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Title: Transcending temporality : a study of the reception of Julius Caesar's self-representation in epic and drama
Author: Dimitrova, Miryana
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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The aim of the thesis is to establish a sense of continuity in the development and transmutation of the character of Julius Caesar from history to epic and drama. The research question is: what elements from Caesar’s self-representation, constituting themes and characterization, have been transmitted to his epic and dramatic representation? The groundwork of my study is formed by an analysis of Caesar’s self-representation in his Commentaries on the Gallic and Civil Wars as fundamental for the establishment of his specific epic-dramatic image. Epic Caesar is characterized by exceptional speed, leading to his transcendence of ordinary temporality; this supernatural asset distinguishes him as a certain quasi-divine presence. Caesar’s dramatic aspect is expressed in the heightened sense of self-dramatization achieved by the self-referential use of the third person, the utilization of dramaturgical techniques and by highlighting the performativity of war and the gaze of the commander. The fusion of author and protagonist exemplified in Caesar’s works allows their assessment both on a level internal to the narrative, and on an external, or meta-level, as part of the author’s political and personal propaganda. A chapter on ancient historiography, focusing primarily on events not described in the Commentaries, explores the development of Caesar’s epic-dramatic character in the light of his dramatization by the historical canon and the Late Republican performative milieu. One epic (Lucan’s Civil War) and three dramatic case studies (Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, George Chapman’s The Tragedy of Caesar and Pompey and Bernard Shaw’s Caesar and Cleopatra) are investigated in the light of the set of qualities, identified as intrinsic to Caesar’s agenda set in his own works. By drawing parallels between Caesarean self-characterization and its interpretation by the dramatists I aim to elucidate the Commentaries’ potential for thematic influence, created by the unique blending of author and protagonist.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available