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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: February ::
Question about Julius Caesar
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0329  Monday, 12 February 2001

From:           Joe Conlon <
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Date:           Saturday, 10 Feb 2001 10:53:07 -0500
Subject:        Question about Julius Caesar

I'm teaching Julius Caesar over the next two weeks to a wonderful group
of 10th grade high school students who have been previously exposed to
Romeo and Juliet.  My goal is to impart some of my love of Shakespeare
to them.  I got a chance two summers ago to see a production of Antony
and Cleopatra on the stage of the New Globe on Bankside and I want to
try to impart to my students a sense of the feel of what a large part
the playhouse itself and the mob of groundlings would have played in the
Chamberlain's Men's premier of Julius Caesar in the summer of 1599.
During my research I've found that Richard Burbage probably portrayed
Brutus and John Hemings was probably Caesar.  I know my students will
ask what part Shakespeare might have played and I don't know.  Does
anyone have plausible probabilities?  I'd also like to know what parts
were likely played by the other members of the company and who might
have portrayed Antony.

I've also found Ben Jonson loved criticising the play and was jealous of
its success over his own Everyman Out of His Humor.  Did Jonson have any
personal connection to JC?  Did he act in it or was a rival play of his
running at the Rose at the time?

I'm familiar with the political situation in London at the time with
Essex's doomed expedition to Ireland, and the political intrigue and
worry over the succession.

I'd also be interested in any other ideas you might have for bringing JC
alive to my students and placing it in the context of its London
opening.

Thanks in advance for any ideas or help you can give me.

Joe Conlon
Warsaw, Indiana, USA
 

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