewdly betray him at the first given opportunity. Greed for power is one of the commonest reason for treachery from time immemorial. When one is greedy of it, one is t This is Shakespeare's interpretation of the life and the assassination of Julius Caesar, the incidents that occur following the tragedy, and the plight of the conspirators and assassins. The theme behind the story is universal. Where one wields power, there is always abundant of men who will win his trust and confidence and then shrewdly betray him at the first given opportunity. Greed for power is one of the commonest reason for treachery from time immemorial. When one is greedy of it, one is too eager to tread on the the trust that is bestowed on him and is easily manipulated to conduct himself in a dishonest manner. And when greed is coupled with jealousy, the consequences can be quite disastrous. This is beautifully and convincingly portrayed in the play. The play was enjoyable. There was more action and suspense in it than in the other two tragedies that I have read - King Lear and Romeo and Juliet. I read the play while simultaneously listening to the audio book. Perhaps, the feel of the scenes and the different voicing of the characters in the audio book contributed to my feeling. There was however a part that I didn't comprehend. Was it the ghost of Caesar that made Cassius and Brutus commit suicide, instead of fleeing? As I understood, they did have the chance to flee. Overall, I'm happy to have enjoyed the play. I watched it as a child long ago and the memory prevented me from reading Shakespearean tragedies for a long time. But I'm happy to have returned to them once more.

  23. 5 out of 5

    David Sarkies

    A question of tyranny 3 September 2014 I am surprised that it has taken me this long to actually get around to re-reading this play so as to write a commentary on it considering that it happens to be one of my favourite Shakespearian plays. The copy that I own belonged to my uncle and the notes that have been scribbled into the book indicate that he read it when he was in high school. A part of me is jealous that he actually got to study this play whereas I was stuck with Hamlet. However, as I th A question of tyranny 3 September 2014 I am surprised that it has taken me this long to actually get around to re-reading this play so as to write a commentary on it considering that it happens to be one of my favourite Shakespearian plays. The copy that I own belonged to my uncle and the notes that have been scribbled into the book indicate that he read it when he was in high school. A part of me is jealous that he actually got to study this play whereas I was stuck with Hamlet. However, as I think about it I am glad that I never ended up studying this play because if I had I probably would not have enjoyed it as much. If there is one thing that I do not like about this play it is the 1970 movie starring Charlton Heston as Mark Antony and Jason Robbards as Marcus Brutus. The reason that it leaves a black mark on a rather brilliant play is because of Jason Robbards' American accent. In fact, the accent is so bad that it completely destroys the movie. Another thing that I have noticed about the Shakespearian adaptations around time the movie was produced is that they tend to use the historical setting as opposed to the more recent adaptations which tend to bring the play into the modern world. Ever since the release of this version of Richard III: I have been hoping that they would do something similar with Julius Caesar. They did it with Coriolanus, and there does seem to be a Julius Caesar that was produced in 2002, but I have yet to see one where they have tanks, artillery, and Apache Gunships sweeping over the battlefield in the last act. Still, it seems that there have been a number of high profile actors playing the role of Mark Antony: Anyhow, enough of my venting my desire to see a modern rendition of Julius Caesar, complete with Apache Gunships, and let us consider the play itself. Historical Context Julius Caesar is considered by modern scholars to be a problem play. Initially I haven't really seen anything all that problematic about it. While it is an historical play, it is also a play that demonstrates Shakespeare's maturity as a playwright. However, looking at the historical context of the play one needs to consider the fact that there are two contexts that we need to consider: that of the period in which the play was written and performed; and that of the period in which the events were set. The play itself is clearly a play that could be considered political in nature, even though it is a tragedy, however, as is clear, it has been based upon historical events. The sources of the play are numerous and include Plutarch's Life of Julius Caeser, Life of Mark Antony, and Life of Marcus Brutus, as well as Lucan's Pharsalia (the full text of which can be found here). I will first look at the historical setting of the play (Ancient Rome) itself before looking at the context of the period in which the play was performed (Elizabethan England). Ancient Rome I hope we all know about the story of Julius Caesar, a Roman general who rose to become the foremost power within the Roman Empire and at his height was struck down by his peers in the Roman Senate, and whose best friend was among the conspirators. However we need to ask why it was that they did that because to our modern eyes it would seem absurd. This was not a case of assassination like what happened to John F Kennedy, where he was assassinated by a lone gunman (if that is what you believe), but rather it would be like Barrack Obama walking into Congress and all of the Republican representatives drawing guns and proceeding to shoot him. This is something that simply does not happen, so the question is why did the senators kill him when they surely would have expected retribution. This thing was, and its comes out of the play, is that they first of all did not expect retribution. The Senators were the government and in one sense what they were doing was taking down a political opponent. This happens all the time in our modern democracies. In fact we see this occurring quite often, such as what happened to the Australian Labor Party in the last federal election, with certain newspapers clearly stating their political position on the front pages: These days politicians tend not to resort to murdering their opponents in cold blood: rather they prefer to destroy their reputation. The second reason the Roman Senators did this was because there was a belief that Julius Caesar had become a tyrant (and whether he was a tyrant is a separate argument in an of itself, which I will touch upon later) and it was seen to be the duty of the people in a democracy to resist a tyrant. Once again we see this happening today, though the definition of a tyrant can be quite vague. However, nobody would argue that this particular person was not a tyrant: Though whether this particular person could be considered a tyrant is another story: I suspect that these people don't really consider him to be a tyrant: but they certainly don't like him (and I must say I never saw as many protests as this when Julia was Prime Minister – just a couple of people waving placards screaming 'Juliar' and 'Ditch the Witch' – and look who is at the front): Elizabethan England Well, I seem to have written a bit with regards to the Roman period so I feel that maybe I should jump over to Elizabethan England to have a look at what was going on then. Well, England had had a relatively stable government for over a century (ignoring the disruption between the reigns of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I), particularly in the last fifty after the ascension of Elizabeth I. However this period was coming to an end because it was quite obvious that Elizabeth was getting old and no successor had been named. There was also the case that Elizabeth was not the most popular of monarchs among a certain portion of the population but the threat of the throne being usurped was now somewhat past. Shakespeare had already written a number of plays covering a period of significant instability within England which culminated with the War of the Roses, and out of the ashes had arisen the Tudor dynasty which had not only brought England into the modern age, but had created a stable government. Yet there was always the threat that this government could collapse and return to the period of anarchy that Shakespeare would regularly return to that theme. Now, unlike Rome, England was not a democracy, nor was it a republic, so the idea of resisting a tyrant did not have the same effect that it would have had in Ancient Rome, or even today. As you are probably aware the monarch was in effect a tyrant. Yet, it is likely that the view of a tyrant differed in those days as it does now. England was a relatively liberal society. They had undergone a reformation and Elizabeth allowed parliament a certain amount of freedom. While England was not necessarily in a position that it was in today, there was some form of religious and economic freedom. As such the threat of a tyrant in this period was not so much installing oneself as a dictator, but rather undermining religious freedom and moving to sideline the fledgling parliament. Assassination It is clear that Julius Caesar is an incredibly violent play. In fact the act of assassinating Caesar is an incredibly violent act in and off itself. During this part of the play Shakespeare clearly focuses on the blood – in fact there appears to be quite an excess of blood flowing out of this scene. However, the violence does not end with the assassination, but rather it continues with Mark Antony crying out 'cry havok and let slip the dogs of war'. Caesar was marked as a tyrant by the conspirators, and as a tyrant it was up to them to resist him, however things did not turn out as expected. This was Shakespeare's warning, namely that by assassinating the tyrant was not going to free the people, but rather it was going to have the opposite effect. Notice how after Caesar is killed two things occur: 1) Octavian enters the play and becomes more and more dominant and by the end has taken the mantle of Caesar. In fact Octavian has the last line in the play. 2) While Caesar may be dead, he in effect does not die. Instead returns as a ghost and interacts with the characters in this form. Thus, what has happened is that the conspirators have not ended the tyranny, but rather have perpetuated it. Caesar is offered the crown three times (reflecting the offer to take up the mantle of the monarch) and three times Caesar rejects it. True, Caesar had just defeated his political enemy (though what differs from the actual events is that Caesar did not kill Pompey – Pompey was assassinated by somebody else who was then punished by Caesar because while he and Pompey were enemies, Caesar did not wish to see his enemy dead) and it appeared that he was now master of Rome – in fact he was offered that position: but he refused. However, by assassinating Caesar what the conspirators have done is not only have they sped up the process of moving Rome from a Republic to a dictatorship, but they have also released Caesar from his physical form. The nature of the ghost is not so much that Caesar has become undead, but instead represents the idea that by dying Caesar has ceased to be human and has now become a legend. His assassination actually worked in his favour because by dying he has become greater. Further, the assassination also paved the way for Octavian to take the mantle of Caesar, as is seen when Mark Antony begins to refer to him as such (ignoring the fact that Caesar is his surname, not his title). Julius Caesar There are a few things that should be discussed about the main character because even though he dies halfway through the play, he is still the character around which the entire play is focused. It was interesting to read that there was a change in the idea of Caesar between the Medieval Period and the Renaissance. Medieval thought portrayed Caesar as a hero, somebody to aspire to and to look up to, whereas Renaissance thinkers began to see him as a tyrant. Some have suggested that this was the case with Shakespeare, but that is not my position. My main argument is that Caesar rejects the crown, and there was never any clear indication that he would not have stepped down after a period of time (as Sulla did). However, another aspect we need to consider is that Caesar was a populist, as can be seen throughout the play. While the conspirators are able to convince the people that the assassination was a necessity for a short time, Mark Antony was able to sway them back to his side. It is not just that he was a good speaker, but rather that he was able to touch upon a part of the ordinary people that swayed them to back his position. Even in Shakespeare's time we see support for Caesar among the common people that was not seen among the intellectual classes. Further exploration of the historical facts also indicates that his assassins were supporters of the patricians (though we must remember that Caesar himself was a patrician, though his family did have humble beginnings). To put it in a modern context, the conspirators were akin to members of the Republican Party, while Caesar and his supporters were Democrats. While there was no left/right designation back in those days (that designation came about from the French Revolution), the struggle between those who support the common people and those who believe that the well being of the common people will arise from the support of the wealthy was still being played out. Marcus Brutus I want to finish off with a few words about Marcus Brutus, though it appears that I have written quite a lot anyway. The reason that I wish to make mention of Brutus is because I believe the play is actually his tragedy. The title of the play is 'The Tragedy of Julius Caesar' but I do not believe that Caesar is the tragic hero in the play - it is Brutus. One thing about Brutus is that his ancestor is famous for removing the last King of Rome, Tarquin, and founding the Republic, and thus he comes under pressure to follow in his ancestor's footsteps in this perceived crisis. The problem is that Brutus is Caesar's friend, which makes the struggle that he faces even greater. Thus comes the idea of whether it is right to commit a wrong if a greater good may result. However, as I have argued, it is possible that Caesar was not a tyrant, therefore the act of participating in the assassination did not bring about a greater good (which in the end it didn't). The other aspect of Brutus' character is his legacy. In Dante's Divine Comedy we discover that Brutus lurks in the bottom layer of hell, along with Judas Iscariot, not just for the crime of murder, but for the crime of betraying a close friend. The name of Brutus (and there is a lot with regards to names in this play, and their importance) has also been forever tarnished. In fact, for me, whenever I hear the name Brutus, I immediately think of this guy: I have also written a blog post on the play (though I may simply say the same things that I have written here).

  24. 4 out of 5

    Roy Lotz

    I could not say anything more beautiful in praise of Shakespeare as a human being than this: he believed in Brutus and did not cast one speck of suspicion upon this type of virtue. —Friedrich Nietzsche One of Shakespeare’s best, this play is also, I think, one of his most morally ambiguous. The central question of the play—was it right to have killed Caesar?—is left unresolved, principally because of the complexity of the protagonists. The play opens with Cassius persuading Brutus to act against Ca I could not say anything more beautiful in praise of Shakespeare as a human being than this: he believed in Brutus and did not cast one speck of suspicion upon this type of virtue. —Friedrich Nietzsche One of Shakespeare’s best, this play is also, I think, one of his most morally ambiguous. The central question of the play—was it right to have killed Caesar?—is left unresolved, principally because of the complexity of the protagonists. The play opens with Cassius persuading Brutus to act against Caesar. This monologue, though eloquent, is also somewhat confusing, perhaps even incoherent. The reasons Cassius avers for wanting Caesar dead are all petty and somewhat beside the point. Cassius hates Caesar, but why? Because once Caesar faltered while swimming the Tiber? Or because Caesar once had a cold? Of course, these examples are only meant to show that Caesar is a mere man, and thus does not deserve to occupy such a high eminence. And yet, this same argument—namely, that human weakness makes everyone equal—can be used against any form of inequality, be it wealth, power, or prestige; and communism is certainly not what Cassius is preaching. True enough, word later comes that Mark Antony offered Caesar a crown, which would threaten the very existence of the Republic. But there is nothing in Cassius’s words or deeds that reveal him as someone motivated by political philosophy. Rather, he is a sensitive man, easily insulted, with a delicate ego; and his emotional episode in Brutus’s tent also reveals him to be needy and high-strung. There is nothing evil in him, nor even overtly malicious; but he is not like Brutus, a man of principles, honor, nobility. Thus I cannot help concluding that his plot against Caesar was mainly motivated by petty emotions, even if Cassius told himself otherwise. He felt envious of Caesar’s power, slighted at having a superior, fearful of future humiliations. All this is more or less apparent in Cassius’s speech to Brutus. From the start, therefore, it should have been apparent to Brutus that he was allying himself with men acting from a suspect motive. But perhaps Brutus is too good-hearted to question the motivations of his friends. Indeed, throughout the play, Brutus is shown to be ethically unimpeachable, a purely noble and righteous person. Even his enemies admit it. And given that he talks the most and dies last, many have argued that the play should be entitled Brutus and not Julius Caesar, since the latter has few lines and dies halfway through. It is, indeed, tempting to see Brutus as the tragic hero, trying to do what is right, brought down by circumstances. But I have trouble taking his side completely. For one, it seems foolish to have let himself be persuaded by Cassius. The assassination was rash, and they had no plan whatsoever for restoring order once the deed was done. It also struck me as hypocritical, to say the least, to march through the streets yelling “Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead!” since, at best, the conspirators restored an oligarchy of hereditary privilege. I am not convinced that the life of the common people was any better under the Senators than under Caesar. Brutus also has a tendency to act imprudently, which is arguably his fatal flaw. First, the assassination plot itself—specifically the plan for restoring order—should have been more carefully considered. Brutus's oration to the Roman people after the assassination is evidence that his rationales were not given enough thought. He cites "ambition" as the reason Caesar had to be killed, but does not clearly show in which of Caesar's actions this ambition was manifested. This makes it very easy for Mark Antony to refute the charges. Brutus should have foreseen this, which is why it was the height of folly to have let Mark Antony give that oration. Besides all this, he shows himself to be a poor general. Brutus's personal honor code, while earning him respect, also handicaps him. For one, as noted, his tendency to trust others make him a poor judge of character. More troublingly, in attempting to set himself up above petty emotions, he renders himself inhumanly cold. Cassius, though oversensitive, is right in rebuking Brutus for attempting to see the vices and virtues of a friend with an unprejudiced eye, rather than overlooking Cassius’s faults. More significantly, Brutus’s attempt to rise above the grief of his wife’s death lowers him instead, turning him into a mere empty shell motivated by an honor code that brings nobody happiness, not even himself. For these reasons, I feel sad at his loss, but I also feel that he had it coming. Mark Antony has some of the marks of a villain, who vows revenge even if he drags down all of Rome in the process. He is also not terribly likeable, being arrogant to others and fawning to Caesar. But he has redeeming qualities. His love for Caesar, while at first apparently sycophantic, is later shown genuine. The praises of a living commander are always suspect, but the praises of a departed one are honorable. Mark Antony is also not insensitive to the virtues of Brutus, even praising his memory. He fights for vengeance, true, and vengeance is always ethically suspect; but Hamlet fought for vengeance, and that does not make us like him any less. In sum, it is difficult to see either Cassius, Brutus, or Mark Antony (or Julius Caesar, for that matter) as unambiguously right or wrong. They are rather three imperfect individuals, with different faults and strengths, who all fight in good faith for what they believe is right. To acknowledge the faults in these characters, and yet portray them as acting sincerely, is a demonstration of the genius and the nobility of Shakespeare. For the quality Brutus most lacked was the one Shakespeare had in superabundance: empathy. As this play demonstrates, he could acknowledge a person's faults and limitations while also understanding that, from their point of view, what they were doing was perfectly right. And therein lies both the secret of his art and the moral value of his works.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ted

    And for Mark Antony, think not of him; For he can do no more than Caesar's arm When Caesar's head is off. Photos added bust of Brutus by Michelangelo Who, or what, is this play about? What does "about" mean? In some sense it must be about Julius Caesar. But is it about him as a man, a tyrant, a ruler? Or is it just "about" his assassination? Rather than address these questions, let's look at it this way. It seems clear to me that the character in a play that talks more than anyone else is the characte And for Mark Antony, think not of him; For he can do no more than Caesar's arm When Caesar's head is off. Photos added bust of Brutus by Michelangelo Who, or what, is this play about? What does "about" mean? In some sense it must be about Julius Caesar. But is it about him as a man, a tyrant, a ruler? Or is it just "about" his assassination? Rather than address these questions, let's look at it this way. It seems clear to me that the character in a play that talks more than anyone else is the character who most interests the playwright. And/or, the character who the play is "about". In this play, that would not be Caesar. That would be Brutus. At this site ( http://www.shakespeareswords.com/Spec... ) you can find, for all Shakespeare's plays, the number of lines that each character speaks. You can also get a downloadable document containing all the lines for any character you want. Here we learn that Caesar speaks 151 lines; Antony, 329 lines; Cassius 507 lines; and Brutus 722 lines. So in this sense, Caesar is to Brutus as: Pompey is to Antony (Anthony and Cleopatra); as First Citizen is to Coriolanus; as Ross is to Macbeth; as Archbishop is to Falstaff (in Henry IV Part II – one of the small number of the Bard's plays where, like Julius Caesar, the title character is not the lead character); as Friar is to Benedick (Much Ado About Nothing); as Oliver is to Rosalind (As You Like It); as Horatio is to Hamlet; well, you get the point. If you are the titular "star" of Julius Caesar, you have a part comparable to: Pompey, First Citizen, Ross, Archbishop, Friar, Oliver, Horatio. This isn't going to make your acting career. who's the bad guy? who's the good guy? It seems to me that Shakespeare, of the four "leading" characters, gives us: Caesar as not a tyrant, not a man seeking to be made a God, but as simply a military leader who, through decisions he has made, has become the leader of Rome – and who obviously thinks he's up to the task. Cassius as a man who reeks of ambition, is the ringleader of the conspiracy to assassinate Caesar, and wants to get rid of anyone (such as Antony) who might challenge him as the successor to the throne. Antony as the natural enemy of Cassius, who is actually quite fortunate that Brutus insists not only that Antony not be killed during the assassination, but that Antony needs to be allowed to deliver a funeral oration ("Friends, Romans, countrymen …") for the dead man. Then there's Brutus Is Brutus evil? a backstabber who has turned against one who trusts him? Caesar's last words are "Et tu, Brutus?" (view spoiler)[On the authority of Mary Beard SPQR, the Latin phrase is an invention of Shakespeare's. As he fell, Caesar cried out in Greek to Brutus, 'You too, child', which was either a threat ('I'll get you, boy!') or a poignant regret for the disloyalty of a young friend (You too, my child?'), or even, as some suspicious contemporaries imagined, a final revelation that Brutus was, in fact, his victim's natural son and that this was not merely assassination but patricide. (hide spoiler)] Shakespeare surely intended the words as a "poignant regret", as a rebuke to a betrayer. But that doesn't make Brutus what Caesar here accuses him of. Brutus obviously has no desire to take power in Rome. As Shakespeare has cast the play, it is a tragedy not about Julius Caesar, but about Brutus. I have no wish to delve deeply into this, quoting passage after passage, tying things together. Instead I'll point out a few things only. But here are references in the play that a reader needs to think about. These are all in the first three acts.(view spoiler)[ I.ii.37 "Cassius, be not deceived…" I.ii.82 "I would not, Cassius, yet I love him well…" I.ii.167 "… What you have said I will consider…" II.i.10 "It must be by his death …" II.i.51 "… Shall Rome stand under one man's awe? …" II.i.62 "… Since Cassius first did whet me …" II.i.114 "No, not an oath…" II.i.161 "Our course will seem too bloody… " II.i.288 "You are my true and honorable wife…" II.i.302 "O ye Gods, Render me worthy…" III.1.82 "People, and Senators, be not affrighted…" III.i.98 "Fates, we will know your pleasures …" III.i.103 "Grant that, and then is death a benefit…" III.i.164 "O Antony, beg not your death of us… " III.i.181 "And then we will deliver you the cause… " III.i.223 "Or else were this a savage spectacle… " III.ii.13 "Be Patient till the last…" III.ii.48 "With this I depart…" III.ii.60 "Good countrymen, let me depart alone…" (hide spoiler)] I saw the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company's production of the play in late October 2018. Ron Heneghan played Brutus The tragedy of Brutus is about his inner conflict between his moral principles, and his fears, perhaps exaggerated by his imagination, and certainly exaggerated by Cassius, that Caesar may be tempted to seize dictatorial power. These fears have been playing with Brutus even before the first act. When he is first addressed by Cassius, Brutus replies, <>Cassius, Be not deceived: if I have veil'd my look, I turn the trouble of my countenance Merely upon myself. Vexed I am Of late with passions of some difference, Conceptions only proper to myself… As Cassius eggs him on, Brutus becomes uncomfortable with his words, asking if Cassius "would have me seek into myself / For that which is not in me?" He assures Cassius that he would not hold back from drastic action, "For let the gods so speed me as I love / The name of honor more than I fear death"; and agrees to meet with him again, closing with, Till then, my noble friend, chew upon this: Brutus had rather be a villager Than to repute himself a son of Rome Under these hard conditions as this time Is like to lay upon us. Brutus sees where things may lead, but though he is brave enough to follow the path, he has no enthusiasm to do so. At the beginning of Act II Brutus, alone on stage, thinks aloud (thank goodness) that Caesar wants to be crowned (though Shakespeare goes out of his way to cast doubt on this), and tries to work out how the inherent uncertainties can lead to any decision to act. To me, Shakespeare is portraying Brutus as not trying to rationalize an action, but as attempting to prevent what he fears most, even though it cannot be foreseen as likely. How might that change his nature, there's the question. … The abuse of greatness is when it disjoins Remorse from power; and to speak truth of Caesar, I have not known when his affections swayed More than his reason… [but this happens often, and…] So Caesar may. Then, lest he may, prevent … Fashion it thus: that what he is, augmented, Would run to these and these extremities. And therefore think him as a serpent's egg Which hatched would as his kind grow mischievous, and kill him in the shell. But that's enough of all this. My advice to any sort of consumer of the play is to pay closest attention to the words of Brutus throughout. I found his character to be an incredible psychological portrait of a man consumed by doubt but driven by laudable motives, which cause him to take action leading inexorably to his downfall. (And incidentally, a man devoted to his wife, to a perhaps unique degree on the Shakespearean stage.) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 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  26. 5 out of 5

    Foad

    واژه ى "قيصر" يا "سزار" بر خلاف تصوّر رايج، به معنى پادشاه نيست. بلكه صرفاً نام خانوادگى بزرگ ترين سلسله امپراتوران روم است كه هزار و چهارصد سال حكومت كردند، تا جايى كه نام خانوادگى شان در تصوّر مردم ما هم معنى "پادشاه" شد. روم تا قبل از خاندان قيصرها، به صورت جمهورى اداره مى شد. "ژوليوس سزار" (قيصر) كوشيد از قدرت سنا بكاهد و خود امپراتور گردد، اما به دست سناتورها به قتل رسيد. پس از او برادر زاده اش "اوكتاويوس سزار" روم را تصرف كرد و حكومتى بر اساس منويات ژوليوس سزار بنا كرد كه هزار و چهارصد سال واژه ى "قيصر" يا "سزار" بر خلاف تصوّر رايج، به معنى پادشاه نيست. بلكه صرفاً نام خانوادگى بزرگ ترين سلسله امپراتوران روم است كه هزار و چهارصد سال حكومت كردند، تا جايى كه نام خانوادگى شان در تصوّر مردم ما هم معنى "پادشاه" شد. روم تا قبل از خاندان قيصرها، به صورت جمهورى اداره مى شد. "ژوليوس سزار" (قيصر) كوشيد از قدرت سنا بكاهد و خود امپراتور گردد، اما به دست سناتورها به قتل رسيد. پس از او برادر زاده اش "اوكتاويوس سزار" روم را تصرف كرد و حكومتى بر اساس منويات ژوليوس سزار بنا كرد كه هزار و چهارصد سال باقى ماند و طولانى ترين سلسله ى سلطنتى تاريخ جهان گشت.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    Re-reading it for a class I'm taking, I was surprised to see that it's not the hoary, near-cliched, armchair statesman-like story I'd snored through in high school. It's actually a taut, crackling, suspenseful political thriller which is more compelling, dire, complex, and profound than I'd originally noticed. It's about revolution, revolutionaries, and the price one pays for irrigating the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants. You get the restless, brittle, inferiority complex of Cassius, h Re-reading it for a class I'm taking, I was surprised to see that it's not the hoary, near-cliched, armchair statesman-like story I'd snored through in high school. It's actually a taut, crackling, suspenseful political thriller which is more compelling, dire, complex, and profound than I'd originally noticed. It's about revolution, revolutionaries, and the price one pays for irrigating the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants. You get the restless, brittle, inferiority complex of Cassius, he of the "lean and hungry look"- sort of a cross between maybe Lenin and one of the lesser lights in Dostoevsky's possessed "Demons"; you get the stoic (not with a capital "S"), noble, rational, idealistic, practical, pragmatic, steady-as-she-goes Brutus, whose integrity and manly fortitude is challenged not only by his co-conspirators but his family and employees, and- ultimately- himself; you get pompous, regal Ceaser who doesn't know when to call it in on the Ides of March; brutal, charismatic, eloquent Marc Antony, who cleans house like nobody's buisness. It's not with a smile that I remark that Julius Ceasar seems to be one of those texts which seems to evidence that modern revolutions eat their young, but I was struck by how the drama of ideas, of breakable characters, plays out so vividly here. One of the spuerficial lessons we might learn is that if you are going to do violence in the name of liberty, patriotism or Reason itself you must make sure you have your emotional, physical, and ideological ducks in a row. Too often the grand sweep of incisive engagement means that the goal is ultiamtely won, success is at hand, but the fallout means sectarianism, opportunism, clashing egos turning to clashing swords turning to mingled pools of blood and friend's corpses littering the smoking ground. I don't think J.C is ultimately a reactionary text at all- it's quite interesting and important to see that evne though Brutus' forces are thwarted on the battlefield, and he's met a sad death by his own hand, hoisted on the petard as it were, the finale is one of legitimate grievance (from Octavius and Antony, his fresh enemies, no less!) for one who (in his way) loved not wisely but too well....

  28. 4 out of 5

    David

    But Brutus says he was ambitious; And Brutus is an honourable man…. I think that reading Shakespeare's plays does not do them justice - they aren't meant to be read, they are meant to be performed, and seen performed. However, you also miss a lot if you aren't already familiar with the context and the Shakespearean language, because of course ol' Will packs a lot into every single line. So, this is the famous play about the conspirators who assassinated Julius Caesar, fearing his ambition to becom But Brutus says he was ambitious; And Brutus is an honourable man…. I think that reading Shakespeare's plays does not do them justice - they aren't meant to be read, they are meant to be performed, and seen performed. However, you also miss a lot if you aren't already familiar with the context and the Shakespearean language, because of course ol' Will packs a lot into every single line. So, this is the famous play about the conspirators who assassinated Julius Caesar, fearing his ambition to become king. Among the famous lines to which we owe this play: "Et tu, Brutus?" "Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war!" "Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once." And "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves." Mark Antony's speech is probably the highlight of the play. Having just been informed of Caesar's death, and with the assassins having convinced the Roman public that they'd saved Rome from a tyrant, Mark Antony gives his famous speech which is a masterpiece of mob manipulation, turning them against the conspirators and in favor of the slain Caesar. The conflicts are patriotism versus friendship, loyalty versus ideals, and the taint of self-interest always present in one's motives. As a tragedy, this is one of those Shakespearean plays where almost everyone ends up falling on a sword one way or the other. Brutus is clearly the protagonist, but I think Mark Antony wins it.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Fateme Beygi

    برای من این نمایشنامه ی شکسپیر غیر از هر نگاه سیاسی-اجتماعی ای چیزی در ستایش و نکوهش سخنه. به بهترین نحو نشون می ده که چطور با کلمه ها و جمله ها می شه افراد رو وسوسه کرد، برانگیختشون، دیدگاهشون رو عوض کرد و ... چه مونولوگا و حدیث نفس های دقیق و خوبی داره. به خصوص اون مونولوگ مارک آنتونی که همه چیز رو تغییر می ده و باعث شورش مردم می شه و چقدر زیرکی این شخصیت رو دوست دارم چه توی رفتار و تفکر چه توی انتخاب کلماتش بسته به موقعیت و شرایطش. چیزی که حس می کنم شاید توی نمایشنامه های شکسپیر تکرار می شه ای برای من این نمایشنامه ی شکسپیر غیر از هر نگاه سیاسی-اجتماعی ای چیزی در ستایش و نکوهش سخنه. به بهترین نحو نشون می ده که چطور با کلمه ها و جمله ها می شه افراد رو وسوسه کرد، برانگیختشون، دیدگاهشون رو عوض کرد و ... چه مونولوگا و حدیث نفس های دقیق و خوبی داره. به خصوص اون مونولوگ مارک آنتونی که همه چیز رو تغییر می ده و باعث شورش مردم می شه و چقدر زیرکی این شخصیت رو دوست دارم چه توی رفتار و تفکر چه توی انتخاب کلماتش بسته به موقعیت و شرایطش. چیزی که حس می کنم شاید توی نمایشنامه های شکسپیر تکرار می شه این شناختیه که شخصیت ها نسبت به هم دارن. معمولا یکی-دو شخصیت اصلی وجود دارن که نسبت به شخصیت های دیگه شناخت درستی به دست آوردن طوری که از پیش به ما می گن که فلان فرد این چنین رفتار می کنه یا این خصلت رو داره و به نوعی رفتارش رو پیش بینی می کنن و این پیش بینی کاملا دقیقه و جلوتر شاهد رخ دادنش هستیم. البته که خود بن مایه ی پیش بینی هم معمولا توی کارهاش هست و گاهی واقعا دوست داشتنی و لذت بخشه حتی باعث افزایش تعلیق کار می شه. این دیالوگ کاسیوس من رو خیلی جذب کرد چون از معدود مواقعی که شکسپیر به طور غیر مستقیم به عصر خودش و عمل نگارش این روایت تاریخی اشاره می کنه: در چه اعصار و زمانه هایی این عمل شرافتمندانه ی ما، در کشورهایی که هنوز پا به عرصه ی وجود نگذاشته اند و به زبان هایی که هنوز مجهول است، به صورت نمایش تکرار خواهد شد.

  30. 4 out of 5

    leynes

    Hey. It's Brutus. Marcus Brutus. Don't adjust your… whatever device you're hearing this on. It's me, live and in stereo. No return engagements, no second battle, and this time absolutely no requests. Get a flask of wine, settle in, cos I'm about to tell you the story of my life. More specifically, why I ran into a fucking sword. And if you're listening to this tape, you were one of the reasons why. TAPE 1, side A: Julius Ceasar (my first love with whom it all started) TAPE 1, side B: Portia (my im Hey. It's Brutus. Marcus Brutus. Don't adjust your… whatever device you're hearing this on. It's me, live and in stereo. No return engagements, no second battle, and this time absolutely no requests. Get a flask of wine, settle in, cos I'm about to tell you the story of my life. More specifically, why I ran into a fucking sword. And if you're listening to this tape, you were one of the reasons why. TAPE 1, side A: Julius Ceasar (my first love with whom it all started) TAPE 1, side B: Portia (my impatient depressed wife) TAPE 2, side A: Octavius Caesar (my host was better than his, somehow he still came out on top - shadyyyy) TAPE 2, side B: Lepidus (he never supported me) TAPE 3, side A: Julius Caesar (yet again, he made me regret my life choices, o ye immortal gods!) TAPE 3, side B: Strato (the one who doesn't belong on this list, such a good friend, he held the sword into which I ran *heart eyes*) TAPE 4, side A: Caius Cassius (my lover, he betrayed me tho, so many miscommunications) TAPE 4, side B: Mark Antony (the biggest savage of them all)

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