Thumbs up for Julius Caesar (No Fear Shakespeare) by William Shakespeare. Drama.
I’ve never read, nor watched Julius Caesar, and it seemed like a good addition to the other Roman historical fiction I’ve been wallowing in. Reading it was an illuminating experience, as throughout I kept thinking: “Oh, that’s where that quote is from!” And this is indeed a damnably quotable play – now one of my favorites, I think. As for the No Fear edition, I liked the format and found it enabled quick reading. I tend to get terribly distracted by the notes in most editions (I find them too interesting); so the complete lack of them here was actually a benefit. The “plain English” version on each page facing the original text was useful for the occasional quick glance to confirm that I had interpreted things correctly, but as it was the exact opposite of interesting it never distracted me from the flow of reading. (“Plain English translation” = Shakespeare dumbed down to a middle school vocabulary, which is just as painful as it sounds, but useful.)
I know where I will wear this dagger then.
Cassius from bondage will deliver Cassius.
Therein, ye gods, you make the weak most strong.
Therein, ye gods, you tyrants do defeat.
Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass,
Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron
Can be retentive to the strength of spirit.
But life, being weary of these worldly bars,
Never lacks power to dismiss itself.
If I know this, know all the world besides,
That part of tyranny that I do bear
I can shake off at pleasure.
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