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Caesar And Cleopatra

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  1,397 Ratings  ·  82 Reviews
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) was a worldrenowned Irish author. Born in Dublin, he moved to London when he turned twenty. Having rejected formal schooling, he educated himself by independent study in the reading room of the British Museum; he also began his career there by writing novels for which he could not find a publisher. His first success was as a music and litera ...more
Paperback, 132 pages
Published October 19th 2007 by Dodo Press (first published 1898)
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Bill  Kerwin
Jun 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 19th-c-brit, irish, drama

Caesar and Cleopatra is a play of vivid pictures and superb effects: in the desert at night an old Roman general speaks to a small Sphinx, oblivious to the child-woman asleep between its paws; the child-woman Cleopatra chooses the old general as her protector, against Caesar “who eats children,” not realizing, until the Romans troops begin shouting “Hail Caesar” that her old general and Caesar are one in the same; Caesar arming himself for battle while the Library of Alexandria is burning in the
Huda Aweys
ثيودوتس : إن مكتبة الإسكندرية تحترق
قيصر : أهذا كل شئ !؟
ثيودوتس : (كل شئ؟!)!! .. أتقول عنك الأجيال المقبلة يا قيصر أنك كنت جنديا متبربرا يجهل قيمة الكتب !؟
قيصر : يا ثيودوتس أنا نفسي مؤلفا و اقول لك أنه لمن الأفضل للمصريين أن يحيوا حياتهم بدلا من أن يضيعوها في الأحلام بفضل الكتب
ثيودوتس : قيصر ان العالم يكسب كتابا خالدا كل عشرة أجيال من الرجال
قيصر : و قد يعدم هذا الكتاب اذا لم يتملق البشرية
ثيودوتس : لولا التاريخ لسوى الموت بينك و بين أحقر جندي
قيصر : سيفعل الموت هذا على أي حال ، أنا لا أطلب مقبر
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lovely play but I was at a loss to imagine a successful staging. This is vast and epic while insistently self aware, emplacing it’s own sense of history upon a lineage we believe to know from another play by that one guy.

The characterization of Cleopatra as a petulant teen was remarkable—especially in contrast to a stolid weariness from Julius Caesar. The role of vengeance as a historical engine is explored as is the all too human notions of sovereignty.

I should read more Shaw.
Bernard Shaw'u bu zamana dek ne okumuştum ne de sahnede izleme fırsatı bulabilmiştim. Yakın bir zaman önce edindiğim İş Bankası Kültür Yayınları'nın "Dört Oyun" ismiyle yayınlamış olduğu kitabın ilk oyunu olan "Sezar ile Kleopatra" oyununu bugün okuma fırsatı buldum. Shakespeare'in aynı isimli oyununu zevkle okumuş olduğumdan ve Shaw ile ilgili okuduklarımdan sonra beklentim bir hayli yüksek olsa da ben aradığım, beklediğim tadı alamadım. Kimi yerlerde gerçekten sıkıldım. Tiyatro oyunlarını okur ...more
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
Delightful play on the interaction between J. Caesar, here presented by Shaw as a wise avuncular idealist, and Cleopatra, the giggly teenage queen of Egypt. Caesar teaches her to be a real queen and to use her power wisely. Shaw's wit was much in evidence throughout. For comparison I read the text at the same time as I viewed the 1945 Rains/Leigh movie. The script kept the dialogue nearly intact. I regretted the deletion of the stage directions from the movie; I thought them equally as clever as ...more
Cleopatra can't arrange a meeting with Caesar, so she rolls herself up in a large rug, and has herself delivered as a present. Security must have been really basic in those days.

There was a period when I was working for a boss who was never available during office hours. Either he wasn't there at all, or he was busy talking to someone else. People used to refer to the above episode quite frequently, and several of the female employees said they were considering having themselves delivered in ru
Laurel Hicks
Bernard Shaw's funny, sad prequel to Shakespeare.
David Sarkies
Jul 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who love a bit of wit and philosophy
Recommended to David by: I stumbled upon him in a bookshop
Shelves: romance
Shaw's masterpiece
2 August 2014

The problem I face when I approach this play is that there is so much in it I simply do not know where to start. There is the character of Julius Caesar that Shaw seems to capture perfectly, from the wise and kind leader to the man who would repetitively show mercy to his enemies: which resulted in his own destruction. There is also the idea of the new empire meeting the old empire, and the elder statesman meeting the child queen and the interaction between the tw
Apr 30, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I used to have two pets. I called the male Caesar and the female Cleopatra. Mom started to laugh when I told her what I wanted to call them and when I asked her why she said I reminded her of a good book. About 8 years later, I'm dying to find mom's copy of the book because she recommended it to me a few weeks ago - I think she lost it, though.

PS: the pets were geese and they had 11 children and we had to give them away. I miss them.
Apr 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shaw’s retelling of Caesar and Cleopatra demonstrates admirably both Shaw’s philosophy, as well as showcases his tremendous gifts as a storyteller. Shaw depicts Cleopatra as a woman who, out of military necessity, appeals to Caesar. Caesar is depicted as a Realist, and a man of action who values good government and unsentimentality. Caesar is depicted as a man without vengeance and little emotion. He is fair and hard…and opportunistic. He destroys evidence that would have Septimius executed, yet ...more
Nov 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Caesar is represented here as a truly original man. Great because he sees no value in flattery. He has his servants be totally honest with him, without negative repercussions for criticism. He acts to his own advantage every time, whether or not such acts appear honorable. He forms no attachments beyond the friendliness a genial person might give to a strange child or a dog.

Cleopatra appears here as a spoiled sixteen year old, in many ways less mature than a sixteen year old of our day, because
Feb 08, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, plays
Interesting take on Cleopatra. My favorite parts, though, were in the stage directions and commentary. For example, in setting the scene of the first act (my underlining of bits I liked):

"A great radiance of silver fire, the dawn of a moonlit night, is rising in the east. The stars and the cloudless sky are our own contemporaries, nineteen and a half centuries younger than we know them; but you would not guess that from their appearance. Below them are two notable drawbacks of civilization: a pa
J. Alfred
Nov 27, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A prologue of sorts for Shakespeare's "Anthony and Cleopatra", it does go a long way toward introducing that play. Also a good place for Shaw to show how, for him, people don't need God, because, like Caesar, some men are basically gods already. Some unintentional irony in that, as he used a bunch of Christlike qualities and allusions for Caesar to drive his point home, he has Caesar using the words of Christ to claim legitimacy; sometimes the same words that Christ would use a few generations l ...more
Aug 29, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Caesar and Cleopatra was quite well-written, full of good quotes and characterization, and plenty of cleverness and wit. It is bad because of its moral core. It is one more thing to add to the list of art in the spirit of Triumph of the Will: high quality propaganda for a really nasty mindset, just like Gone with the Wind and Bonfire of the Vanities.

The author, George Bernard Shaw, combines a caustic hatred of his own society with a gushing admiration of antiquity. Either one of these things alo
May 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From Shaw's essential notes on the play: "...there is the illusion of 'increased command over Nature,' meaning that cotton is cheap and that ten miles of country road on a bicycle have replaced four on foot. But even if man's increased command over Nature included any increased command over himself (the only sort of command relevant to his evolution into a higher being), the fact remains that it is only by running away from the increased command over Nature to country places where Nature is stil ...more
Mar 10, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, drama
I have never read a more weak, pathetic Cleopatra in my life.

I mean, I know Cleopatra probably wasn't Super Duper BA Superwoman we all are used to thinking of her, but... come on! Give her a little credit! She read like a brainless twelve-year-old brat! Did she have a different reputation in the late 1800s than she does now? Or did Shaw just... really want a crying, sighing, lovelorn wimp as his second main character?

I know Shaw can write better women characters, so I don't blame the times; it'
Oct 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
The third play in a compendium of four by GBS that I recently picked up is equally delightful to the first two that I have read. In Ceasar and Cleopatra the most striking aspects of the play, apart from the ever present well reknown wit of GBS, is the character development. Throughout the work Ceasar is a constant, not the glorified hero of many a work, but a character portrayed as a common man - a very successful, competent, resourceful one - but a man presented with warts and all (or in his c ...more
Goddess Of Blah
I read this play soon after finishing The Devil's Disciple . Its brilliant. All of Shaw's plays that I have so far read have left me chuckling.
If you like Oscar Wilde, then you will definitely appreciate the witty dialogue, incisive humour, “philosophy” and cynical observations that dominate Shaw's plays.

These are some quotes from Shaw's plays:

“All great truths begin as blasphemies.”

“When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty.”

“The reasonable m
May 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is a continual compare and contrast between Cleopatra and Caesar throughout the entire play. Touchingly innocent in many ways and very tender. Caesar's relationship to Cleopatra is at times like a lover's but whenever she acts up he is strongly paternal. They are very similar in many ways. Staunchly loyal, with very firm ideas how a ruler should be.
Mar 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ياترى الاحداث دى فعلا جد؟
ياترى قيصر كان نبيل لهذا الحد؟
الى ان نقرا ف التاريخ لنا حوار آخر
Carrie D.
Feb 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I laughed out loud a lot but George Bernard Shaw doesn't seem like he likes women very much or he's being satirical idk I'm not that smart.
shaw is pretty much my new favorite writer, mostly because he's undeniably sassy--and unashamed to be so.
Caesar and Cleopatra by George Bernard Shaw

Another version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:

- and

About twenty years ago I saw a documentary film.
George Bernard Shaw was the protagonist.

Indeed, he was a Show Man.
In one instance, he turned around in front of the camera and said something like:

- This is my profile… now from the left…my face…and the back

He also expressed a view on Hitler, which in my mind
I really enjoyed this play but it's a lot funnier if you've recently seen/read/heard William Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" and "Antony and Cleopatra." Shaw's play is all about the politics but Shakespeare's plays are all about the romanticised relationships. I enjoyed the way Shaw depicted Cleopatra as a young girl learning to be a ruler, not the stereotypical sex kitten Queen. Caesar is also shown in a different light. He's a patient teacher who won't punish those who speak against him instead ...more
Rehab Saad
كنت اقراء -كتاب رسائل من تحت الارض لدوستويفسكي
كان يذكر فيه كيف كانت كليوباترا تعذب وصيفتها بوضع الدبابيس الذهبية فى اثدائهن وتقف لتستمتع بصراخهن - لا اعلم ان كان هذا حقيقه ام لا ولكن دائماُ ما تصور الاعمال الفنيه الغربية كليوباترا على انها فتاه وقحة - غبيه - - قاسية هي واخيها بطليموس
لكن الرويات ليست كتب تاريخ على اي حال

Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: egypt
I wanted to like it, I really did. The entertainment value was a rapid decline and I found myself bored.
Manoj Sharma
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

A very well written play. Typical Bernard Shaw. Shows the characters in an absolutely new light. Interesting reading and a fresh approach to history
Jan 12, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uk-and-ireland
I did not like the way Cleopatra was represented - as a silly, childish, spoilt brat most of the time, and a rather indecisive and superstitious queen in training the rest of it. She is one of the few great female literary characters in history, and this is what Shaw does with her? My admittedly high expectations were just crushed the minute she opened her mouth. While I can understand his reasons for it, which he explains at the end of the book, I still can't help but feel slightly betrayed by ...more
Jul 28, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
“When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty.” (Act III p 70)

Any work by Shaw is rich with aphoristic statements as noted above; for Shaw is play-write of observation deftly capable of inserting social criticism into the voices of his characters. He uses this skill to tell the tale of Caesar and Cleopatra as a period piece written by an Irishman criticizing British Imperialism at the cusp of the first World War through the portrayal of Caesar’s R
Aug 19, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I cant fully understand exactly what this novel was trying to express, preach or satiri!!ze. I started reading it because it seemed very witty, short and simple. Then it just fell apart into uneven nonsense.

Shaw has the ability to create likable characters and witty dialogue. The story took on the disguise of a simple war of worlds story: where the protaganist's life is changed, ultimately for the better by a person with completely opposite ideals and standards. Then it veered off into uninspir
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George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright, socialist, and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama. Over the course of his life he wrote more than 60 plays. Nearly all his plays address prevailing social problems, but ...more
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“When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty.” 185 likes
“...a man of great common sense and good taste, meaning thereby a man without originality or moral courage.” 36 likes
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