Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on George Bernard Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Caesar and Cleopatra: Introduction
Caesar and Cleopatra: Plot Summary
Caesar and Cleopatra: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Caesar and Cleopatra: Themes
Caesar and Cleopatra: Quotes
Caesar and Cleopatra: Characters
Caesar and Cleopatra: Symbols
Caesar and Cleopatra: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of George Bernard Shaw
Historical Context of Caesar and Cleopatra
Other Books Related to Caesar and Cleopatra
- Full Title: Caesar and Cleopatra
- When Written: 1898
- Where Written: England
- When Published: Premiered March 15, 1899; first published in Shaw’s 1901 collection Three Plays for Puritans
- Literary Period: Shaw’s works contain elements of Victorianism and Literary Modernism.
- Genre: Drama, History Play
- Setting: Ancient Egypt
- Climax: Ftatateeta follows through with Cleopatra’s order to assassinate Caesar, leading to civic unrest that destroys the peace that Caesar has established between the Egyptian people and the occupying Roman army.
- Antagonist: Pothinus
Extra Credit for Caesar and Cleopatra
Wordplay. A popular myth exists that states that the cesarean section procedure (or caesarian section, as it’s called in many English-speaking places) is named after Julius Caesar. This myth is based on a misconception put forth in the 10th-century Byzantine encyclopedia The Suda, which describes how Caesar had to be cut from the womb when his mother, Aurelia, died in her ninth month of pregnancy. This can’t be true, however, since Aurelia not only survived Caesar’s birth but went on to serve as his unofficial political advisor. It’s more likely that the medical procedure’s name comes from the Latin word caedere, meaning “to cut.”
Film Cred. Gabriel Pascal’s 1945 film Caesar and Cleopatra is an adaptation of Shaw’s play. The film stars Claude Rains as Caesar and Vivian Leigh as Cleopatra. Shaw was heavily involved in the film’s production.