Chazzle's Reviews > Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar by SparkNotes
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Nov 21, 09

Recommended to Chazzle by: the vast international brainwashers made up of English teachers
Recommended for: Shakespeare fans
Read in November, 2009, read count: 1

Every so often, I like to challenge myself and read a classic. The "no fear" editions of Shakespeare include a line-by-line translation to modern English for the confused reader, which methinks is a real boon betimes.

As for the play, it's tough to rate. Philistine that I am, I must confess that Shakespeare will probably never move me as much as Sidney Sheldon. On the other hand, at times, Shakespeare's skill with language is breathtaking.

One recurring mini-theme in the play is misinterpretation. I remember reading a passage once in a Carl Sagan book about his childhood, when he claimed to his mother, looking towards Europe from New York harbor during World War II, that he could see the soldiers fighting each other. His mother disabused him of the false notion. False interpretations happen in Julius Caesar. Cassius crucially mistakes what he sees during the climactic battle, reacting horribly. Another character underestimates his abilities, being in despondency. Perhaps, but I'm not sure, Brutus' conscience makes him believe he sees Caesar's ghost. (Or is it a ghost and not Brutus' conscience? Maybe only Shakespeare knows - maybe his ghost will tell me someday.) Oh well, this kind of stuff happens all the time...misreading stock charts, misreading medical imagery, etc. etc.



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