Julius Caesar is one of William Shakespeare’s most famous and important plays, and one of the most frequently taught, especially in high schools. Dealing with one of the most significant events in the history of Rome, the assassination of Julius Caesar and the subsequent end of the Roman Republic, the play has been performed and filmed numerous times. This volume examines the play from many different perspectives, including historical, aesthetic, and comparative points of view, among others, to add to the ongoing lively conversation the play has always stimulated.
This volume, like all others in the Critical Insights series, is divided into several sections. It begins with an introductory “About This Volume” essay, followed by another work titled “Julius Caesar and Me” by Robert S. Miola. This is followed by a Biography of William Shakespeare written by volume editor Robert C. Evans.
A collection of four critical contexts essays are intended to treat the novel
- From a historical vantage point
- In terms of its critical reception
- Using a specific critical lens
- And by comparing and contrasting it with another important work.
This section opens with an essay by Catherine Godbold titled, “Women’s Rhetoric in Shakespeare’s ‘Roman’ Works: An Example from Julius Caesar,” followed by a piece by Brandon Schneeberger, “A Critical Overview of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar,” This essay reviews one of the most important critical anthologies ever published about this drama. The following two articles are written by Edwin Wong and Godbold respectively. The first, “But Who Does Caesar Render Unto? Three Faces of Risk in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar,” argues that tragedy is the result of risk-taking and bad luck. In the final essay, “Shame, Emulation, and the Virtuous Female Ethos in Shakespeare’s Rome: Portia in Julius Caesar,” Godbold once again studies the portrayal of women in Shakespeare’s Rome in general, and particularly in Julius Caesar.
Following these four Critical Context essays is the Critical Readings section of this book, which contains the following essays:
- The Conversation of Friendship in Julius Caesar, by Brandon Schneeberger
- Conspiracy in the Closing Acts of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, by Robert C. Evans
- Visual Representations of Caesar’s Assassination, by Jordan Bailey
- Editorial Introductions to Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: 1936–1977, by Robert C. Evans
- Editorial Introductions to Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: 1980–1999, by Robert C. Evans
- Editorial Introductions to Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: 2000–2010, by Joyce Ahn
- Editorial Introductions to Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: 2011–2019, by Joyce Ahn
- The 1953 Film of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: A Survey of Reviews, by McKenna Odom
- The 1970 Film of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: A Survey of Reviews, by Eric J. Sterling
- The 1979 BBC Production of Julius Caesar: A Survey of Reviews, by Mikia Holloway
Each essay in Critical Insights: Julius Caesar includes a list of Works Cited and detailed endnotes. In the final section, Resources, easy-to-follow lists are provided to help guide the reader through important dates and moments in the author’s life, beginning with a Chronology of William Shakespeare’s Life. This is followed by a list of Works by William Shakespeare, a Bibliography, and multiple Nineteenth-Century Illustrations of the Assassination in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Finally, this section closes with an About the Editor section, Contributors, and a detailed Index.The Critical Insights Series distills the best of both classic and current literary criticism of the world’s most studies literature. Edited and written by some of academia’s most distinguished literary scholars, Critical Insights: Julius Caesar provides authoritative, in-depth scholarship that students and researchers will rely on for years. This volume is destined to become a valuable purchase for all.