Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Orange Julius Caesar

Most of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar is taken up by other characters talking about Julius Caesar. The man himself doesn't make it out of the first scene of Act III alive. The others perjure him, pillory him, worship him, employ him as the cypher for their own hopes, dreams and fears.

Some of that action will be on display in the SK middle school before the 2012-2013 year goes away for good. One element of our year-end show-off on Monday, June 10, will be the performance of four excerpts from Shakespeare's play.

First, Denali and Evan will set the scene as Casca and Cassius, marvelling at the remarkable Roman night that anticipates the Ides of March: lions whelping in the streets, fire falling from heaven (shades of Gilgamesh), dogs and cats living together, that kind of thing.

Next, Lily as Calphurnia will do her best to dissuade Taylor as Julius Caesar from going to the Senate on March 15. We've noted that Shakespeare frequently has his characters equate womanhood with weakness in Julius Caesar. They also seem to be right a lot more often than the men.

After that, Mark Antony will have a word or two to say over Caesar's moldering body. Danny will take on that well-known speech. There are words after 'Friends, Romans, countrymen'--many people don't realize this.

Finally, after the deed has been done and the assassins begin to turn on each other--thanks in large part to Mark Antony--Ryan and Saul will recreate the great battlefront argument between Brutus and Cassius. This scene features the Shakespearean equivalent of did-not-did-too-did-not-did-too.

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