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I originally planned on attending Hamlet with everyone else, but when I forgot about that, I was happy that I still had King Lear That I could go to, but when I forgot about that I was crying with tears of joy that Dr. Burton had shown us the Globe Theater plays that we could watch online. If it weren’t for this safety blanket, I may never have seen a Shakespeare play.
I decided to watch Julius Caesar, the play that I read for my individually this semester, because I found it interesting and I thought that maybe it could me with my paper (which is about Julius Caesar) and show me different ways to interpret scenes. So, from the comfort of my own home, I was able to watch this play.
1. Character/ Performance Analysis-While I did not recognize any of the actors in the play I did think the casting was very interesting in play. Caesar was played by an older man, who was tanner then the rest of the characters and who always moved around slowly. His movements and face gave him a feeling of royalty. When he was on the stage it was as if you knew he was meant to be the Emperor of Rome. He spoke slowly and vey clearly as if everything he said was a speech and dignified. In contrast, the men that played Brutus and Cassius were much younger and moved around quickly. These made them feel in direct opposition of Caesar, because everything that he was they weren’t. They also wore cloaks for much of the play, which gave them a conspirator feel, as if they were up to no good, which they weren’t. Their speech was much quicker and more hushed then Caesar’s showing that what they were saying was not for all to hear and that they were conspiring against Caesar.
2. Stage- With the globe theater being outside and the play being done during the day, there really was no lighting to speak of other then natural light, but this worked to the plays effect because most scenes were done in the streets of Rome, before the people. So everything seemed a bit more real. What may have been the most interesting part of the whole play may have been how the players used the audience to make the play feel more realistic. Instead of keeping the actors solely on stage, they dispersed many in the audience, and when they spoke from the audience it made it feel as if the whole audience were people of Rome, gathering to see Caesar become king, or gathering to see his assassination. In fact, when the play first started, I didn’t know if it really was because the scene seemed so realistic as if the whole audience were shouting for Caesar to start, but in reality, they were all shouting for Caesar himself. They also used drums a lot to give off a special effect. For example, when Brutus and the other conspirators approached Caesar to slay him, the drums were going off making the scene that much more intense.
3. Interpretation of script- While much of the play was highly dramatic and intense, there were also many jokes that I didn’t know were jokes being used. I actually laughed aloud a couple times, which was very interesting because I never had an inkling to laugh when I read the play. That was probably the biggest difference I saw. Because there were actor dispersed throughout the crowd, as if they were really a crowd, when they would talk it would always be shouting and done simultaneously, which I thought made it seem a lot more realistic. It also gave them this feeling of adoration, whether it be for Caesar, Brutus, or Mark Antony.
Overall, I thought the play was brilliantly done and it taught me new things about Caesar that I did not consider before. This analysis also kind of inspires me to go and see another one of these adaptations of Caesar so I can begin to see the differences in their interpretation and learn more about this awesome play.