Friday, December 05, 2008

Numero 27 this year is Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare. Funny enough, this is one of his plays that I somehow avoided reading til now. I know some classes read it in Grade 11, but mine wasn't one of them (we did... wow, I don't think we did any Shakespeare in grade 11 English now that I think about it. Heresy!). This choice was mainly born out of my recently having watched the entire first season of the HBO series Rome and enjoying that immensely. So, I was curious to see how their version stacked up to the Bard's. HBO's Julius at least got an almost full season before he got offed, Shakespeare's exits the mortal coil at the beginning of Act III, leaving two more acts where he only appears breifly and as a ghost.

Strangely, I found Ceasar to be almost a bit player in a play supposedly about him. I didn't find we got to really know too much about him, most of the time is given to the consipirators and their reasoning for wanting Caesar dead. Which is fine, motivation is good, but still, I think I would've liked more knowledge of Caesar as a counterpoint to the conspirators.

Shakespeare does do a lovely job with Marc Antony though. He is brash and angry, but he also does believe in what Caesar did and so his complete condemnation of the assassination was well done.

I liked the play overall, but I think I liked HBO's version better :)