Article Title

Shakespeare's Julius Caesar: An Apollonian and Comparative Reading


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

Peter S. Anderson's brilliant essay in a recent issue of this journal advanced discussion of Julius Caesar to a new level of methodological sophistication.1 His working out, through intelligent deployment of structuralist techniques, of a "metonymic epistemology of sacrifice" must be studied in toto and attentively to appreciate its rich critical dividends. The essay charts the mythopeic infrastructure of the play better than this has ever been done. He transposes into discursive language something of the wonderful polyphony of the play, its interplay of mutually qualifying analogues from different planes of abstraction. Numerous critics have felt, but they have not been able to annotate convincingly, the special poetic of Julius Caesar. They have sensed its crucial intermediary role as a bridge between the painterly and rhetorical modes of the plays of the 90's and the deeper reaching verbal and psychological dynamics of the sequence of Shakespeare's greatest plays which follow it. But much of their commentary has been negative, as, e.g., in observing Caesar's relative lack of imagery; or they have swallowed the bait of ideology and ethical analysis and lost the play's tonal shading in the process.

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