Sunday, March 15, 2009

What to Read Today: Thornton Wilder's THE IDES OF MARCH

When I hear the phrase, "Beware the Ides of March," I think of Julius Caesar on the Senate steps meeting his fate--and Thornton Wilder 's dramatic novel.

In The Ides of March, Thornton Wilder uses vividly imagined letters and documents to bring to life one of history's most magnetic, elusive personalities. In this inventive narrative, the Caesar of history becomes Caesar the human being. Wilder also resurrects the controversial figures surrounding Caesar--Cleopatra, Catullus, Cicero, and others. All Rome comes crowding through these pages--the Rome of villas and slums, beautiful women and brawling youths, spies and assassins.

Accessible and hugely entertaining, The Ides of March with a Foreword by Kurt Vonnegut is a terrific way to introduce students to Julius Caesar's Rome.

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