Julius Caesar is a key link between Shakespeare’s histories and his tragedies. Unlike the Caesar drawn by Plutarch in a source text, Shakespeare’s Caesar is surprisingly modern: vulnerable and imperfect, a powerful man who does not always know himself. The open-ended structure of the play insists that revealing events will continue after the play ends, making the significance of the history we have just witnessed impossible to determine in the play itself.
John D. Cox’s introduction discusses issues of genre, characterization, and rhetoric, while also providing a detailed history of criticism of the play. Appendices provide excerpts from important related works by Lucretius, Plutarch, and Montaigne.
A collaboration between Broadview Press and the Internet Shakespeare Editions project at the University of Victoria, the editions developed for this series have been comprehensively annotated and draw on the authoritative texts newly edited for the ISE. This innovative series allows readers to access extensive and reliable online resources linked to the print edition.
“John Cox’s edition of Julius Caesar is very user-friendly—it has copious and concise explanatory notes, generous selections from Shakespeare’s sources, and a critical introduction that does a remarkable job of highlighting the main lines of interpreting the play over the centuries.” — Paul A. Cantor, Clifton Waller Barrett Professor of English, University of Virginia