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Julius Caesar (Caedmon Shakespeare) Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook


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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: HarperAudio; abridged edition edition (1 Mar. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0694515833
  • ISBN-13: 978-0694515837
  • Product Dimensions: 12.3 x 14.1 x 1.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,226,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


Product Description

Amazon Review

One of Shakespeare's most political plays, Julius Caesar continued Shakespeare's interest in Roman history, first developed in Titus Andronicus. Drawing on Plutarch, the great historian of Rome, Shakespeare dramatises one of the most crucial moments in Roman history--the assassination of Julius Caesar. Loved by the Roman crowd but increasingly feared by the Senators, Caesar increasingly shows signs of his desire to abolish the Republic and crown himself emperor. A conspiracy is hatched, led by Cassius and Brutus, who murder Caesar on the steps of the Capitol. Mourning over his dead friend's body, Mark Antony gives one of the famous rhetorical speeches in literature, asking "Friends, Romans, Countrymen" to lament Caesar's death, privately vowing to "let slip the dogs of war" against those who have shed Caesar's blood. Antony joins forces with Caesar's son Octavius to defeat Cassius and Brutus in battle, and establish an uneasy alliance whose collapse is dramatised in Shakespeare's later play Antony and Cleopatra. Written at the end of Queen Elizabeth's reign, Julius Caesar has been seen by many as a radically pro-Republican play which sailed close to the political wind of the time. --Jerry Brotton --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Review

"[An] excellent edition." --Linda Anderson, Virginia Tech --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Inkwork on 23 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A wonderful introduction covering the many aspects of how and why Shakespeare's Julius Caesar has been staged through time; insight into Shakespeare's motives in writing the play set in context of the Elizabethan court and much more. The play itself is clearly set out with footnotes and further information at the back of the book. For study or purely personal interest it is well worth paying a bit extra for this publication.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 31 July 2006
Format: Paperback
Ok, so you wouldn't exactly pass a history exam if you based your knowledge of Julius Caesar only on Shakespeare's play - he manipulates historical material and sources, so sometimes it seems as if days pass rather than years between the various historical events of the play; however, this is all done to achieve a brilliant dramatic effect, with countless paradoxes, ironies, juxtapositions, and contrasts. Shakespeare is the master of language in this play, from the arrogant, larger-than-life Caesar and the blood-drenched metaphors of murder to the emotional rhetoric of Mark Antony. And if you're worried about the dates, don't fear, the Arden Shakespeare contains a brilliant introduction which includes a discussion of how Shakespeare condensed historical material available to him and what the Renaissance view of Caesar was. The annotations are very helpful and plentiful, even if you're just starting Shakespare this would be the ideal play for an introduction to his language and dramatic techniques.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Harvey on 13 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback
Excellent introduction and notes plus relevant extracts from Plutarch's Lives and descriptions of the characters make this so much more than a copy of the text - a veritable study guide.
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By Jon Chambers TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 Dec. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although first published in 1998, this 3rd edition Arden has by no means been superseded, and can expect a long shelf-life ahead. Its introduction is illuminating - particularly its identification of the play as a typically ambivalent creation of the mature playwright. Daniell highlights Cicero's speech as a key to understanding its elusiveness: 'men may construe things after their fashion'. Thus, according to Daniell, 'Caesar did, and did not, deserve to die,' while Brutus 'is, and is not, the tragic hero.' His analysis of 'shadows' (see Cassius, I.2.58) is detailed and persuasive, allowing for a fuller appreciation of Cassius' language and Brutus' character. In fact, his comments on language generally, with unusual sensitivity to its 'sound patterns', throw welcome light on what he calls the 'mysterious interior world of significances' in Shakespeare.

Also praiseworthy is the editor's 'light editing' of Folio readings - notably 'path,' (II.1.83), a Second Folio variant widely considered suspect and overlooked nearly everywhere else. Daniell's argument in favour of selecting the 1632 reading (in which the comma redirects meaning) makes perfect sense, even if initially baffling. The only unfortunate feature of this edition is its over-hasty discussion of modern criticism - running to less than three pages - despite the editor's conviction that New Historicist, Cultural Materialist and feminist work offer rich new seams of understanding. The likes of Catherine Belsey, John Drakakis and Alan Sinfield merit a solitary sentence each, and Coppelia Kahn, a mere two. The introduction as a whole runs to a generous 150 pages, but it seems unbalanced in this respect - I would have preferred an extended section on contemporary criticism, even at the expense of some of the 20 pages devoted to the play's performance history, if necessary.

It would be churlish to nit-pick too much, however. This is a continually enlightening and enriching edition.
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Format: Paperback
Of all Shakespeare's plays, Julius Caesar is the most modern. You do not need to update it in order to set it in modern times. Shakespeare wrote a play that he knew would always be modern to the people performing it.

Leaving aside the ur-Hamlet business, without Julius Caesar, there would be no Hamlet. They have essentially the same theme behind them: a noble character laments the moral decline of his society and tries to restore honour and virtue. But which character is Hamlet? Brutus, the loyal and noble Roman who assassinates Caesar seemingly for the good of the republic, is the obvious candidate, though there are shades of Macbeth in him too. However, let's not forget Cassius, who initially seems to have an Iago-like hold over Brutus and admires his honour in the way that Hamlet admires Horatio's. Hamlet even makes a joke about the play Julius Caesar.

The central conflict of the play, one that will always be present in politics, is the respective merits of a government led by old-fashioned values and reason and a populist government based on personality and appealing to the emotions of the public. Caesar has a god-complex but the majority of the people seem to love him. Brutus prizes virtues such as honour and old-fashioned rhetoric, but his rhetoric is no match for Marc Antony's.

Some argue that after Antony has finished his speech, the play runs out of steam, but I disagree. The tables have turned on Brutus and his fellow conspirators and the fall of Cassius and Brutus begins. The play needs to continue after Antony's speech because this is when we realise that Brutus probably got it wrong, or certainly didn't plan what would happen after Caesar's assassination.
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