THE NEW HUDSON SHAKESPEARE
INTRODUCTION AND NOTES BY HENRY NORMAN HUDSON, LL.D.
EDITED AND REVISED BY EBENEZER CHARLTON BLACK LL.D. (GLASGOW) WITH THE CO-OPERATION OF ANDREW JACKSON GEORGE LITT.D. (AMHERST)
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THE LIVES OF THE NOBLE GRECIANS AND ROMAINES, COMPARED TOGETHER BY THAT GRAVE LEARNED PHILOSOPHER AND HISTORIOGRAPHER, Plutarke of Chaeronea. Translated out of Greeke into French by IAMES AMIOT Abbot and great Amner of France. With the liues of HANNIBAL and of SCIPIO AFRICAN: translated out of Latine into French by CHARLES de l'ESCLVSE, and out of French into English, By Sir Thomas North Knight. Hereunto are also added the lives of Epaminondas, of Philip of Macedon, of Dionysius the elder, tyrant of Sicilia, of Augustus Caesar, of Plutarke, and of Seneca: with the liues of nine other excellent Chiefetaines of warre: collected out of Aemylius Probus, by S. G. S. and Englished by the aforesaid Translator. Imprinted at London by RICHARD FIELD for GEORGE BISHOP 1603.
TITLE-PAGE OF NORTH'S PLUTARCH, THIRD EDITION
Reproduced from the copy in the Boston Public Library
The text of this edition of Julius Caesar is based upon a collation of the seventeenth century Folios, the Globe edition, and that of Delius. As compared with the text of the earlier editions of Hudson's Shakespeare, it is conservative. Exclusive of changes in spelling, punctuation, and stage directions, very few emendations by eighteenth century and nineteenth century editors have been adopted; and these, with every variation from the First Folio, are indicated in the textual notes. These notes are printed immediately below the text so that a reader or student may see at a glance the evidence in the case of a disputed reading and have some definite understanding of the reasons for those differences in the text of Shakespeare which frequently surprise and very often annoy. A consideration of the more poetical, or the more dramatically effective, of two variant readings will often lead to rich results in awakening a spirit of discriminating interpretation and in developing true creative criticism. In no sense is this a textual variorum edition. The variants given are only those of importance and high authority.
The spelling and the punctuation of the text are modern, except in the case of verb terminations in -ed, which, when the e is silent, are printed with the apostrophe in its place. This is the general usage in the First Folio. Modern spelling has to a certain extent been followed in the text variants; but the original spelling has been retained wherever its peculiarities have been the basis for important textual criticism and emendation.
With the exception of the position of the textual variants, the plan of this edition is similar to that of the old Hudson Shakespeare. It is impossible to specify the various instances of revision and rearrangement in the matter of the Introduction and the interpretative notes, but the endeavor has been to retain all that gave the old edition its unique place and to add the results of what seems vital and permanent in later inquiry and research.
While it is important that the principle of suum cuique be attended to so far as is possible in matters of research and scholarship, it is becoming more and more difficult to give every man his own in Shakespearian annotation. The amount of material accumulated is so great that the identity-origin of much important comment and suggestion is either wholly lost or so crushed out of shape as to be beyond recognition. Instructive significance perhaps attaches to this in editing the works of one who quietly made so much of materials gathered by others. But the list of authorities given on page li will indicate the chief source of much that has gone to enrich the value of this edition. Professor W. P. Trent, of Columbia University, has offered valuable suggestions and given important advice; and to Mr. M. Grant Daniell's patience, accuracy, and judgment this volume owes both its freedom from many a blunder and its possession of a carefully arranged index.
I. SOURCES vii
THE MAIN STORY vii
NORTH'S PLUTARCH vii
APPIAN'S ROMAN WARS xii
EARLIER PLAYS xiii
THE SCENE OF THE ASSASSINATION xiv
"ET TU, BRUTE" xvi
BRUTUS'S SPEECH, III, ii. xvi
II. DATE OF COMPOSITION xvii
EXTERNAL EVIDENCE xviii
INTERNAL EVIDENCE xx
III. EARLY EDITIONS xxiii
THE QUARTO OF 1691 xxiv
ROWE'S EDITIONS xxiv
IV. THE TITLE xxv
V. DRAMATIC CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT xxv
ANALYSIS BY ACT AND SCENE xxvi
VI. MANAGEMENT OF TIME AND PLACE xxx
HISTORIC TIME xxx
DRAMATIC TIME xxxi
VII. VERSIFICATION AND DICTION xxxii
BLANK VERSE xxxii
VIII. THE CHARACTERS xxxiv
JULIUS CAESAR xxxiv
BRUTUS AND CASSIUS xlvii
THE PEOPLE liii
IX. GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS liii
AUTHORITIES (WITH ABBREVIATIONS) lv
CHRONOLOGICAL CHART lvi
DISTRIBUTION OF CHARACTERS lx
ACT I 3
ACT II 42
ACT III 79
ACT IV 116
ACT V 144
I. WORDS AND PHRASES 169
II. QUOTATIONS FROM PLUTARCH 173
NOTE. In citations from Shakespeare's plays and nondramatic poems the numbering has reference to the Globe edition, except in the case of this play, where the reference is to this edition.
No event in the history of the world has made a more profound impression upon the popular imagination than the assassination of Julius Caesar. Apart from its overwhelming interest as a personal catastrophe, it was regarded in the sixteenth century as a happening of the greatest historical moment, fraught with significant public lessons for all time. There is ample evidence that in England from the beginning of Elizabeth's reign it was the subject of much literary and dramatic treatment, and in making the murder of "the mightiest Julius" the climax of a play, Shakespeare was true to that instinct which drew him for material to themes of universal and eternal interest.
THE MAIN STORY
I. North's Plutarch. There is no possible doubt that in Julius Caesar Shakespeare derived the great body of his historical material from The Life of Julius Caesar, The Life of Marcus Brutus, and The Life of Marcus Antonius in Sir Thomas North's translation of Plutarch. This work was first printed in 1579 in a massive folio dedicated to Queen Elizabeth. A second edition appeared in 1595, and in all probability this was the edition read by Shakespeare. The title-page is reproduced in facsimile on page ix. This interesting title-page gives in brief the literary history of North's translation, which was made not directly from the original Greek of Plutarch, but from a French version by Jacques Amyot, bishop of Auxerre. In 1603 appeared a third edition with additional Lives and new matter on the title-page. There were subsequent editions in 1612, 1631, 1656, and 1676. The popularity of this work attested by these reprintings was thoroughly deserved, for North's Plutarch is among the richest and freshest monuments of Elizabethan prose literature, and, apart altogether from the use made of it by Shakespeare, is in itself an invaluable repertory of honest, manly, idiomatic English. No abstract of the Plutarchian matter need be given here, as all the more important passages drawn upon for the play are quoted in the footnotes to the text. These will show that in most of the leading incidents the great Greek biographer is closely followed, though in many cases these incidents are worked out and developed with rare fertility of invention and art. It is very significant that in the second half of The Life of Julius Caesar, which Shakespeare draws upon very heavily, Plutarch emphasizes those weaknesses of Caesar which are made so prominent in the play. Besides this, in many places the Plutarchian form and order of thought, and also the very words of North's racy and delectable English are retained, with such an embalming for immortality as Shakespeare alone could give.
[Footnote 1: Professor W. W. Skeat's Shakespeare's Plutarch (The Macmillan Company) gives these Lives in convenient form with a text based upon the edition of 1612.]
[Footnote 2: A Latin translation of Plutarch's Lives was printed at Rome as early as 1470, and there is evidence that through a Latin version the work first attracted the attention of Amyot. But his famous French version, first published in 1559, shows thorough familiarity with the original Greek text.]
[Footnote 3: This title-page is given in facsimile as the frontispiece of this volume.]
[Footnote 4: There is a famous copy of this edition in the Greenock Library with the initials "W. S." at the top of the title-page and seventeenth century manuscript notes in The Life of Julius Caesar. See Skeat's Shakespeare's Plutarch, Introduction, p. xii.]
[Footnote 5: See Trench's Lectures on Plutarch, Leo's Four Chapters of North's Plutarch, and Delius's Shakespeare's Julius Caesar und seine Quellen in Plutarch (Shakespeare Jahrbuch, XVII, 67).]
In Julius Caesar Shakespeare's indebtedness to North's Plutarch may be summed up as extending to (1) the general story of the play; (2) minor incidents and happenings, as Caesar's falling-sickness, the omens before his death, and the writings thrown in Brutus's way; (3) touches of detail, as in the description of Cassius's "lean and hungry look" and of Antony's tastes and personal habits; and (4) noteworthy expressions, phrases, and single words, as in III, ii, 240-241, 246-248; IV, iii, 2; IV, iii, 178; V, i, 80-81; V, iii, 109.
On the other hand, Shakespeare's alteration of Plutarchian material is along the lines of (1) idealization, as in the characters of Brutus and Cassius; (2) amplification, as in the use Antony makes of Caesar's rent and bloody mantle; and (3) simplification and compression of the action for dramatic effect, as in making Caesar's triumph take place at the time of "the feast of Lupercal," in the treatment of the quarrel between Brutus and Cassius, which in Plutarch lasts for two days, and in making the two battles of Philippi occur on the same day. See note, p. 159, ll. 109-110. See also below, The Scene of the Assassination.
2. Appian's Roman Wars. In 1578 there was published in London an English translation of the extant portions of Appian's History of the Roman Wars both Civil and Foreign, with the interesting title page shown in facsimile on page xi.
AN AVNCIENT Historie and exquisite Chronicle of the Romanes warres, both Ciuile and Foren.
Written in Greeke by the noble Orator and Historiographer, Appian of Alexandria, one of the learned Counsell to the most mightie Emperoures, Traiane and Adriane
In the which is declared:
Their greedy desire conquere others. Their mortall malice to destroy themselves. Their seeking of matters to make warre abroad. Their picking of quarels to fall out at home. All the degrees of Sedition, and the effects of Ambition. A firme determination of Fate, thorowe all the changes of Fortune. And finally, an evident demonstration, That peoples rule must give place, and Princes power prevayle.
With a continuation, bicause that parte of Appian is not extant, from the death of Sextus Pompeius, second sonne to Pompey the Great, till the overthrow of Antonie and Cleopatra, after the vvhich time, Octavianus Caesar, had the Lordship of all, alone.
[Greek: Basilidi chratiste, despotidi t' epieikestate]
IMPRINTED AT LONDON by Raufe Newbery, and Henrie Bynniman. Anno. 1578.
In this translation of Appian the events before and after Caesar's death are described minutely and with many graphic touches. Compare, for example, with the quotation from Plutarch given in the note, p. 68, l. 33, this account of the same incident in Appian: "The day before that Caesar should go to the senate, he had him at a banquet with Lepidus ... and talking merrily what death was best for a man, some saying one and some another, he of all praised sudden death." Here are some of the marginal summaries in Appian: "Caesar refuseth the name of King," "A crown upon Caesar's image by one that was apprehended of the tribunes Marullus and Sitius," "Caesar hath the Falling-Sickness," "Caesar's Wife (hath) a fearful Dream," "Caesar contemneth sacrifices of evil Luck," "Caesar giveth over when Brutus had stricken him," "The fear of the Conspirators," "The bad Angel of Brutus."
What gives interest and distinction to Appian's translation as a probable source for material in Julius Caesar is that in it we have speeches by Antony, Brutus, and Lepidus at the time of the reading of Caesar's will. In this translation Antony's first speech begins, "They that would have voices tried upon Caesar must know afore that if he ruled as an officer lawfully chosen, then all his acts and decrees must stand in force...." On Antony's second speech the comment is, "Thus wrought Antony artificially." His speech to the Senate begins, "Silence being commanded, he said thus, 'Of the citizens offenders (you men of equal honour) in this your consultation I have said nothing....'" The speech of Lepidus to the people has this setting: "When he was come to the place of speech he lamented, weeping, and thus said, 'Here I was yesterday with Caesar, and now am I here to inquire of Caesar's death.... Caesar is gone from us, an holy and honourable man in deed.'" The effect of this speech is commented on as follows: "Handling the matter thus craftily, the hired men, knowing that he was ambitious, praised him and exhorted him to take the office of Caesar's priesthood." A long speech by Brutus follows the reading of Caesar's will. It begins: "Now, O citizens, we be here with you that yesterday were in the common court not as men fleeing to the temple that have done amiss, nor as to a fort, having committed all we have to you.... We have heard what hath been objected against us of our enemies, touching the oath and touching cause of doubt...." The effect of this speech is thus described: "Whiles Brutus thus spake, all the hearers considering with themselves that he spake nothing but right, did like them well, and as men of courage and lovers of the people, had them in great admiration and were turned into their favour."
3. Earlier Plays. As already mentioned, England had plays on the subject of Julius Caesar from the first years of Elizabeth's reign. As not one of these earlier plays is extant, there can be no certainty as to whether Shakespeare drew upon them for materials or inspiration, but, as Professor Herford says, "he seems to be cognisant of their existence." His opening scene is addressed to a public familiar with the history of Pompey and Pompey's sons. Among these earlier plays was one almost contemporary with the first production of Gorboduc, the first English tragedy. It is referred to under the name of Julyus Sesar in an entry in Machyn's Diary under February 1, 1562. In Plays confuted in five Actions, printed probably in 1582, Stephen Gosson mentions the history of Caesar and Pompey as a contemporary play. A Latin play on Caesar's death was acted at Oxford in 1582, and for it Dr. Richard Eedes (Eades, Edes) of Christ Church wrote the epilogue (Epilogus Caesaris Intersecti). In Henslowe's Diary under November 8, 1594, a Seser and pompie is mentioned as a new play. Mr. A. W. Verity (Julius Caesar, The Pitt Press edition) makes the interesting suggestion that in III, i, 111-116, there may be an allusion to these earlier plays. Cf. also Hamlet, III, ii, 107-111, quoted below.
THE SCENE OF THE ASSASSINATION
In transferring the assassination of Caesar from the Porticus Pompeia ("Pompey's porch," I, iii, 126) to the Capitol, Shakespeare departed from Plutarch and historical accuracy to follow a popular tradition that had received the signal imprimatur of Chaucer:
This Iulius to the Capitolie wente Upon a day, as he was wont to goon, And in the Capitolie anon him hente This false Brutus, and his othere foon And stikede him with boydekins anoon With many a wounde, and thus they lete him lye; But never gronte he at no strook but oon, Or elles at two, but if his storie lye.
The Monkes Tale, ll. 715-718. (Skeat's Chaucer.)
[Footnote 1: go.]
[Footnote 2: seized.]
[Footnote 3: foes.]
[Footnote 4: daggers.]
[Footnote 5: groaned.]
[Footnote 6: unless.]
This literary and popular tradition is followed in Hamlet, III, ii, 107-111:
HAMLET. What did you enact?
POLONIUS. I did enact Julius Caesar: I was kill'd i' the Capitol: Brutus kill'd me.
HAMLET. It was a brute part of him to kill so capital a calf there.
So also in Antony and Cleopatra:
Since Julius Caesar, Who at Philippi the good Brutus ghosted, There saw you labouring for him. What was 't That mov'd pale Cassius to conspire; and what Made the all-honour'd, honest Roman, Brutus, With the arm'd rest, courtiers of beauteous freedom, To drench the Capitol; but that they would Have one man but a man? [II, vi, 12-19.]
We have the same popular tradition in the first scene of the last act of Fletcher's The Noble Gentleman. So, too, in the Prologue to Beaumont and Fletcher's, or Fletcher and Massinger's, The False One, a tragedy dealing with Caesar and Cleopatra:
To tell Of Caesar's amorous heats, and how he fell I' the Capitol.
Here the reference is to Shakespeare's play.
"ET TU, BRUTE"
Dyce and other researchers have made clear that in Shakespeare's day "Et tu, Brute" was a familiar phrase which had special reference to a wound from a supposed friend. It probably owed its popularity to having been used in the earlier plays on the subject of Julius Caesar. In The True Tragedie of Richard Duke of York (1595), upon which Shakespeare's 3 Henry VI is based, occurs the line,
Et tu, Brute? wilt thou stab Caesar too?
This line is repeated in S. Nicholson's poem, Acolastus, his Afterwitte (1600). In Ben Jonson's Every Man out of His Humour (1599), Buffone uses "Et tu, Brute" in speaking to Macilente (V, iv). In the Myrroure for Magistrates (1587) we find,
And Brutus thou, my sonne, quoth I, whom erst I loved best.
The Latin form of the phrase possibly originated, as Malone suggested, in the Latin play referred to above (Earlier Plays) which was acted at Oxford in 1582. It is easy to see how the Elizabethan tendency to word-quibble and equivoque would help to give currency to the Latin form. Cf. Hamlet's joke on 'brute' quoted above.
BRUTUS'S SPEECH, III, ii
In view of the close connection between Julius Caesar and Hamlet as regards date of composition and the characterization of Brutus and Hamlet, interest attaches to Professor Gollancz's theory (Julius Caesar, Temple Shakespeare) that the original of the famous speech of Brutus to the assembled Romans (III, ii) may be found in Belleforest's History of Hamlet, in the oration which Hamlet makes to the Danes after he has slain his uncle. "The situation of Hamlet is almost identical with that of Brutus after he has dealt the blow, and the burden of Hamlet's too lengthy speech finds an echo in Brutus's sententious utterance. The verbose iteration of the Dane has been compressed to suit 'the brief compendious manner of speech of the Lacedaemonians.'"—Gollancz. As the English translation from which Professor Gollancz quotes in support of his theory is dated 1608, and is the earliest known, it cannot have been from this that Shakespeare drew any suggestions or material. The question arises, Did Shakespeare read the speech in the original French? The volume of Belleforest's Histoires Tragiques, which contained the story of Hamlet, was first published in 1570, and there were many reprintings of it before 1600.
[Footnote 1: Reprinted in Collier's Shakespeare's Library. This translation shows in more than one place the influence of Shakespeare's play. For example, Hamlet's exclamation before he kills Polonius, "A rat! a rat!" is in the English version, but there is no suggestion of it in the French original.]
II. DATE OF COMPOSITION
Modern editors fix the date of composition of Julius Caesar within 1601, the later time limit (terminus ante quem), and 1598, the earlier time limit (terminus post quem). The weight of evidence is in favor of 1600-1601.
1. Negative. Julius Caesar is not mentioned by Meres in the Palladis Tamia, published in 1598, which gives a list of twelve noteworthy Shakespeare plays in existence at that time. This establishes 1598 as a probable terminus post quem.
2. Positive. In John Weever's Mirror of Martyrs or the Life and Death of Sir John Oldcastle Knight, Lord Cobham, printed in 1601, are the following lines:
The many-headed multitude were drawne By Brutus speech that Caesar was ambitious, When eloquent Mark Antonie had showne His vertues, who but Brutus then was vicious? Man's memorie, with new, forgets the old, One tale is good, until another's told.
Halliwell-Phillipps was the first to note that here is a very pointed reference to the second scene of the third act of Julius Caesar, as the antithesis brought out is not indicated in any of Shakespeare's historical sources. The fact that Weever states in his Dedication that the Mirror "some two years agoe was made fit for the print" has been held by Mr. Percy Simpson to indicate that the play was not brought out later than 1599, a conclusion supported, he thinks, by a passage in Ben Jonson's Every Man out of His Humour, produced in that year, where Clove (III, i) says, "Then coming to the pretty animal, as Reason long since is fled to animals, you know," which may be a sneering allusion to Antony's "O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts" (III, ii, 104). The "Et tu, Brute" quotation in the same play has been used to strengthen the argument. But the lines from the Mirror of Martyrs quoted above may easily have been inserted by Weever into his poem in consequence of the popularity of Shakespeare's play. This contemporary popularity is well attested. Leonard Digges, in his verses Upon Master William Shakespeare prefixed to the 1640 edition of Shakespeare's Poems, thus compares it with that of Ben Jonson's Roman plays:
So have I seene, when Cesar would appeare, And on the Stage at halfe-sword parley were Brutus and Cassius: oh how the Audience Were ravish'd, with what new wonder they went thence, When some new day they would not brooke a line Of tedious (though well laboured) Catiline; Sejanus too was irkesome, they priz'de more Honest Iago, or the jealous Moore.
[Footnote 1: In Notes and Queries, February, 1899.]
[Footnote 2: Leonard Digges also wrote verses "To the Memorie of the deceased Authour Maister W. Shakespeare," prefixed to the First Folio.]
"Fustian" Clove's quotation may apply to references to the Pythagorean doctrine of the transmigration of souls in Shakespeare's earlier plays and other Elizabethan literature; and little can be based upon the "Et tu, Brute" quotation, as Ben Jonson may have drawn it from the same source as Shakespeare did.
On the other hand, Henslowe in his Diary under May 22, 1602, notes that he advanced five pounds "in earneste of a Boocke called sesers Falle," which the dramatists Munday, Drayton, Webster, Middleton "and the Rest" were composing for Lord Nottingham's Company. Caesar's Fall was plainly intended to outshine Shakespeare's popular play, but, as Professor Herford comments, "the lost play ... for the rival company would have been a somewhat tardy counterblast to an old piece of 1599." He adds: "Julius Caesar was certainly not unconcerned in the revival of the fashion for tragedies of revenge with a ghost in them, which suddenly set in with Marston's Antonio and Mellida and Chettle's Hoffman in 1601."
Dr. Furnivall, a strong advocate for 1601 as the date of composition, has suggested that Essex's ill-judged rebellion against Queen Elizabeth, on Sunday, February 8, 1601, was the reason of Shakespeare's producing his Julius Caesar in that year. "Assuredly," he says, "the citizens of London in that year who heard Shakespeare's play must have felt the force of 'Et tu, Brute,' and must have seen Brutus's death, with keener and more home-felt influence than we feel and hear the things with now."
Drayton's revised version of his Mortimeriados (1596-1597); published in 1603 under the title of The Barons' Wars, has a passage which strongly resembles some lines in Antony's last speech (V, v, 73-74), but common property in the idea that a well-balanced mixture of the four elements (earth, air, fire, and water) produces a perfect man invalidates any argument for the date of the play based upon this evidence. See note, p. 167, l. 73.
Dr. W. A. Wright has argued against an earlier date than 1600 for the composition of Julius Caesar from the use of 'eternal' for 'infernal' in I, ii, 160. See note, p. 20, l. 160. Of course there is no certainty that Shakespeare wished to use the word 'infernal,' and, besides, if any substitution was made, it may have been at a later date. But adumbrations of Hamlet everywhere in Julius Caesar, the frequent references to Caesar in Hamlet, the kinship in character of Brutus and Hamlet (see note, p. 46, l. 65), the treatment of the supernatural, and the development of the revenge motive give strong cumulative evidence that the composition of Julius Caesar is in time very near to that of Hamlet, the first Shakespearian draft of which is now generally conceded to date from the first months of 1602. The diction of Julius Caesar, the quality of the blank verse, the style generally (see below, Versification and Diction), all point to 1601 as the probable date of composition. It has been said that a true taste for Shakespeare is like the creation of a special sense; and this saying is nowhere better approved than in reference to his subtile variations of language and style. He began with what may be described as a preponderance of the poetic element over the dramatic. As we trace his course onward, we may discover a gradual rising of the latter element into greater strength and prominence, until at last it had the former in complete subjection. Now, where positive external evidence is wanting, it is mainly from the relative strength of these elements that the probable date of the writing may be argued. In Julius Caesar the diction is more gliding and continuous, and the imagery more round and amplified, than in the earlier dramas or in those known to belong to Shakespeare's latest period.
[Footnote 1: In The Academy, September 18, 1875. See also The Leopold Shakspere, Introduction.]
[Footnote 2: Julius Caesar, The Clarendon Press, Introduction, p. viii.]
These distinctive notes are of a nature more easily to be felt than described, and to make them felt examples will best serve. Take then a passage from the soliloquy of Brutus just after he has pledged himself to the conspiracy:
'Tis a common proof, That lowliness is young ambition's ladder, Whereto the climber upward turns his face; But when he once attains the upmost round, He then unto the ladder turns his back, Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees By which he did ascend. [II, i, 21-27.]
Here we have a full, rounded period in which all the elements seem to have been adjusted, and the whole expression set in order, before any part of it was written down. The beginning foresees the end, the end remembers the beginning, and the thought and image are evolved together in an even, continuous flow. The thing is indeed perfect in its way, still it is not in Shakespeare's latest and highest style. Now take a passage from The Winter's Tale:
When you speak, sweet, I'ld have you do it ever: when you sing, I'ld have you buy and sell so, so give alms, Pray so; and, for the ordering your affairs, To sing them too: when you do dance, I wish you A wave o' the sea, that you might ever do Nothing but that; move still, still so, And own no other function. [IV, iv, 136-143.]
Here the workmanship seems to make and shape itself as it goes along, thought kindling thought, and image prompting image, and each part neither concerning itself with what has gone before, nor with what is coming after. The very sweetness has a certain piercing quality, and we taste it from clause to clause, almost from word to word, as so many keen darts of poetic rapture shot forth in rapid succession. Yet the passage, notwithstanding its swift changes of imagery and motion, is perfect in unity and continuity.
III. EARLY EDITIONS
On November 8, 1623, Edward Blount and Isaac Jaggard obtained formal license to print "Mr. William Shakespeere's Comedyes, Histories, and Tragedyes, soe many of the said copies as are not formerly entered to other men." This is the description-entry in The Stationers' Registers of what is now known as the First Folio (1623), designated in the textual notes of this edition F1. Julius Caesar is one of the plays "not formerly entered," and it was first printed, so far as is known, in this famous volume. It is more correctly printed than perhaps any other play in the First Folio and, as the editors of the Cambridge Shakespeare suggest, "may perhaps have been (as the preface falsely implied that all were) printed from the original manuscript of the author." It stands between Timon of Athens and Macbeth, two very badly printed plays. The running title is The Tragedie of Julius Caesar, but in the "Catalogve of the seuerall Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies contained in this Volume," the title is given as The Life and Death of Julius Caesar.
[Footnote 1: This is strong evidence that the play had not been printed at an earlier date.]
[Footnote 2: "... Absolute in their numbers, as he conceiued them.... His mind and hand went together: And what he thought, he vttered with that easinesse, that wee haue scarse receiued from him a blot in his papers" (Heminge and Condell's Address "To the great Variety of Readers," First Folio).]
[Footnote 3: Mr. F. G. Fleay in his Shakespeare Manual (1876) argues that "this play as we have it is an abridgement of Shakespeare's play made by Ben Jonson."]
The Second Folio, F2 (1632), the Third Folio, F3 (1663, 1664), and the Fourth Folio, F4 (1685), show few variants in the text of Julius Caesar and none of importance.
THE QUARTO OF 1691
In 1691 Julius Caesar appeared in quarto form. This Quarto contained one famous text variant, 'hath' for 'path' in II, i, 83. Though the Folio text here offers difficulties, and modern editors have suggested many emendations, no one has been inclined to accept the commonplace reading of the Quarto.
In the Folios and in the Quarto of 1691 the play is divided into acts, but not into scenes, though the first act is headed Actus Primus, Scaena Prima. The first systematic division into scenes was made by Nicholas Rowe, poet laureate to George I, in the edition which he issued in six octavo volumes in 1709. In this edition Rowe, an experienced playwright, marked the entrances and exits of the characters and introduced many stage directions and the list of dramatis personae which has been the basis for all later lists. A second edition in eight volumes was published in 1714. Rowe followed very closely the text of the Fourth Folio, but modernized spelling, punctuation, and occasionally grammar. These are the first critical editions of Shakespeare's plays.
IV. THE TITLE
It has been justly observed that Shakespeare shows much judgment in the naming of his plays. From this observation several critics have excepted Julius Caesar, pronouncing the title a misnomer, on the ground that Brutus, and not Caesar, is the hero of it. It is indeed true that Brutus is the hero, but the play is rightly named, for Caesar is not only the subject but also the governing power of it throughout. He is the center and springhead of the entire action, giving law and shape to everything that is said and done. This is manifestly true in what occurs before his death; and it is true in a still deeper sense afterwards, since his genius then becomes the Nemesis or retributive Providence.
V. DRAMATIC CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT
Julius Caesar is a tragedy of a normal Shakespearian type, in which is represented a conflict between an individual, or group of individuals, and certain forces which environ, antagonize, and overwhelm. The unity of action and of interest is the personality of Julius Caesar. In dramatic technique the play is simple and effective. Out of masses of detail and historical incident the dramatist has shaped a symmetrical and well-defined plot marked by (1) the exposition, or introduction, (2) the complication, or rising action, (3) the climax, or turning point, (4) the resolution, or falling action, and (5) the catastrophe, or conclusion. It is almost a commonplace of criticism that the opening scene of a Shakespeare play strikes the keynote of the action. It certainly does in a remarkable way in Julius Caesar, introducing, on the one side, a group of excited citizens friendly to Caesar, and, on the other, two tribunes hostile to him. It foreshadows the character-contrasts in the play and the conflict between the state and the individual. The exposition continues through the second scene, in which are introduced the leading characters in significant action and interaction. At the close of this scene Cassius lays his plans to win Brutus over to the conspiracy, and the complication, or rising action, of the drama begins. Through the last scene of the first act and the four scenes of the second act the growth of the complication is continued, with brief intervals of suspense, until, in the first scene of the third act, the climax is reached in the assassination of Caesar and the wild enthusiasm of the conspirators. With the entry of Antony's servant begins the resolution, or falling action (see note, p. 89, l. 123), and from now, through intervals of long suspense and many vicissitudes, the fortunes of the chief conspirators fall inevitably to the catastrophe.
ANALYSIS BY ACT AND SCENE
[Footnote 1: For an interesting defense of the so-called 'dragging' tendency and episodical character of the third scene of the fourth act, see Professor A. C. Bradley's Shakespearean Tragedy, pp. 55-61.]
[Footnote 2: "It must be understood that a play can be analyzed into very different schemes of plot. It must not be thought that one of these schemes is right and the rest wrong; but the schemes will be better or worse in proportion as—while of course representing correctly the facts of the play—they bring out more or less of what ministers to our sense of design."—Moulton.]
I. THE EXPOSITION, OR INTRODUCTION (TYING OF THE KNOT)
Act I, Scene i. The popularity of Caesar with the Roman mob and the jealousy of the official classes—the two motive forces of the play—are revealed. The fickleness of the mob is shown in a spirit of comedy; the antagonism of Marullus and Flavius strikes the note of tragedy.
Act I, Scene ii, 1-304. The supreme characters are introduced, and in their opening speeches each reveals his temperament and foreshadows the part which he will play. The exposition of the situation is now complete.
II. THE COMPLICATION, RISING ACTION, OR GROWTH (TYING OF THE KNOT)
Act I, Scene ii, 305-319. In soliloquy Cassius unfolds his scheme for entangling Brutus in the conspiracy, and the dramatic complication begins.
Act I, Scene iii. Casca, excited by the fiery portents that bode disaster to the state, is persuaded by Cassius to join "an enterprise of honourable-dangerous consequence" (lines 123-124). The conspirators are assigned to their various posts, and Cassius engages to secure Brutus before morning.
Act II, Scene i. The humane character of Brutus, as master, husband, and citizen, is elaborated, and his attitude to Caesar and the conspiracy of assassination clearly shown. He joins the conspirators—apparently their leader, in reality their tool. In lines 162-183 he pleads that the life of Antony be spared, and thus unconsciously prepares for his own ruin.
Act II, Scene ii. Caesar is uneasy at the omens and portents, and gives heed to Calpurnia's entreaties to remain at home, but he yields to the importunity of Decius and starts for the Capitol, thus advancing the plans of the conspirators. The dramatic contrast between Caesar and Brutus is strengthened by that between Calpurnia in this scene and Portia in the preceding.
Act II, Scene iii. The dramatic interest is intensified by the warning of Artemidorus and the suggestion of a way of escape for the protagonist.
Act II, Scene iv. The interest is further intensified by the way in which readers and spectators are made to share the anxiety of Portia.
III. THE CLIMAX, CRISIS, OR TURNING POINT (THE KNOT TIED)
Act III, Scene i, 1-122. The dramatic movement is now rapid, and the tension, indicated by the short whispered sentences of all the speakers except Caesar, is only increased by his imperial utterances, which show utter unconsciousness of the impending doom. In the assassination all the complicating forces—the self-confidence of Caesar, the unworldly patriotism of Brutus, the political chicanery of Cassius, the unscrupulousness of Casca, and the fickleness of the mob—bring about an event which changes the lives of all the characters concerned and threatens the stability of the Roman nation. The death of Caesar is the climax of the physical action of the play; it is at the same time the emotional crisis from which Brutus comes with altered destiny.
IV. THE RESOLUTION, FALLING ACTION, OR CONSEQUENCE (THE UNTYING OF THE KNOT)
Act III, Scene i, 123-298. With Brutus's "Soft! who comes here? A friend of Antony's" begins the resolution, or falling action, of the play. "The fortune of the conspirators, hitherto in the ascendant, now declines, while 'Caesar's spirit' surely and steadily prevails against them."—Verity. Against the advice of Cassius, Brutus gives Antony permission to deliver a public funeral oration. Antony in a soliloquy shows his determination to avenge Caesar, and the first scene of the falling action closes with the announcement that Octavius is within seven leagues of Rome.
Act III, Scene ii—Scene iii. The orations of Antony, in vivid contrast to the conciliatory but unimpassioned speeches of Brutus, fire the people and liberate fresh forces in the falling action. Brutus and Cassius have to fly the city, riding "like madmen through the gates of Rome." In unreasoning fury the mob tears to pieces an innocent poet who has the same name as a conspirator.
Act IV, Scene i. Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus, having formed a triumvirate of which Antony is the master spirit, agree on a proscription list and join forces against Brutus and Cassius, who "are levying powers."
Act IV, Scene ii. Brutus and Cassius, long parted by pride and obstinacy, meet to discuss a plan of action.
Act IV, Scene iii. This is one of the most famous individual scenes in Shakespeare (see note, page 123). Its intensely human interest is always conceded, but its dramatic propriety, because of what seems a 'dragging' tendency, has been often questioned. The scene opens with Brutus and Cassius bandying recriminations, and the quarrel of the two generals bodes disaster to their cause. As the discussion proceeds, they yield points and become reconciled. Brutus then quietly but with peculiar pathos tells of Portia's death by her own hand. In all the great tragedies, with the notable exception of Othello, when the forces of the resolution, or falling action, are gathering towards the denouement, Shakespeare introduces a scene which appeals to an emotion different from any of those excited elsewhere in the play. "As a rule this new emotion is pathetic; and the pathos is not terrible or lacerating, but, even if painful, is accompanied by the sense of beauty and by an outflow of admiration or affection, which come with an inexpressible sweetness after the tension of the crisis and the first counter-stroke. So it is with the reconciliation of Brutus and Cassius, and the arrival of the news of Portia's death."—Bradley. While the shadow of her tragic passing overhangs the spirits of both, Brutus overhears the shrewd, cautious counsel of Cassius and persuades him to assent to the fatal policy of offering battle at Philippi. That night the ghost of Caesar appears to Brutus.
Act V, Scene i. The action now falls rapidly to the quick, decisive movement of the denouement. The antagonists are now face to face. Brutus and Cassius have done what Antony and Octavius hoped that they would do. The opposing generals hold a brief parley in which Brutus intimates that he is willing to effect a reconciliation, but Antony rejects his proposals and bluntly charges him and Cassius with the wilful murder of Caesar. Cassius reminds Brutus of his warning that Antony should have fallen when Caesar did. Antony, Octavius, and their army retire, and the scene closes with the noble farewell without hope between Brutus and Cassius.
Act V, Scene ii. The opposing armies meet on the field, and a final flare-up of hope in the breast of Brutus is indicated by his spirited order to Messala to charge. The scene implies that Cassius was defeated by being left without support by Brutus.
V. DENOUEMENT, CATASTROPHE, OR CONCLUSION (THE KNOT UNTIED)
Act V, Scene iii. The charge ordered by Brutus has been successful, and Octavius has been driven back, but Cassius is thus left unguarded, and Antony's forces surround him. He takes refuge on a hill and sends Titinius to see "whether yond troops are friend or enemy." Believing Titinius to be slain, he begs Pindarus to stab him, and Cassius dies "even with the sword that kill'd" Caesar. With the same sword Titinius then slays himself, and Brutus, when Messala bears the news to him, exclaims in words that strike the keynote of the whole falling action and denouement:
O Julius Caesar, thou art mighty yet! Thy spirit walks abroad, and turns our swords In our own proper entrails.
Act V, Scene iv. Like Hamlet, Brutus at the last is a man of supreme action. He rallies his forces for a last attack. With hopeless failure before him, he is at once a heroic figure and one of infinite pathos. Young Cato falls. Lucilius is attacked; assuming the name of Brutus, he is not killed but taken prisoner. Antony recognizes him and gives orders that he be treated kindly.
Act V, Scene v. Brutus dies by his own sword, and his last words tell the story of failure and defeat. Like a true Roman, he meets his doom without a murmur of complaint. He had been true to his ideals. The tragic denouement comes as the inevitable consequence, not of wilful sin, but of a noble mistake. In death he commands the veneration of both Antony and Octavius, who pronounce over his body the great interpretation of his character, and in their speeches the tragedy closes as with a chant of victory for the hero of defeat.
VI. MANAGEMENT OF TIME AND PLACE
1. Historic time. Caesar's triumph over the sons of Pompey was celebrated in October, B.C. 45. Shakespeare makes this coincident with "the feast of Lupercal" on February 15, B.C. 44. In the play Antony delivers his funeral oration immediately after Caesar's death; historically, there was an interval of days. Octavius did not reach Rome until upwards of two months after the assassination; in III, ii, 261, Antony is told by his servant immediately after the funeral oration that "Octavius is already come to Rome." In November, B.C. 43, the triumvirs met to make up their bloody proscription, and in the autumn of the following year were fought the two battles of Philippi, separated historically by twenty days, but represented by Shakespeare as taking place on the same day.
2. Dramatic Time. Historical happenings that extended over nearly three years are represented in the stage action as the occurrences of six days, distributed over the acts and scenes as follows:
Day 1.—I, i, ii. Interval. Day 2.—I, iii. Day 3.—II, III. Interval. Day 4.—IV, i. Interval. Day 5.—IV, ii, iii. Interval. Day 6.—V.
This compression for the purposes of dramatic unity results in action that is swift and throbbing with human and ethical interest.
3. Place. Up to the second scene of the fourth act Rome is the natural place of action. The second and third scenes of the fourth act are at Sardis in Asia Minor; the last act shifts to Philippi in Macedonia. The only noteworthy deviation from historical accuracy is in making the conference of the triumvirs take place at Rome and not at Bononia. See note, p. 116. But there is peculiar dramatic effectiveness in placing this fateful colloquy in the city that was the center of the political unrest of the time.
VII. VERSIFICATION AND DICTION
The characteristics of Shakespeare's blank verse—the rhymeless, iambic five-stress (decasyllabic) verse, or iambic pentameter, introduced into England by Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, about 1540—and its proportion to rhyme and to prose have been much used in recent years to determine the chronological order of the plays and the development of the poet's art. In blank verse as used by Shakespeare we have really an epitome of the development of the measure in connection with the English drama. In his earlier plays the blank verse is often similar to that of Gorboduc, the first English tragedy. The tendency is to adhere to the syllable-counting principle, to make the line the unit, the sentence and phrase coinciding with the line (end-stopped verse), and to use five perfect iambic feet to the line. In plays of the middle period, such as The Merchant of Venice and As You Like It, written between 1596 and 1600, the blank verse is more like that of Kyd and Marlowe, with less monotonous regularity in the structure and an increasing tendency to carry on the sense from one line to another without a syntactical or rhetorical pause at the end of the line (run-on verse, enjambement). Redundant syllables now abound and the melody is richer and fuller. In Shakespeare's later plays the blank verse breaks away from all bondage to formal line limits, and the organic continuity is found in a succession of great metrical periods.
The verse of Julius Caesar is less monotonously regular than that of the earlier plays; it is more flexible and varied, more musical and sonorous, but it lacks the superb movement of the verse in Othello, The Winter's Tale, and The Tempest. End-stopped, normally regular iambic pentameter lines often occur (as, for instance, I, i, 37, 41, 44, 62, 76), but everywhere are variations and deviations from the norm, and there is an unusual number of short lines and interjectional lines of two or three stresses. See Abbott's A Shakespearian Grammar, Sect. 511, 512.
Apart from the use of rhyme in songs, lyrics, and portions of masques (as in The Tempest, IV, i, 60-138), a progress from more to less rhyme is a sure index to Shakespeare's development as a dramatist and a master of expression. In the early Love's Labour's Lost are more than one thousand rhyming five-stress iambic lines; in The Tempest are only two; in The Winter's Tale not one. In Julius Caesar are found only thirty-four rhyming lines.
If "of the soule the bodie forme doth take," it is small wonder that attempts have been made to explain Shakespeare's distinctive use of verse and prose. Of recent years there have been interesting discussions of the question "whether we are justified in supposing that Shakespeare was guided by any fixed principle in his employment of verse and prose, or whether he merely employed them, as fancy suggested, for the sake of variety and relief." It is a significant fact that in many of Shakespeare's earlier plays there is little or no prose, and that the proportion of prose to blank verse increases with the decrease of rhyme. In Julius Caesar three kinds of prose may be distinguished: (1) The prose of homely dialogue, as in the talk of the common people in I, i, and III, iii. (2) The prose of serious information as to the nature of a situation, as in Casca's description of the offer of the crown to Caesar. This kind of prose reaches its highest development in Brutus's famous speech, III, ii, with its dignified defense and laconic exposition of his honesty of purpose. (3) The prose of formal documents, as in the letter of Artemidorus, II, iii, 1-8.
[Footnote 1: Professor J. Churton Collins's Shakespeare as a Prose Writer. See Delius's Die Prosa in Shakespeares Dramen (Shakespeare Jahrbuch, V, 227-273); Janssen's Die Prosa in Shakespeares Dramen; Professor Hiram Corson's An Introduction to the Study of Shakespeare, pp. 83-98.]
VIII. THE CHARACTERS
The characterization of this drama in some of the parts is not a little perplexing. Hardly one of the speeches put into Caesar's mouth can be regarded as historically characteristic; taken all together, they seem little short of a caricature. As here represented, Caesar appears little better than a braggart; and when he speaks, it is in the style of a glorious vapourer, full of lofty airs and mock thunder. Nothing could be further from the truth of the man, whose character, even in his faults, was as compact and solid as adamant, and at the same time as limber and ductile as the finest gold. Certain critics have seized and worked upon this, as proving Shakespeare's lack of classical knowledge, or carelessness in the use of his authorities. It proves neither the one nor the other.
It is true, Caesar's ambition was gigantic, but none too much so for the mind it dwelt in; for his character in all its features was gigantic. And no man ever framed his ambition more in sympathy with the great forces of nature, or built it upon a deeper foundation of political wisdom and insight. Now this "last infirmity of noble minds" is the only part of him that the play really sets before us; and even this we do not see as it was, because it is here severed from the constitutional peerage of his gifts and virtues; all those transcendent qualities which placed him at the summit of Roman intellect and manhood being either withheld from the scene or thrown so far into the background that the proper effect of them is lost.
Yet we have ample proof that Shakespeare understood Caesar thoroughly, and that he regarded him as "the noblest man that ever lived in the tide of times." For example, in Hamlet, he makes Horatio, who is one of his calmest and most right-thinking characters, speak of him as "the mightiest Julius." In Antony and Cleopatra, again, the heroine is made to describe him as "broad-fronted Caesar"; and in King Richard the Third the young Prince utters these lines:
That Julius Caesar was a famous man: With what his valour did enrich his wit, His wit set down to make his valour live: Death makes no conquest of this conqueror. [III, i, 84-87.]
In fact, we need not go beyond Shakespeare to gather that Julius Caesar's was the deepest, the most versatile, and the most multitudinous head that ever figured in the political affairs of mankind.
Indeed, it is clear from this play itself that Shakespeare did not proceed at all from ignorance or misconception of the man. For it is remarkable that, though Caesar delivers himself so out of character, yet others, both foes and friends, deliver him much nearer the truth; so that, while we see almost nothing of him directly, we nevertheless get, upon the whole, a just reflection of him. Especially in the marvelous speeches of Antony and in the later events of the drama, both his inward greatness and his right of mastership over the Roman world are fully vindicated. For in the play as in the history, Caesar's blood hastens and cements the empire which the conspirators thought to prevent. They soon find that in the popular sympathies, and even in their own dumb remorses, he has "left behind powers that will work for him." He proves, indeed, far mightier in death than in life; as if his spirit were become at once the guardian angel of his cause and an avenging angel to his foes.
And so it was in fact. Nothing did so much to set the people in love with royalty, both name and thing, as the reflection that their beloved Caesar, the greatest of their national heroes, the crown and consummation of Roman genius and character, had been murdered for aspiring to it. Thus their hereditary aversion to kingship was all subdued by the remembrance of how and why their Caesar fell; and they who, before, would have plucked out his heart rather than he should wear a crown, would now have plucked out their own, to set a crown upon his head. Such is the natural result, when the intensities of admiration and compassion meet together in the human breast.
From all which it may well be thought that Caesar was too great for the hero of a drama, since his greatness, if brought forward in full measure, would leave no room for anything else, at least would preclude any proper dramatic balance and equipoise. It was only as a sort of underlying potency, or a force withdrawn into the background, that his presence was compatible with that harmony and reciprocity of several characters which a well-ordered drama requires. At all events, it is pretty clear that, where he was, such figures as Brutus and Cassius could never be very considerable, save as his assassins. They would not have been heard of in after times, if they had not "struck the foremost man of all this world"; in other words, the great sun of Rome had to be shorn of his beams, else so ineffectual a fire as Brutus could nowise catch the eye.
Be this as it may, there is no doubt that Shakespeare knew the whole height and compass of Caesar's vast and varied capacity. It may be regretted that he did not render him as he evidently saw him, inasmuch as he alone, perhaps, of all the men who ever wrote could have given an adequate expression of that colossal man.
It is possible that the policy of the drama may have been to represent Caesar not as he was indeed, but as he must have appeared to the conspirators; to make us see him as they saw him, in order that they too might have fair and equal judgment at our hands. For Caesar was literally too great to be seen by them, save as children often see bugbears by moonlight, when their inexperienced eyes are mocked with air. And Shakespeare may well have judged that the best way to set us right towards them was by identifying us more or less with them in mental position, and making us share somewhat in their delusion. For there is scarce anything wherein we are so apt to err as in reference to the characters of men, when time has settled and cleared up the questions in which they lost their way: we blame them for not having seen as we see; while in truth the things that are so bathed in light to us were full of darkness to them, and we should have understood them better, had we been in the dark along with them.
Caesar, indeed, was not bewildered by the political questions of his time; but all the rest were, and therefore he seemed so to them; and while their own heads were swimming they naturally ascribed his seeming bewilderment to a dangerous intoxication. As for his marvelous career of success, they attributed this mainly to his good luck, such being the common refuge of inferior minds when they would escape the sense of their inferiority. Hence, as generally happens with the highest order of men, his greatness had to wait the approval of later events. He indeed, far beyond any other man of his age, "looked into the seeds of time"; but this was not, and could not be known, till time had developed those seeds into their fruits. Why then may not Shakespeare's idea have been so to order things that the full strength of the man should not appear in the play, as it did not in fact, till after his fall? This view will both explain and justify the strange disguise—a sort of falsetto greatness—under which Caesar exhibits himself.
Now the seeming contradiction between Caesar as known and Caesar as rendered by Shakespeare is what, more than anything else, perplexes. But a very refined, subtile, and peculiar irony pervades this, more than any other of Shakespeare's plays; not intended as such, indeed, by the speakers, but a sort of historic irony,—the irony of Providence, so to speak, or, if you please, of Fate; much the same as is implied in the proverb, "A haughty spirit goeth before a fall." This irony crops out in many places. Thus we have Caesar most blown with arrogance and godding it in the loftiest style when the daggers of the assassins are on the very point of leaping at him. So too, all along, we find Brutus most confident in those very things where he is most at fault, or acting like a man "most ignorant of what he's most assured"; as when he says that "Antony can do no more than Caesar's arm when Caesar's head is off." This, to be sure, is not meant ironically by him, but it is turned into irony by the fact that Antony soon tears the cause of the conspirators all to pieces with his tongue. But, indeed, this sort of honest guile runs all through the piece as a perfusive and permeating efficacy. A still better instance of it occurs just after the murder, when the chiefs of the conspiracy are exulting in the transcendent virtue and beneficence of their deed, and in its future stage celebrity; and Cassius says,—
So often shall the knot of us be call'd The men that gave their country liberty. [III, i, 118-119.]
and again, a little later, when Brutus says of Antony, "I know that we shall have him well to friend." Not indeed that the men themselves thought any irony in those speeches: it was natural, no doubt, that they should utter such things in all seriousness; but what they say is interpreted into irony by the subsequent events. And when such a shallow idealist as Brutus is made to overtop and outshine the greatest practical genius the world ever saw, what is it but a refined and subtile irony at work on a much larger scale, and diffusing itself, secretly, it may be, but not the less vitally, into the texture? It was not the frog that thought irony, when he tried to make himself as big as the ox; but there was a pretty decided spice of irony in the mind that conceived the fable.
It is to be noted further that Brutus uniformly speaks of Caesar with respect, almost indeed with admiration. It is his ambition, not his greatness, that Brutus resents; the thought that his own consequence is impaired by Caesar's elevation having no influence with him. With Cassius, on the contrary, impatience of his superiority is the ruling motive: he is all the while thinking of the disparagement he suffers by Caesar's exaltation.
This man Is now become a god, and Cassius is A wretched creature, and must bend his body If Caesar carelessly but nod on him. [I, ii, 115-118.]
Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world Like a Colossus, and we petty men Walk under his huge legs. [I, ii, 135-137.]
Thus he overflows with mocking comparisons, and finds his pastime in flouting at Caesar as having managed by a sham heroism to hoodwink the world.
And yet Shakespeare makes Caesar characterize himself very much as Cassius, in his splenetic temper, describes him. Caesar gods it in his talk, as if on purpose to approve the style in which Cassius mockingly gods him. This, taken by itself, would look as if the dramatist sided with Cassius; yet one can hardly help feeling that he sympathized rather in Antony's great oration. And the sequel, as we have seen, justifies Antony's opinion of Caesar. The subsequent course of things has the effect of inverting the mockery of Cassius against himself.
The final issue of the conspiracy, as represented by Shakespeare, is a pretty conclusive argument of the blunder, not to say the crime, of its authors. Caesar, dead, tears them and their cause all to pieces. In effect, they did but stab him into a mightier life; so that Brutus might well say, as indeed he does at last,—
O Julius Caesar, thou art mighty yet! Thy spirit walks abroad, and turns our swords In our own proper entrails. [V, iii, 94-96.]
The Nemesis which asserts itself so sternly in the latter part of the play may be regarded as a reflex of irony on some of the earlier scenes. This view infers the disguise of Caesar to be an instance of the profound guile with which Shakespeare sometimes plays upon his characters, humoring their bent, and then leaving them to the discipline of events.
Coleridge has a shrewd doubt as to what sort of a character Shakespeare meant his Brutus to be. For, in his thinking aloud just after the breaking of the conspiracy to him, Brutus avowedly grounds his purpose, not on anything Caesar has done, nor on what he is, but simply on what he may become when crowned. He "knows no personal cause to spurn at him"; nor has he "known when his affections sway'd more than his reason"; but "he would be crown'd: how that might change his nature, there's the question"; and,
Since the quarrel Will bear no colour for the thing he is, Fashion it thus; that what he is, augmented, Would run to these and these extremities; And therefore think him as a serpent's egg Which, hatch'd, would, as his kind, grow mischievous, And kill him in the shell. [II, i, 28-34.]
So then Brutus heads a plot to assassinate the man who, besides being clothed with the sanctions of law as the highest representative of the state, has been his personal friend and benefactor; all this, too, not on any ground of fact, but on an assumed probability that the crown will prove a sacrament of evil, and transform him into quite another man. A strange piece of casuistry indeed! but nowise unsuited to the spirit of a man who was to commit the gravest of crimes, purely from a misplaced virtue.
And yet the character of Brutus is full of beauty and sweetness. In all the relations of life he is upright, gentle, and pure; of a sensitiveness and delicacy of principle that cannot bosom the slightest stain; his mind enriched and fortified with the best extractions of philosophy; a man adorned with all the virtues which, in public and private, at home and in the circle of friends, win respect and charm the heart.
Being such a man, of course he could only do what he did under some sort of delusion. And so indeed it is. Yet this very delusion serves, apparently, to ennoble and beautify him, as it takes him and works upon him through his virtues. At heart he is a real patriot, every inch of him. But his patriotism, besides being somewhat hidebound with patrician pride, is of the speculative kind, and dwells, where his whole character has been chiefly formed, in a world of poetical and philosophic ideals. He is an enthusiastic student of books. Plato is his favorite teacher; and he has studiously framed his life and tuned his thoughts to the grand and pure conceptions won from that all but divine source: Plato's genius walks with him in the Senate, sits with him at the fireside, goes with him to the wars, and still hovers about his tent.
His great fault, then, lies in supposing it his duty to be meddling with things that he does not understand. Conscious of high thoughts and just desires, but with no gift of practical insight, he is ill fitted to "grind among the iron facts of life." In truth, he does not really see where he is; the actual circumstances and tendencies amidst which he lives are as a book written in a language he cannot read. The characters of those who act with him are too far below the region of his principles and habitual thinkings for him to take the true cast of them. Himself incapable of such motives as govern them, he just projects and suspends his ideals in them, and then misreckons upon them as realizing the men of his own brain. So also he clings to the idea of the great and free republic of his fathers, the old Rome that has ever stood to his feelings touched with the consecrations of time and glorified with the high virtues that have grown up under her cherishing. But, in the long reign of tearing faction and civil butchery, that which he worships has been substantially changed, the reality lost. Caesar, already clothed with the title and the power of Imperator for life, would change the form so as to agree with the substance, the name so as to fit the thing. But Brutus is so filled with the idea of that which has thus passed away never to return that he thinks to save or recover the whole by preventing such formal and nominal change.
And so his whole course is that of one acting on his own ideas, not on the facts that are before and around him. Indeed, he does not see them; he merely dreams his own meaning into them. He is swift to do that by which he thinks his country ought to be benefited. As the killing of Caesar stands in his purpose, he and his associates are to be "sacrificers, not butchers." But that the deed may have the effect he hopes for, his countrymen generally must regard it in the same light as he does. That they will do this is the very thing which he has in fact no reason to conclude; notwithstanding, because it is so in his idea, therefore he trusts that the conspirators will "be called purgers, not murderers." Meanwhile, the plain truth is, that if his countrymen had been capable of regarding the deed as a sacrifice, they would not have made nor permitted any occasion for it. It is certain that, unless so construed, the act must prove fruitful of evil; all Rome is full of things proving that it cannot be so construed; but this is what Brutus has no eye to see.
So too, in his oration "to show the reason of our Caesar's death," he speaks, in calm and dispassionate manner, just those things which he thinks ought to set the people right and himself right in their eyes, forgetting all the while that the deed cannot fail to make the people mad, and that popular madness is not a thing to be reasoned with. And for the same cause he insists on sparing Antony, and on permitting him to speak in Caesar's funeral. To do otherwise would be unjust, and so would overthrow the whole nature of the enterprise as it lives in his mind. And because in his idea it ought so to be, he trusts that Antony will make Caesar's death the occasion of strengthening those who killed him, not perceiving the strong likelihood, which soon passes into a fact, that in cutting off Caesar they have taken away the only check on Antony's ambition. He ought to have foreseen that Antony, instead of being drawn to their side, would rather make love to Caesar's place at their expense.
Thus the course of Brutus serves no end but to set on foot another civil war, which naturally hastens and assures the very thing he sought to prevent. He confides in the goodness of his cause, not considering that the better the cause, the worse its chance with bad men. He thinks it safe to trust others because he knows they can safely trust him; the singleness of his own eye causing him to believe that others will see as he sees, the purity of his own heart, that others will feel as he feels.
Here then we have a strong instance of a very good man doing a very bad thing; and, withal, of a wise man acting most unwisely because his wisdom knew not its place; a right noble, just, heroic spirit bearing directly athwart the virtues he worships. On the whole, it is not wonderful that Brutus should have exclaimed, as he is said to have done, that he had worshiped virtue and found her at last but a shade. So worshiped, she may well prove a shade indeed! Admiration of the man's character, reprobation of his proceedings,—which of these is the stronger with us? And there is much the same irony in the representation of Brutus as in that of Caesar; only the order of it is here reversed. As if one should say, "O yes, yes! in the practical affairs of mankind your charming wisdom of the closet will doubtless put to shame the workings of mere practical insight and sagacity."
Shakespeare's exactness in the minutest details of character is well shown in the speech already referred to; which is the utterance of a man philosophizing most unphilosophically; as if the Academy should betake itself to the stump, and this too without any sense of the incongruity. Plutarch has a short passage which served as a hint, not indeed for the matter, but for the style of that speech. "They do note," says he, "in some of his epistles that he counterfeited that brief compendious manner of speech of the Lacedaemonians. As, when the war was begun, he wrote unto the Pergamenians in this sort: 'I understand you have given Dolabella money: if you have done it willingly, you confess you have offended me; if against your wills, show it then by giving me willingly.'... These were Brutus' manner of letters, which were honoured for their briefness." The speech in question is far enough indeed from being a model of style either for oratory or anything else, but it is finely characteristic; while its studied primness and epigrammatic finish contrast most unfavorably with the frank-hearted yet artful eloquence of Antony.
And what a rare significance attaches to the brief scene of Brutus and his drowsy boy Lucius in camp a little before the catastrophe! There, in the deep of the night, long after all the rest have lost themselves in sleep, and when the anxieties of the issue are crowding upon him,—there we have the earnest, thoughtful Brutus hungering intensely for the repasts of treasured thought.
Look, Lucius, here's the book I sought for so; I put it in the pocket of my gown. [IV, iii, 252, 253.]
What the man is, and where he ought to be, is all signified in these two lines. And do we not taste a dash of benignant irony in the implied repugnance between the spirit of the man and the stuff of his present undertaking? The idea of a bookworm riding the whirlwind of war! The thing is most like Brutus; but how out of his element, how unsphered from his right place, it shows him! There is a touch of drollery in the contrast, which the richest steeping of poetry does not disguise. And the irony is all the more delectable for being so remote and unpronounced; like one of those choice arrangements in the background of a painting, which, without attracting conscious notice, give a zest and relish to what stands in front. The scene, whether for charm of sentiment or felicity of conception, is one of the finest in Shakespeare.
BRUTUS AND CASSIUS
The characters of Brutus and Cassius are nicely discriminated, scarce a word falling from either but what smacks of the man. Cassius is much the better conspirator, but much the worse man; and the better in that because the worse in this. For Brutus engages in the conspiracy on grounds of abstract and ideal justice; while Cassius holds it both a wrong and a blunder to go about such a thing without making success his first care. This, accordingly, is what he works for, being reckless of all other considerations in his choice and use of means. Withal he is more impulsive and quick than Brutus, because less under the self-discipline of moral principle. His motives, too, are of a much more mixed and various quality, because his habits of thinking and acting have grown by the measures of experience; he studies to understand men as they are; Brutus, as he thinks they ought to be. Hence, in every case where Brutus crosses him, Brutus is wrong, and he is right,—right, that is, if success be their aim. Cassius judges, and surely rightly, that the end should give law to the means; and that "the honorable men whose daggers have stabb'd Caesar" should not be hampered much with conscientious scruples.
Still Brutus overawes him by his moral energy and elevation of character, and by the open-faced rectitude and purity of his principles. Brutus has no thoughts or aims that he is afraid or ashamed to avow; Cassius has many which he would fain hide even from himself. And he catches a sort of inspiration and is raised above himself by contact with Brutus. And Cassius, moreover, acts very much from personal hatred of Caesar, as remembering how, not long before, he and Brutus had stood for the chief praetorship of the city, and Brutus through Caesar's favor had got the election. And so Shakespeare read in Plutarch that "Cassius, being a choleric man, and hating Caesar privately more than he did the tyranny openly, incensed Brutus against him." The effect of this is finely worked out by the dramatist in the man's affected scorn of Caesar, and in the scoffing humor in which he loves to speak of him. For such is the natural language of a masked revenge.
The tone of Cassius is further indicated, and with exquisite art, in his soliloquy where, after tempering Brutus to his purpose, and finding how his "honorable metal may be wrought," he gently slurs him for being practicable to flatteries, and then proceeds to ruminate the scheme for working upon his vanity, and thereby drawing him into the conspiracy; thus spilling the significant fact, that his own honor does not stick to practice the arts by which he thinks it is a shame to be seduced.
It is a noteworthy point also that Cassius is too practical and too much of a politician to see any ghosts. Acting on far lower principles than his leader, and such as that leader would spurn as both wicked and base, he therefore does no violence to his heart in screwing it to the work he takes in hand; his heart is even more at home in the work than his head; whereas Brutus, from the wrenching his heart has suffered, keeps reverting to the moral complexion of his first step. The remembrance of this is a thorn in his side; while Cassius has no sensibilities of nature for such compunctions to stick upon. Brutus is never thoroughly himself after the assassination; that his heart is ill at ease is shown in a certain dogged tenacity of honor and overstraining of rectitude, as if he were struggling to make atonement with his conscience. The stab he gave Caesar planted in his own upright and gentle nature a germ of remorse, which, gathering strength from every subsequent adversity, came to embody itself in imaginary sights and sounds; the spirit of justice, made an ill angel to him by his own sense of wrong, hovering in the background of his after life, and haunting his solitary moments in the shape of Caesar's ghost. And so it is well done, that he is made to see the "monstrous apparition" just after his heart has been pierced through with many sorrows at hearing of Portia's shocking death.
The delineation of Portia is completed in a few brief masterly strokes. Once seen, the portrait ever after lives an old and dear acquaintance of the reader's inner man. Portia has strength enough to do and suffer for others, but very little for herself. As the daughter of Cato and the wife of Brutus, she has set in her eye a pattern of how she ought to think and act, being "so father'd and so husbanded"; but still her head floats merged over the ears in her heart; and it is only when affection speaks that her spirit is hushed into the listening which she would fain yield only to the speech of reason. She has a clear idea of the stoical calmness and fortitude which appears so noble and so graceful in her Brutus; it all lies faithfully reproduced in her mind; she knows well how to honor and admire it; yet she cannot work it into the texture of her character; she can talk it like a book, but she tries in vain to live it.
Plutarch gives one most touching incident respecting her which Shakespeare did not use, though he transfused the sense of it into his work. It occurred some time after Caesar's death, and when the civil war was growing to a head: "Brutus, seeing the state of Rome would be utterly overthrown, went ... unto the city of Elea standing by the sea. There Portia, being ready to depart from her husband Brutus and to return to Rome, did what she could to dissemble the grief and sorrow she felt at her heart. But a certain painted table (picture) bewrayed her in the end.... The device was taken out of the Greek stories, how Andromache accompanied her husband Hector when he went out of the city of Troy to go to the wars, and how Hector delivered her his little son, and how her eyes were never off him. Portia, seeing this picture, and likening herself to be in the same case, she fell a-weeping; and coming thither oftentimes in a day to see it, she wept still." The force of this incident is reproduced in the Portia of the play; we have its full effect in the matter about her self-inflicted wound as compared with her subsequent demeanor.
Portia gives herself that gash without flinching, and bears it without a murmur, as an exercise and proof of fortitude; and she translates her pains into smiles, all to comfort and support her husband. So long as this purpose lends her strength, she is fully equal to her thought, because here her heart keeps touch perfectly with her head. But, this motive gone, the weakness, if it be not rather the strength, of her woman's nature rushes full upon her; her feelings rise into an uncontrollable flutter, and run out at every joint and motion of her body; and nothing can arrest the inward mutiny till affection again whispers her into composure, lest she say something that may hurt or endanger her Brutus.
Shakespeare's completed characterization of Antony is in Antony and Cleopatra. In the later play Antony is delineated with his native aptitudes for vice warmed into full development by the great Egyptian sorceress. In Julius Caesar Shakespeare emphasizes as one of Antony's characteristic traits his unreserved adulation of Caesar, shown in reckless purveying to his dangerous weakness,—the desire to be called a king. Already Caesar had more than kingly power, and it was the obvious part of a friend to warn him against this ambition. Here and there are apt indications of his proneness to those vicious levities and debasing luxuries which afterwards ripened into such a gigantic profligacy. He has not yet attained to that rank and full-blown combination of cruelty, perfidy, and voluptuousness, which the world associates with his name, but he is plainly on the way to it. His profound and wily dissimulation, while knitting up the hollow truce with the assassins on the very spot where "great Caesar fell," is managed with admirable skill; his deep spasms of grief being worked out in just the right way to quench their suspicions, and make them run into the toils, when he calls on them to render him their bloody hands. Nor have they any right to complain, for he is but paying them in their own coin; and we think none the worse of him that he fairly outdoes them at their own practice.
But Antony's worst parts as here delivered are his exultant treachery in proposing to use his colleague Lepidus as at once the pack-horse and the scape-goat of the Triumvirate, and his remorseless savagery in arranging for the slaughter of all that was most illustrious in Rome, bartering away his own uncle, to glut his revenge with the blood of Cicero; though even here his revenge was less hideous than the cold-blooded policy of young Octavius. Yet Antony has in the play, as he had in fact, some right noble streaks in him; for his character was a very mixed one; and there was to the last a fierce war of good and evil within him. Especially he had an eye to see, a heart to feel, and a soul to honor the superb structure of manhood which Rome possessed in Julius Caesar, who stood to him, indeed, as a kind of superior nature, to raise him above himself. He "fear'd Caesar, honour'd him, and lov'd him"; and with the murdered Caesar for his theme, he was for once inspired and kindled to a rapture of the truest, noblest, most overwhelming eloquence. Noteworthy also is the grateful remembrance at last of his obligations to Brutus for having saved him from the daggers of the conspirators.
That many-headed, but withal big-souled creature, the multitude, is charmingly characterized in Julius Caesar. The common people, it is true, are rather easily swayed hither and thither by the contagion of sympathy and of persuasive speech; yet their feelings are in the main right, and even their judgment in the long run is better than that of the pampered Roman aristocracy, inasmuch as it proceeds more from the instincts of manhood. Shakespeare evidently loved to play with the natural, unsophisticated, though somewhat childish heart of the people; but his playing is always genial and human-hearted, with a certain angelic humor in it that seldom fails to warm us towards the subject. On the whole, he understood the people well, and they have well repaid him in understanding him better than the critics have often done. The cobbler's droll humor, at the opening of this play, followed as it is by a strain of the loftiest poetry, is aptly noted by Campbell as showing that the dramatist, "even in dealing with classical subjects, laughed at the classic fear of putting the ludicrous and sublime into juxtaposition."
IX. GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS
As a whole, Julius Caesar is inferior to Coriolanus, but it abounds in scenes and passages fraught, with the highest virtue of Shakespeare's genius. Among these may be specially mentioned the second scene of the first act, where Cassius sows the seed of the conspiracy in Brutus's mind, warmed with such a wrappage of instigation as to assure its effective germination; also the first scene of the second act, unfolding the birth of the conspiracy, and winding up with the interview, so charged with domestic glory, of Brutus and Portia. The oration of Antony in Caesar's funeral is such an interfusion of art and passion as realizes the very perfection of its kind. Adapted at once to the comprehension of the lowest mind and to the delectation of the highest, and running its pathos into the very quick of them that hear it, it tells with terrible effect on the people; and when it is done we feel that Caesar's bleeding wounds are mightier than ever his genius and fortune were. The quarrel of Brutus and Cassius is deservedly celebrated. Dr. Johnson thought it "somewhat cold and unaffecting." Coleridge thought otherwise. See note, p. 123. But there is nothing in the play that is more divinely touched than the brief scene, already noticed, of Brutus and his boy Lucius—so gentle, so dutiful, so loving, so thoughtful and careful for his master, and yet himself no more conscious of his virtue than a flower of its fragrance. There is no more exquisite passage in all Shakespeare than that which tells of the boy's falling asleep in the midst of his song and exclaiming on being aroused, "The strings, my lord, are false."
(With the more important abbreviations used in the notes)
F1 = First Folio, 1623. F2 = Second Folio, 1632. F3 = Third Folio, 1664. F4 = Fourth Folio, 1685. Ff = all the seventeenth century Folios. Rowe = Rowe's editions, 1709, 1714. Pope = Pope's editions, 1723, 1728. Theobald = Theobald's editions, 1733, 1740. Johnson = Johnson's edition, 1765. Capell = Capell's edition, 1768. Malone = Malone's edition, 1790. Steevens = Steevens's edition, 1793. Globe = Globe edition (Clark and Wright), 1864. Clar = Clarendon Press edition (W. A. Wright), 1869. Dyce = Dyce's (third) edition, 1875. Delius = Delius's (fifth) edition, 1882. Camb = Cambridge (third) edition (W. A. Wright), 1891. Abbott = E. A. Abbott's A Shakespearian Grammar. Schmidt = Schmidt's Shakespeare Lexicon. Skeat = Skeat's An Etymological Dictionary. Murray = A New English Dictionary (The Oxford Dictionary). Century = The Century Dictionary. Plutarch = North's Plutarch, 1579.
Except in the case of Shakespeare's plays (see note) the literature dates refer to first publication
-+ + SHAKESPEARE YEAR + - BIOGRAPHY: POEMS PLAYS -+ + -+ 1564 Birth. Baptism, April 26, Stratford-on-Avon -+ -+ 1565 Father became alderman -+ + -+ 1566 Brother Gilbert born -+ + -+ 1568 Father, as bailiff of Stratford, NOTE: The plays in the columns entertained Queen's below are arranged in the and Earl of probable, though purely Worcester's actors conjectural, order of composition. Dates appended -+ + to plays are those of first + 1572 publication. Where no date is given, the play was -+ + first published in the First + 1573 Folio (1623). M signifies that the play was mentioned -+ + by Meres in the + 1574 Brother Richard Palladis Tamia (1598) born -+ + + 1575 -+ + + 1576 -+ + + 1577 Father in financial difficulties -+ + -+
- - -+ BRITISH AND HISTORY YEAR FOREIGN AND LITERATURE BIOGRAPHY -+ - - 1564 Quart livre de Michelangelo died. Pantagruel Calvin died. Marlowe born. Galileo born. - - -+ 1565 Sackville and Philip II of Spain Norton's Gorboduc gave his name to printed Philippine Islands -+ - - 1566 Udall's Roister Murder of Rizzio Doister printed? - - -+ 1568 The Bishops Bible. Mary of Scots a La Taille's Saulle prisoner in Furieux. R. England. Ascham Grafton's died. Coverdale Chronicle died. Netherlands War of Liberation -+ - - 1572 Camoens' Os Lusiadas Knox died. Massacre (The Lusiads) of St. Bartholomew - - -+ 1573 Tasso's Aminta Ben Jonson born? Donne born -+ - - 1574 Mirror for Earl of Leicester's Magistrates (third players licensed edition) - - -+ 1575 Gammer Gurton's Queen Elizabeth at Needle. Golding's Kenilworth. Ovid (complete) Palissy lectured on Natural History -+ - - 1576 The Paradise of "The Theatre" Dainty Devices. opened in Finsbury Gascoigne's Steel Fields, London, Glass followed by "The Curtain." Hans Sachs died - - -+ 1577 Holinshed's Drake sailed to Chronicle circumnavigate globe -+ - -
-+ + SHAKESPEARE YEAR + - BIOGRAPHY: POEMS PLAYS -+ + -+ 1579 Sister Ann died (aged eight) -+ + + 1580 Brother Edmund born -+ + + 1581 -+ + + 1582 Married Anne Hathaway -+ + + 1583 Daughter Susanna born -+ + + 1584 -+ + + 1585 Twin children (Hamnet, Judith) born -+ + + 1586 Probably went to London -+ + + 1587 -+ + + 1588 -+ + + 1589 COMEDIES HISTORIES TRAGEDIES -+ + -+ -+ -+ 1590 Love's Labour's Lost (M, 1598) -+ + -+ -+ -+ 1591 Comedy of 1 Henry VI Errors (M) 2 Henry VI -+ + -+ -+ -+
-+ -+ -+ BRITISH AND HISTORY YEAR FOREIGN AND LITERATURE BIOGRAPHY -+ -+ -+ 1579 Gosson's School of Union of Utrecht. Abuse. North's Tasso put in Plutarch. Lyly's confinement at Euphues (pt. 1). Ferrara Spenser's Shepherd's Calendar -+ -+ -+ 1580 Montaigne's Essais Brown founded (first edition) Separatists. Camoens died -+ -+ -+ 1581 Tasso's Gerusalemme Dutch Declaration Liberata of Independence -+ -+ -+ 1582 The Rheims New Accademia della Testament Crusca founded -+ -+ -+ 1583 Garnier's Les Juives Sir Humphrey Gilbert drowned -+ -+ -+ 1584 Lyly's Campaspe. William the Silent Peele's Arraignment assassinated. Ivan of Paris the Terrible died -+ -+ -+ 1585 Guarini's Pastor Fido Ronsard died (1590) -+ -+ -+ 1586 Camden's Britannia Sir Philip Sidney killed -+ -+ -+ 1587 Hakluyt's Four Execution of Mary Voyages. Faustbuch of Scots (Spiess, Frankfort) -+ -+ -+ 1588 Martin Marprelate: Defeat of Spanish The Epistle Armada -+ -+ -+ 1589 Puttenham's Art of Henry of Navarre, English Poesie King of France. Palissy died in Bastille -+ -+ -+ 1590 Marlowe's Tamburlaine Battle of Ivry Spenser's Faerie Queene, I-III. Lodge's Rosalynde. Sidney's Arcadia -+ -+ -+ 1591 Sidney's Astrophel Herrick born and Stella. Harington's tr. of Orlando Furioso -+ -+ -+
-+ + SHAKESPEARE YEAR + - BIOGRAPHY: POEMS PLAYS (see note above) -+ + -+ -+ -+ 1592 Greene's attack in Two Gentlemen Richard III Romeo and Groatsworth of Wit of Verona (M) (M, 1597). Juliet (M, 3 Henry VI 1597) -+ + -+ -+ -+ 1593 Venus and Adonis King John (M). Titus (seven editions, Richard II (M, Andronicus 1594-1616) 1597) (M, 1594) -+ + -+ -+ -+ 1594 Lucrece (five A Midsummer editions, Night's Dream 1594-1616) (M, 1600) -+ + -+ -+ -+ 1595 Valuable All's Well contemporary that Ends references to Well. Taming Shakespeare of the Shrew -+ + -+ -+ -+ 1596 Son Hamnet died. 1 Henry IV (M, Family applied for 1598). 2 Henry coat-of-arms IV (1600) -+ + -+ -+ -+ 1597 Purchased New Place, Merry Wives of Stratford Windsor. Merchant of Venice (M, 1600) -+ + -+ -+ -+ 1598 Shakespeare acted Much Ado About Henry V (1600) in Jonson's Every Nothing (1600) Man in His Humour -+ + -+ -+ -+ 1599 Part proprietor of As You Like It Globe Theatre. Coat-of-arms granted. The Passionate Pilgrim -+ + -+ -+ -+ 1600 Won a London Twelfth Night lawsuit -+ + -+ -+ -+
-+ -+ + BRITISH AND HISTORY YEAR FOREIGN AND LITERATURE BIOGRAPHY -+ -+ + 1592 Daniel's Delia. Greene died. Lyly's Gallathea Montaigne died. (Galatea) London theatres closed through plague -+ -+ + 1593 Peele's Edward I. Marlowe died. Barnes's Sonnets Herbert born. -+ -+ + 1594 Rinuccini's Dafne. Palestrina Satire Menipee ("Princeps Musicae") died -+ -+ + 1595 Peele's Old Wives' Tasso died. Sir Tale. Spenser's Walter Raleigh's Epithalamion expedition to Guiana. Sir J. Hawkins died -+ -+ + 1596 Drayton's Burbage built Mortimeriados. Blackfriar's Faerie Queene, Theatre. Descartes Books IV-VI born. Sir F. Drake died -+ -+ + 1597 Bacon's Essays The Tyrone (first edition). rebellion Hall's Virgidemiarum -+ -+ + 1598 Mere's Palladis Peele died. Edict Tamia. Chapman's of Nantes Homer (pt. 1). Lope de Vega's Arcadia -+ -+ + 1599 Aleman's Guzman de Spenser died. Globe Alfarache. Peele's Theatre built. David and Bethsabe Oliver Cromwell born -+ -+ + 1600 England's Helicon Calderon born. Bruno died -+ -+ +