One of the first plays to be performed at the Globe theatre was Julius Caesar--and oddly enough, an eyewitness of one of these performances, Thomas Platter, called the play a comedy.

We can construct with unusual accuracy the early performances of the play, since there is a surviving illustration of an earlier Roman play by Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus. Even the sound of Shakespeare's dialect can be reconstucted from such evidence as puns and Elizabethan spelling.

The play also attracted some practical criticism from Shakespeare's contemporary, Ben Jonson, who used a line from it as an example of Shakespeare's occasional carelessness in writing*.

Jonson would no doubt have disapproved also of the occasional anachronisms in the play (the most notorious is the mention of clocks striking in pre-clock Rome).

Close

Footnotes

  1. Time out of joint

    Jonson would no doubt have disapproved also of the occasional anachronisms in the play (the most notorious is the mention of clocks striking in pre-clock Rome).