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on December 6, 2015
good
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on October 15, 2015
It's great
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on June 14, 2015
great book
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on June 9, 2015
Good book.
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on March 1, 2013
These texts are great for anyone challenging Shakespeare. The side-by-side text of original and modern language makes the interpretation of this great play so much easier.
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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...
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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...
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on January 8, 2007
"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
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on June 19, 2004
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.
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on May 27, 2004
Before I begin, I would like to point out three things. One, I am only a middle-school student (this was an honours class project); two, this is my first review; three, I am reviewing the unabridged, original dialogue version. Thank you.
William Shakespeare is hailed as the greatest writer ever, yet (based on people I've met) very few people have read even a single one of his works. I expected it to be required reading in high school or, at the very least, college. Alas, it is not. This is a disappointment, as I truly enjoyed reading this play, my first encounter with Shakespeare.
Julius Caesar is a tale of honor and betrayal. Pompey, a beloved Roman leader, is defeated in civil war with Caesar. A small brotherhood, let by Marcus Brutus, is still devoted to him after his death, and wants nothing less than the assassination of their new leader. I had expected Caesar's death ("Et tu, Bruté? Then fall Caesar.") to be near the end of the book. However, it turned out to be within the third of five acts. The rest of the book is devoted to the attempts by Brutus's followers and Marc Antony (a dear friend of Caesar, and Brutus's enemy) to get the populace to believe in and follow that person's views, and turn them against the other people's ideals. Marc Antony, an orator with the ability to, in essence, brainwash an entire city with a short speech ("Friends, Romans, Countrymen, / Lend me your ears!"), convinces Rome to turn on Brutus's brotherhood. How their conflict is settled is, by far, the most captivating and entrancing parts of the play.
With the plot discussed, I will move on to what makes this a challenging read: dialogue. Being a work from the Elizabethan Era, I (naively) expected words such as "forsooth" and manye more wordse endinge ine "e". As it turned out, this was not the case. There were archaic words that would elicit cocked heads of confusion from the average person. My saviour from the confusion turned out to be the footnotes in one of the versions I read. The phrase "They fall their crests, and like deceitful jades / Sink in the trial" becomes "They let their necks droop and, like weary nags, fail the test" (Brutus, A4 S2, L26/27). One is forced to scrutinise every single word, in order to receive a complete understanding of the goings-on.
The unabridged version of Julius Caesar is definitely not a piece one reads in one's free time; rather, it should be considered a serious task. Once you put the book down, you transform from reader to philosopher. You will instinctively begin to ponder the issues in whatever part of the book that you have just completed. I, personally, read one act at a time, then closed my eyes (or reread the act) to mull over what had just transpired. I was left with a better understanding of that portion, and a greater respect for the genius of Shakespeare.
Though this and the following sentences have nothing to do with the above review, I am obliged to put them in. My crusade in life is to get as many people as possible to read Congo, by Michael Crichton, and this is as good as any other place to post my propaganda. Please take the time to at least try the book.
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