About the BookJulius Caesar, a tragedy by William Shakespeare, is believed to have been written in 1599. It portrays the 44 BC conspiracy against the Roman dictator Julius Caesar, his assassination and the defeat of the conspirators at the Battle of Philippi. It is one of several Roman plays that Shakespeare wrote, based on true events from Roman history.
Julius Caesar is not the most visible character in the action in the play. He appears in only three scenes, and is killed at the beginning of the third act. Marcus Brutus speaks more than four times as many lines, and the central psychological drama is his struggle between the conflicting demands of honour, patriotism, and friendship.
The book is a critical analysis of various aspects of the play from the students’ point of view. The subject matter of the book is divided into three parts. Part I covers the life and works of William Shakespeare, his critical evaluation as a poet and dramatist, and gives a glimpse of evolution of English drama, the Elizabethan theatre and the characteristics of Shakespearean tragedy. A critical evaluation of the play is given in this part. It has been assessed as a political play. The roles of irony and destiny have been explained. The story of the play has been provided, funeral orations in the play and the quarrel scene have been analysed. An evaluation of all the major characters has also been given in this part. Important opinions of well-known critics like A.C. Bradley, David Daiches, Irving Ribner and others have been included.
Part II contains the complete text of the play for ready reference. There are also a summary of the play and detailed notes to help the students. Part III includes passages with reference to the context as well as important questions and answers. The book is a complete critical study of the play. It will prove very useful for students of English Literature pursuing English (Hons), B.A. Pass Programme and postgraduation in English.
About the Author/sS.S. Agarwalla, M.A. Ph.D. is Principal, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia College, Ranchi. The books written by him include William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, (Atlantic Publishers); Contemporary India and its Burning Problems; Angus Wilson and his Works; and Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy: Search for an Indian Identity. He has also contributed articles in literary journals of repute, like New Quest and The Scorio. Besides, his articles on political affairs have appeared in leading dailies like The National Herald, The North-East Times (in English) and Jansatta, Nai Duniya and Rajasthan Patrika (in Hindi). He has also published cultural and educational articles in Gandhi Marg and other leading journals and magazines.