Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

Julius Caesar (1623)

by William Shakespeare

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,15861497 (3.71)166



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 166 mentions

English (57)  Portuguese (1)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (61)
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
New prompt for 117S students:

Everyone’s A Hero, In Their Own Way

Who is the hero of Julius Caesar? Do characters think of themselves—or other characters—as heroes or villains? How is morality ambiguous? What is the relationship between virtue and power (and/or leadership)? How is virtue demonstrated and how is virtue used rhetorically? How is the morality of characters relevant to Rome as a state? Please craft a focused argument, supported with close readings of the text, in response to one or more of these (or other) questions.

Old comparative prompt for 117A:

"All the World's a Stage"

Compare the use of meta-theater in two plays of your choice. Some potential avenues of inquiry include:

-Examine how performances--like Pyramus and Thisbe in A Midsummer Night's Dream and the conspirators' performance in Julius Caesar--are used in different genres.
-Analyze how language changes, or does not change, during moments of acting.
-What are the goals of meta-theater and are they met? What makes a performance successful or unsuccessful?
-What is the relationship between acting and social class? Compare how people in different positions, such as the rude mechanicals and Richard III, perform.
-How do plays-within-plays mirror, invert, or represent the values or relationships of the larger text?
  Marjorie_Jensen | Nov 12, 2015 |
This Roman play by Shakespeare is based on Plutarch's [b:Lives of the noble Grecians and Romans|279456|Lives, Vol 2|Plutarch|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320436991s/279456.jpg|17046298] (Caesar and Marcus Brutus). One might call it an adapted stage play, since the majority of the plot and dialogues in the play have been incorporated directly from Plutarch. But I noticed a significant difference when comparing the two renditions: Shakespeare failed to capture the complexity, magnificence, and more importantly, the political philosophy and moral mentality of the noble Romans.

Caesar, the title character, is killed midway through the play, and we know next to nothing about him. The words that Shakespeare put into his mouth (apart from those recorded by Plutarch) can be said by any self-conceited individual, and do not capture the uniqueness of the Dictator of Rome, his personal charisma, magnanimity, industry, calculation and ambition, as attested by Plutarch and Cicero.

Brutus, a man of moral integrity and Stoic virtue, and respected by all, was accused as a traitor by Mark Antony, in the famous speech "I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him" and the climax of the entire play. This same Antony, according to Cicero and Plutarch, was "the Helen of Troy", unrestrained in lust and passion but deficient in moral character, and brought destruction upon the Roman Republic, but he came away a manipulative demagogue, nay, a popular hero, in Shakespeare's play.

It is worth noting that Brutus was condemned as a traitor by Dante as well, and assigned to the lowest circle of the Inferno, gorged by Satan for eternity. However, Dante was not quite consistent in his judgment, since he brought Caesar and Cicero together in Limbo as virtuous pagans, perhaps not realizing that there was bitter enmity of ideals between the two, and the latter "rejoiced at the slaughter" of the former.

From the perspective of the Roman Republic, the assassination of Caesar was not an act of betrayal or murder, but a continuation of the Civil War between the declining Republic and the emerging Empire, a struggle between freedom and tyranny. Brutus fought with the Republic forces led by Pompey against Caesar, and after Pompey's defeat and death, he was pardoned by Caesar. On the one hand, he was indebted to Caesar for sparing his life, on the other hand, he was robbed by Caesar of his freedom as a citizen of the Republic, i.e., he was enslaved by Caesar along with the rest of the Romans. Therefore, the assassination was not a preemptive strike against Caesar's ambition, as Shakespeare depicted it, but a struggle/rebellion against a de facto tyrant. To give a modern parallel, who would not have rejoiced if Hitler had been assassinated?

The nuances of moral and political thought in ancient Rome are lost in Shakespeare's play. As if to compensate for the lack of depth in thought, he expands a great deal on the relationship between Brutus and Cassius, who was mentioned by Plutarch only in passing. Their relationship occupies the center stage throughout, akin to that between Bassanio and Antonio in [b:The Merchant of Venice|24128|The Merchant of Venice|William Shakespeare|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327871054s/24128.jpg|2682703]--it's not mere coincidence that Brutus' wife and Bassanio's fiance share the same name. Shakespeare almost seems to insinuate that Cassius instigated the assassination of Caesar, not because of his hatred of the tyrant and desire for freedom, but because of his jealousy of Brutus' love for Caesar, the same reason Harmodius and Aristogeiton assassinated the tyrant Hipparchus in ancient Greece, according to some accounts.


I met Brutus three years ago, and still vividly remember the encounter. I was crossing the street, when a lady behind me called out, "Brutus!" I looked around, and saw a black retriever run past me, with a red shopping bag dangling from his jaw. I stared at him in amusement, wondering what had become of the Roman hero/assassin. In hindsight, Antony would have been a more fitting name for the lady's personal shopping assistant.
  booksontrial | Oct 13, 2015 |
A wonderful classic that truly speaks to the duality of man and his eternal search for not only power, but those that are truly pure at heart. Amazing how many quotes and sayings have come from this piece of literature. ( )
  Clancy.Coonradt | Sep 9, 2015 |
Enh I don't know what I can tell you about this. Antony's funeral oration is fairly amusing. ( )
  jhudsui | Jun 17, 2015 |
'Tis happened upon chance that mine eyes have read the tale of Julius Caesar. For sooth, a great tragedy were 't. Yet happiness was clutch't betwixt mine hands that such wordsmithings are imbued into my corpus of knowledge. Brutus was not a noble understood, know that I now. It has cometh to pass that Royal Antony's quotes sitteth in upon my vernacular at the ready. What pleasure shall I give mine eyes to scan upon next? Be it, I prayeth, one of Sir William's comedies, for these tragedic readings have ravaged vexings upon my soul. Twelfth Night? Much Ado About Nothing? Instruct me, fellow plebeians. ( )
  MartinBodek | Jun 11, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (163 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Shakespeare, Williamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Andrews, John F.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Atwan, RobertEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baldini, GabrieleEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Barnett, SlyvanEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bevington, David M.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bloom, HaroldContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Books, PennyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Braunmuller, Albert R.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brooke, TuckerEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Daniell, DavidEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dreyfuss, RichardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elloway, David ReginaldEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Furness, Horace Howard, JrEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gill, RomaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grammer, KelseyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hadfield, Andrew DavidEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hampden, PhilipEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harrison, George B.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hawinkels, PéTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Horsley, E. F.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hulme, H. M.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, Pei te HurinuiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kastan, David ScottEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keach, StacyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kittredge, George LymanEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
LaMar, Virginia A.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lambert, Daniel HenryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mason, LawrenceEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mowat, Barbara A.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Orgel, StephenEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Quiller-Couch, ArthurEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Raffel, BurtonEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rolfe, William J.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosen, BarbaraEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosen, WilliamEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seward, TimothyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taylor, George CoffinEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thurber, SamuelEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Westine, PaulEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
White, Richard GrantEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Williams, JoBethNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, John DoverEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wright, Louis B.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is contained in

Is retold in

Is a (non-series) prequel to

Has the adaptation

Is abridged in

Was inspired by

Has as a student's study guide

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Hence! Home, you idle creatures get you home!
Beware the ides of March.
Cowards die many times before their deaths;

The valiant never taste of death but once.

Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,

It seems to me most strange that men should fear;

Seeing that death, a necessary end,

Will come when it will come.
Et tu, Brute!
For Brutus is an honourable man;

So are they all, all honourable men.
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;

I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.

The evil that men do lives after them;

The good is oft interred with their bones.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (4)

Book description
"BEWARE THE IDES OF MARCH." Julius Caesar is one of Shakespeare's most popular plays. It is about how Caesar is plotted against and eventually murdered and overthrown by some of his closest friends. Brutus, the closest friend and main plotter of the murder, ends up murdering himself and his conscious gets the better of him. This book is the epitome of betrayal and is referred to and alluded to all throughout literature.
Haiku summary
Men plot a murder
against a would-be tyrant.
Then they start a war. (marcusbrutus)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743482743, Mass Market Paperback)

Folger Shakespeare Library

The world's leading center for Shakespeare studies

Each edition includes:

• Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play

• Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play

• Scene-by-scene plot summaries

• A key to famous lines and phrases

• An introduction to reading Shakespeare's language

• An essay by an outstanding scholar providing a modern perspective on the play

• Illustrations from the Folger Shakespeare Library's vast holdings of rare books

Essay by Coppélia Kahn

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., is home to the world's largest collection of Shakespeare's printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:03 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

Contains an introduction to the play, the text of the play, and notes.

» see all 27 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.71)
0.5 1
1 18
1.5 16
2 115
2.5 19
3 357
3.5 61
4 464
4.5 52
5 304


6 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140714685, 0141012390

Yale University Press

An edition of this book was published by Yale University Press.

» Publisher information page

Recorded Books

2 editions of this book were published by Recorded Books.

Editions: 1456109464, 144988234X

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 100,873,576 books! | Top bar: Always visible