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Actors Stab and Kill ‘Trump’ in Bizarre Rendition of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar

Actors Stab and Kill ‘Trump’ in Bizarre Rendition of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar

To #Resist or Not to #Resist, that is the question…

https://twitter.com/playbill/status/869625848214818816

Legal Insurrection readers may have noticed that I sometimes refer to President Donald Trump as “Master of the Unexpected.”

That is a term of endearment among Trump’s fans who also love the 1963 epic, Cleopatra, as it refers to quote about Julius Caesar and his tactic that led to a victory over the Egyptian army.

However, a New York theater group has taken that analogy to a much darker level.

Shakespeare in the Park, an annual summer program by The Public Theater that puts on plays by William Shakespeare in Central Park, kicked off May 23 with a performance of Julius Caesar.

But this rendition of Shakespeare’s tragedy comes with a twist — Caesar is played by a character that bears a striking resemblance to President Donald Trump.

According to Playbill, The Public Theater’s Oskar Eustis directed the Trump-inspired take on the classic political drama, which boasts famed stage actor John Douglas Thompson and House of Cards star Corey Stoll in its cast.

The choice of Julius Caesar for the annual program is one dripping with subtext, chosen deliberately for the supposed parallels between the Roman dictator and Trump. A description of the play on The Public Theater’s website states that “Shakespeare’s political masterpiece has never felt more contemporary.”

It describes the Roman leader as “Magnetic, populist, irreverent,” and “bent on absolute power.” The description also notes that a “small band of patriots, devoted to the country’s democratic traditions, must decide how to oppose him.”

I hate to be a stickler for the trivialities of real history, but I would like to remind the cast, crew, and producers of this particular Julius Caesar that the victim was a populist much loved by the citizens of Rome. Furthermore, after a rousing and subtle speech by Caesar’s second-in-command, the “hero” assassins were forced to flee the eternal city and eventually died in shame and ignominy.

Frankly, aside from the populist tendencies, the only characteristics President Trump shares with Caesar are thinning hair and a passion for glamorous women.

The response to the theater group’s concept is foreseeable….for anyone with common sense, taste, and an interest in current events.

This brings me to the point upon which I would like to shine a spotlight: Much of this self-induced trouble that our entertainers and social justice warriors (e.g., Reality Winner) are experiencing is the result of the conservative-free “safe spaces” that they have created for themselves.

If Winner had just one Libertarian friend who was #FineWithTrump, then perhaps that person could have reminded her of the legal consequences of leaking classified materials without critical political connections and a bottle of chardonnay. If Kathy Griffin had one independent colleague who could have honestly told her how grotesque the video project was, then perhaps she would not have decapitated her career.

So, let this be a lesson to Trump haters in entertainment, the media, and government: The deplorables have “let slip the dogs of war” and we are no longer tolerating your clueless antics, your tasteless art, or your classless insults.

To #Resist or not to #Resist? If your livelihood depends on entertaining the general public (including those who voted for President Trump) or is reliant on tax dollars taken from deplorable Americans then remember: Discretion is the better form of valor.

Resist #Resist.

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Comments

Pro-Choice parody.

PrincetonAl | June 9, 2017 at 8:31 pm

Read Victor Davis Hanson’s description of Emporer Claudius as the actual model for Trump, not Caesar.

It’s a brilliant piece of history that I did not know despite recently helping my son with a Roman Emporer project
for school.

http://www.hoover.org/research/trump-our-claudius

I truly hope you all get the same pleasure I did from
the often interesting VDH. I am going to enjoy throwing this little anecdote at some liberal friends of mine when they go full Caesar / Hitler at the next cocktail party.

If Claudius is a model for Trump, I would suggest that Elagabalus be a model for Obama.

    Humphrey's Executor in reply to MadisonS. | June 9, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    Trump is Vespasian — builder of the Colosseum.

      Vespasian’s loyal troops had to fight their way into Rome and finish off a usurper.

      A far cry from Claudius, who the rampaging Prætorians, after killing Gaius/Caligula, found hiding behind a curtain … nothing terribly Trumpesque about that.

        Hansen’s analogy may not be perfect, but your argument is based mostly on suspect, heavily biased historical record of which almost all that remains is that of Claudius’ haters. And they are irrelevant. Nobody knows for sure that Claudius was found cowering behind a curtain. But with assassins marauding the palace and with the practice of slaughtering the royal family (sometimes in the tens of thousands were murdered), was that cowardly? Especially for a cripple who was not trained to fight?

        Who cares if Vespasian had to fight his way back into Rome? That was the nature of being emperor back then. You were surrounded by ambitious usurpers who were more often than not members of your own family.

        Hansen got it right. Trump is a very shrewd operator, a practical realist surrounded by top-notched advisors who scores big while keeping his legion of opponents stumbling in a fog.

          tom swift in reply to Pasadena Phil. | June 10, 2017 at 11:24 am

          To belabor the obvious—Trump had to fight his way into the office, opposed as he was by both major parties, the press, etc. He wasn’t just grabbed and put there by someone who found him convenient.

          but your argument is based mostly on suspect, heavily biased historical record of which almost all that remains is that of Claudius’ hater

          I make no “argument” at all; I quote history. That history is based on written records which are by nature incomplete and imperfect. Obviously. Tacitus, Suetonius and Dio Cassius are pretty much all we have for that period, and none of them were what we’d call “historians” today, although obviously they wrote histories.

      Not even close. The colosseum, although an engineering marvel, was the scene of epic and endless cruelty and an emblem of tyranny. Lots of tyrants build impressive monuments. When you add that Vespasian also destroyed Israel (and Herod’s Temple for the final time) triggering the Jewish diaspora, there is not much to compare with Trump who may the best WH friend Israel has ever had.

      No, I think Davis got it right.

Imagine the outcry if we staged the same play starring JFK.

Keep it up, insane leftist lunatic fringe. There’s plenty of room for the Democrats who are still sane in the Republican Party.

“small band of patriots, devoted to the country’s democratic traditions, must decide how to oppose him.”

What Brutus et al wanted to “restore” was the primacy of the Senate. The Republic wasn’t what we today would recognize by that word. The Senate was basically hereditary, a band of inbred nobodies who had already surrendered to the first Triumverate, a trio of much more dynamic individuals who had the energy and motivation to actually run Rome.

Of course murdering the last of the surviving Triumvirs didn’t restore the Senate, which was already dead and decayed, and incapable of revival. The Senate’s function was usurped by the second Triumverate, made up of Julius Cæsar’s friends and (adopted) relatives; the ultimate survivor of that became the person the Senate (not quite dead yet, but still thoroughly useless) dubbed Augustus. (He wanted to “restore” the Senate, too … but he was wise enough to never quite get around to doing it during the forty years he served as Princips.)

Notably, Caesar’s death did not lead to the reign of Imperatrix Hillary (or anyone like her), nor to a Soviet Socialist utopia. Instead, it led to civil war and the eventual ironclad rule of Cæsarian loyalists.

Throughout the span of four centuries which we think of as the western Empire, the Legions carried a plaque or banner saying SPQR, shorthand for a phrase signifying that Imperial authority was derived from the Senate and people of Rome. Of course it was all pro forma; nobody actually asked either the Senate or the people what they thought of it all.

I don’t think a repeat of history is quite what New York intellectuals have in mind … or, even worse, maybe it is.

    The peak of the glory of the Roman Empire was marked by Augustus who granted power to the Senate as a symbol of shared power and democracy. The corruption grew to threaten the very survival of the empire. Julius Caesar took the reins at a point when Rome was near death and so was forever at odds with the Senate in a struggle to save the empire. The corrupt, self-serving Senate saw Julius as a mortal enemy because of his concern for the well-being of Roman citizens who naturally loved him. That is why they killed him.

    Sound familiar?

Trump is no Caesar.

    No, but the US Senate is the Roman Senate. Even the Roman Senate didn’t illegally surrender its constitutional obligations to a yet-to-be-created global government via TTP and a Paris Accord. Helps put Trump’s challenge in perspective doesn’t it?

      ConradCA in reply to Pasadena Phil. | June 11, 2017 at 5:45 pm

      I will never understand why the Republican Senate helped Tyrant Obama the Liar ram is agreement to help Iran build nuclear weapons and ICBMs down our throats.

    One last thing. Caesar’s assassination is always depicted as being a conspiracy of traitors with the Senate exonerated. It’s not so much Caesar who needs close examination but the Senate itself. Caesar was a man. The Senate was a hopelessly entrenched corrupt institution destroying the empire with its run-away spending.

      Sorry. Didn’t mean to thumbs-down your comment. There doesn’t appear to be any way to correct it.

        I do it all the time. The reply button should be relocated, preferably to the bottom of the comment. Only a clinical law professor could fix that. It’s a highly specialized skill acquired by many years of total immersion in sixties bubblegum music.

      Pasadena Phil: Even the Roman Senate didn’t illegally surrender its constitutional obligations …

      To a large extent they had. Corruption left Rome subject to prey from foreign adversaries, such as Cilician pirates.

      Pasadena Phil: Caesar was a man.

      Caesar claimed he was the descendant of Venus.

      Pasadena Phil: The Senate was a hopelessly entrenched corrupt institution destroying the empire with its run-away spending.

      Sure, which is why Caesar was so often in opposition to the Senate, and why his heir made great efforts to reform the ancient institution.

      Edward Gibbon: The reformation of the senate was one of the first steps in which Augustus laid aside the tyrant, and professed himself the father of his country. He was elected censor; and, in concert with his faithful Agrippa, he examined the list of the senators, expelled a few members, whose vices or whose obstinacy required a public example, persuaded near two hundred to prevent the shame of an expulsion by a voluntary retreat, raised the qualification of a senator to about ten thousand pounds, created a sufficient number of Patrician families, and accepted for himself the honourable title of Prince of the Senate, which had always been bestowed, by the censors, on the citizen the most eminent for his honours and services. (3) But whilst he thus restored the dignity, he destroyed the independence of the senate. The principles of a free constitution are irrevocably lost, when the legislative power is nominated by the executive.

      Similarly, the Continental Congress was divided, corrupt, and often worked at cross-purposes during the Revolution; yet, at the end of the war, George Washington surrendered his sword to the very Congress that so-often undermined his efforts during the war.

        “To a large extent they had. Corruption left Rome subject to prey from foreign adversaries, such as Cilician pirates.”

        Bad analogy. The Roman Senate weakened itself as a byproduct of its corruption thus opening making Rome to invasion. The US Senate VOTED to ASSIGN one its three constitutional powers, that of regulating trade, to a foreign yet unconstituted government. BIG difference.

        The rest, that’s a real stretch, particularly about the Continental Congress. You are being far too cynical. There are critically important distinctions to be made but we can leave that to some other more suitable thread.

          Pasadena Phil: The US Senate VOTED to ASSIGN one its three constitutional powers, that of regulating trade, to a foreign yet unconstituted government. BIG difference.

          All treaties involve surrendering some legislative power to regulate. Treaties typically also have explicit provisions for exiting the treaty. Executive agreements are subject to legislative override, or revision by the Executive.

          Pasadena Phil: You are being far too cynical.

          Given that all legislatures are corrupt by nature, nevertheless, legislatures represent the best check on executive authority. When Caesar ‘reformed’ the Senate, he destroyed its independence. The Senate was then powerless to stop Caligula putting Incitatus in the Senate, if he so chose to do so.

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