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Julius Caesar


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William Shakespeare was born in April 1564 in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, on England's Avon River. When he was eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway. The couple had three children--an older daughter Susanna and twins, Judith and Hamnet. Hamnet, Shakespeare's only son, died in childhood. The bulk of Shakespeare's working life was spent in the theater world of London, where he established himself professionally by the early 1590s. He enjoyed success not only as a playwright and poet, but also as an actor and shareholder in an acting company. Although some think that sometime between 1610 and 1613 Shakespeare retired from the theater and returned home to Stratford, where he died in 1616, others believe that he may have continued to work in London until close to his death.

Barbara A. Mowat is Director of Research emerita at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Consulting Editor of Shakespeare Quarterly, and author of The Dramaturgy of Shakespeare's Romances and of essays on Shakespeare's plays and their editing. Paul Werstine is Professor of English at the Graduate School and at King's University College at Western University. He is a general editor of the New Variorum Shakespeare and author of Early Modern Playhouse Manuscripts and the Editing of Shakespeare and of many papers and articles on the printing and editing of Shakespeare's plays.


Gr 5-8-This full-color adaptation makes Shakespeare's tragedy accessible for middle grade readers. Each spread is headlined with a descriptive phrase. Panels consist of brief snippets of original text in speech balloons, accompanied by a box summarizing the dialogue and action. Unfamiliar words are defined in footnotes. Color effectively signals changes in time of day, with warm sepia hues for daylight scenes and gray tones for night settings. Shading also becomes more subdued as the mood darkens. The artist's use of red is especially compelling. At the drama's onset, red only appears on Caesar's toga. However as the story progresses, readers see blood on the hands of the conspirators, then Mark Antony dramatically carrying Caesar's body. Red becomes increasingly pervasive in the battlefield scenes, with bright crimson flames licking the air and soldiers arrayed in red-plumed helmets and scarlet capes. At times this adaptation is difficult to read, as the text boxes are often a rephrasing of the dialogue balloons. Readers may feel as if the same information is presented twice in each panel. In addition to information on Shakespeare and his plays, back matter includes historical information on Julius Caesar, ancient Rome, and ancient writers.-Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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