Review: Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Like most people, the last time I read one of Shakespeare’s works was in High School, when Romeo and Juliet was forced upon us by the powers that be. When literature is forced upon me, I don’t tend to enjoy it – that might just be a personal character flaw, but I like to think I’m not completely alone in that respect.
That being said, this was the first time I’ve willingly read a Shakespeare book for personal enjoyment – and I don’t know if it’s just maturity finally kicking in at the age of 29 – or if it’s just the circumstances, but I really enjoyed it.

For starters, it’s a complete goldmine for famous quotations. Maybe I’m just completely uneducated, but a lot of them, I had no idea were from this play – some of my personal favourites include:

- Beware the ides of March.
- Et tu, Brute? Then fall, Caesar!
- Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.
- Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once.
- Men at some time are masters of their fates. The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.

And of course:

- “Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!”

The whole book is a treasure, full of intense imagery and beautiful poetic language – pretty much what you’d expect from the most famous author of all time.

On an unrelated note: The actual copy of the book I found for CAD$3.99 in a Second Hand store, and it’s nearly antique (I’d say at least 80 years old). It was a bargain and it still has Library stamps and reader scribbles in it, like a little slice of history.

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Canada 2014: Stereotypes

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Toronto

Canada is a land of many stereotypes; but what images come to mind when you think of Canada?

I’m sure right now you’re envisioning a very racially insensitive narrow minded picture of a very diverse country. I’d be willing to bet you have some kind of snow capped scenery in which Canadian Mounties politely police anthropomorphic bears who cheekily sling armfuls of Poutine and Maple Syrup at the local Moose and Beaver population whilst local Lumberjacks drinking Tim Horton’s play hockey beneath the CN Tower and apologise as they beat the living crap out of each other, eh?

Well you’d be right; That’s exactly how it is here.

No, no, obviously I’m kidding. It was the start of Summer; Most of the snow had melted.

I actually arrived at the airport in Jeans and T-shirts with my Ski jacket at the ready, fully expecting to venture out into the icy tundra of Canada, but to my surprise – it was warm and sunny. They have Summers in Canada? Who knew…

So yeah, this was proof that not everything you hear about Canada are true, but then, I did find it amusing that within 30 minutes of arriving in Toronto the following things happened:

  1. I saw a Tim Horton’s Coffee shop.
  2. I drove underneath the CN Tower.
  3. I accidentally bumped into someone and they apologised to me.
  4. My bus drove past the Hockey Hall of Fame AND the restaurant owned by Hockey legend Wayne Wayne Gretzky.
  5. I heard a Canadian girl say both “Eh?” and “Oot” in the same sentence.
  6. I was instantly offered free Pancakes and Maple Syrup upon arriving at my hostel.

Seriously, all this happened within the space of 30 minutes. This is probably about half of my “things to experience in Canada” checklist knocked off before I’ve even unpacked my bags! When it comes to Canada, many of cultural stereotypes are completely accurate – and I love it.

Shine on Canada, you crazy diamond. Don’t ever change.

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