Cover image for Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616.
Publication Information:
London ; New York : Penguin Books, [1996]

Physical Description:
250 pages ; 18 cm.
General Note:
"Reprinted with a revised further reading 1996."--T.p. verso.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PR2808.A2 S26 1996 Adult Mass Market Paperback Classics

On Order



Part of The New Penguin Shakespeare which offers a complete edition of the plays and poems by Shakespeare. Each volume has been prepared from the original texts and includes an introduction, a commentary and a short account of the textual problems of the play.

Author Notes

William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616 Although there are many myths and mysteries surrounding William Shakespeare, a great deal is actually known about his life. He was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, son of John Shakespeare, a prosperous merchant and local politician and Mary Arden, who had the wealth to send their oldest son to Stratford Grammar School.

At 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, the 27-year-old daughter of a local farmer, and they had their first daughter six months later. He probably developed an interest in theatre by watching plays performed by traveling players in Stratford while still in his youth. Some time before 1592, he left his family to take up residence in London, where he began acting and writing plays and poetry.

By 1594 Shakespeare had become a member and part owner of an acting company called The Lord Chamberlain's Men, where he soon became the company's principal playwright. His plays enjoyed great popularity and high critical acclaim in the newly built Globe Theatre. It was through his popularity that the troupe gained the attention of the new king, James I, who appointed them the King's Players in 1603. Before retiring to Stratford in 1613, after the Globe burned down, he wrote more than three dozen plays (that we are sure of) and more than 150 sonnets. He was celebrated by Ben Jonson, one of the leading playwrights of the day, as a writer who would be "not for an age, but for all time," a prediction that has proved to be true.

Today, Shakespeare towers over all other English writers and has few rivals in any language. His genius and creativity continue to astound scholars, and his plays continue to delight audiences. Many have served as the basis for operas, ballets, musical compositions, and films. While Jonson and other writers labored over their plays, Shakespeare seems to have had the ability to turn out work of exceptionally high caliber at an amazing speed. At the height of his career, he wrote an average of two plays a year as well as dozens of poems, songs, and possibly even verses for tombstones and heraldic shields, all while he continued to act in the plays performed by the Lord Chamberlain's Men. This staggering output is even more impressive when one considers its variety. Except for the English history plays, he never wrote the same kind of play twice. He seems to have had a good deal of fun in trying his hand at every kind of play.

Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets, all published on 1609, most of which were dedicated to his patron Henry Wriothsley, The Earl of Southhampton. He also wrote 13 comedies, 13 histories, 6 tragedies, and 4 tragecomedies. He died at Stratford-upon-Avon April 23, 1616, and was buried two days later on the grounds of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. His cause of death was unknown, but it is surmised that he knew he was dying.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

The three individual plays launch the third edition of the venerable "Arden Shakespeare" series, which will see the entire canon reproduced in superior scholarly editions by the year 2000. The First Folio is a facsimile edition of the original 1623 publication of the bard's works. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7-9ÄThis effort fails miserably as an introduction to the play or as a review tool for high school students. Plenty of well-written treatments exist at a variety of lengths and language levels that present the story with some of the verve it deserves. Given the choice here of short words and sentences and choppy, one-to-three sentence paragraphs, this British import may well have been intended for reluctant readers. If so, any advantage of the extreme simplicity of language is overbalanced by the truly dreadful illustrations. Anyone struggling with Shakespeare would be further turned off by these blurry, careless, unpleasant black-and-white drawings that face every page of text. Random and often inaccurate definitions at the bottoms of a few text pages and equally random-seeming quotations under the illustrations complete this unappealing package.ÄSally Margolis, Barton Public Library, VT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



[Dramatis Personae chorus king henry the fifth humphrey, duke of gloucester, john, duke of bedford, the King's brothers duke of clarence, duke of exeter, the King's uncle duke of york, the King's cousin earl of salisbury earl of westmorland earl of warwick earl of huntingdon archbishop of canterbury bishop of ely richard, earl of cambridge,     conspirators henry, lord scroop of masham,  against the King sir thomas grey, sir thomas erpingham, captain gower, captain fluellen, officers in the King's army captain macmorris, captain jamy, john bates, alexander court, soldiers in the King's army michael williams, An English herald pistol, nym, Falstaff's former tavern-mates bardolph, boy, formerly Falstaff's page hostess, formerly Mistress Quickly, now married to Pistol duke of burgundy french king, Charles the Sixth queen isabel of France dauphin, Lewis katharine, Princess of France alice, a lady attending Katharine duke of orleans duke of berri duke of bourbon duke of brittany constable of france lord rambures lord grandpre governor of harfleur monsieur le fer, a French soldier montjoy, the French herald French ambassadors to England Lords, Ladies, Officers, Soldiers, Citizens, Messengers, and Attendants scene: England, afterwards France] Prologue 1 Muse of fire (Of the four elements--earth, air, fire, and water--fire is the most sublime and mounting.) 2 invention poetic imagination. 4 swelling splendid, magnificent 5 like himself i.e., presented in a fashion worthy of so great a king 6 port bearing 8 gentles gentlemen and gentlewomen 9 flat unraised uninspired, lifeless.   spirits i.e., actors and playwright.   hath (Elizabethan usage often pairs a plural subject with a singular verb.) 10 scaffold stage 11 cockpit (Elizabethan theaters were shaped rather like arenas for animal fighting.) 12 vasty vast, spacious 13 O (Refers to a round theater such as the Globe; the play may have been performed at the Curtain Theater.)   casques helmets 15 crooked figure cipher or zero (which, added to a number, will multiply its value tenfold) 16 Attest stand for 17 account (1) sum total (continuing the metaphor of crooked figure) (2) story 18 imaginary forces forces of imagination 21 abutting touching, bordering.   fronts (1) frontiers, i.e., the cliffs of Dover and Calais (2) foreheads 22 perilous . . . ocean i.e., English Channel 25 puissance armed might, army. 28 deck dress, adorn Prologue  A  Enter [Chorus as] Prologue. chorus Oh, for a Muse of fire, that would ascend 1 The brightest heaven of invention! 2 A kingdom for a stage, princes to act, And monarchs to behold the swelling scene! 4 Then should the warlike Harry, like himself, 5 Assume the port of Mars; and at his heels, 6 Leashed in like hounds, should famine, sword, and   fire Crouch for employment. But pardon, gentles all, 8 The flat unraised spirits that hath dared 9 On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth 10 So great an object. Can this cockpit hold 11 The vasty fields of France? Or may we cram 12 Within this wooden O the very casques 13 That did affright the air at Agincourt? Oh, pardon! Since a crooked figure may 15 Attest in little place a million; 16 And let us, ciphers to this great account, 17 On your imaginary forces work. 18 Suppose within the girdle of these walls Are now confined two mighty monarchies, Whose high upreared and abutting fronts 21 The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder. 22 Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts: Into a thousand parts divide one man, And make imaginary puissance. 25 Think, when we talk of horses, that you see them Printing their proud hoofs i'th' receiving earth. For 'tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings, 28 31 the which supply which service 1.1 Location: England. The royal court. 1 self same 3 like likely (to have passed) 4 scambling unsettled 5 question consideration. 9 temporal used for secular purposes 14 esquires members of the gentry, ranking just below knights 15 lazars lepers 16 corporal physical Carry them here and there, jumping o'er times, Turning th'accomplishment of many years Into an hourglass--for the which supply, 31 Admit me Chorus to this history, Who, Prologue-like, your humble patience pray Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play. Exit. 1.1  *  Enter the two bishops, [the Archbishop] of Canterbury and [the Bishop of] Ely. canterbury My lord, I'll tell you. That self bill is urged 1 Which in th'eleventh year of the last king's reign Was like, and had indeed against us passed, 3 But that the scambling and unquiet time 4 Did push it out of farther question. 5 ely But how, my lord, shall we resist it now? canterbury It must be thought on. If it pass against us, We lose the better half of our possession. For all the temporal lands which men devout 9 By testament have given to the Church Would they strip from us, being valued thus: As much as would maintain, to the King's honor, Full fifteen earls and fifteen hundred knights, Six thousand and two hundred good esquires, 14 And, to relief of lazars and weak age 15 Of indigent faint souls past corporal toil, 16 A hundred almshouses right well supplied; And to the coffers of the King beside A thousand pounds by th' year. Thus runs the bill. ely  This would drink deep. canterbury  'Twould drink the cup and all. ely  But what prevention? 27 mortified killed 29 Consideration meditation, reflection 30 offending Adam original sin 35 heady currance headlong current 36 Hydra-headed i.e., many-headed. (Alludes to the Lernaean Hydra, a monster of many heads overcome by Hercules.) 37 his seat its throne 44 List Listen to 45 rendered . . . music i.e., eloquently narrated. 46 cause of policy matter of statecraft 47 Gordian knot i.e., great difficulty resolved forcefully. (It was foretold that whoever should untie the Gordian knot would rule Asia. Alexander solved the problem by cutting the knot.) 48 Familiar as offhandedly or routinely.   that so that 49 chartered libertine free spirit, licensed to roam at will 50-1 the mute . . . sentences i.e., wonder makes men silent, eagerly listening to hear more of his sweetly profitable wise sayings canterbury The King is full of grace and fair regard. ely And a true lover of the holy Church. canterbury The courses of his youth promised it not. The breath no sooner left his father's body But that his wildness, mortified in him, 27 Seemed to die too; yea, at that very moment Consideration like an angel came 29 And whipped th'offending Adam out of him, 30 Leaving his body as a paradise T'envelop and contain celestial spirits. Never was such a sudden scholar made; Never came reformation in a flood With such a heady currance, scouring faults; 35 Nor never Hydra-headed willfulness 36 So soon did lose his seat, and all at once, 37 As in this king. ely  We are blessed in the change. canterbury Hear him but reason in divinity, And, all-admiring, with an inward wish You would desire the King were made a prelate. Hear him debate of commonwealth affairs, You would say it hath been all in all his study. List his discourse of war, and you shall hear 44 A fearful battle rendered you in music. 45 Turn him to any cause of policy, 46 The Gordian knot of it he will unloose, 47 Familiar as his garter, that, when he speaks, 48 The air, a chartered libertine, is still, 49 And the mute wonder lurketh in men's ears 50 To steal his sweet and honeyed sentences; 51 52-3 So . . . theoric so that experience in practical life must have been the teacher by which he acquired his theoretical conception. 55 addiction inclination 56 companies companions.   rude coarse 57 riots reveling.   sports amusements 60 open . . . popularity places of public resort and low company. 67 crescive . . . faculty naturally inclined to grow. 68 miracles are ceased (Protestants generally believed that no miracles occurred after the revelation of Christ.) 69 means i.e., natural causes 73 indifferent impartial 75 exhibiters those who introduce bills in Parliament 77 Upon on behalf of.   convocation formal assembly of the clergy 78 in hand under consideration 79 opened expounded.   at large in full 82 withal with. So that the art and practic part of life 52 Must be the mistress to this theoric. 53 Which is a wonder how His Grace should glean it, Since his addiction was to courses vain, 55 His companies unlettered, rude, and shallow, 56 His hours filled up with riots, banquets, sports, 57 And never noted in him any study, Any retirement, any sequestration From open haunts and popularity. 60 ely The strawberry grows underneath the nettle, And wholesome berries thrive and ripen best Neighbored by fruit of baser quality; And so the Prince obscured his contemplation Under the veil of wildness, which, no doubt, Grew like the summer grass, fastest by night, Unseen, yet crescive in his faculty. 67 canterbury It must be so, for miracles are ceased. 68 And therefore we must needs admit the means 69 How things are perfected. ely   But, my good lord, How now for mitigation of this bill Urged by the Commons? Doth His Majesty Incline to it, or no? canterbury      He seems indifferent, 73 Or rather swaying more upon our part Than cherishing th'exhibiters against us; 75 For I have made an offer to His Majesty, Upon our spiritual convocation 77 And in regard of causes now in hand, 78 Which I have opened to His Grace at large, 79 As touching France, to give a greater sum Than ever at one time the clergy yet Did to his predecessors part withal. 82 86 fain gladly 87 severals details.   unhidden passages clear lines of descent 89 seat throne 90 Edward Edward III 96 embassy message 1.2 Location: England. The royal court. ely How did this offer seem received, my lord? canterbury With good acceptance of His Majesty, Save that there was not time enough to hear, As I perceived His Grace would fain have done, 86 The severals and unhidden passages 87 Of his true titles to some certain dukedoms, And generally to the crown and seat of France, 89 Derived from Edward, his great-grandfather. 90 ely What was th'impediment that broke this off? canterbury The French ambassador upon that instant Craved audience; and the hour I think is come To give him hearing. Is it four o'clock? ely   It is. canterbury Then go we in to know his embassy, 96 Which I could with a ready guess declare Before the Frenchman speak a word of it. ely I'll wait upon you, and I long to hear it. Exeunt. [1.2]  * Enter the King, Humphrey [Duke of Gloucester], Bedford, Clarence, Warwick, Westmorland, and Exeter [with attendants]. king Where is my gracious lord of Canterbury? exeter Not here in presence. King     Send for him, good uncle. 4 cousin (A form of address customarily used by royalty in addressing their nobles. In this case, Westmorland is in fact related to the King by marriage.)   be resolved come to a decision 6 task engage, occupy 8 become adorn, grace 11 Salic (See explanation at lines 39-45.) 12 Or either 15 nicely charge subtly and foolishly burden 16 opening titles miscreate expounding spurious claims 17 Suits . . . colors i.e., does not naturally harmonize 19 approbation support, proof 20 your reverence (1) an honorific title for an archbishop, Your Reverence (2) your sacred authority 21 impawn put under an obligation 26 woe grievance.   sore severe, grievous 27 wrongs wrongdoings 28 in brief mortality i.e., among mortal, short-lived men. 29 conjuration solemn adjuration westmorland Shall we call in th'ambassador, my liege? king Not yet, my cousin. We would be resolved, 4 Before we hear him, of some things of weight That task our thoughts, concerning us and France. 6 Enter two bishops, [the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Ely]. canterbury God and his angels guard your sacred throne, And make you long become it! king    Sure we thank you. 8 My learned lord, we pray you to proceed, And justly and religiously unfold Why the law Salic that they have in France 11 Or should or should not bar us in our claim. 12 And God forbid, my dear and faithful lord, That you should fashion, wrest, or bow your reading, Or nicely charge your understanding soul 15 With opening titles miscreate, whose right 16 Suits not in native colors with the truth; 17 For God doth know how many now in health Shall drop their blood in approbation 19 Of what your reverence shall incite us to. 20 Therefore take heed how you impawn our person, 21 How you awake our sleeping sword of war. We charge you in the name of God take heed; For never two such kingdoms did contend Without much fall of blood, whose guiltless drops Are every one a woe, a sore complaint 26 'Gainst him whose wrongs gives edge unto the   swords 27 That makes such waste in brief mortality. 28 Under this conjuration speak, my lord; 29 For we will hear, note, and believe in heart 37 Pharamond legendary Frankish king 40 gloze gloss 45 floods rivers 46 Charles the Great Charlemagne 49 dishonest unchaste 58 defunction death 59 Idly foolishly 65 which who. (As also in line 67.) That what you speak is in your conscience washed As pure as sin with baptism. canterbury Then hear me, gracious sovereign, and you peers, That owe yourselves, your lives, and services To this imperial throne. There is no bar To make against Your Highness' claim to France But this, which they produce from Pharamond: 37 "In terram Salicam mulieres ne succedant," "No woman shall succeed in Salic land." Which Salic land the French unjustly gloze 40 To be the realm of France, and Pharamond The founder of this law and female bar. Yet their own authors faithfully affirm That the land Salic is in Germany, Between the floods of Saale and of Elbe; 45 Where, Charles the Great having subdued the Saxons, 46 There left behind and settled certain French, Who, holding in disdain the German women For some dishonest manners of their life, 49 Established then this law: to wit, no female Should be inheritrix in Salic land-- Which Salic, as I said, twixt Elbe and Saale, Is at this day in Germany called Meissen. Then doth it well appear the Salic law Was not devised for the realm of France; Nor did the French possess the Salic land Until four hundred one-and-twenty years After defunction of King Pharamond, 58 Idly supposed the founder of this law, 59 Who died within the year of our redemption Four hundred twenty-six; and Charles the Great Subdued the Saxons, and did seat the French Beyond the River Saale, in the year Eight hundred five. Besides, their writers say, King Pepin, which deposed Childeric, 65 66 heir general heir through male or female line 72 find provide 74 Conveyed himself passed himself off 75 Charlemagne (Holinshed's and Hall's error, followed by Shakespeare, for Charles the Bald or Charles II, emperor of the West; Luitgard [Shakespeare's Lingard] became Charlemagne's wife after the death of Fastrada in 794.) Excerpted from Henry V by William Shakespeare All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 6
William Shakespeare, 1564-1616p. 6
Shakespeare's Theaterp. 8
The Sound of Shakespearep. 10
Publishing Shakespearep. 12
Julius Caesarp. 15
Introduction to the Playp. 15
Julius Caesar's Sourcesp. 17
The Text of Julius Caesarp. 18
The Playp. 19
The Charactersp. 20
Act I

p. 22

Pre-Act Notesp. 22
Text of Act I and Modern Versionp. 24
Post-Act Activitiesp. 64
Act II

p. 66

Pre-Act Notesp. 66
Text of Act II and Modern Versionp. 68
Post-Act Activitiesp. 110

p. 112

Pre-Act Notesp. 112
Text of Act III and Modern Versionp. 114
Post-Act Activitiesp. 160
Act IV

p. 162

Pre-Act Notesp. 162
Text of Act IV and Modern Versionp. 164
Post-Act Activitiesp. 204
Act V

p. 206

Pre-Act Notesp. 206
Text of Act V and Modern Versionp. 208
Post-Act Activitiesp. 242
Additional Resourcesp. 245