Customer Reviews


34 Reviews
5 star:
 (23)
4 star:
 (6)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (3)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


5.0 out of 5 stars Friends, Romans, countrymen
Gaius Julius Cæsar is the Caesar we think of when we hear the word "Caesar" -- he conquered Gaul, bedded Cleopatra, and died a pretty dramatic death. And while he only appears in a few scenes of "Julius Caesar," he's the nucleus that William Shakespeare's taut conspiracy play revolves around -- his murder, his legacy, and the bitter jealousy he inspired.

Julius...
Published on April 30 2011 by E. A Solinas

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Julius Caesar
The book Julius Caesar was a very interesting and good book. Although the language was hard to understand in the beginning, you end up getting used to it and the book basically flows. I liked this book because it was very historical and interesting. One reason I did not like this book is because it did not give enough detail as to what was going on at a particular time...
Published on May 29 2003 by sally morrow


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

5.0 out of 5 stars Friends, Romans, countrymen, April 30 2011
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This review is from: Julius Caesar (Paperback)
Gaius Julius Cæsar is the Caesar we think of when we hear the word "Caesar" -- he conquered Gaul, bedded Cleopatra, and died a pretty dramatic death. And while he only appears in a few scenes of "Julius Caesar," he's the nucleus that William Shakespeare's taut conspiracy play revolves around -- his murder, his legacy, and the bitter jealousy he inspired.

Julius Caesar is returning to Rome in triumph, only to be stopped by a strange old soothsayer who warns him, "Beware the ides of March." Caesar brushes off the warning, but he has no idea that a conspiracy is brewing under his nose. In a nutshell, a group of senators led by the creepy Cassius are plotting against Caesar because of his wild popularity, suspecting that he wants to become KING.

And Cassius' latest target: Brutus, one of Caesar's best buddies. Brutus is slowly swayed over to the conspiracy's side, beginning to believe that Caesar as a great man corrupted by power. Everything comes to a a devastating assassination on... guess when... the ides of March, which will elevate some men to greatness and destroy others.

Though the story is supposedly about Julius Caesar, Caesar himself only has a few scenes -- but his charismatic, dominating presence hangs over the play like a heavy tapestry. What he does, what he plans, what he thinks and who he is are constantly on people's minds, and even after his death he is a powerful presence in the memories of the living.

And Shakespeare cooks up a dialogue-heavy play that is a bit on the slow side, but whose speeches are so powerful and intense that you don't quite notice. There's a lot of those speeches here -- not only Antony's famous speech to the Roman people ("The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones"), but Brutus' impassioned argument with Portia ("You have some sick offence within your mind") and Cassius' oily slanted editorials about Caesar.

Shakespeare's depiction of Brutus is also a beautifully nuanced one -- Antony calls him the "noblest Roman of them all" at the very end, despite the fact that Brutus calmly murdered his friend and leader. He's basically a gullible guy who follows his passions rather than his brain, and bounces into the conspiracy rather than trying to find out the truth about Caesar. You feel sorry for him, and at the same time you want the much smarter Antony to kick him like a soccer ball.

"Julius Caesar" is rather slow-moving, but Shakespeare's powerful writing and nuanced depiction of Brutus more than make up for that. Friends, Romans, countrymen...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Words can be as dangerous as weapons, when wielded with expertise..., Jan. 8 2007
By 
M. B. Alcat "Curiosity killed the cat, but sa... (Los Angeles, California) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Julius Caesar (Paperback)
"Julius Caesar" was written by William Shakespeare (1564-1616), and even though it is not as well-known as some of his other plays, it is a classic that should be read with the attention it deserves.

The main character is, of course, Julius Caesar, and this play tells us about his assassination. The plays also highlights how those who survived him tried to earn the approval of the fickle plebeians. In my opinion, one of the best scenes is that in which Brutus, and then Mark Anthony, speak to the plebeians. Brutus, depicted as an idealistic man that loved Caesar but feared his ambitions, stands by his actions and seems to be respected for taking a stand on behalf of the republic. However, soon enough Anthony starts his eulogy to Caesar, pointing out that Caesar cared for Rome above everything and that he had remembered the people of Rome in his testament. As a result of Anthony mastery of words, the plebeians turn their back on Brutus, and start a riot.

Truth to be told, "Julius Caesar" doesn't end there, but that scene is a turning point in the story, and perhaps more importantly, an excellent way to realize that words can be as dangerous as weapons, when wielded with expertise.

All in all, I can say that I liked this play. Yes, it is true that it is not overly easy to read, due to the fact that the language in which it is written is quite dated, but you can always buy a reading companion to "Julius Caesar", or an edition with good footnotes. And even though Shakespeare's English isn't "your" English, I think you will manage!

In my opinion, you should try to overcome that small inconvenient. The reasons for that are at least two. First, the story is interesting. Secondly, it is always a good idea to remember how important a good mastery of language is, and this play helps you to do exactly that. On the whole, recommended!

Belen Alcat
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Julius Caesar, June 19 2004
By 
This review is from: Julius Caesar (Mass Market Paperback)
This is one of Shakespeares most famous plays. I was required to read this play for school and I found that it was best when it was read aloud than when I read it too myself. It has been debated on whether Brutus or Caesar was the main character of the play and having read it i can see why. Julius Caesar is an essential role in the play as the dictator of Rome but Brutus is also a very important character. It is Brutus' internal conflict on whether or not he should betray his friend for the good of Rome that is the main subject of the beginning of the play. Also, many of Brutus' flaws like his bad judgement of character fuels the plot of the play. The lanuage is a little difficult to read but it enhances the play and the story. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in history or wants to read a compelling classic.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Roman political intrigue meets Elizabethan drama, Oct. 27 2003
By 
This review is from: Julius Caesar (Mass Market Paperback)
Not much is more sensational than the assassination of a major public figure; reading Act 3, Scene 1 of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar," in which the title character is stabbed and hacked to death by half a dozen conspirators, I feel like I'm depriving myself of a thrilling theatrical spectacle that must be seen to be appreciated. It is not necessary to know much about Caesar to sense the power of the drama; the play provides just enough background and information about Caesar's personality to suggest the reason for his murder and its consequences.
In historical actuality, Caesar's murder was in some ways the pivot around which Rome transformed from a republic into an empire, and the play, which Shakespeare bases faithfully on Plutarch's histories, is ultimately about the political struggle that drives this transformation. The main conspirator against Caesar, and the one to deal him the final blow, is Brutus, who foresees nothing but tyranny if Caesar is made a king. There is something atavistic about his attitude, for he is descended from the family that was instrumental in turning the kingdom of Rome into a republic five centuries earlier.
The scenes leading up to Caesar's murder build with forceful tension. We see Brutus discussing with his co-conspirator Cassius the dangers of Caesar's ascension and Cassius's sympathetic response, the conspirators meeting at night to plan their attack on Caesar in the Capitol, Caesar's disregard of a soothsayer's prophecies of doom, and then the bloody climax, even after which the drama loses not a bit of momentum: Brutus appeals to the people (the Plebeians) that the assassination of Caesar, whom they loved and did not at all consider a potential tyrant, was only for their own good; while Mark Antony, one of Caesar's triumvirate and an eloquent orator, cajoles the people with demagogic irony into suspecting the murder happened for no reason other than malice.
Shakespeare fashions Caesar and Brutus more or less as two sides of the same denarius. Caesar is physically frail and deaf in one ear, but that doesn't preclude his triumphant success as a general and a military strategist. He is also pompous and fatuously vain -- there is nothing he fears more than to appear cowardly to his peers. Brutus is cut out of the same stock of hubris, but his motivations are purely altruistic. He loves Rome -- as a republic -- and will do anything to save it from a dictator, even kill a man he considers a friend and attempt to ally himself with foreign nations to wage a civil war against the armies of the now-empowered Roman triumvirate. Shakespeare brings all of this to light in a humanistic portrait of one of the most fascinating figures from history and his idealistic destroyer.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent edition of Julius Caesar, Sept. 22 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Julius Caesar (Mass Market Paperback)
When it comes to Shakespeare, there really isn't a discussion about how good the play is...they are all fantastic and are all worth devoting time to read. When you buy, it comes down to the edition. The Folger library is the most obvious choice: they have very detailed introductions and on every left-hand side of the page, they explain certain phrases that have become phased out of the language. They also have a huge library on everything Shakespeare. This edition of Julius Caesar is certainly the best out there, and I reccomend you buy it. Oh, did I mention it's a great play?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD MORROW, JULUIS CAESAR, June 4 2003
By 
amy (MY SCHOOL.. SUFFERING SLOWLY) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Julius Caesar (Mass Market Paperback)
Julius Caesar was a play of epic proportions. Even though much of it was drawn out and needed more action, other parts were emotionally inspirational and uplifting. The portrayal of the character's visages was very acurate, and almost made me wonder if these were the true emotions of the people who's story was told.
I was a bit confused with the self sacrifice made by Portia to convince Brutus to confess to her his inner feelings, and was disgusted with every single one of the conspirators
I suggest that you should read this book. yes. YOU SHOULD. Even if you are familiar with the muder and slaughter of Caeasr, this book gives you an inside look at the inspirations of the conspirators.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Julius Caesar, May 29 2003
By 
This review is from: Julius Caesar (Mass Market Paperback)
The book Julius Caesar was a very interesting and good book. Although the language was hard to understand in the beginning, you end up getting used to it and the book basically flows. I liked this book because it was very historical and interesting. One reason I did not like this book is because it did not give enough detail as to what was going on at a particular time in the book. When Shakespeare wrote this book it really captured the language that he was trying to use. It was a well written play and you could tell. This play was like no other play that Shakespeare had written in his career; it is very original. All of the characters in this play have an important role in the play also. Such as Brutus and Cassius; the play would not be such a work of art without the characters in Julius Caesar. The betrayal and determination in this play is extensive making it a wonderful book. I recommend this book to all people who love to read a good book. It takes time to read and understand, but in the end you end up reading something that is a big part of Shakespeare's career. This is a book that is to be read with time to properly understand and value what is being said and to take into count the hardship and time put into the book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Friends, Romans, Web Surfers..., May 27 2003
By 
C. Fletcher (California) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Julius Caesar (Mass Market Paperback)
A while back, a friend of mine and I decided to pick a Shakespeare play every couple months, read it, then get together and discuss it.
It worked with pretty good results for ROMEO AND JULIET, but then we ran out of gas somewhere in the middle of our next selection, JULIUS CAESAR.
Now that I've finally finished reading the play long after our allotted "couple months," I have to say that the fault (the mutual disinterest that effectively brought our little Shakespeare club to a halt) doesn't lie in the play itself, but rather in my preconceptions of what the play was about.
I can't speak for my friend, but since I took the Cliff Notes route in high school when we were supposed to be reading about Caesar and Brutus and the rest of the treacherous Roman senate (and didn't do a very thorough job at that) I always assumed the play's action revolved around the plot to kill Caesar and culminated with his death scene. I wasn't prepared to find Caesar dead halfway through the play, with two-plus acts remaining. I think I just lost interest once Caesar blurted, "Et tu, Brute?" and slouched over lifeless on the cold marble.
But thankfully I eventually kept going, and discovered what the play is really about: the manipulation of the public that goes on after Caesar's death. The speeches in JULIUS CAESAR, given by those who would take his place, are full of the damage-control, image-making spin that happens everday on our "all news" channels. It's an interesting play, maybe not Shakespeare's best, but one that has certainly has some modern relevance and is worth examining.
Now if my friend and I can just get our club back on its feet. Maybe a comedy next time...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Profoundly Powerful - All Hail Caesar!!!, Nov. 7 2002
By 
Chris Salzer (Gainesville, GA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Julius Caesar (Mass Market Paperback)
"Cowards die many times before their deaths. The valiant never taste of death but once." - Caesar
Just one of the many brilliant quotes from this powerful and enduring tragedy, which happens to be amongst my very favorite Shakespeare. How could anyone not enjoy Marc Antony swaying the weak-minded and feeble-minded plebians with his vibrant and rousing speech? Julius Caesar is unquestionably quintessential Shakespeare, a monumental work that perhaps is surpassed only by Hamlet and rivaled by Othello, Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet, & King Lear.
Julius Caesar teaches us about the dangers and pitfalls of ambition, jealousy, power, as well as the sacrifice for the greater good - even if it is another's life. Amongst the bood-thirsty traiotors, only Brutus genuinely believes in the assassination of Caesar for the greater good of the Republic. Julius Caesar galvanizes the brain and awakens the spirit from within with scenes such as when Marc Antony proclaims, "Cry Havoc and let slip the dogs of war."
Countless amounts of quotes and passages throughout the play rank among my favorite Shakespeare. Needless to say, this book should be on the bookshelf of any and all with any semblance of intellect and enough cultivation to appreciate such superb literature.
The modern perspective following the text enlightens and should be read by anyone seeking more knowledge about this amazing tragedy and time in history. An irrepressible 5 stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Intense, Nov. 3 2002
By 
This review is from: Julius Caesar (Mass Market Paperback)
Shakespeare gives a whole new face to history, transforming Caesar's assassination into a conspiracy, in which the conspirators have some reluctancy to join in. Brutus, for example, is deeply tormented, as Caesar is his friend and trusts him, but he is manipulated by Cassius, who makes Brutus believe that his duty to the people of Rome should be greater than friendship, and that the Romans want Caesar dead. The book is an exploration into the human psyche, and changing characters. I find it interesting that, though the play is called "Julius Caesar", its central character is Brutus, who has to deal with the guilt of betrayal versus what he feels is a duty to the people versus his love of Caesar. Intense, breathtaking, dramatic.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xb002a6f0)

This product

Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare (Mass Market Paperback - Aug. 1 1992)
Used & New from: CDN$ 0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews