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Caesar and Cleopatra Paperback – November 17, 2013


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Caesar and Cleopatra + The Importance of Being Earnest + Hamlet ( Folger Library Shakespeare)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 106 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 17, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1461044421
  • ISBN-13: 978-1461044420
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 7.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,561,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

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Stanley Weintraub is Evan Pugh Professor Emeritus of Arts and Humanities at Pennsylvania State University, and the author of numerous histories and biographies, including Silent Night (available from Plume).

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
This story was delightful and brilliant.
Kylie Edwards
His conscientiousness shows in his work by his inability to write meaningless fluff at a time when fluff dominated the stage.
Peter John Pols
Shaw is my favorite of the Victorian playwrights.
Marie Martin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kylie Edwards on February 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
I can't resist any chance I can get to peek into the mind of a genius, and Shaw was a true genius. This story was delightful and brilliant.

This was great. Instead of a love affair, we get a high-stakes game of chess with Cleopatra making calculated moves to secure the throne of Egypt, but her opponent, Caesar, excels at the game as well. Shrewd takes on Wise in this excellent battle of wits, giving us a refreshingly original story that portrays Cleopatra as a crafty politician seeking power rather than a romantic siren interested in an affair of the heart.

This story was smart and funny. I loved it and wanted more when it was over. I'll have to buy another one of his books. I just love his style.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Marie Martin on February 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful, and much more likely, interpretation of Cleopatra's romantic involvement with Caesar. Most writers are tempted to turn it into a great love affair, but Shaw reveals a clever and ambitious Cleopatra whose reasons for sinking her claws into Caesar are entirely political. As much as I'm a sucker for a good romance, I found this tale of sly and loveless manipulation to be much more intriguing.
This story takes place when Caesar has occupied Egypt. Cleopatra wants to steal the throne out from under her brother and realizes that Caesar has the power to give it to her. The lengths she goes to in order to gain Caesar's favor or even stand in his presence are zany. She even goes so far as to roll herself up in a carpet that's to be delivered to him.

Shaw is my favorite of the Victorian playwrights. His works were revolutionary in many ways. Use of humor was rare and exceptional for playwrights during that era, but Shaw was not afraid to make audiences laugh. He also tackled serious moral, political, and social issues in his plays at a time when sappy dramas were all the rage. He was truly bold and innovative and greatly contributed to dramatic art. He had an amazing gift, the ability to make people think while simultaneously making them laugh.

Reading Shaw's works are a genuine treat. All of his plays are fabulous. His characters are memorable, and his humor is brilliant.
This is a wonderful book, charming, significant, and insightful. I can't recommend it enough.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Li Zhang on November 17, 2008
Format: Kindle Edition
Caesar and Cleopatra by George Bernard Shaw. Published by MobileReference (mobi).

This is a fine edition of the delightful Shaw play. Shaw's Caesar is a man of self-doubt and good humor, a vivid counterpoint to the haughty, aristocratic Caesar of Shakespeare.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Israel Drazin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 28, 2010
This is no love story. The wise and manipulative sixteen year old Cleopatra, one of two claimants to the throne of Egypt, tries to outmaneuver Caesar, the over fifty year old Roman general who had grasped control of her country, who is also wise, and who understands Cleopatra's subtlety, her desire to wrest political control over Egypt from her ten year old brother/husband Ptolemy.

How could Shaw portray people who lived in a different culture close to two thousand years ago? Shaw tells us that despite the passing of so many centuries, people do not really change. Thus he can portray the people in his comedy and their reactions as if they were living today. Thus, also, in reverse, he is able to show the folly of the English people of his own age in his portrayal of the ancients. At the outset of the play, for example, the Egyptians speak of themselves as if they are the descendants of the gods. Is this any different than humanity today, who also act as if they are the greatest beings of creation and that they can do to the world as they see fit.

Cleopatra is depicted as a kittenish, childish, immature, frightened, young girl who is also afraid of her servants and who wants to hide from the Romans. Caesar is shown as a seasoned warrior, afraid of nothing, yet with a sense of humor, a womanizer who is fascinated and charmed by the kittenish Cleopatra.
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By Adia on January 11, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The story does not include the prolouge like in the orginial one which really sucked but it had everything else
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By M K Ghoda on October 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Shaw seems to have taken too much liberty with the history. Good advocacy of Cesar who became death for countless people for his own personal glory. For a play, the story and narrative are good, but doubt if anything like he has depicted here could have ever happened.
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By Scot Potts on June 26, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is not the Shaw who startles with his clever wit, his engaging and unexpected turns of humor, but with some digging this play has its appeal. The strength of Caesar and Cleopatra lies in its depiction of its characters not as historic figures, but as men and women with disparate mixtures of humor, compassion, obsession, fears and weakness. This strength is best appreciated through the lens of the essay at the end of the play, Apparent Anachronisms. Our current zeitgeist cautions against assuming that we can easily identify with and understand motivations of people of a completely different time who have different social and cultural forces shaping their outlook. Shaw makes his case for the unchanging nature of human motivations since the beginning of recorded history in the play and the essay. He has a strong argument to make.

The play has a slow overall narrative flow with less emotional depth than one might expect from Shaw. Reading the text of this play exposes characters which are rather flat and difficult to care deeply about on first reading. In order to bring this off in the theater, Shaw needs to rely on depth added by the actors. Although plays such as Candida and Mrs. Warren's Profession are witty, clever and a joy to read, some of Shaw's plays, well, drag. Although this is not as much of a snoozer as St. Joan, clever repartee is not a driving force.

There are some redeeming strengths of this play. The majesty of Shaw's recreation of the streets and people, the superstitions and passions, of Alexandria in 48-7 BC is a treat to experience. Most notably, the character of Caesar is a personification of Roman Stoic virtue. He possesses emotional reserve guided by rational thinking and a deep understanding of human motivations.
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