Book of the Week #7:

Julius Caesar,

by William Shakespeare

“Now let it work. Mischief, thou art afoot. Take thou what course thou wilt.”
-Mark Antony

Now, as some of you might point out, this is an exceptional case, and for obvious reasons… But, you know, it is a “book”, right… And I have dabbled with drama as well, when I was younger, and not to brag, but I was always pretty good with the words…

And let us be fair, no reading list would be complete without the mention of William Shakespeare. In fact, a single mention might not suffice…

The first time I read Julius Caesar was when I was probably 11 years old, and we received a book that contained abridged versions of four of Shakespeare’s most popular works. And, quite obviously, I found it extremely underwhelming…

You see, what do you get, when you remove the drama from a drama? A multitude of weird characters, a bleak, dull plot, and the sudden appearances of witches and ghosts, that succeed in inspiring only meh and not awe…

It was only in 10th Grade, wherein we studied the first two scenes of its Third Act, that we first read Mark Antony’s speech… And yes, that does inspire awe…

Now, in general, the reliability of my memory is not comparable to, say, Brutus’ honour, for Brutus is an honourable man; but I did manage to memorise the entire speech…

And, being as I am, I did read the entire play soon after, and found it fairly impressive. Of course, I had already read Macbeth and Othello, by then, and I still love them more…

Now, the play is named Julius Caesar, and while he is perhaps the most important character, he only appears in three scenes… Well, apart from the times he appears as a ghost… Brutus, instead, has four times as many lines as he does, but that is excusable, for Brutus is an honourable man…

But my favourite character was, without doubt, Mark Antony, the plain, blunt man who, with his subtle and sly rhetoric, roused the common men into rioting against Brutus, Cassius, et al.

Sadly, Antony’s triumphs are short-lived, as his story continues, and concludes, in Antony and Cleopatra…

Now, to whom would I recommend this book? Well, it is probably a must-read for all students of the English language, and also for those of history and politics, among other things…

You can read it here

Well, that is all for today…

Thank you…


It is worth mentioning that this speech had eventually fallen to the back of my mind, till this video shared on Facebook a friend and fellow blogger dragged it into the forefront…

Now, I wonder if they asked Damian Lewis to perform this very piece, or if he chose his personal favourite, but this just seems perfect! I didn’t even know he is British!

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Published by

Yashas Mahajan

Author of Arrkaya: Origins, now available online... Increasingly being referred to as The Writer Guy...

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