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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $13.00
  • July 2012
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-93263-8
  • 304 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

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Julius Caesar

Norton Critical Editions


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William Shakespeare (Author), S. P. Cerasano (Editor, Colgate University)


Shakespeare’s tragedy of one of the most famous assassinations in the world at an epoch-changing time in history.

This richly documented Norton Critical Edition of Julius Caesar is based on the 1623 First Folio text. It is accompanied by a note on the text, an introduction that sets the biographical and historical stage necessary to appreciate this richly allusive play, explanatory annotations, a map, and five illustrations.

“Sources and Contexts” presents possible sources as well as analogues to Julius Caesar, an account of Shakespeare’s understanding of and approach to Roman history, and Ernest Schanzer’s study of the narrative challenges posed by the play.

“Criticism” includes early commentary—by, among others, Samuel Johnson, William Hazlitt, and Harley Granville-Barker—on Julius Caesar as well as modern interpretations. Among these are John W. Velz on role-playing in Julius Caesar; Jan H. Blits on Caesar’s ambiguous end; Paul A. Cantor on rhetoric, poetry and the Roman republic; and R. A. Foakes on the themes of assassination and mob violence.

“Performance History” reprints accounts of various aspects of staging Julius Caesar by Sidney Homan, John Nettles, and
Robert F. Willson, Jr.

A Film Bibliography and Selected Bibliography are also included.



    The Text of Julius Caesar

    A Note on the Text
    List of Illustrations

    Sources and Contexts


    • Plutarch • From The Life of Julius Caesar (trans. North, 1579)
    • Plutarch • From The Life of Marcus Brutus (trans. North, 1579)
    • Plutarch • From The life of Marcus Tullius Cicero (trans. North, 1579)


    • Appian of Alexandria • From The Civil Wars (trans. W. B., 1578)
    • Suetonius • From The Twelve Caesars (trans. Holland, 1606)


    • Sir Thomas Elyot • From The Boke Named the Governour (1531)
    • J. Higgins • From The Mirror for Magistrates (1587)


    • T. J. B. Spencer • From "Shakespeare and the Elizabethan Romans"


    • Ernest Schanzer • [Caesar in Literary Tradition]



    • Samuel Johnson • From The Works of William Shakespeare (1765)
    • George Steevens • From "Shakespeare in the Theatre" (1772-73)
    • Unsigned essay • From An Essay on Julius Caesar (1789)
    • William Hazlitt • [Julius Caesar (1817)]
    • Harley Granville- Barker • [Characters (1946)]


    • Irving Ribner • Historical Tragedy
    • G. Wilson Knight • [Love and Honor]
    • John W. Velz • [Role- playing in Julius Caesar]
    • Jan H. Blits • [Caesar's Ambiguous End]
    • Paul A. Cantor • [Roman Rhetoric, Poetry, and Poets]
    • R. A. Foakes • From Shakespeare and Violence

    Performance History

    • Sidney Homan • From Shakespeare's Theater of Presence
    • John Nettles • From "Brutus in Julius Caesar"
    • Robert F. Willson, Jr. • From Shakespeare in Hollywood, 1929- 1956

    Film Bibliography
    Selected Bibliography