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Forum LockedJulius Caesar by W. Shakespeare

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    Posted: 01-Jun-2009 at 19:43
 Umm. I have a question about J. Caesar the book by W. Shakespeare. How realistic is that book? Does someone have information about this subject? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alkibiades2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jun-2009 at 20:49

There is a vast amount of information out there on both the historical Gaius Julius Caesar and on the play by Shakespeare.

As for how realistic Shakespeare's tragedy is, much of the material he used probably came from Plutarch, or perhaps Suetonius. I'm not a Shakespeare scholar, so my suggestion is that you look into some books on the final years of the Roman republic. A fairly recent one, not the best but helpful, is "Rubicon" by Tom Holland.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alkibiades2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jun-2009 at 20:51
Oops, what I meant to say is, I'm not a scholar of the Roman republic. There are scads of books on the subject, not to mention online material.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jun-2009 at 20:52
The play! I think Plutrach was his main source. I am not sure about his historical research, Brutus was a much less symphatetic character in real life, he had opposed Ceaser in tyhe Civil War. OTH Calpurnia's dreams did happen for what I know.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jun-2009 at 21:14

Great play, bad history source.

His source was not Plutarch if I remember correctly, it was either a translation or a history book printed in Britain like most of Shakespear's sources for his historical plays.
 
 
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Edited by Al Jassas - 01-Jun-2009 at 21:17
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Jun-2009 at 10:58
Shakespeare got the assassination right, apart from where it took place, and the names of the characters, but I wouldn't go to bat on much else.
 
He definitely got the clocks wrong. Smile
 
But al Jassas is right, a great play. As for sources, I think William was eclectic, had read Plutarch in translation, and incorporated all sorts of other myths, written or oral, that sounded dramatic enough, and didn't get him into trouble with the Lord Chancellor.
 
Making assassins seem sympathetic was a bit dangerous under Elizabeth, so while Brutus comes out not as badly as the other conspirators, he is made to look a bit of a fool and necessarily meets a bad end.
 
Still it depends a lot on how the play is performed. You could play it as an anti-tyranny piece with Brutus a noble martyr to the cause of democracy, but that wouldn't have gone down too well in London in 1599, at least with the authorities.
 


Edited by gcle2003 - 04-Jun-2009 at 10:58
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alkibiades2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Jun-2009 at 14:57
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Shakespeare got the assassination right, apart from where it took place, and the names of the characters, but I wouldn't go to bat on much else.
 
He definitely got the clocks wrong. Smile
  
 
LOL Good one.
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