Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar

3.9 80
by William Shakespeare

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Julius Caesar is one of Shakespeare's most majestic works. Set in the tumultuous days of ancient Rome, this play is renowned for its memorable characters and political intrigue, and it has been captivating audiences and readers since it was first presented more than 400 years ago. This invaluable new study guide to one of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies contains a…  See more details below


Julius Caesar is one of Shakespeare's most majestic works. Set in the tumultuous days of ancient Rome, this play is renowned for its memorable characters and political intrigue, and it has been captivating audiences and readers since it was first presented more than 400 years ago. This invaluable new study guide to one of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies contains a selection of the finest criticism through the centuries on Julius Caesar, including commentaries by such important critics as Ben Jonson, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Kenneth Burke, and many others. Students will also benefit from the additional features in this volume, including an introduction by Harold Bloom, an accessible summary of the plot, an analysis of several key passages, a comprehensive list of characters, a biography of Shakespeare, essays discussing the main currents of criticism in each century since Shakespeare's time, and more.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The latest in Yale's "Annotated Shakespeare" series are two of the old boy's greatest hits. Besides the scholarly texts, these include lists of suggested further reading, essays, and more. Fab for the price. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Paul A. Cantor
"John Cox's edition of Julius Caesar is very user-friendly—it has copious and concise explanatory notes, generous selections from Shakespeare's sources, and a critical introduction that does a remarkable job of highlighting the main lines of interpreting the play over the centuries."
From the Publisher

“John Cox’s edition of Julius Caesar is very user-friendly—it has copious and concise explanatory notes, generous selections from Shakespeare’s sources, and a critical introduction that does a remarkable job of highlighting the main lines of interpreting the play over the centuries.” — Paul A. Cantor, Clifton Waller Barrett Professor of English, University of Virginia

Children's Literature - Deborah Helton
Julius Caesar tells the story of Caesar and his death at the hands of those he considered friends. It is one of the most famous of William Shakespeare's plays. Caesar is offered the crown three times and refuses it every time. But there are those among him that fear him becoming king. They persuade Brutus, a loyal and just Roman, that Caesar is selfish and pull him into their plot to kill Caesar. They plan to kill Antony, Caesar's true friend, but Brutus will not allow it. When Caesar is murdered, Antony carries his body and persuades the crowd to turn against the conspirators, forcing them to leave Rome behind. However, leaving Rome will not save them from what fate has in store. This graphic novel is an amazing read. The illustrations beautifully capture what Shakespeare portrays and bring Julius Caesar to life. Bowen does a fabulous job of retelling this classic. What a great way of bringing Shakespeare to today's youth. At the end of the story there are sections that share the history of Shakespeare, the play and even interpret some of the famous lines into modern language. Readers are sure to love this beautiful depiction of Shakespeare's work. Reviewer: Deborah Helton
Children's Literature - Kathie M. Josephs
This is a great way to introduce Shakespeare's works. Part of the "Graphic Shakespeare" series the speech bubbles are original Shakespearian dialog. The beginning of the book includes the cast of characters with their pictures. The setting gives a very brief overview of Julius Caesar and why many senators in Rome wanted to get rid of him. At the end of the book, the author includes a section entitled "Behind Julius Caesar" which provides much more information about what is going on in the story. Since this book is written in Shakespeare's dialog, I would have liked to have had this section at the beginning of the book so readers could get a better grasp of what is actually happening and why. Also found at the end of the book are Famous Phrases such as "Et tu, Brute!", information about the author, other works by Shakespeare, a glossary, and web sites. Graphic novels are a favorite of mine as they are perfect for a reluctant reader. They are also perfect for a struggling reader who will more than likely find success in reading this one. From the first to last page, the writing will hold the readers' interest. It is a great book to be read over and over again. Both boys and girls will enjoy this story. This is perfect for expanding school and personal libraries. Reviewer: Kathie M. Josephs

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Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Shakespeare Series
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt

Act 1 Scene 1 running scene 1

Enter Flavius, Murellus and certain Commoners over the stage

FLAVIUS Hence! Home, you idle creatures, get you home:

Is this a holiday? What, know you not,

Being mechanical, you ought not walk

Upon a labouring day, without the sign

Of your profession?- Speak, what trade art thou?

CARPENTER Why, sir, a carpenter.

MURELLUS Where is thy leather apron, and thy rule?

What dost thou with thy best apparel on?-

You, sir, what trade are you?

COBBLER Truly, sir, in respect of a fine workman, I am but as you would say, a cobbler.

MURELLUS But what trade art thou? Answer me directly.

COBBLER A trade, sir, that I hope, I may use with a safe conscience, which is indeed, sir, a mender of bad soles.

FLAVIUS What trade, thou knave? Thou naughty knave, what trade?

COBBLER Nay I beseech you, sir, be not out with me: yet if you be out, sir, I can mend you.

MURELLUS What mean'st thou by that? Mend me, thou saucy fellow?

COBBLER Why sir, cobble you.

FLAVIUS Thou art a cobbler, art thou?

COBBLER Truly sir, all that I live by is with the awl. I meddle with no tradesman's matters, nor women's matters; but withal I am indeed, sir, a surgeon to old shoes: when they are in great danger, I recover them. As proper men as ever trod upon neat's leather have gone upon my handiwork.

FLAVIUS But wherefore art not in thy shop today?

Why dost thou lead these men about the streets?

COBBLER Truly, sir, to wear out their shoes, to get myself into more work. But indeed, sir, we make holiday to see Caesar and to rejoice in his triumph.

MURELLUS Wherefore rejoice? What conquest brings he home?

What tributaries follow him to Rome

To grace in captive bonds his chariot wheels?

You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things:

O you hard hearts, you cruel men of Rome,

Knew you not Pompey? Many a time and oft

Have you climbed up to walls and battlements,

To towers and windows? Yea, to chimney-tops,

Your infants in your arms, and there have sat

The livelong day, with patient expectation,

To see great Pompey pass the streets of Rome:

And when you saw his chariot but appear,

Have you not made an universal shout,

That Tiber trembled underneath her banks

To hear the replication of your sounds

Made in her concave shores?

And do you now put on your best attire?

And do you now cull out a holiday?

And do you now strew flowers in his way

That comes in triumph over Pompey's blood?

Be gone!

Run to your houses, fall upon your knees,

Pray to the gods to intermit the plague

That needs must light on this ingratitude.

FLAVIUS Go, go, good countrymen, and for this fault

Assemble all the poor men of your sort;

Draw them to Tiber banks, and weep your tears

Into the channel till the lowest stream

Do kiss the most exalted shores of all.-

Exeunt all the Commoners

See where their basest mettle be not moved:

They vanish tongue-tied in their guiltiness.

Go you down that way towards the Capitol,

This way will I: disrobe the images

If you do find them decked with ceremonies.

MURELLUS May we do so?

You know it is the feast of Lupercal.

FLAVIUS It is no matter. Let no images

Be hung with Caesar's trophies. I'll about

And drive away the vulgar from the streets;

So do you too, where you perceive them thick.

These growing feathers plucked from Caesar's wing

Will make him fly an ordinary pitch,

Who else would soar above the view of men,

And keep us all in servile fearfulness. Exeunt

[Act 1 Scene 2] running scene 1 continues

Enter Caesar, Antony for the course, Calpurnia, Portia, Decius, Cicero, Brutus, Cassius, Casca, a Soothsayer, after them Murellus and Flavius

CAESAR Calpurnia.

CASCA Peace, ho! Caesar speaks.

CAESAR Calpurnia.

CALPURNIA Here, my lord.

CAESAR Stand you directly in Antonio's way

When he doth run his course. Antonio!

ANTONY Caesar, my lord.

CAESAR Forget not in your speed, Antonio,

To touch Calpurnia, for our elders say,

The barren touchèd in this holy chase

Shake off their sterile curse.

ANTONY I shall remember.

When Caesar says 'Do this' it is performed.

CAESAR Set on, and leave no ceremony out. Music


CAESAR Ha? Who calls?

CASCA Bid every noise be still: peace yet again! Music stops

CAESAR Who is it in the press that calls on me?

I hear a tongue shriller than all the music,

Cry 'Caesar!' Speak, Caesar is turned to hear.

SOOTHSAYER Beware the Ides of March.

CAESAR What man is that?

BRUTUS A soothsayer bids you beware the Ides of March.

CAESAR Set him before me: let me see his face.

CASSIUS Fellow, come from the throng: look upon Caesar. Soothsayer comes forward

CAESAR What say'st thou to me now? Speak once again.

SOOTHSAYER Beware the Ides of March.

CAESAR He is a dreamer. Let us leave him: pass.

Sennet. Exeunt. Brutus and Cassius remain

CASSIUS Will you go see the order of the course?


CASSIUS I pray you do.

BRUTUS I am not gamesome: I do lack some part

Of that quick spirit that is in Antony.

Let me not hinder, Cassius, your desires;

I'll leave you.

CASSIUS Brutus, I do observe you now of late:

I have not from your eyes that gentleness

And show of love as I was wont to have:

You bear too stubborn and too strange a hand

Over your friend, that loves you.

BRUTUS Cassius,

Be not deceived: if I have veiled my look,

I turn the trouble of my countenance

Merely upon myself. Vexed I am

Of late with passions of some difference,

Conceptions only proper to myself

Which give some soil, perhaps, to my behaviours.

But let not therefore my good friends be grieved -

Among which number, Cassius, be you one -

Nor construe any further my neglect

Than that poor Brutus, with himself at war,

Forgets the shows of love to other men.

CASSIUS Then, Brutus, I have much mistook your passion,

By means whereof this breast of mine hath buried

Thoughts of great value, worthy cogitations.

Tell me, good Brutus, can you see your face?

BRUTUS No, Cassius, for the eye sees not itself

But by reflection, by some other things.

CASSIUS 'Tis just,

And it is very much lamented, Brutus,

That you have no such mirrors as will turn

Your hidden worthiness into your eye,

That you might see your shadow: I have heard,

Where many of the best respect in Rome -

Except immortal Caesar - speaking of Brutus,

And groaning underneath this age's yoke,

Have wished that noble Brutus had his eyes.

BRUTUS Into what dangers would you lead me, Cassius,

That you would have me seek into myself

For that which is not in me?

CASSIUS Therefore, good Brutus, be prepared to hear:

And since you know you cannot see yourself

So well as by reflection, I your glass

Will modestly discover to yourself

That of yourself which you yet know not of.

And be not jealous on me, gentle Brutus:

Were I a common laughter, or did use

To stale with ordinary oaths my love

To every new protester, if you know

That I do fawn on men, and hug them hard,

And after scandal them, or if you know

That I profess myself in banqueting

To all the rout, then hold me dangerous.

Flourish, and shout

BRUTUS What means this shouting? I do fear the people

Choose Caesar for their king.

CASSIUS Ay, do you fear it?

Then must I think you would not have it so.

BRUTUS I would not, Cassius, yet I love him well.

But wherefore do you hold me here so long?

What is it that you would impart to me?

If it be aught toward the general good,

Set honour in one eye, and death i'th'other,

And I will look on both indifferently.

For let the gods so speed me, as I love

The name of honour more than I fear death.

CASSIUS I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus,

As well as I do know your outward favour.

Well, honour is the subject of my story:

I cannot tell what you and other men

Think of this life, but for my single self,

I had as lief not be as live to be

In awe of such a thing as I myself.

I was born free as Caesar, so were you:

We both have fed as well, and we can both

Endure the winter's cold as well as he,

For once, upon a raw and gusty day,

The troubled Tiber chafing with her shores,

Caesar said to me, 'Dar'st thou, Cassius, now

Leap in with me into this angry flood

And swim to yonder point?' Upon the word,

Accoutrèd as I was, I plungèd in

And bade him follow: so indeed he did.

The torrent roared, and we did buffet it

With lusty sinews, throwing it aside,

And stemming it with hearts of controversy.

But ere we could arrive the point proposed,

Caesar cried, 'Help me, Cassius, or I sink!'

I - as Aeneas, our great ancestor,

Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder

The old Anchises bear - so from the waves of Tiber

Did I the tired Caesar: and this man

Is now become a god, and Cassius is

A wretched creature, and must bend his body

If Caesar carelessly but nod on him.

He had a fever when he was in Spain,

And when the fit was on him I did mark

How he did shake: 'tis true, this god did shake,

His coward lips did from their colour fly,

And that same eye, whose bend doth awe the world,

Did lose his lustre: I did hear him groan:

Ay, and that tongue of his that bade the Romans

Mark him, and write his speeches in their books,

'Alas', it cried, 'Give me some drink, Titinius',

As a sick girl. Ye gods, it doth amaze me

A man of such a feeble temper should

So get the start of the majestic world

And bear the palm alone.

Shout. Flourish

BRUTUS Another general shout?

I do believe that these applauses are

For some new honours that are heaped on Caesar.

CASSIUS Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world

Like a Colossus, and we petty men

Walk under his huge legs and peep about

To find ourselves dishonourable graves.

Men at some time are masters of their fates.

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars

But in ourselves, that we are underlings.

Brutus and Caesar: what should be in that 'Caesar'?

Why should that name be sounded more than yours?

Write them together, yours is as fair a name:

Sound them, it doth become the mouth as well:

Weigh them, it is as heavy: conjure with 'em,

Brutus will start a spirit as soon as Caesar.

Now in the names of all the gods at once,

Upon what meat doth this our Caesar feed

That he is grown so great? - Age, thou art shamed! -

Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods! -

When went there by an age, since the great flood,

But it was famed with more than with one man?

When could they say, till now, that talked of Rome,

That her wide walks encompassed but one man?

Now is it Rome indeed, and room enough

When there is in it but one only man.

O, you and I have heard our fathers say

There was a Brutus once that would have brooked

Th'eternal devil to keep his state in Rome

As easily as a king.

BRUTUS That you do love me, I am nothing jealous:

What you would work me to, I have some aim:

How I have thought of this and of these times

I shall recount hereafter. For this present,

I would not - so with love I might entreat you -

Be any further moved. What you have said

I will consider, what you have to say

I will with patience hear, and find a time

Both meet to hear and answer such high things.

Till then, my noble friend, chew upon this:

Brutus had rather be a villager

Than to repute himself a son of Rome

Under these hard conditions as this time

Is like to lay upon us.

CASSIUS I am glad that my weak words

Have struck but thus much show of fire from Brutus.

Enter Caesar and his train

BRUTUS The games are done, and Caesar is returning.

CASSIUS As they pass by, pluck Casca by the sleeve,

And he will, after his sour fashion, tell you

What hath proceeded worthy note today.

BRUTUS I will do so: but look you, Cassius,

The angry spot doth glow on Caesar's brow,

And all the rest look like a chidden train:

Calpurnia's cheek is pale, and Cicero

Looks with such ferret and such fiery eyes

As we have seen him in the Capitol

Being crossed in conference by some senators.

CASSIUS Casca will tell us what the matter is.

CAESAR Antonio.

ANTONY Caesar?

CAESAR Let me have men about me that are fat,

Sleek-headed men, and such as sleep a-nights.

Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look:

He thinks too much: such men are dangerous.

ANTONY Fear him not, Caesar, he's not dangerous.

He is a noble Roman, and well given.

CAESAR Would he were fatter! But I fear him not:

Yet if my name were liable to fear,

I do not know the man I should avoid

So soon as that spare Cassius. He reads much,

He is a great observer, and he looks

Quite through the deeds of men. He loves no plays,

As thou dost, Antony: he hears no music:

Seldom he smiles, and smiles in such a sort

As if he mocked himself, and scorned his spirit

That could be moved to smile at anything.

Such men as he be never at heart's ease

Whiles they behold a greater than themselves,

And therefore are they very dangerous.

I rather tell thee what is to be feared

Than what I fear, for always I am Caesar.

Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf,

And tell me truly what thou think'st of him.

Sennet. Exeunt Caesar and his train

CASCA You pulled me by the cloak: would you speak

with me?

BRUTUS Ay, Casca, tell us what hath chanced today

that Caesar looks so sad.

CASCA Why, you were with him, were you not?

BRUTUS I should not then ask Casca what had chanced.

CASCA Why, there was a crown offered him; and being offered him, he put it by with the back of his hand, thus, and then the people fell a-shouting.

BRUTUS What was the second noise for?

CASCA Why, for that too.

CASSIUS They shouted thrice: what was the last cry for?

CASCA Why, for that too.

BRUTUS Was the crown offered him thrice?

CASCA Ay, marry, was't, and he put it by thrice, every time gentler than other; and at every putting-by, mine honest neighbours shouted.

CASSIUS Who offered him the crown?

CASCA Why, Antony.

BRUTUS Tell us the manner of it, gentle Casca.

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Julius Caesar (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 80 reviews.
MMLovejoy More than 1 year ago
As an experienced high school English teacher, I always advise my students and their parents to purchase a Folger's edition of Shakespeare's plays. The notes, summaries, and other commentary serve the novice Shakespearean reader well and make the classical allusions and denotations of unfamiliar and common words and phrases from the Elizabethan age much easier for 21st Century readers to understand.
Guest More than 1 year ago
First of all, this is by far my favorite Shakespeare play however, I object to one aspect of it. Wait a moment, Shakepeare fans! Refrain from biting your thumbs at me until you know the nature of my complaint. The play is entitled Julius Caesar, but I do not think that the play was about Caesar. Yes, it was about his Rome. Yes, he was about to be made king. Yes, it is he who is killed. On the contrary, the play mainly centers around Brutus that is why I could not put the book down until I had finished it (in one sitting, yes). It was the tragedy of noble Brutus, not the assasination of Caesar, that captivated me. Idealistic at best, Brutus's oratory in which he said he loved Rome more than his beloved Caesar was one of those chilling moments in literature that reminds us why readers read and why writers write. Then, another gem, Cassius's famous line (above) is more true than we give it credit, especially in the United States. In short, 'Beware the ides of March!'
Noticer More than 1 year ago
In high school we had to read Romeo and Juliet and the emphasis of the teacher was to just about memorize the play. Didn't enjoy Shakespeare in high school but picked up some of the Shakespeare plays published by Barnes & Noble and to my surprise have read Juliet Caesar as well as The Merchant of Venice and found them not just easy reading but enjoyable. Have now picked up Othello, King Lear and Macbeth so if you are interested in reading Shakespeare without problems or have to read for a class would definitely recommend the Barnes & Noble publications.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of Shakespeare's best plays! The plot and the story is captivating and even more engrossing because of the historical fact behind it. You see Caesar's assasination in a new light in a simple to read, short play!
Vovo More than 1 year ago
Julius Caesar is surprisingly easy enough to read even with the old English, and there is so much that underlies each and every word. Shakespeare certainly sets a fine example of what is needed in a good script. By using such eloquently intense words alone, he spins a silk web around the reader, hypnotically playing the scenes before one's eyes. Stripped down, the plot focuses on Brutus and Antony and their separate ideals for the one woman they both love: Rome. "The sun of Rome is set! Our day is gone; Clouds, dews, and dangers come; our deeds are done!"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Arrived quickly and looked new.
NDeramo More than 1 year ago
The tragic, historical drama Julius Caesar, written by William Shakespeare in 1599 as a way to safely comment on the political turmoil in England at the time, tells the story of the events surrounding the assassination of Julius Caesar, including its consequences and causes. Brutus' role in the act and its effects on him are also explored as he tries to decide what is best for the Republic. The involvement and motivations of several other pivotal Romans are included as well. The conflict between loyalty to people and loyalty to principles is central to the play. Persuasion and rhetoric are also very important, as are Fate and free-will. Idealism vs realism is also a big part of the story, as it is the main difference between Brutus and Antony and Octavian.  The play is interesting, especially for those who are interested in history. The fact that neither side is really wrong or right helps make the story thought-provoking, as is the fact that the play has no villains. Unfortunately, because most of the major details of the plot are common knowledge, most readers will never be surprised by anything that happens. Despite this, I still found the play interesting. It can be an informative source of information for readers who do not know much about that period. I think that the play excluded background information, such as the dire state of the Republic at the time, which would have helped the reader better understand points of view of the Conspirators and Caesar's followers. I also think that some of the characters could have been better portrayed, specifically Antony and that his complicated relationship with Octavian could have been included. The play didn't affect me much or change my opinions on the topic because I have studied the events that the play is based on in great detail prior to reading the play. This play was my second favorite of Shakespeare’s that I have read so far.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don't get this. When compared to the actual book, the spelling is completely different. You are better off getting the paperback copy of the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
emma-bear_ More than 1 year ago
Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare is the tragedy of Julius Caesar and Marcus Brutus. This was Shakespeare's transition from history plays to his famous tragedies. Overall, it is just another Shakespeare book, difficult to understand, but having a nice story when looking back on it. Not awful, but not the best
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Best play written by him, EVER!!!!
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Oh ceezah reaf mine first for mines a suit that touches ceezah neeerah read it great ceezah!
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