Julius Caesar (Oxford School Shakespeare)
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Julius Caesar (Oxford School Shakespeare)

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  96,943 ratings  ·  1,795 reviews
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,...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published October 17th 2002 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1599)
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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...more
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...more
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...more
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.

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...more
David
Apr 05, 2014 David rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Friends, Romans, and countrymen

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...more
Greg
My tenth grade teacher killed this play, not Caesar style though, that would be the treatment my eleventh grade English teacher did in poor Macbeth, with lots and lots of daggers and bloodshed. I don't have a good literary reference to how Julius Caesar got killed by a teacher.

Supposedly the teacher was fucking at least one guy on the football team, and she was showing signs of being knocked-up by the end of the year. So maybe she had other things on her mind. In later years I'd learn that she...more
Miriam
Brad
Whenever I read Shakespeare, I always find myself longing to be back in Rome watching the assassination of Caesar. So I do just that.

I read Hamlet for class, and I immediately pick up Caesar. I read one of the plays I've been meaning to get to, and I immediately pick up Caesar. I catch a late night TV showing of Much Ado About Nothing or Othello, and I immediately pick up Ceasar. It feels like home to me.

It contains the elements that make Shakespeare's great plays great (at least to me). Death...more
Ken Moten
"Artemidorus: Caesar, beware of Brutus; take heed of Cassius; come
not near Casca; have an eye to Cinna; trust not Trebonius; mark
well Metellus Cimber; Decius Brutus loves thee not; thou hast
wrong'd Caius Ligarius. There is but one mind in all these men,
and it is bent against Caesar. If thou be'st not immortal, look
about you: security gives way to conspiracy. The mighty gods
defend thee!
"

[May 2014 update below original review]
"I came, I saw, I reviewed."

THE play that made the already legend...more
هدير
شــــكسبير .. لن أقول أنه غني عن التعريف .. لأنني نفسي قبل أن أقرأ له هذه المسرحية ـ كنت أتسائل ، ما سر شهرته و لم أعماله تتوج دائما في قمة الأعمال الأدبية ؟! ..

كان سؤالا عالقا برأسي و لم أبحث عن إجابة له ، كنت أنتظر أن ندرسه في قسم اللغة الإنجليزية لأعرف إجابة له ..
في هذا الفصل الدراسي من عامي الرابع في الكلية ـ حدث ما كنت أرجوه .. درسنا مسرحيته ـ القيصر جوليوس ـ كـ مدخل لعالم شكسبير .. الخلّاق و المدهش .. نعم .. الأن أستطيع أن أقول و بملء الوعي ، أن هذا الرجل مبدع حقيقي فعلا ، و أنه فعلا ..
...more
Ben
He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fiel
...more
J.
This tale in a nutshell:

Gorfo
Apr 23, 2011 Gorfo rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Shakespeare Lovers!
I didn't expect to like Julius Caesar. For some reason I expected it to be one of Shakespeare's histories. Nevertheless, it soon became clear to me that I had stumbled upon an utterly enthralling tragedy. After reading Julius Caesar I've come to realize that there is no way on earth that I will ever be able to pick my favorite Shakespeare play! It just isn't possible! How could one man create so much amazing work (of course there is speculation about whether he wrote it all, but I don't care muc...more
Ivana
The first thing that comes to my mind when thinking about this play is the beginning of that famous speech "Friends, Romans, Countrymen!" Yes, Mark Anthony really made quite a speech there! You have to love the fact that the play that is in many ways philosophical can also be dramatic.

This is one of my favourite plays by Shakespeare mainly I think that it describes perfectly that burning ice within that we sometimes call ambition and sometimes lust for power. It was this examination of power, co...more
Theresa ♫
This is a rant, and I am usually misunderstood by people who understand classic stories (because I don't really understand them). Please respect my opinion as much as I respect yours. :).)





AS OF JANUARY 28th

Okay, I'm usually not the type of person to by judging a book after reading like 5 pages of it, but...

Dude. I'm not expecting much out of this story.

You guys remember the horrific and horrible tale of
ROMEO AND JULIET!
I thought I'd be DONE with Shakespeare after that horrible, horrible tale of...more
Kenny
I finished re-reading this play several days ago. And it moved me. Perhaps the reason why it moved me, is because I approached it as a story about friendship. Now, we all know it is a story encompassing politics, historic military figures, etc. I approached it from an angle of story between friends, and it came across as a story that resonated so much more than it should have. As you can tell from reading the play, Shakespeare explores the heart of men. And it can be one very ugly black heart at...more
Samyuktha pc
When we study texts we learn to look deeper into a word. Of course, that depends on the teacher and personal interest. Literature studies is one of my favourite hobbies. I always like to see what is behind a word and draw it out.

Julius Caesar tested my abilities. It also unviersally made me understand that everyone is ambiguous in nature. It changed the way I relate to people. Surprisingly, a hard hitting tragedy made me learn to forgive whole heartedly.

This play increased my thinking depth and...more
Mitchell
book club choice

This time around I was struck by a few things:

1- How much this play is about the power of rhetoric, especially rhetoric used to persuade. Cassius persuading Brutus, Antony persuading the crowd. Brutus' lack of rhetoric that indicates his guilelessness. Compare his flat-footed speech at the funeral to Antony's brilliant oration. The rhetoric defines the character.

2- This is a play of what happens after giants fall. Octavius/Antony and Cassius/Brutus are sloppy seconds that cannot...more
Zack
A very special joint-review of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, brought to you by Lisa and Zack, who read all five acts aloud to their cat.

Zack's Synopsis: Friends and traitors (but mostly traitors) trade memorable lines as they vie for control of Rome.

Lisa's Synopsis: Interchangeable middle-aged men argue about whose morals are superior, then make similarly ambiguous moral choices.

Zac. First, let me say I am surprised that I made it this far in life having never read Julius Caesar till now...more
Cécilia L.
I've been reading this for months since I've been studying it at uni. But I wanted to take my time to actually understand the use of the language, so page after page, I would study the words.

There have been already many critics about this play, so there is no need to push it. I'll just say that from all the Shakespeare plays I've studied, this one is by far my favourite. Shakespeare is one of those playwrights I would never read on my own but am always happy to study because it is so interesting...more
Aboadam
شكسبير....
كلما رأيت تعليقات البعض عن شكسبير وأنهم قد تمت صدمتهم عند قرائته وأنهم كانوا يفضلون أن يعتقدوا عن عظمته وبدلا من أن يقرأوه ليصابوا بهذا القرف والإحباط من سطحيته وهراءه .... يصيبني الحمد على نعمة دراسة الأدب :))
....
عند قراءة شكسبير يجب إدراك أنك تقرأ لرجل من القرن السادس عشر !!! فرق بيننا وبينه حوالي خمسمائة سنة !!!! خمسمائة سنة من الفكر والتغير الثقافي ... رجل عبقري إستطاع أن يكون تاريخ أدبي في فترة لم يكن فيها من سبقه لذلك ولا من تبعه بذلك ..
أنت في القرن الحادي والعشرين وهناك أحمد مرا...more
Jake
Here was my experience reading Julius Caesar for the first time as a high school student. I remember it well.
Acts 1-2: “Stab the guy already. Yeah, yeah, ‘greek to me’. Brilliant dialogue. STAB THE GUY ALREADY!”
Act 3: Great speeches. But you let Mark Antony speak second? Brutus, you idiot!
Acts 4-5: Wow! Strategy, intrigue, a ghost stopping by to screw with the protagonist’s mind—I love Shakespeare!

The final two acts of Julius Caesar made me a convert to the Bard’s tragic/history plays. Put in th...more
Pete daPixie
There is a lot of subtle late Elizabethan propaganda hidden in 'Julius Caesar'. Mr Shakespeare kept his recusant Catholic leanings sensibly well hidden.

I know where I will wear this dagger then;
Cassius from bondage will deliver Cassius:
Therein, ye gods, you make the weak most strong;
Therein, ye gods, you tyrants do defeat:
Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass,
Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron,
Can be retentive to the strength of spirit;
But life, being weary of these worldly bars,...more
Mollie
this book sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! not only is it shakespeare but its a complete rip off! ok so in r&j they both die for COMPLETELY NO REASON. well this ones basically the same. This group of guys feels that Caesers a tyrant so they kill him. then become tyrant like themselves. then there a big battle. during it this one guy feels like he sent his friend off to be murdered so he kills himself, but of course it was a misunderstanding and the guys fine. the other main dude feels as though he lo...more
Prof. Mohamed  Shareef
Teaching Julius Caesar

Paper presented at the Sambalpur University, Orissa,August, 2002.



Teaching Julius Caesar at the Degree level has its own unique problems which I would like to present in this short paper on English Language Teaching. The degree students of Kerala state have three papers in English—Two during the first year and a third one (i.e. Shakespeare) during the second year. Their exposure to English literature is, in fact, very limited since they study only some prose, a single play a...more
Melissa Rudder
Reviewing William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar at this point just feels wrong, because when I read the play, I'm no longer reading Shakespeare's version, I'm hearing and creating Ms. R--'s sophomore English class version, complete with arrogant jerk Caesar--"See, this is what happens when you don't listen to your wife and when you talk in third person"--and with breaks every fifty lines to ask question after question and stuff the richness of Shakespeare's text into a nice digestible package for...more
Jeanette
Final body count = 6

I've not read many of Shakespeare's plays dealing with actual history. This was not only a gripping story, but educational as well. A handful of Roman patricians plot to kill Julius Caesar, claiming that he is to be crowned king, which goes against the ideal of the Roman Republic. Treacherous plans never come to a good end, and this story is no exception. There's an excellent "Modern Perspective" piece at the end of this version of the play. It fills in a lot of the history....more
Saba
Warning: I've used a lot of curse words here so if you have a tendency to be offended by the occasional slang please do not continue.

This was fucking perfect, I really enjoyed it. First time Shakespeare.
If I ever get the gumption, I will attempt to write a review. Or well, at least a paragraph or so that perhaps better than this piece of bs stuff full of feelings I've written here.
Having read an excerpt of this play for school and an interest in Greek history since I was a child, I decided to...more
Shelley
“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”

We read this in my English class!

Although it's always been like Shakespeare to write plays with great lessons and messages in them, and not a ton of character development, I think it was in this particular play that it affects the audience.

Now, I know, Shakespeare. What wrong can he do? And I admit, he is an amazing play write. I adored A Midsummer's Night Dream, and Twelfth Night. But maybe it's just me, but this play was more com...more
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which was the best ruler: Caesar, Antony, or Brutus? 1 8 Mar 27, 2014 05:29PM  
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Mrs. Vandiver's C...: Shakespeare's language 49 71 Sep 22, 2013 09:03PM  
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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 tr...more
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“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.” 5960 likes
“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.”
2640 likes
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