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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: March ::
Re: Julius Caesar, Cesario, Ganymede
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0467  Wednesday, 8 March 2000.

[1]     From:   Roy Flannagan <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 07 Mar 2000 12:32:56 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0455 Re: Julius Caesar, Cesario, Ganymede

[2]     From:   L. Swilley <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 7 Mar 2000 11:55:40 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0455 Re: Julius Caesar

[3]     From:   Judith Matthews Craig <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 7 Mar 2000 14:44:29 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0455 Re: Julius Caesar


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Roy Flannagan <
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Date:           Tuesday, 07 Mar 2000 12:32:56 -0500
Subject: 11.0455 Re: Julius Caesar, Cesario, Ganymede
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0455 Re: Julius Caesar, Cesario, Ganymede

Since posting the query about Cesario, I had a chance to poke into
Stephen Orgel's Impersonations (Cambridge UP, 1997), which speculates
exactly on my point about the possible sexual ambiguity of the name
Cesario.  Orgel cleverly points to the root of "Caesar" in the past
participle of caedere, caesus, "cut," and points to Cesario's identity
as a singing eunuch and to the various puns on "cut" and a possible
"cunt" in the play (pp. 53-55).

Orgel also mentions that "Cesario" is the Italian equivalent of
"Caesarius" in Latin, "someone belonging to Caesar," which could make
Cesario into a boy-toy for Caesar; but he does not push that point.

I still wonder a little about the sexual ambiguity of Julius Caesar
himself, even though Shakespeare does not seem to make Caesar
ambisextrous in his own play on the subject.  And I still worry about
Caesarian sections and unnatural births.

Thanks to Ed Taft for bringing up the potential connection between
Julius Caesar and Jesus Christ.  I am also still worrying about actors'
in-jokes about who played Julius Caesar (I can't see how the actor who
played a dotard Polonius might easily fit the role of Julius Caesar).

Roy Flannagan

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           L. Swilley <
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Date:           Tuesday, 7 Mar 2000 11:55:40 -0600
Subject: 11.0455 Re: Julius Caesar
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0455 Re: Julius Caesar

If Ed Taft or anyone else wants to know anything about Shakespeare's
character, Julius Caesar, he should look only at the play and ignore
history - and be chary of making associations with Christ or anyone
else.  The character of Caesar is best seen by our shaking loose from
all historical references by renaming the characters Billy Joe and Jim
Bob, or Cedric and Osgood. Let the play define the character.   If we
let history intrude, we tend to expand the text beyond the immediate
intentions of the play; in short, we miss Shakespeare's point about this
person.

L. Swilley

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Judith Matthews Craig <
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Date:           Tuesday, 7 Mar 2000 14:44:29 -0600
Subject: 11.0455 Re: Julius Caesar
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0455 Re: Julius Caesar

Ed Taft writes:

<Roy, I don't know what the "Caesar joke" is, but I wonder
<if the focus is on the initials JC?

I don't know what the joke is either, but my initials are "JC" (Judy
Craig).  I keep myself from megalomaniac tendencies by remembering that
JC Penney has them, too.

Judy Craig
 

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