Shakespeare’s Caesar

Shakespeare’s Caesar

“Cowards die many times before their deaths,
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear,
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.

Caesar in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar II.ii.32-7

Front piece is here.

Shakespeare’s Caesar

The note said, “JC 2.2,” and what it meant, to me? Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar act 2, scene 2, look for data and meaning. Welcome to an abbreviation.

Let slip the dogs of war… &c.


There is a tide in the affairs of men

More nuggets over time.

Birthday quote, fitting for my memorial?

My life has run his compass.

Been at this one a while, was it a year ago, some production caused such havoc?

Shakespeare’s Caesar

The short form as an inforgraphic.

Shakespeare’s Caesar

There’s something odd about my interaction with this play. Perhaps a year or more passed, with the politics going the way they were, I listened to the play, over and over, just try and get myself familiar with its lines and meanings — various interpretations and nuances. Building up a store of the play so I understood it, people, and people in politics, better.

Didn’t really work that way, but it was the noblest of causes.

There’s a distant memory, an RSC stage, English actors doing one of Shakespeare’s Roman plays, and I recently saw — recent memory — Antony and Cleopatra, twice in summer productions, so the fuzzy memory of a Roman play on stage? I’m unsure. I would have to consult the ticket stubs to know for sure.

The shows at the Winedale Barn tend to be spirited, full of joy and vigor, or sadness, whatever is appropriate, and, to judge a play like this on certain merits?

Mark Antony. Nailed it. No, he “Killed it.” The one — tiny — criticism? Not really a valid point other than I tend to use this an illustrative teaching point? His oration, Caesar’s eulogy? It was done from a high point on the stage, like a pulpit, in keeping with the text, just not in keeping with my (mental) version of “Friends, Romans, countrymen…”

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears!
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them,
The good is oft interred with their bones;

Antony ran away with the play, after the interval. Him and his rival conspirators, Brutus and Cassius. Not that it matters one whit, but Cassius was played by a female, having just seen her as clown and a princess. She was a properly conniving, conspiratorial Cassius. She certainly brought malice to the part, more so than I remember.

My current takeaway from the play, and this version, especially? Careful with fiery rhetoric that has the ability to sway the masses, not based on logic, but the right words in order.

Have to say, the actors all looked a lot cooler in skimpy Roman costumes, tunics, togas, and such, rather than the heavy Elizabethan garb from the other shows.

“Great Caesar’s ghost!”

And why, just a tiny bit, does the poet get killed?

Brilliant bit of comic relief as the poet gets killed and the actor playing the poet transforms into another character in the blink of an eye. That’s some excellent stagecraft. Perfect Mercury Retrograde moment.

Who know there would be comedy in tragedy?

Shakespeare’s Caesar

In rep at Shakespeare Winedale (UT &c.)

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