Comparison of Book and Movie Julius Caesar

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William Shakespeare has written so many plays during his productive age. His works are interesting and people find it more interesting when they are acted as movies. The content in the movie is very similar to the initial play but have a few changes to make them more captivating. In some occasions, the changes made include a shift in the language so as to produce a movie that will be easily understood by the audience in the current generation. Shakespeare’s plays were written a long time ago and hence there is need to make some modifications to meet the requirements of the current generation. In some instances, the directors make certain changes with an aim of making a certain theme clearer. One of the major books by Shakespeare that was later converted to a movie is Julius Caesar. There are a number of differences observed between the book and the movie as illustrated in this study. However, most of the content has remained the same in order as the initial Shakespeare ideas so as to maintain his original theme and arguments.

Differences between the Movie and the Book

Some of the differences between the movie and the book include, there are some contents of the book was not featured in the movie. It is evident that if all the contents of the book were to be featured in the movie then it would be long and the attention of the authors may be diverted. Moreover, there is a change in characterization as depicted in the movie (Shakespeare n.p). For instance, when everyone else appeared to be celebrating the return of Caesar back home as well as the fall of Pompey, there is a change in characterization in the movie. In the book, Flavius chose to speak to Marbullus in front of the crowd. In the movie, this is however different since Flavius speaks to Marbullus privately although in front of the crowd. The choice of the author, however, indicates some lack of respect for Caesar foreshadowing some of the events of the movie through the characters. The characters finally ended up rebelling against Caesar.

Change in Characterization

The act is illustrated, for example, where Cassius is found listening privately to a conversation that Casca was having and then later behaves as though nothing had happened (Shosky 239). The main aim of the directors making the change so ensured that the true colors of Cassius are clearly drawn by the audience. Cassius is hence portrayed as a character who cannot be trusted. However, this is so different from the book since the reader knows very little about Cassius. Actually, the viewer gets to know about Cassius arrival only after she starts speaking. Hence, in the book, Cassius did not appear to be a bad character as he does in the movie. These are some of the changes made by the director that resulted in changing the characterization of the characters.

Portrayal of Cassius

Cassius has largely been portrayed as a totally different person in the movie as compared to the book. The book portrays him as a hero by the fact that he had managed to save Caesar’s life. He saved him from drowning, an act that made him so respectable. However, this is not shown in the movie. The entire part is skipped but they only complain about how he was a god by saving Caesar’s life (Shakespeare n.p). The changes clearly indicate how the slight change in the content of the book is interfering with the whole story. Besides, they also alter the personalities of the characters and also their traits.

Tone and Mood

The tone of voice plays a major role in portraying the difference between the movie and the book. When one is watching, one is able to identify the tonal variations by the characters and hence can easily identify if the character is angry or in a happy condition. However, this is not the case while reading the book, a reader can easily misinterpret the feelings or rather the mood of the character (Stone 630). The reader does not get a good emotional connection and hence cannot easily identify the emotions of the character. Majority of the readers either take sides based on the characters they find interesting while others are neutral and hence do not even identify any of the emotions from the book and this turns out to be boring. For instance, Shakespeare makes use of both syntax and diction. He uses this with an aim of initiating a constant mood and also tone while Brutus and Cassius are arguing in Act 4: Scene 3. Brutus was seen accusing Cassius of taking bribes from some of the criminals as an exchange to setting them free. Brutus further goes ahead to accusing him of being a thief. The words are harsh and indicate the extent of his irritation at that moment. Besides, in the book, Shakespeare attempts to bring about mood and tone by the use of rhetorical questions that clearly illustrates a harsh tone or mood.

Similarities between the Movie and the Book

Besides the differences, there are still some similarities observed between the movie and the book. The language used in both the book and the movie is a clear similarity. The unique language commonly used by Shakespeare is used both in the play and the movie. There are no aspects of modern language present in Julius Caesar. Maintaining the language used in the play in the movie plays a very key role. Shakespeare is known to be a much-renounced writer and his tactics have always been found to be very captivating (Shosky 242). Hence, retaining the language by Shakespeare makes the movie even more interesting to the audience. It is hence notable that the director chose to retain the effect of the literary devices that had earlier on been used by Shakespeare. The effect of the omens in the play is the second major similarity. Both the play and the movie portray bad weather that is accompanied by storms. These are made to act as bad omens since they foreshadow mainly tragic events. The omens play a key role since whenever the reader or the viewer sees a storm, they have a clue of what is likely to happen.


Both Julius Caesar the book and the play have certain similarities and also differences. Both of them play a key role in understating the book and the scenes in the movie. For instance, some of the changes like omitting some content from the book help in achieving a realistic movie size. Besides, some changes in the characterization help in identifying clearly the traits of the different characters. Apart from the differences, the similarities have also played a key role. For instance, retaining the language used by Shakespeare in the play helps in achieving an attractive and captivating movie due to the accurate selection of language by Shakespeare. Also, it helps in retaining the originality of the play.

Work Cited

Shakespeare, William. JULIUS CAESAR: Including The Classic Biography: The Life of William Shakespeare. Musaicum Books, 2017., William. JULIUS CAESAR: Including The Classic Biography: The Life of William Shakespeare. Musaicum Books, 2017.

Shosky, John. "Rome and Rhetoric: Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar."(2016): 238-240.

Stone, Alison. "Not Making a Movie: The Livecasting of Shakespeare Stage Productions by The Royal National Theatre and The Royal Shakespeare Company."Shakespeare Bulletin 34.4 (2016): 627-643.

December 12, 2023

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