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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: March ::
Re: Julius Caesar, Cesario, Ganymede
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0474  Friday, 10 March 2000.

[1]     From:   Ed Taft <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 08 Mar 2000 10:52:32 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Julius Caesar

[2]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 08 Mar 2000 08:51:15 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0467 Re: Julius Caesar, Cesario, Ganymede

[3]     From:   Clifford Stetner <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 8 Mar 2000 22:34:00 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0455 Re: Julius Caesar

[4]     From:   Carol Morley <
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        Date:   Thursday, 9 Mar 2000 14:46:51 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0467 Re: Julius Caesar, Cesario, Ganymede

[5]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 08 Mar 2000 08:56:37 -0800
        Subj:   SHK 11.0467 Re: Julius Caesar, Cesario, Ganymede


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ed Taft <
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Date:           Wednesday, 08 Mar 2000 10:52:32 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        Julius Caesar

I'm sorry if I offended the sensibilities of Judy Craig and L. Swilley.
But I stand by what I wrote.

--Ed Taft

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Wednesday, 08 Mar 2000 08:51:15 -0800
Subject: 11.0467 Re: Julius Caesar, Cesario, Ganymede
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0467 Re: Julius Caesar, Cesario, Ganymede

L. Swilley writes:

> 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 all historical references by renaming the characters Billy Joe and Jim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.

I appreciate the point about not projecting our own historical
stereotypes and reductions back unto Shakespeare's stage, as far too
many producers of Henry VIII seem to have done.  Nevertheless, we ought
to remember that Shakespeare isn't creating characters out of thin air.
People had heard of these historical figures before, and already had a
number of associations in mind.

The closest parallel I can think of would be some sort of historical
drama.  Before watching a movie about the Civil War (say, 'North and
South' or some such rubbish) the average television viewer already
basically knows who is on what side.  If a tall, bearded man walks into
a cabinet meeting wearing a top hat, everyone will know that it's Abe
Lincoln, and will have some associations in mind-the Gettysburg address,
the emancipation proclamation, etc.  There's no getting around this,
though Shakespeare might play on the audience's expectations-showing
Caesar as a half-deaf old dotard, for instance, instead of a young
soldier conquering Gaul.

Cheers,
Se

 

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