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Caesar and Cleopatra

George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright, critic, polemicist and political activist. His influence on Western theatre, culture and politics extended from the 1880s to his death and beyond. Since Shaw's death scholarly and critical opinion has varied about his works, but he has regularly been rated as second only to Shakespeare among British dramatists; analysts recognise his extensive influence on generations of English-language playwrights. Caesar and Cleopatra, four-act play, is considered Shaw’s first great play. Caesar and Cleopatra opens as Caesar’s armies arrive in Egypt to conquer the ancient divided land for Rome. Caesar meets the young Cleopatra crouching at night between the paws of a sphinx, where - having been driven from Alexandria - she is hiding. He returns her to the palace, reveals his identity, and compels her to abandon her girlishness and accept her position as coruler of Egypt. Caesar and Cleopatra was extraordinarily successful, largely because of Shaw’s talent for characterization. Shaw wanted to prove that it was not love but politics that drew Cleopatra to Julius Caesar. Shaw's philosophy has often been compared to that of Nietzsche. Their shared admiration for men of action shows itself in Shaw's description of Caesar's struggle with Pompey. Also, George Bernard Shaw brings up in this play the value of clemency. Caesar remarks that he will not stoop to vengeance when confronted with Septimius, the murderer of Pompey. Listen online to free English audiobook "Caesar and Cleopatra” on our website to experience George Bernard Shaw’s play.

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