(Applause Books). These popular editions allow the reader and student to look beyond the scholarly reading text to the more sensuous, more collaborative, more malleable performance text which emerges in conjunction with the commentary and notes. Each note, each gloss, each commentary reflects the stage life of the play with constant reference to the challenge of the text in performance. Readers will not only discover an enlivened Shakespeare, they will be empowered to rehearse and direct their own productions of the imagination in the process. Shakespeare's shortest play tells the story of Julius Caesar and Marcus Brutus, who, fearing the possibility of a dictator-led empire, betrays Caesar to protect Rome. Little does he know that Cassius has been holding the strings, manipulating Brutus into exploiting Caesar's weakness and removing him from power with the help of fellow conspirers. Contemplating motives for murder, national allegiance, and divine right, Shakespeare's Julius Caesar is a unique look at the true events surrounding Caesar's assassination in 44 B.C.