How precious are Your thoughts to me, O LORD ... how vast is the sum of them!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Julius Caesar

I am not a Shakespeare aficionado (yet!); I’ve only read three of his plays on my own (The Winter’s Tale, The Comedy of Errors, and just recently, Julius Caesar). I’ve enjoyed him every time . . . his stories are short, entertaining, and told with lyrical language; but before I read Julius Caesar, I had somehow developed the idea that he was hard to follow. Maybe it was because of The Comedy of Errors. (Which stars two sets of identical twins with the same names. Yikes!)

Julius Caesar was fairly easy, though. There were only about four or five words I had to look up in the dictionary, and there was only one pair of people with the same name. Following the story was no trouble (it helped that I already knew the historical situation). It certainly encourages me to read the rest of Shakespeare’s works! 

The Assassination of Julius Caesar (PD-1923)

Here are some quotes I particularly liked. You may recognize one or two that have filtered into everyday English as regular expressions:

“Draw them to Tiber banks, and weep your tears
Into the channel, till the lowest stream
Do kiss the most exalted shores of all.” Flavius

“Those that understood him smiled at one another and shook their heads; but, for mine own part, it was Greek to me . . .” Casca speaking of Cicero

“Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear,
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.” Caesar

“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears . . .” Marc Antony

“O, that a man might know
The end of this day’s business ere it come!
But it sufficeth that the day will end,
And then the end is known.” Brutus

My favorite character was Brutus, Caesar’s friend who was so torn about helping to kill him . . . yeah, there were some complicated moral questions here! What about you? Have you ever read Julius Caesar? How about anything by Shakespeare? Which play would you recommend I read next?

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