ImprovEd Shakespeare's Henry IV (1)UNDERSTANDING JULIUS CAESAR

| by Andee Kinzy |

Here at ImprovEd Shakespeare, we firmly believe you should get to know the story before jumping into a Shakespeare play. In honor of our fall production, we want to share some resources with you.


If you like YouTube, we have a playlist on our channel:
Studies: Julius Caesar

For a short written summary:

  • No Fear Shakespeare* – No Fear Julius Caesar
    *Note: No Fear Shakespeare has a useful modern translation next to the original text. (Although, many Shakespeare academics barf at the modern paraphrasing. Grin.)
  • Shmoop** – Julius Caesar
    **Note: Okay, this site depends on the family. Shmoop is very tongue-in-cheek. There are lots of subjective comments inserted into the summary and a few “more mature” annotations (like “PITA” and “WTF?”). However, it’s entertaining for a quick overview of the story. And, yes, Shakespeare academics barf at this, too.
  • Play Shakespeare website – Julius Caesar
  • Absolute Shakespeare website – Julius Caesar
  • Shakespeare Online website – Julius Caesar
  • Shakespeare Stories II by Leon Garfield
    Out-of-print, but you can find it used on Amazon or at your local library.

For alternative versions:

Entire play:

Film versions:

A short note about “modern translations.” Serious Shakespeare academics and scholars feel that starting kids off with these versions is abhorrent, subjective paraphrasing. At ImprovEd Shakespeare, we appreciate the modern translations. We view them as a jumping off point. Sometimes you come across a phrase that just doesn’t make sense. Without being immersed in Shakespeare’s language, it can be hard to understand. A modern translation helps a-plenty. It helps you to appreciate the beauty of Shakespeare’s words.

In any case, there’s no one right way to approach Shakespeare. The trick is to find what works for you.

We hope these resources are helpful to get you started on your journey with this play!