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Julius Caesar (Folger Shakespeare Library) Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

William Shakespeare was born in April 1564 in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, on England’s Avon River. When he was eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway. The couple had three children—their older daughter Susanna and the twins, Judith and Hamnet. Hamnet, Shakespeare’s only son, died in childhood. The bulk of Shakespeare’s working life was spent, not in Stratford, but in the theater world of London, where he established himself professionally by the early 1590s. He enjoyed success not only as a playwright, but as an actor and shareholder in an acting company. Sometime between 1610 and 1613, Shakespeare is thought to have retired from the stage and returned home to Stratford, where he died in 1616.
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Product Details

  • Series: Folger Shakespeare Library
  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reissue edition (January 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743482743
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743482745
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,554 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Their intentions may be good, but their understanding is more concrete than philosophical.
Eileen Granfors
This book, about 239 pages total, features "explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play."
Andy Kelley
Language, poetry, plot, depth of characters and fascinating action make this a fabulous play to read or watch.
Nancy Norris

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Andy Kelley on February 14, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
We all know the story of Julius Caesar. The tragic event that led to chaos. Though it is a popular television and movie theme, we know it in large part due to Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare's famed play. It includes moving scenes such as Caesar's infamous "Et tu Brute", and Marc Antony's moving "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears." This book, put together by Folger Shakespeare Library, helps to bring this story to life.

This book, about 239 pages total, features "explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play." While these notes may not answer every question you might come up with, I believe they are very helpful to the average reader (such as myself). These pages also provide plenty of room for anyone who prefers to annotate, or write down thoughts, in their books.

Also featured on these pages is a scene summary for every scene. The scene summaries really helped me truly understand the Shakespearian language. I am very grateful I ordered this copy of Julius Caesar, since it has the tools necessary for the average reader to fully grasp what is happening. I picked it up right here on Amazon.com.

I can hardly find negative aspects to this edition. The best I can come up with is that the words and phrases noted are not already underlined or marked somehow by the publisher. (I know, not a big deal.) The story is great, a must-read for all history buffs or even the casual reader. All-in-all, if you are looking to read Julius Caesar, or just some Shakespeare to impress your friends or teachers with, check out the Folger Shakespeare Library's edition of Julius Caesar. I highly recommend it.

So, what are you waiting on? Get to it!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By M. Lovejoy on June 13, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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.
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49 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Robert M Ettimger on May 27, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Before I begin, I would like to point out three things. One, I am only a middle-school student (this was an honours class project); two, this is my first review; three, I am reviewing the unabridged, original dialogue version. Thank you.
William Shakespeare is hailed as the greatest writer ever, yet (based on people I've met) very few people have read even a single one of his works. I expected it to be required reading in high school or, at the very least, college. Alas, it is not. This is a disappointment, as I truly enjoyed reading this play, my first encounter with Shakespeare.
Julius Caesar is a tale of honor and betrayal. Pompey, a beloved Roman leader, is defeated in civil war with Caesar. A small brotherhood, let by Marcus Brutus, is still devoted to him after his death, and wants nothing less than the assassination of their new leader. I had expected Caesar's death ("Et tu, Bruté? Then fall Caesar.") to be near the end of the book. However, it turned out to be within the third of five acts. The rest of the book is devoted to the attempts by Brutus's followers and Marc Antony (a dear friend of Caesar, and Brutus's enemy) to get the populace to believe in and follow that person's views, and turn them against the other people's ideals. Marc Antony, an orator with the ability to, in essence, brainwash an entire city with a short speech ("Friends, Romans, Countrymen, / Lend me your ears!"), convinces Rome to turn on Brutus's brotherhood. How their conflict is settled is, by far, the most captivating and entrancing parts of the play.
With the plot discussed, I will move on to what makes this a challenging read: dialogue. Being a work from the Elizabethan Era, I (naively) expected words such as "forsooth" and manye more wordse endinge ine "e".
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Agiozac on November 5, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
It's missing the last few pages from the final scene. If you don't need that part, it's ok. if you need the full text, it's not.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By kogepan on March 4, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As one of the reviewer points out, this book is not complete. Most of the Act 5 Scene 5 is missing! I may have checked that review before I purchase this e-book. I learned that paper book is better because you know where you are now. Kindle edition does not have a line number for each scene.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
Gaius Julius Cæsar is the Caesar we think of when we hear the word "Caesar" -- he conquered Gaul, bedded Cleopatra, and died a pretty dramatic death. And while he only appears in a few scenes of "Julius Caesar," he's the nucleus that William Shakespeare's taut conspiracy play revolves around -- his murder, his legacy, and the bitter jealousy he inspired.

Julius Caesar is returning to Rome in triumph, only to be stopped by a strange old soothsayer who warns him, "Beware the ides of March." Caesar brushes off the warning, but he has no idea that a conspiracy is brewing under his nose. In a nutshell, a group of senators led by the creepy Cassius are plotting against Caesar because of his wild popularity, suspecting that he wants to become KING.

And Cassius' latest target: Brutus, one of Caesar's best buddies. Brutus is slowly swayed over to the conspiracy's side, beginning to believe that Caesar as a great man corrupted by power. Everything comes to a a devastating assassination on... guess when... the ides of March, which will elevate some men to greatness and destroy others.

Though the story is supposedly about Julius Caesar, Caesar himself only has a few scenes -- but his charismatic, dominating presence hangs over the play like a heavy tapestry. What he does, what he plans, what he thinks and who he is are constantly on people's minds, and even after his death he is a powerful presence in the memories of the living.

And Shakespeare cooks up a dialogue-heavy play that is a bit on the slow side, but whose speeches are so powerful and intense that you don't quite notice.
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