The Seventh Book I've Read in 2020.



Books A fine summation of the play. Julius Caesar is textually uncontroversial - it only exists in the First Folio and any Quartos are later printings based on that single text.  The text itself is printed well in F1 in comparison to some others which suggests it was based on the prompt book.

But the editor still finds something to write about as he stabs into the bonkers traditions introduced by the earliest editors like Rowe, Pope and Theobald all of whom brought "corrections" to perfectly reasonable elements of the play because they literally assumed Shakespeare must have been in error due to ignorance.

Perhaps the most fascinating of these is in relation to the sleepy Brutus on the eve of the assassination asks his servant if the following day is the "first of March?".  Lewis Theobald when preparing his version of the play in 1733 amended this to "Ides of March" and it stuck.

But this isn't a mistake, Shakespeare knew exactly what he was doing.  On the one hand he's showing how Brutus has other things on his mind and literally needs to be reminded of the actual date (wall planners not having been invented yet), and it's quickly confirmed to him that the 15th is the following the day, the Ides.

The writer is also commenting on a contemporary issues.  This was around the time that the Julian calendar, initiated by Caesar himself was being replaced by the one we know from Pope Gregory XIII and with different religions following different calendars, such confusion would also be on the minds of the viewer.