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Annotated Bibliography of Selected Criticism of Julius Caesar

[Click on the title of any item to view the full citation and a short review.]

Bonjour, Adrien. The Structure of Julius Caesar. 1958.
Topic: The "Antithetical Balance" of character, theme, and imagery. Grade: B

Brooke, Nicholas. "Julius Caesar." 1968.
Topic: The puzzling ambivalence of the play. Grade: B

Brower, Reuben A. "The Discovery of Plutarch: Julius Caesar." 1971.
Topic: The influence of Shakespeare's source, North's Plutarch, on Shakespeare's presentation of the character of Brutus, and on the oratorical style of the play. Grade: A

Burckhardt, Sigurd. "How Not To Murder Caesar." 1968.
Topics: Shakespeare's political sympathies. Brutus' mistake. Grade: C

Burke, Kenneth. "Antony in Behalf of the Play." 1941.
Topic: Antony's explanation of the rhetoric of the play. Grade: D

Charney, Maurice. "The Imagery of Julius Caesar." 1961.
Topics: The "image themes" of "the storm and its portents, blood, and fire." Also, "the crucial contrast between the great public figure [of Caesar] and the infirm private man." Grade: B

Council, Norman. "Julius Caesar :   The Honourable Brutus." 1973.
Topics: The definition of honor in Shakespeare's time. Brutus as a man whose nobility and tragedy are both determined by his sense of honor. Grade: B

Daiches, David. Shakespeare: Julius Caesar. 1976.
Topics: Character study; general commentary. Grade: B

Doran, Madeleine. "'What should be in that "Caesar"?'
Proper Names in Julius Caesar." 1976. Topic: The functions of proper names in characterization and theme. Grade: C

Dowden, Edward. "The Roman Plays." 1881.
Topics: The characters of Brutus and Caesar. Grade: A

Foakes, R.A. " An Approach to Julius Caesar." 1954.
Topics: "self-deception, an obsession with names and an ignorance of reality" Grade: C

Goldman, Michael. " Hamlet and Our Problems." 1972.
Topics: Comparison of Brutus and Hamlet. Grade: D

Granville-Barker, Harley. " Julius Caesar." 1947.
Topics: Characterization, plot dynamics. Grade: C

Hartsock, Mildred. " The Complexity of Julius Caesar." 1966.
Topics: Shakespeare's deliberate complexity of character portrayal. Grade: A

Jackson, MacD. P. "'But with Just Cause': Julius Caesar, III.i.47." 2001.
Topic: Whether or not Shakespeare wrote the line, "Caesar did never wrong but with just cause" Grade: A

Knight, G. Wilson. The Imperial Theme. 1961.
Topic: The play as a story of love and friendship. Grade: D

Knights, L. C. "Shakespeare and Political Wisdom:
A Note on the Personalism of Julius Caesar and Coriolanus." 1953.
Topic: How the play teaches us not to ignore the human element in politics. Grade: A

Levitsky, Ruth M. "'The Elements Were So Mix'd . . . '" 1973.
Topic: The character of Brutus. Grade: C

Mack, Maynard. "Teaching Drama: Julius Caesar." 1960.
Topics: The characters of Brutus and Caesar; the themes of the private life vs. the public life, and of the rational vs. the irrational. Grade: A

Miles, Gary B. "How Roman Are Shakespeare's 'Romans'?" 1989.
Topic: The difference between the Roman view of character and Shakespeare's view of character. Grade: C

Miola, Robert S. Shakespeare and Classical Tragedy: The Influence of Seneca. 1992.
Topic: The Stoicism of Brutus. Grade: C

Ornstein, Robert. "Seneca and the Political Drama of Julius Caesar." 1958.
Topic: Shakespeare's debt to Seneca in the portrayal of Brutus' muddled thinking. Grade: B

Palmer, John. "Marcus Brutus." 1964.
Topic: The character of Brutus in depth. Grade: A

Paster, Gail Kern. "'In the spirit of men there is no blood':
Blood as Trope of Gender in Julius Caesar." 1989.
Topic: Blood as a symbol of womanish weakness. Grade: F

Prior, Moody E. "The Search for a Hero in Julius Caesar." 1969.
Topic: The play as a brilliant analysis of the effect of politics. Grade: B+

Rabkin, Norman. Shakespeare and the Common Understanding. 1967.
Topic: The similarities between Caesar and Brutus. Grade: B

Ribner, Irving. "Political Issues in Julius Caesar." 1957.
Topic: Tyranny. Caesar and Brutus as tragic heroes. The mob as the villain. Grade: B

Ripley, John. Julius Caesar on stage in England and America, 1599 - 1973. 1980.
Topic: Just what the title says. Grade: N/A

Schanzer, Ernest. "The Tragedy of Shakespeare's Brutus." 1964.
Topic: Brutus: "his divided mind, his self-deception, his final tragic disillusion" Grade: B

Spencer, T.J.B. "Shakespeare and the Elizabethan Romans.." 1957.
Topic: Shakespeare's politics. Grade: A

Shaw, George Bernard. Shaw on Shakespeare .
Topic: George Bernard Shaw's disdain for Shakespeare's values and attitudes. Grade: F

Stirling, Brents. "'Or else this were a savage spectacle'." 1956.
Topic: Rituals, ceremonies, and how Brutus tries to "ritualize" assassination. Grade: B

Stirling, Brents. The Populace in Shakespeare. 1949.
Topic: How Julius Caesar reflects Elizabethan propaganda about the political dangers of the common people. Grade: C

Traversi, Derek. "Julius Caesar." 1963.
Topic: The mixed motives of the major characters. Grade: A

Vawter, Marvin L. "'After Their Fashion': Cicero and Brutus in Julius Caesar." 1976.
Topic: Cicero's influence on Shakespeare's characterization. Grade: B+

Vawter, Marvin L. "'Division 'tween Our Souls': Shakespeare's Stoic Brutus." 1974.
Topic: Denunciation of Brutus and his Stoic philosophy. Grade: A

Velz, John W. "Clemency, Will, and Just Cause in 'Julius Caesar'." 1969.
Topic: Was Caesar a tyrant? Grade: B

Velz, John W. "'If I Were Brutus Now. . .': Role-playing in Julius Caesar." 1968.
Topic: The role of role-playing. Grade: C

Wilson, Harold. On the Design of Shakespearian Tragedy. 1957.
Topic: Shakespeare's "serene and impartial understanding" of Caesar, Brutus, and Rome. Grade: B

Yoder, R. A. "History and the Histories in Julius Caesar." 1973.
Topic: The triumph of history over personality. Grade: A-

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