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Archive: Other Books > Julius Caesar - William Shakespeare - 4 stars

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message 1: by Jason (new)

Jason Oliver | 2097 comments Whoever wrote the Shakespeare plays, they are wonderful.

This play centers on on the conspiracy of the Roman senate and the assassination of Julius Caesar which led to the fall of the Roman Republic.

Though the play is titled Julius Caesar, he plays a small role in the play which is dominated by Cassius and Brutus. The play really focuses on political manuvering. It was also written at a time when civil war was a fear due to the age of Queen Elizabeth and a lack of an heir.

You also have to ask yourself, is Julius Caesar the protagonist in the story or is Brutus a tragic hero? I'm on the side of Brutus being a the good guy and making bad decisions.


message 2: by Magdalena (new)

Magdalena | 414 comments I really want to read the Shakespeare plays but I don't know which one I should start with. Any suggestions?


message 3: by Jason (new)

Jason Oliver | 2097 comments Depends on what you want to read about. Comedies, Histories, or Tragedies. Here is a link of his plays by genre.

https://www.opensourceshakespeare.org...

My favorites are the tragedies. Hamlet, King Lear, Julius Caesar (more tragedy than history) Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet.


message 4: by Magdalena (new)

Magdalena | 414 comments Thank you that's really a great link I've bookmarked it.


message 5: by Cynda (last edited May 01, 2018 04:04PM) (new)

Cynda  (cynda) I agree Jason. I originally read the play in school eons ago. So I read it again in 2015 and 2017.
I have my Bevington handy. . . . I see in Act I, scene ii that Brutus is having thoughts that he is uncomfortable with and Cassius takes takes the opportunity to encourage Brutus to think like Cassius does. Brutus is open to such conspiratorial thinking, Cassius seizes the opportunity, and Brutus follows.


message 6: by Jason (new)

Jason Oliver | 2097 comments Yes. Brutus is the only conspirator who is putting what he believes to be the good of Rome ahead of personal gain even ahead of his love and devotion for Caesar.

I also read that when Brutus acted on instinct things went well but when he acted on the counsel of others such as Cassius he made poor decisions


message 7: by Meli (new)

Meli (melihooker) | 3673 comments Huge Shakespeare fan, and agree with Jason, it really depends on what you are into. There is something for anyone and the stories are timeless (as evidenced by all the successful modern adaptations).

I am partial to Romeo and Juliet, Othello, A Midsummer Nights Dream, The Taming of the Shrew, and Titus Andronicus.

I'm currently reading Macbeth by Jo Nesbo, so I re-read Shakespeare Macbeth. Highly recommend Nesbo's adaptation.


message 8: by Cynda (last edited May 01, 2018 04:24PM) (new)

Cynda  (cynda) Jason wrote: "Yes. Brutus is the only conspirator who is putting what he believes to be the good of Rome ahead of personal gain even ahead of his love and devotion for Caesar.

I also read that when Brutus acte..."


Both things seem to be happening
In Act I, scene i, Lucius makes a late night call on Brutus and feeds on Brutus' fear:

It must be by his death. And, for my part,
I know no personal cause to spurn at him,
But for the general. He would be crown'd.
How that might change his nature, there's the
question.

So Brutus sets forth supposedly answering that question.
Yet he has listened to Cassius, now listens to Lucius, and poses a question to himself. Yet he never talks with/considers what Caesar's supporters say. In the play, there is only 1 supporter, but in real life there would have been more.


message 9: by Cynda (last edited May 01, 2018 06:56PM) (new)

Cynda  (cynda) Jason wrote: "Whoever wrote the Shakespeare plays, they are wonderful.

This play centers on on the conspiracy of the Roman senate and the assassination of Julius Caesar which led to the fall of the Roman Repub..."


Hi Magdalena. I would start by watching the plays. Stay away from BBC productions. There is not on drop of humor in those productions. I prefer the Globe productions and the New Shakespeare productions. They do many of the comedies. You can sometimes find these productions at the library. You can sometimes find their productions on YouTube in parts, so be prepared for watching plays in about 11 parts. I think of it as stage change.
I think starting with the comedies is easiest. Not so much history to understand. Just start with enjoying Shakespeare. Start with knowing you will likely not have a good understanding of everything. Just go with it until you start understanding more and want to read/watch more.

Edit: Also very good some major movie productions such as Zefferilli's 1968 production of Romeo and Juliet. Overly dramatic but actually played by teenagers with all their angst.


message 10: by Magdalena (new)

Magdalena | 414 comments Thanks Cynda, I have seen quite a few film adaptations one of my favorite that I've seen was the 1993 version of Much Ado About Nothing. I've seen the 2013 version of Romeo and Juliet and although I didn't hate it I thought the acting could have been better I've been planing on watching the 60s one since everyone says it's better.


message 11: by Meli (new)

Meli (melihooker) | 3673 comments Magdalena,
Have you seen the 1996 version of Romeo and Juliet (Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead roles)? I recently rewatched it and love it. Modern setting, but classic Shakespeare lines. The soundtrack is really good too.


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