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Barron's Booknotes-Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
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STYLE

There's not much poetry in Julius Caesar. Perhaps because the action takes place in Rome, the characters all seem to speak like orators. On the battlefield, or even with friends, they're always making speeches! Read some of the longer ones aloud; you'll see how alike everyone sounds, how everyone speaks clearly and simply and says exactly what he thinks. The men in Shakespeare's play are politicians who avoid flowery language and metaphor; they express themselves often in one-syllable words strung together in simple, declarative sentences. This is the language of people who are-or who try to be-in control of their emotions, and who use words not to create beauty, but to manipulate each other and to get things done. Shakespeare may be using language to mirror the restrained and formal mood of classical Rome. Perhaps, too, he wants to show how people use language to mask their feelings from themselves and from others. As readers, we have to look beneath these masks and ask ourselves: who are these people? what do they really think, and what are they really saying?

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Barron's Booknotes-Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
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