About the BookEvery time Shakespeare is read or taught one faces a challenge: how to make him comprehensible to the eager student. This is what the present work daringly sets out to do. It provides the reader with biographical, socio-political and the literary background of Shakespeare.
Julius Caesar belongs to the group of the Roman plays. It is both a history play and a tragedy. There are three plays within this group, Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra and Coriolanus. There are other plays concerned with Roman historical figures, but they do not fall within this group. Titus Andronicus is a Senecan tragedy and Timon of Athens a Problem comedy. Julius Caesar is a play faithful to history, for Shakespeare had followed the Roman historian Plutarch very closely; yet it is not just a history play, as shall be seen in the chapter dealing with the genre of the play. It has been called, in addition to a historical tragedy, a morality play and a revenge tragedy. The complexity of the play can be imagined from these simple indications.
This book in The Atlantic Critical Studies series focuses on the major elements of the play. A scene-wise critical summary of the text is given in order to familiarise the reader with the play. Numerous quotations from the text have also been given. Different elements of drama have been analysed along with the views of renowned critics. Classical theories as well as more recent critical views have been given, which makes the book useful to the teachers as well as students of English literature, especially Shakespeare. Select Bibliography has been provided to stimulate further reading and Index is given for easy location of terms.About the Author/sRatri Ray is a retired University Professor and Head of the Deptt. of English, Patna University. As a student she had a unique career for she had been awarded three gold medals for her B.A. results and two more for M.A. She obtained the D. Litt. degree on a comparative study of Francis Thompson and Nishikanto. She has published two books in Bengali on Sri Aurobindo’s poetry and drama, both serialized in the cultural monthly Shrimantu published from Kolkata. Her studies of Shakespearean plays according to Rasavåda had been serialized in the 80’s in Mother India published from Pondicherry. Her English books published by Atlantic Publishers and Distributors (P) Ltd. include The Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, King Lear and As You Like It.