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Caesar and Cleopatra by George Bernard Shaw
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Caesar and Cleopatra (1898)

by George Bernard Shaw

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
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 the dialogue with Shaw's sardonicism. This is one not to be missed, a double treat if you read/view it as I did. ( )
1 vote janerawoof | Jun 8, 2015 |
An entertaining but inaccurate account of Caesar's brief foray with Cleopatra during the Alexandrian War in Ptolemaic Egpyt. Shaw's style is simple and engaging, and sometimes humorous. A good (and brief) read, but better to get your history elsewhere. ( )
1 vote la2bkk | May 5, 2015 |
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 palace, and soldiers."

and a bit later:

"Belzanor is a typical veteran, tough and wilful; prompt, capable and crafty where brute force will serve; helpless and boyish when it will not: an effective sergeant, an incompetent general, a deplorable dictator. Would, if influentially connected, be employed in the two last capacities by a modern European State on the strength of his success in the first. Is rather to be pitied just now in view of the fact that Julius Caesar is invading his country." ( )
  leslie.98 | Feb 9, 2015 |
Shaw presents us with truly human characters, a Caesar with strength, wisdom, humanity and a little vanity. A Cleopatra who acts her age -- unsure and frightened and superstitious as she surely must have been in the presence of the Romans. ( )
  AliceAnna | Oct 13, 2014 |
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He who has never hoped can never despair.
When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140481001, Paperback)

Political comedy at its best, Caesar and Cleopatra takes on the themes of imperialism and leadership as only George Bernard Shaw can. Set amidst the Roman conquest of Egypt, the play pits the mature statesmanship of Julius Caesar against the naïve ambition of Cleopatra. It imagines Caesar's first meeting with Clepatra and their subsequent plotting as Caesar attempts to subdue Egypt and Cleopatra tries to eliminate her brother and rival claimant for the throne. Assassination and intrigue, romance and betrayal, all are dealt with in Shaw's inimitable comic style. Caesar and Cleopatra represents a mature Shaw, who revolutionized the British theatre by combining exceptionally entertaining comedy with incisive and relevant themes.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:25 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Caesar and Cleopatra is a play written by George Bernard Shaw. Shaw wants to prove that it was not love but politics that drew Cleopatra to Julius Caesar. Caesar understands the importance of good government, and values these things above art and love.… (more)

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