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Julius Caesar

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The Oxford School Shakespeare has become the preferred introduction to the literary legacy of the greatest playwright in the English language. This exclusive collection of the Bard's best works has been designed specifically for readers new to Shakespeare's rich literary legacy. Each play is
presented complete and unabridged, in large print. Every book is well illustrated, and starts with a commentary and character summary. Scene synopses and character summaries clarify confusing plots, while incisive essays explore the historical context and Shakespeare's sources. Each book ends with a complete list of Shakespeare's plays and a brief chronology of the Bard's life. The detailed explanatory notes are written clearly and positioned right next to the text--no more squinting at microscopic footnotes or flipping pages back and forth in search of endnotes!

The new edition of the series features new covers and new illustrations, including both new drawings and photos from recent productions of Shakespeare's plays around the globe. In addition, the notes and the introductory material have been completely revised in line with new research and in order to
make them clearer and more accessible. Finally, the entire text has been redesigned and reset to enhance readability. The new edition achieves the feat of unprecedented clarity of presentation without any cuts to the original text or the detailed explanations.

175 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1599

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About the author

William Shakespeare

27.8k books42.3k followers
William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language, and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon. Scholars believe that he died on his fifty-second birthday, coinciding with St George’s Day.

At the age of 18 he married Anne Hathaway, who bore him three children: Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. Between 1585 and 1592 he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part owner of the playing company the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later known as the King's Men. He appears to have retired to Stratford around 1613, where he died three years later. Few records of Shakespeare's private life survive, and there has been considerable speculation about such matters as his sexuality, religious beliefs, and whether the works attributed to him were written by others.

Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1590 and 1613. His early plays were mainly comedies and histories, genres he raised to the peak of sophistication and artistry by the end of the sixteenth century. Next he wrote mainly tragedies until about 1608, including Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth, considered some of the finest examples in the English language. In his last phase, he wrote tragicomedies, also known as romances, and collaborated with other playwrights. Many of his plays were published in editions of varying quality and accuracy during his lifetime, and in 1623, two of his former theatrical colleagues published the First Folio, a collected edition of his dramatic works that included all but two of the plays now recognised as Shakespeare's.

Shakespeare was a respected poet and playwright in his own day, but his reputation did not rise to its present heights until the nineteenth century. The Romantics, in particular, acclaimed Shakespeare's genius, and the Victorians hero-worshipped Shakespeare with a reverence that George Bernard Shaw called "bardolatry". In the twentieth century, his work was repeatedly adopted and rediscovered by new movements in scholarship and performance. His plays remain highly popular today and are consistently performed and reinterpreted in diverse cultural and political contexts throughout the world.

According to historians, Shakespeare wrote 37 plays and 154 sonnets throughout the span of his life. Shakespeare's writing average was 1.5 plays a year since he first started writing in 1589. There have been plays and sonnets attributed to Shakespeare that were not authentically written by the great master of language and literature.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 6,198 reviews
Profile Image for Madeline.
781 reviews47.2k followers
December 29, 2008
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?


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...


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.


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?



Profile Image for Bill Kerwin.
Author 1 book81.9k followers
July 30, 2019

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.
Profile Image for Jeffrey Keeten.
Author 3 books248k followers
November 17, 2019
“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.”

 photo Julius20Caesar_zpsap29yzzn.jpg

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?

 photo Brutus_zpsra4tv42g.jpg

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.

 photo Gaius_Cassius_Longinus_zpsih0pwx23.jpg

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.

 photo Marc20Antony_zpsa1mye21o.jpg
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
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews41 followers
September 12, 2021
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. ...

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «تراژدی قیصر: نمایشنامه در پنج پرده»؛ «تراژدی ژولیوس سزار»؛ «ژولیوس سزار»؛ «جولیوس قیصر»؛ اثر: ویلیام شکسپیر؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش سال 1971میلادی

عنوان: تراژدی قیصر: نمایشنامه در پنج پرده؛ اثر: ویلیام شکسپیر؛ مترجم: فرنگیس شادمان (نمازی)؛ مشخصات نشر تهران، بنگاه ترجمه و نشر کتاب، 1334، در 161ص، موضوع نمایشنامه های نویسندگان بریتانیایی - سده 16م

از همین مترجم: تهران، شرکت انتشارات علمی فرهنگی، 1382، در 177ص؛ شابک 9789644459733؛

عنوان: جولیوس قیصر؛ اثر: ویلیام شکسپیر؛ مترجم ابوالحسن تهامی؛ نشر نگاه؛ 1395؛ در 247ص؛ شابک 9786003761902؛

نمایش‌نامه‌ ی «تراژدی ژولیوس سزار»، که به اختصار «ژولیوس سزار» نیز نامیده می‌شود، اثر «ویلیام شکسپیر» است، که گمان می‌رود در سال1599میلادی نوشته شده‌ باشد؛ این نمایش‌نامه درباره ی توطئه‌ ای است که در سال 44پیش از میلاد، علیه «ژولیوس سزار»، دیکتاتور «روم» 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 اند؛ 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 گزینش، بین شرافت، وطن‌ پرستی، و دوستی با «سزار» است

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 14/09/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 20/06/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Dream.M.
503 reviews90 followers
January 19, 2020
هربار که با خواهرم به کتابفروشی میرفتیم، دم همان ورودی از هم جدا می‌شدیم. او به طرف قفسه‌ی کتابهای نوجوان می‌رفت و من به تازه‌های نشر سر می‌زدم. من همیشه گیج و مبهوت بین آن‌همه کتاب چرخ می‌خوردم، ورق می‌زدم، می‌خواندم، و دست آخر کتابی به پیشنهادِ پسر فروشنده‌ی مو فرفری می خریدم. اما خواهرم تکلیفش روشن بود. همیشه اولین انتخابش شکسپیر بود و بعد هرچیز دیگری که بنظرش جذاب و خواندنی می‌آمد، مثل دارن_شان یا بچه‌ی چلمن، داستانهای ترسناک...
به خانه نرسیده شروع میکرد به خواندن، گاهی بلند و بیشتر زمزمه کن��ن . در میان جمله‌ها غوطه می‌خورد یا انگار در خلایی مقدس شناور بود. آنقدر میدانم که در لذتی حقیقی غرق می‌شد، از چرخش شاداب مردمک چشمها و کشیدگی ملایم روبه بالای لبهاش این را می‌فهمیدم. زیباتر می‌شد...
حالا هروقت هرجا اسم شکسپیر را بشنوم، روی هر کتابی بخوانم، امکان ندارد که به یادش نیوفتم ، نلرزم و قلبم مچاله نشود. شکسپیر برای من متعارف است با خواهر.
چقدر دلم برای حرف زدن با خواهرکم تنگ شده. برای شنیدن صدایش، برای کتاب خواندنش، برای آه بلندی که وسط خواندن جمله‌های طولانی، وقتی نفس کم می‌آورد می‌کشید. برای خیلی چیزها. بیشتر از هرچیز برای همان کشیدگی شوخ گوشه‌ی لبش موقع کتاب خواندن. چند روز قبل که هم جمعه بود و هم برف، و دلتنگی‌ش به سینه‌ام پنجه می‌کشید، برای شنیدن صدای فرشته‌ام به کتابهایش پناه بردم. کتابش را ورق زدم ، رد انگشتان معصومش را روی کاغذ تاخورده بوسیدم، دلتنگ‌تر شدم.
خواهرم رفته ولی هرگوشه‌ی دنیا چیزی از او را به یادم می‌آورد.

درباره کتاب:

به دلْ گفتم: «کدامین شیوه دشوار است در عالم؟»
نفَس در خون تپید و گفت: «پاسِ آشنایی‌ها»

بیدل دهلوی
Profile Image for Darth J .
417 reviews1,264 followers
June 11, 2014
This tale in a nutshell:

Profile Image for Henry Avila.
468 reviews3,254 followers
August 7, 2020
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...
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,093 reviews17.7k followers
February 14, 2019
💜reread for my Shakespeare class

I really do love this play but I was also in it, with an Overly Large Yet Worth It Role, and at this point I have no energy to have thoughts on it, 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)


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.

— 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

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Profile Image for Baba.
3,615 reviews984 followers
August 26, 2023
Just when I thought I was beginning to 'get' Shakespeare along comes a 1 out of 12 in my opinion play, that is Julius Caesar! Harsh?

One of the playwright's Roman History set plays - this one centres around the moral dilemma that Brutus has on joining the Cassius led conspiracy to murder Julius Caesar supposedly for the good of Rome. Following Caesar's death, Rome is thrust into a period of civil war, and the republic the balancing the demands of honour, friendship and Rome itself! It sounds so good written like that, but I am afraid I just didn't get it or get Brutus' struggles in the language used. I can only apologise to purists - 1 out of 12, One Star, I had little idea of what was going on - read. Please note that I read this 19 years ago.

2006 read
Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,118 reviews44.8k followers
February 12, 2018
"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.

Profile Image for James.
Author 20 books3,712 followers
August 3, 2017
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.

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Profile Image for Lyn.
1,882 reviews16.6k followers
May 14, 2016
“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.

Profile Image for Nayra.Hassan.
1,259 reviews5,612 followers
August 18, 2022
حتي انت يا بروتس
اذن فليسقط قيصر
كم لخصت تلك الجملة الخالدة بكلماتها السبع وطأة الخيانة و ثِقل الغدر
يتآمر عدد من كبار روما علي اغتيال يوليوس


و يقنعوا بروتس ربيبه الأثير بمشاركتهم لصالح روما العام؛ و بالفعل يُغتال قيصر علي درجات مجلس الشيوخ؛ ليسقط تحت تمثال بومبي الذي قتله هو نفسه يوما ما
و يبرر المتامرون اغتياله بانه من اجل: التحرر من امبريالته و دكتاتوريته و طموحه الزايد
فيلقي مارك أنطوني خطبته موضحا ان قيصر اُغتيل غدراً لتبدأ الحرب الأهلية

يوليوس بطل مؤثر جدا فهو لم يظهر الا في اربع مشاهد من تراجيديا تحمل اسمه َو شكسبير لم يتعاطف معه بل ابرز غروره و ضيق افقه؛ و بالغ في ابراز حسن نية المتامرين و لقي حتفه في منتصف المسرحية

كثيرون يؤكدون ان المأساة مأساة بروتس و هو البطل الحقيقي المسرحية فهو الروماني الشريف النبيل الذي وقع في صراع نفسي حاد بعد اقتناعه بسمو اسباب المتامرون و هذا ادي ببلاده لحرب اهلية؛ و ادي به لمصير مؤسف

يوليوس قيصر يعتبرها النقاد اضعف حلقة في الثلاثية التاريخية الرومانية لشكسبير..
و لكنها كانت اولي المسرحيات التي ادرسها كاملة لشكسبير باللغة الإنجليزية القديمة؛
لذلك انحفرت صراعاتها في ذهني و وجدتني ممزقة مع بروتس في صراعه الإنساني القدري الخاسر؛ الذي قد يتكرر مع كل منا في مرحلة ما من حياتنا البائسة
و لكن فلنحاول ان نتجنب تبرير قسوتنا؛ لنتجنب سماع تلك الجملة الموجعة الاشهر
Et tu Brute?
Profile Image for Manny.
Author 30 books14k followers
March 26, 2009
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.

Profile Image for Alex.
1,419 reviews4,482 followers
October 15, 2019
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 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: if you're asking the question, you've 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?
Profile Image for Dolors.
539 reviews2,278 followers
March 6, 2016
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”
Profile Image for ♡ Martina ♡.
176 reviews153 followers
April 30, 2022
È la prima volta che leggo un testo teatrale e, sinceramente, non pensavo che mi sarebbe piaciuto così tanto.

Siamo abituati a leggere solo una versione della storia dell'assassinio di Giulio Cesare ma Shakespeare ha preferito dare voce ai suoi cospiratori dove non tenta di giustificarli o di condannarli ma ce li fa conoscere come uomini, con i loro ideali, i loro valori ma anche con i loro difetti.

È un libro molto scorrevole e con un linguaggio non troppo complicato, la traduzione secondo me è anche abbastanza buona ma non essendo traduttrice non posso giudicarla con oggettività.

Ho apprezzato la numerosa mole di personaggi presenti, secondari e non.
Profile Image for Nayra.Hassan.
1,259 reviews5,612 followers
May 11, 2022
حتي انت يا بروتس
اذن فليسقط قيصر
كم لخصت تلك الجملة الخالدة بكلماتها السبع وطأة الخيانة و ثِقل الغدر
يتآمر عدد من كبار روما علي اغتيال يوليوس


و يقنعوا بروتس ربيبه الأثير بمشاركتهم لصالح روما العام؛ و بالفعل يُغتال قيصر علي درجات مجلس الشيوخ؛ ليسقط تحت تمثال بومبي الذي قتله هو نفسه يوما ما
و يبرر المتامرون اغتياله بانه من اجل: التحرر من امبريالته و دكتاتوريته و طموحه الزايد
فيلقي مارك أنطوني خطبته موضحا ان قيصر اُغتيل غدراً لتبدأ الحرب الأهلية

يوليوس بطل مؤثر جدا فهو لم يظهر الا في اربع مشاهد من تراجيديا تحمل اسمه َو شكسبير لم يتعاطف معه بل ابرز غروره و ضيق افقه؛ و بالغ في ابراز حسن نية المتامرين و لقي حتفه في منتصف المسرحية

كثيرون يؤكدون ان المأساة مأساة بروتس و هو البطل الحقيقي المسرحية فهو الروماني الشريف النبيل الذي وقع في صراع نفسي حاد بعد اقتناعه بسمو اسباب المتامرون و هذا ادي ببلاده لحرب اهلية؛ و ادي به لمصير مؤسف

يوليوس قيصر يعتبرها النقاد اضعف حلقة في الثلاثية التاريخية الرومانية لشكسبير..
و لكنها كانت اولي المسرحيات التي ادرسها كاملة لشكسبير باللغة الإنجليزية القديمة؛
لذلك انحفرت صراعاتها في ذهني و وجدتني ممزقة مع بروتس في صراعه الإنساني القدري الخاسر؛ الذي قد يتكرر مع كل منا في مرحلة ما من حياتنا البائسة
و لكن فلنحاول ان نتجنب تبرير قسوتنا ؛ لنتجنب سماع تلك الجملة الموجعة الاشهر
Et tu Brute?
Profile Image for Darwin8u.
1,599 reviews8,732 followers
July 27, 2017
“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)
Profile Image for Layla.
340 reviews383 followers
January 12, 2021
~3 stars~

TW/CW: suicide, death, violence

***read for school***

It was good. Not my favorite or really my thing, but I enjoyed it better than Macbeth. Listening to it while reading it helped, but all the assignments I had to do and still have yet to finish, and the daunting essay I have to write next week do not. It's about who I think is the most tragical hero, Brutus or Caeser. Quite frankly I think it's neither, so I suppose I just have to lie my way through the essay.

I thought it was very thought provoking in different areas, and that Shakespeare did a great job with this one writing wise. The fact that Caesar himself was not a bigger part of it, I did not like. He died too early for me to even care about him, but to be fair, I equally didn't care about the other characters either. Overall, I think having read it over a long period of time, and having read it for school may have ruined some of the experience I may have had, but discussing it with others also enhanced it. I like this book enough, but wouldn't re-read it, but I do look forward to picking up more Shakespeare in the future.

Pre-reading thoughts
(November 18 2020)
I haven't started reading this, but I did have to do some research on Ceaser and here is a fun fact:
He is a major prick. He was kindnapped by pirates, and asked them to raise the ransom higher because it was "too low", and he thought he really was that important. He threatened to crucify them if they didn't. They thought it was joke. After he was released he came back and did just as he promised. I already hate him, and I barely know anything about him. He sounds insufferable smh.
(Nov 9 2020)
imagine this:
Today is the first day of the quarter
You have all new classes
You log into the online class bcuz Ms. 'Rona decided she wanted to be the MC
Your teacher has assigned this book in the first few minutes
You are now being forced to read a book you never really had any intention of reading
You groan because the chances are you won't like it
Because school ruines everything

anyways I will be reading this soon I guess
Profile Image for J.L.   Sutton.
666 reviews924 followers
January 29, 2019
The party on the streets of Rome provides the context: Julius Caesar's power is becoming close to absolute. The crowds love Caesar. The dissenters who stand on the outskirts of this party see few options to check Caesar's power. These differing perspectives from the opening of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar gives it a nuance that belies the simple story of Brutus's betrayal. Very intriguing and enjoyable! This is probably one of the most famous of Shakespeare's plays which I'd never read. There were many familiar quotes (which I'd heard before, but had not tied to this specific play; see below). While I don't think it's among his very best, Shakespeare's mastery of language is in full force. 4.25 stars.

Beware the Ides of March.
(Soothsayer, Act 1 Scene 2)

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.
(Cassius, Act 1 Scene 2)

But, for mine own part, it was Greek to me.
(Casca, Act 1 Scene 2)

Cowards die many times before their deaths,
The valiant never taste of death but once.
(Caesar, Act 2 Scene 2)

Et tu, Brute?—Then fall, Caesar.
(Caesar, Act 3, Scene 1)

Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war.
(Antony, Act 3 Scene 1)

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.
(Antony, Act 3, Scene 2)
Profile Image for Paul Haspel.
563 reviews83 followers
March 15, 2023
Julius Caesar’s tragedy is so closely bound up with that of his friend-turned-assassin Brutus that perhaps William Shakespeare should have titled this play Caesar and Brutus. His 1599 play’s title, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, draws the reader's or playgoer's focus to one of history’s truly seminal moments: Caesar’s assassination on March 15 (“the Ides of March”) in the year 44 B.C. Yet for all the title’s focus on Caesar alone, Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is very much a twinned tragedy, with not one but two tragic heroes following the Aristotelian cycle of hubris (fatal character flaw), hamartia (fatal decision), and anagnorisis (the hero's after-the-fall recognition of their place in the cosmos). And it is a play that gains further resonance from considering the English historical context within which Shakespeare lived and wrote.

Virtually all the members of Shakespeare’s audience, whether educated or not, would know that Julius Caesar was a famous Roman general and politician who was assassinated. Accordingly, the play abounds with situational irony from its very beginnings, when a soothsayer tells Caesar, “Beware the Ides of March.” Caesar dismisses the soothsayer’s warnings – “He is a dreamer. Peace; let us leave him” – and 400 years’ worth of audiences have been shaking their heads ever since, as they witness Caesar’s refusal to listen to the soothsayer’s warnings.

Yet Caesar’s impending demise is not strictly a matter of one’s fate being set like stone and visible in the stars. Human action and choice have much to do with it as well. The Roman senator Gaius Cassius Longinus (hereafter simply “Cassius”), a leader of the nascent conspiracy against Caesar, seeks to persuade his brother-in-law and fellow senator Marcus Junius Brutus (hereafter simply “Brutus”) to join the conspiracy. As Brutus has an established reputation for honourable behaviour, Cassius knows that Brutus would be a most helpful addition to the conspiracy.

In his blandishments toward Brutus, Cassius sarcastically compares Caesar with the Colossus of Rhodes – “he doth bestride the narrow world/Like a Colossus” – and asks, “Upon what meat does this our Caesar feed/That he is grown so great?” For Cassius, the failure of Romans to rise up against Caesar's kingly pretension is a sign that the republic's old virtues are dying out: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,/But in ourselves, that we are underlings.” One senses at once that Cassius’ motives for wanting to assassinate Caesar are, at least in part, personal rather than “patriotic.”

It is a tense time in Rome; strange phenomena manifest themselves in the streets. Acclaimed by the people after all his military victories, Caesar seems poised to become king of a Roman Republic where “king” has been a dirty word ever since Tarquin the Proud, the last king of Rome, was deposed in 509 B.C. Caesar makes a show of refusing the crown, but not a very convincing one. In this menacing setting, wise people keep their own counsel. The great orator Cicero, whom the conspirators vainly hope to welcome into their ranks, slyly dismisses both Caesar's denying-the-crown charade and the conspirators’ blandishments by speaking in Greek; and future conspirator Casca, evidently a unilingual Roman, can only say that "it was Greek to me."

Julius Caesar himself harbours some feelings of distrust toward Cassius, saying to his loyal lieutenant Mark Antony early in the play that “Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look” and adding, “Let me have men about me that are fat”. Yet he does not act on those feelings of distrust; rather, he spends much of the play concerned with living up to his public image for matchless courage. When he dismisses any talk of danger against himself by saying things like “Danger knows full well/That Caesar is more dangerous than he./We are two lions littered in one day,/And I the elder and more terrible”, or “Cowards die many times before their deaths;/The valiant never taste of death but once”, he may be saying what he thinks – or he could be acting in accordance with his public persona, saying what he knows he is expected to say. Roman society did not differentiate between the public and the private person, and Caesar seems only too aware that he must look, act, and sound like a Caesar at all times. His need to live up to his public persona eventually leads to his demise.

Similarly, Brutus puts his public self before his private self; he talks himself into becoming an assassin by persuading himself that he can do so in a manner that will be congruent with his well-known reputation for honourable behaviour. Reminding himself that “I know no personal cause to spurn at [Caesar]”, Brutus states that saving the Roman Republic "must be by [Caesar’s] death." Considering (as Cassius has taken pains to remind him) that his ancestor, another Brutus, dethroned the last king of Rome 500 years before, Brutus succumbs to his own form of hubris or fatal pride that leads him to a moment of fatal decision or hamartia. Once he joins with the conspirators, he has set himself in a path that will lead him to destruction.

On the same sort of path to self-destruction walks Julius Caesar, who turns down repeated chances to avoid his premature demise. A soothsayer tells Caesar, not once but twice, “Beware the Ides of March.” Caesar disregards him; like Cassandra at Troy, and Teiresias with Oedipus and Creon in Sophocles’ plays, the soothsayer’s fate is to know the sad future and not really be able to do anything about it. Calpurnia, kneeling before Caesar, relates to him her dreams of a statue of Caesar bleeding from a hundred wounds; but when one of the assassination plotters suggests that Caesar’s failure to appear before the Senate will make Caesar seem afraid, Calpurnia’s pleas are in vain. And then there is Artemidorus of Cnidos, a Greek rhetorician, who knows of the plot and desperately tries to give a letter of warning to Caesar before Caesar enters the Forum;, Caesar refuses the letter, and walks on toward his bloody fate.

The conspirators lay hands upon Caesar in front of the Capitol, begging pardon for an exiled Roman nobleman. Caesar refuses their pleas, speaking of himself in the third person (as is his wont): “Know: Caesar doth not wrong, nor without cause/Will he be satisfied.” On that note, the assassins draw their weapons. Shakespeare’s dying Caesar looks to Brutus and says, “Et tu, Brutè? [You, too, Brutus?] – Then fall Caesar!” In fact, Shakespeare’s education in Stratford-upon-Avon involved Latin translations of Greek texts. What Caesar actually said was, “καὶ σὺ, τέκνον;” – "Kai su, teknon?" or “Even you, my son?” in Greek, the language of court and diplomacy and educated people. No matter. It is still one of the most moving death scenes in literature.

With Caesar dead, the true moral nature of this act of assassination begins to reveal itself. The popular Roman philosophical schools of the time, like Epicurian and Stoic philosophy, all emphasized balance; and the way in which the conspirators have lost their moral balance shows through clearly when Brutus urges his fellow assassins to join him in bathing their arms, up to the elbows, in the blood of the murdered Caesar – in order to show the Roman people that everything’s fine and this was a perfectly reasonable thing to do! Really? Really?

As the conspirators do Caesar’s bidding, bathing their hands and swords in Caesar’s blood, Cassius muses: “How many ages hence/Shall this our lofty scene be acted over/In states unborn and accents yet unknown!” Brutus agrees – “How many times shall Caesar bleed in sport”. Imagining themselves as the stars of a play, Brutus and Cassius have clearly lost all sense of balance and proportion – even if they are correct that Caesar’s death shall “be acted over” many times – including in cinema, with actors like Charlton Heston, James Mason, Marlon Brando, John Gielgud, Greer Garson, Deborah Kerr, Jason Robards, Robert Vaughn, Richard Chamberlain, Diana Rigg, and Christopher Lee (who makes an impressive Artemidorus).

When Mark Antony finds the conspirators with the body of Caesar, he is filled with outrage at the murder of his friend. Yet he is surrounded by armed conspirators, and he knows that if he is to outlive the Ides of March, he must play his cards carefully. He expresses a certain measure of astonishment that Caesar can lie dead like other men – “O mighty Caesar, dost thou lie so low?/Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils/Shrunk to this little measure?”

Antony’s affection for his dead friend and mentor comes through clearly as he addresses the corpse of Caesar, saying, “Thou art the ruins of the noblest man/That ever lived in the tide of times.” Yet he persuades the assassins that he recognizes the necessity of what they have done; and only when he is alone does he make clear that he wants to see the assassins punished, imagining that the spirit of the murdered Caesar will “Cry ‘Havoc!’ and let slip the dogs of war”. To cry “Havoc,” in those times, meant a declaration of no quarter, of war to the knife. It is a grim prophecy of the bloody events that will soon unfold.

The conspirators hope to bring about a peaceful transition of power. Brutus addresses the distressed plebeians of Rome, speaking to the crowd in accordance with his public image as a man of principle, whose commitment to the ideals of republican government is genuine led him to the act of assassination. “Romans, countrymen, and lovers,” he begins, “hear me for my cause.” He assures his listeners that he acted strictly out of principle; it was “Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more.”

So far, from the conspirators’ point of view, so good; but then Mark Antony flips the script. Antony, Caesar’s loyal lieutenant, has so successfully concealed his true emotions at Caesar’s death that Brutus unwisely allows him to address the crowd of plebeians. Once again, fatal pride on Brutus’ part – assuming that he can read Antony’s character – leads toward a fatal decision that will contribute toward his downfall.

“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears”, Antony says to the crowd. 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.” Yet praise Caesar is exactly what Antony does. In response to the charges that Caesar was acting out of an ambition to be a king of Rome, Antony points out Caesar’s repeated acts of generosity toward the Roman people, and suggests that “Ambition should be made of sterner stuff.” He weeps as he declares that if any Roman fails to mourn for Caesar, then “O judgment, thou art fled to brutish beasts,/And men have lost their reason.” The crowd starts to turn away from Brutus’ point of view, and toward Antony’s.

Having shifted the tactical balance of power in terms of popularity before the Roman people, Antony then, rhetorically speaking, goes in for the kill. He holds up Caesar’s bloodied robes, pointing out where each conspirator’s blade pierced Caesar’s body, and particularly where Brutus struck Caesar with “the most unkindest cut of all.” Sarcastically, Antony reminds the crowd over and over again that if Brutus sanctioned this act of assassination, it must somehow be okay, because “Brutus is an honourable man.” It is an inspired bit of demagoguery, and it works; by the time Antony is done, the crowd of plebeians who had been acclaiming the conspirators are instead calling for their heads.

From that point, it is a short journey toward yet another Roman civil war – Brutus and Cassius lead one side; Antony, the future emperor Octavian, and Lepidus lead the other. In a classic Shakespearean pattern, violence with a target leads to untargeted violence in which innocents die. The conspirators are divided by their own differences, and their side lurches toward defeat. Brutus can declare that “There is a tide in the affairs of men/Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune”; but it is clear enough that the tides of fortune have turned against Brutus’ and Cassius’ side – even before the ghost of Caesar appears to Brutus, identifies himself as “Thy evil spirit, Brutus”, and assures Brutus that “thou shalt see me at Philippi.”

At the end, Brutus knows that his dream of restoring the republic through violence has failed. Hearing of the suicide of a fellow leader of his own side, he reflects that “O Julius Caesar, thou art mighty yet;/Thy spirit walks abroad and turns our swords/In our own proper entrails.” His beloved wife Portia – who, earlier in the play, knelt before Brutus as Calpurnia knelt before Caesar, in another linkage between the characters of Caesar and Brutus – has taken her own life, and in a particularly horrifying way.

For Brutus, there is only the cold comfort of recalling the loyalty of fallen allies, along with the expression of a hope that “I shall have glory by this losing day/More than Octavius and Mark Antony/By this vile conquest shall attain unto.” Running himself upon his own sword, Brutus dies with the words, “Caesar, now be still./I killed not thee with half so good a will.”

And once Brutus has taken his own life, it is left to Antony, his erstwhile adversary, to speak generously of Brutus in death: “This was the noblest Roman of them all…/His life was gentle, and the elements/So mixed in him that nature might stand up/And say to all the world, ‘This was a man.’”

These are fine words, to be sure; but the thoughtful reader of Julius Caesar is more likely to be troubled than assured by the play’s resolution. For one thing, the reader remembers the insults that Antony and Brutus hurled at one another before the battle of Philippi – a recollection that makes Antony’s noble words of tribute seem more calculated than spontaneous. One also recalls seeing Antony with his fellow triumvirs, Octavian and Lepidus, making up death lists for after their victory, even throwing their own relatives under the proverbial chariot wheels if another triumvir wants it. And of course, one knows that within twelve years after their shared victory at Philippi, Antony and Octavian will be enemies in a civil war of their own, and Antony will follow Brutus’ path toward defeat and suicide – a tale told on the stage by Shakespeare, in his later play Antony and Cleopatra. Beyond the resolution of the troubles chronicled in this play, there are only more troubles ahead.

How did the English audiences of Shakespeare’s time respond to Julius Caesar? They did not worry about having a republic, of course; England was (and is) a monarchy, and proud of it. But they would have had decided feelings about assassination plots hatched by self-appointed avengers. English history was full of such game-of-thrones stratagems, as Shakespeare had dramatized in ten history plays – and all of those plots had brought with them some degree of death and destruction, and had destabilized the realm.

When Elizabeth Tudor succeeded to the English throne, she did so through the established, peaceful process - not through conspiracy, and not by spilling the blood of her predecessors. Once she had become Queen of England, she ruled for 45 years with wisdom and justice, ushering in what is still known as England’s “Golden Age” – and she did so while surviving four assassination plots and three assassination attempts. Shakespeare’s English audience would no doubt have seen the assassination plotters of Julius Caesar as a group of self-deluded fools, arrogantly moving their country toward anarchy and tyranny.

And how does one read Julius Caesar nowadays, here in the United States of America – or Civitates Foederatae Americae, as the Romans would have called it? After all, we are one of those “states unborn”, with “accents yet unknown”, that Cassius speaks of after the assassination. As with the Roman Republic that ended not long after the murder of Caesar, the U.S.A. is a republic whose people are proud of having retained a republican form of government for a period of centuries.

And our republic has its own sad history of assassination – of 46 U.S. presidents, four have died at the hands of assassins, two others have been wounded in assassination attempts, and thirteen others have been the subject of assassination plots that fortunately never came to fruition. Americans know only too well the fear and instability that attend the violent death of a head of state – something that makes Julius Caesar all too contemporary. It brings history and tragedy together like no other Shakespeare play.
Profile Image for Joe Valdez.
498 reviews849 followers
April 14, 2017
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
Profile Image for Kalliope.
691 reviews22 followers
March 30, 2013
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.
Profile Image for Carlos.
108 reviews94 followers
July 23, 2023
[Read in Spanish] -- [Reseña en español más abajo]

I am happily surprised! According to my previous reviews, I have always said that I don't like theatre plays adapted to books because I can't understand its vocabulary since it is too difficult for me... but oh well, it is a theatre play, not a book. However, this play/book is an exception. I liked it a lot anddespite being a theatre play, I completely enjoyed it from the beginning to the end.
I was surprised that this play's title was not 100% about Julius Caesar. Even is they talk about him, there are characters who have a bigger role, such as Brutus and Casius. I should add that the dialogues are simple to understand,the story (or book) is not long, but enough to be very enjoyable. It's easy to follow thestory and also get interested about the characters, which for me is essential when I read a book.
I totally recommend it, and as such, it is possible to have a look at the historical context regarding Julis Caesar, which is always important. The play and the book are completely approved by me.


¡Estoy gratamente sorprendido! Acorde a mis críticas de libros anteriores, siempre he dicho que no me gustan las obras de teatro llevadas a libros porque no se entiende muy bien debido a que el vocabulario es distinto y bueno... mal que mal, es una obra de teatro, no un libro. Sin embargo, esta obra/libro es una excepción. Me gustó mucho, y a pesar de ser una obra teatral, la disfruté plenamente de principio a fin.
Me llamó la atención que el título de esta obra efectivamente no se tratara 100% de Julio César. Si bien se habla de él, hay personajes que tienen un rol mayor, como el caso de Bruto y Casio. Debo agregar que los diálogos son simples de entender, la historia (o el libro) no es larga, pero lo suficiente como para disfrutarlo a pleno. Es fácil seguir la historia y también meterse dentro de los personajes, lo que para mí es fundamental a la hora de leer un libro.
Lo recomiendo totalmente, y así también se le hecha un vistazo al contexto histórico de Julio César, que nunca está demás. Obra y libro totalmente aprobados.
Profile Image for Romie.
1,093 reviews1,268 followers
January 27, 2018
basically: bros loving each others, deciding to kill their greatest bro and ending up going on a bro war.
Profile Image for Monzer ۞ مُنذِر.
160 reviews220 followers
March 11, 2017
أَفَكُنــتُـم تُفَـضِّـلــون أَن يَعيشَ قَيْـــصَر , وَأن تَـموتُــوا جَمــيعاً عبيـــداً له , على أَن يَــمُـــوت قَيْصَـــــر , وأن تعيـــشُـوا جَميــعاً رِجَالــاً أَحــرارا ؟
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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
 photo Caesars_first_invasion_of_Britain_Caesars_boat_is_pulled_Wellcome_V0048276_zpsoa5kutct.jpg

ومحطم رؤوس بلاد الغال :
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ودكتاتور روما !
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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
 photo 800px-pieter_isaacsz_-_oploop_der_romeinse_vrouwen_op_het_kapitool_te_rome_na_het_optreden_van_de_kleine_papirius1_zpsuotdo6yh.jpg

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
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
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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 ؟ "
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لذلك , ترتفع قيمة هذه المسرحية ليس فقط كونها مسرحية جيدة التكوين , بل لأنها مخلّدة لاحدى أعظم اللحظات في التاريخ , وخاصة الروماني .

3~ الوطن
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روما ! أيْ روما ال��زيزة !
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
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ان السيوف التي قتلت قيصر , كانت باسم ر��ما .
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
Profile Image for Michael Finocchiaro.
Author 3 books5,630 followers
April 6, 2022
Et tu Brutus. Then fall Caesar.
Whether or not Julius Caesar ever spoke these words, they contain a wealth of meaning like the rest of Shakespeare’s extraordinary play. Even if Cicero is speaking Greek, and for the hapless Casca, “but those that understood him smiled at
one another and shook their heads; but, for mine own
part, it was Greek to me,” even for readers more than four centuries later, the Bard still speaks directly to us about pride and arrogance, about hope and despair, and about the struggle of one man, Brutus, against his conscience trying to justify what he though was a righteous murder. However, this is Shakespeare, and the murder of a monarch never,ever goes well. Brutus was dumb to not also kill Antony, to let Antony speak after him and to meet Antony on the field of battle at Philippi. For my money, this is one of Shakespeare’s most straightforward narratives, one which many Americans and Europeans learned at school. The epic performances of Charlton Heston and Marlon Brando both playing Antony and haranguing the crowd with “Brutus is an honorable man” still haunt us today. When we think of the dreams and innocence that died when Kennedy was assassinated, we can try to approach the pathos that Shakespeare captures in this moment.
Truly worth reading again (and again.)

Fino's Reviews of Shakespeare and Shakespearean Criticism
The Comedy of Errors (1592-1593
The Taming of the Shrew (1593-1594)
The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1594-1595)
Love's Labour's Lost (1594-1595)
A Midsummer Night's Dream (1595-1596)
The Merchant of Venice (1596-1597)
Much Ado About Nothing (1598-1599)
As You Like It (1599-1600)
Twelfth Night (1599-1600)
The Merry Wives of Windsor (1600-1601)
All's Well That Ends Well (1602-1603)
Measure for Measure (1604-1605)
Cymbeline (1609-1610)
A Winter's Tale (1610-1611)
The Tempest (1611-1612)
Two Noble Kinsmen (1612-1613)

Henry VI Part I (1589-1590)
Henry VI Part II (1590-1591)
Henry VI Part III (1590-1591)
Richard III (1593-1594)
Richard II (1595-1596)
King John (1596-1597)
Edward III (1596-1597)
Henry IV Part I (1597-1598)
Henry IV Part II (1597-1598)
Henry V (1598-1599)
Henry VIII (1612-1612)

Titus Andronicus (1592-1593)
Romeo and Juliet (1594-1595)
Julius Caesar (1599-1600)
Hamlet (1600-1601)
Troilus and Cressida (1601-1602)
Othello (1604-1605)
King Lear (1605-1606)
Macbeth (1605-1606)
Anthony and Cleopatra (1606-1607)
Coriolanus (1607-1608)
Timon of Athens (1607-1608)
Pericles (1608-1609)

Shakespearean Criticism
The Wheel of Fire by Wilson Knight
A Natural Perspective by Northrop Frye
Shakespeare After All by Marjorie Garber
Shakespeare's Roman Plays and Their Background by M W MacCallum
Shakespearean Criticism 1919-1935 compiled by Anne Ridler
Shakespearean Tragedy by A.C. Bradley
Shakespeare's Sexual Comedy by Hugh M. Richmond
Shakespeare: The Comedies by R.P. Draper
Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics by Stephen Greenblatt
1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare by James Shapiro

Collections of Shakespeare
Venus and Adonis, the Rape of Lucrece and Other Poems
Shakespeare's Sonnets and a Lover's Complaint
The Complete Oxford Shakespeare
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