The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0347  Tuesday, 13 February 2001

From:           Stuart Manger <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 12 Feb 2001 18:40:00 +0000
Subject: Question about Julius Caesar
Comment:        SHK 12.0329 Question about Julius Caesar

Try telling them that Shakespeare and his company were fearful of
getting their fingers burned again in dealing so overtly with domestic
issues of kingship, and one of his perennial themes 'the business of
good government'. By using the 'Roman plays' disguise / allegory, he
could in JC exploit the chance to debate dangerous dynamite like
assassination of the head of state, how revolution goes sour, the power
of the people, demagoguery and how those electrifying with words can
influence history - and then get them to relate that to the history of
just the USA in the final 40 years of the 20th century, without Europe,
or Russia, or the Balkans, or Phillipines, or Ukraine in the last 15
years!!!! Try writing headlines / newspapers, plotting TV coverage of
the assassination, compare with JFK, Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy,
Yeltsin, Castro? How do they think the autocratic, absolute monarch
Elizabeth 1 would have dealt with THAT!!

Get them to find out about one of Shakespeare's most illustrious patrons
who is said to have subsidised a production of R2 including the
abdication of R scene to make a forcible point to Elizabeth 1 about the
state of domestic English politics, and was imprisoned, and executed,
while the company very nearly disintegrated as a direct result of play /
politics getting entangled.

Might make them see it as not only potent text, but major debate about
who really has power, how is it wielded, and what are the consequences
when the rule of law is broken.

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