Caesar and Cleopatra

George Bernard Shaw Stanley Weintraub

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Caesar and Cleopatra

Caesar and Cleopatra Caesar and Cleopatra satirizes Shakespeare s use of history and comments wryly on the politics of Shaw s own time but the undertone of melancholy makes it one of his most affecting plays

  • Title: Caesar and Cleopatra
  • Author: George Bernard Shaw Stanley Weintraub
  • ISBN: 9780143039778
  • Page: 414
  • Format: Paperback
  • Caesar and Cleopatra satirizes Shakespeare s use of history and comments wryly on the politics of Shaw s own time, but the undertone of melancholy makes it one of his most affecting plays.

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      414 George Bernard Shaw Stanley Weintraub
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      Published :2018-01-02T23:39:08+00:00

    One thought on “Caesar and Cleopatra

    1. BillKerwin on said:

      Caesar and Cleopatra is a play of vivid pictures and superb effects: in the desert at night an old Roman general speaks to a small Sphinx, oblivious to the child-woman asleep between its paws; the child-woman Cleopatra chooses the old general as her protector, against Caesar “who eats children,” not realizing, until the Romans troops begin shouting “Hail Caesar” that her old general and Caesar are one in the same; Caesar arming himself for battle while the Library of Alexandria is burnin [...]

    2. Huda Aweys on said:

      ثيودوتس : إن مكتبة الإسكندرية تحترققيصر : أهذا كل شئ !؟ثيودوتس : (كل شئ؟!)!! أتقول عنك الأجيال المقبلة يا قيصر أنك كنت جنديا متبربرا يجهل قيمة الكتب !؟قيصر : يا ثيودوتس أنا نفسي مؤلفا و اقول لك أنه لمن الأفضل للمصريين أن يحيوا حياتهم بدلا من أن يضيعوها في الأحلام بفضل الكتب ثيودوت [...]

    3. Jonfaith on said:

      Lovely play but I was at a loss to imagine a successful staging. This is vast and epic while insistently self aware, emplacing it’s own sense of history upon a lineage we believe to know from another play by that one guy.The characterization of Cleopatra as a petulant teen was remarkable—especially in contrast to a stolid weariness from Julius Caesar. The role of vengeance as a historical engine is explored as is the all too human notions of sovereignty.I should read more Shaw.

    4. Cemre on said:

      Bernard Shaw'u bu zamana dek ne okumuştum ne de sahnede izleme fırsatı bulabilmiştim. Yakın bir zaman önce edindiğim İş Bankası Kültür Yayınları'nın "Dört Oyun" ismiyle yayınlamış olduğu kitabın ilk oyunu olan "Sezar ile Kleopatra" oyununu bugün okuma fırsatı buldum. Shakespeare'in aynı isimli oyununu zevkle okumuş olduğumdan ve Shaw ile ilgili okuduklarımdan sonra beklentim bir hayli yüksek olsa da ben aradığım, beklediğim tadı alamadım. Kimi yerlerde gerçekt [...]

    5. Jane on said:

      Delightful play on the interaction between J. Caesar, here presented by Shaw as a wise avuncular idealist, and Cleopatra, the giggly teenage queen of Egypt. Caesar teaches her to be a real queen and to use her power wisely. Shaw's wit was much in evidence throughout. For comparison I read the text at the same time as I viewed the 1945 Rains/Leigh movie. The script kept the dialogue nearly intact. I regretted the deletion of the stage directions from the movie; I thought them equally as clever as [...]

    6. Manny on said:

      Cleopatra can't arrange a meeting with Caesar, so she rolls herself up in a large rug, and has herself delivered as a present. Security must have been really basic in those days. There was a period when I was working for a boss who was never available during office hours. Either he wasn't there at all, or he was busy talking to someone else. People used to refer to the above episode quite frequently, and several of the female employees said they were considering having themselves delivered in ru [...]

    7. David Sarkies on said:

      Shaw's masterpiece2 August 2014 The problem I face when I approach this play is that there is so much in it I simply do not know where to start. There is the character of Julius Caesar that Shaw seems to capture perfectly, from the wise and kind leader to the man who would repetitively show mercy to his enemies: which resulted in his own destruction. There is also the idea of the new empire meeting the old empire, and the elder statesman meeting the child queen and the interaction between the tw [...]

    8. Halima on said:

      I used to have two pets. I called the male Caesar and the female Cleopatra. Mom started to laugh when I told her what I wanted to call them and when I asked her why she said I reminded her of a good book. About 8 years later, I'm dying to find mom's copy of the book because she recommended it to me a few weeks ago - I think she lost it, though: the pets were geese and they had 11 children and we had to give them away. I miss them.

    9. Greg on said:

      Shaw’s retelling of Caesar and Cleopatra demonstrates admirably both Shaw’s philosophy, as well as showcases his tremendous gifts as a storyteller. Shaw depicts Cleopatra as a woman who, out of military necessity, appeals to Caesar. Caesar is depicted as a Realist, and a man of action who values good government and unsentimentality. Caesar is depicted as a man without vengeance and little emotion. He is fair and hard…and opportunistic. He destroys evidence that would have Septimius execute [...]

    10. Eric on said:

      Caesar is represented here as a truly original man. Great because he sees no value in flattery. He has his servants be totally honest with him, without negative repercussions for criticism. He acts to his own advantage every time, whether or not such acts appear honorable. He forms no attachments beyond the friendliness a genial person might give to a strange child or a dog.Cleopatra appears here as a spoiled sixteen year old, in many ways less mature than a sixteen year old of our day, because [...]

    11. Leslie on said:

      Interesting take on Cleopatra. My favorite parts, though, were in the stage directions and commentary. For example, in setting the scene of the first act (my underlining of bits I liked):"A great radiance of silver fire, the dawn of a moonlit night, is rising in the east. The stars and the cloudless sky are our own contemporaries, nineteen and a half centuries younger than we know them; but you would not guess that from their appearance. Below them are two notable drawbacks of civilization: a pa [...]

    12. J. Alfred on said:

      A prologue of sorts for Shakespeare's "Anthony and Cleopatra", it does go a long way toward introducing that play. Also a good place for Shaw to show how, for him, people don't need God, because, like Caesar, some men are basically gods already. Some unintentional irony in that, as he used a bunch of Christlike qualities and allusions for Caesar to drive his point home, he has Caesar using the words of Christ to claim legitimacy; sometimes the same words that Christ would use a few generations l [...]

    13. Richard on said:

      Caesar and Cleopatra was quite well-written, full of good quotes and characterization, and plenty of cleverness and wit. It is bad because of its moral core. It is one more thing to add to the list of art in the spirit of Triumph of the Will: high quality propaganda for a really nasty mindset, just like Gone with the Wind and Bonfire of the Vanities.The author, George Bernard Shaw, combines a caustic hatred of his own society with a gushing admiration of antiquity. Either one of these things alo [...]

    14. Kelly on said:

      From Shaw's essential notes on the play: "ere is the illusion of 'increased command over Nature,' meaning that cotton is cheap and that ten miles of country road on a bicycle have replaced four on foot. But even if man's increased command over Nature included any increased command over himself (the only sort of command relevant to his evolution into a higher being), the fact remains that it is only by running away from the increased command over Nature to country places where Nature is still in [...]

    15. Collin on said:

      I have never read a more weak, pathetic Cleopatra in my life.I mean, I know Cleopatra probably wasn't Super Duper BA Superwoman we all are used to thinking of her, but come on! Give her a little credit! She read like a brainless twelve-year-old brat! Did she have a different reputation in the late 1800s than she does now? Or did Shaw just really want a crying, sighing, lovelorn wimp as his second main character? I know Shaw can write better women characters, so I don't blame the times; it's just [...]

    16. John on said:

      The third play in a compendium of four by GBS that I recently picked up is equally delightful to the first two that I have read. In Ceasar and Cleopatra the most striking aspects of the play, apart from the ever present well reknown wit of GBS, is the character development. Throughout the work Ceasar is a constant, not the glorified hero of many a work, but a character portrayed as a common man - a very successful, competent, resourceful one - but a man presented with warts and all (or in his ca [...]

    17. Goddess Of Blah on said:

      I read this play soon after finishing The Devil's Disciple . Its brilliant. All of Shaw's plays that I have so far read have left me chuckling. If you like Oscar Wilde, then you will definitely appreciate the witty dialogue, incisive humour, “philosophy” and cynical observations that dominate Shaw's plays.These are some quotes from Shaw's plays:“All great truths begin as blasphemies.”“When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty.”“Th [...]

    18. Ruby on said:

      There is a continual compare and contrast between Cleopatra and Caesar throughout the entire play. Touchingly innocent in many ways and very tender. Caesar's relationship to Cleopatra is at times like a lover's but whenever she acts up he is strongly paternal. They are very similar in many ways. Staunchly loyal, with very firm ideas how a ruler should be.

    19. zeinab on said:

      ياترى الاحداث دى فعلا جد؟ياترى قيصر كان نبيل لهذا الحد؟الى ان نقرا ف التاريخ لنا حوار آخر

    20. Carrie D. on said:

      I laughed out loud a lot but George Bernard Shaw doesn't seem like he likes women very much or he's being satirical idk I'm not that smart.

    21. stormie on said:

      shaw is pretty much my new favorite writer, mostly because he's undeniably sassy--and unashamed to be so.

    22. Realini on said:

      Caesar and Cleopatra by George Bernard Shaw Another version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:- youtube/playlist?list and realini/ About twenty years ago I saw a documentary film.George Bernard Shaw was the protagonist.Indeed, he was a Show Man.In one instance, he turned around in front of the camera and said something like:- This is my profile… now from the left…my face…and the backHe also expressed a view on Hitler, which in my mind was something like this:- Hitle [...]

    23. Chandini on said:

      I really enjoyed this play but it's a lot funnier if you've recently seen/read/heard William Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" and "Antony and Cleopatra." Shaw's play is all about the politics but Shakespeare's plays are all about the romanticised relationships. I enjoyed the way Shaw depicted Cleopatra as a young girl learning to be a ruler, not the stereotypical sex kitten Queen. Caesar is also shown in a different light. He's a patient teacher who won't punish those who speak against him instead [...]

    24. Archita Mitra on said:

      When I started reading this play, I expected a romance, and was surprised and amused to find a political play that takes a philosophical stance on colonialism. It is easy to win a war; it is harder to rule, especially when the ruler and the subjects hail from different cultures. The Western thought and philosophy of Rome as personified by Britannus and the other Roman soldiers strongly clash with the values and culture of the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra and her subjects. Caesar, however, tries to a [...]

    25. Rehab Saad on said:

      كنت اقراء -كتاب رسائل من تحت الارض لدوستويفسكيكان يذكر فيه كيف كانت كليوباترا تعذب وصيفتها بوضع الدبابيس الذهبية فى اثدائهن وتقف لتستمتع بصراخهن - لا اعلم ان كان هذا حقيقه ام لا ولكن دائماُ ما تصور الاعمال الفنيه الغربية كليوباترا على انها فتاه وقحة - غبيه - - قاسية هي واخيها ب [...]

    26. Jessie on said:

      I wanted to like it, I really did. The entertainment value was a rapid decline and I found myself bored.

    27. Manoj Sharma on said:

      SuperbA very well written play. Typical Bernard Shaw. Shows the characters in an absolutely new light. Interesting reading and a fresh approach to history

    28. Mariana on said:

      I did not like the way Cleopatra was represented - as a silly, childish, spoilt brat most of the time, and a rather indecisive and superstitious queen in training the rest of it. She is one of the few great female literary characters in history, and this is what Shaw does with her? My admittedly high expectations were just crushed the minute she opened her mouth. While I can understand his reasons for it, which he explains at the end of the book, I still can't help but feel slightly betrayed by [...]

    29. Anthony on said:

      “When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty.” (Act III p 70)Any work by Shaw is rich with aphoristic statements as noted above; for Shaw is play-write of observation deftly capable of inserting social criticism into the voices of his characters. He uses this skill to tell the tale of Caesar and Cleopatra as a period piece written by an Irishman criticizing British Imperialism at the cusp of the first World War through the portrayal of Caesar [...]

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