Monday, January 18, 2010

Julius Caesar (got Shakespeared)

Julius Caesar is about the murder of, of course, Julius Caesar. I was actually pretty impressed by how the good the actors were able to mend the “anachronic” Shakespeare version into an original modern, highschool adaptation that still, in a sense, emit a sense of Shakespeare. I was especially impressed by the way that the actors handled the set. Though I am not an expert on theatre (in fact I probably know less about theatre than the next person), I would think that such a dynamic play should be constantly inferred by the curtain for a scene change. Of course, that was impossible for this play, because the audience was half the stage; even so, the play was carried out with the minimal confusion in the change in scene.
The basic plot of this play is of a typical Shakespearean play. It begins with an introduction about how the public loves Julius Caesar. This prompted Brutus to be fairly jealous of Caesar (jealousy, of course is a typical theme in Shakespeare). As time goes on, Brutus becomes more and more jealous and finally decides to murder Shakespeare (murder, of course is Shakespeare’s favorite). So the plan was carried out and Shakespeare was murdered during a senate meeting. This is the start pivotal moment of the play. From then on Brutus and his followers were attacked by Octavius and Augustus. Now, that begins a series of people getting Shakespeared (typical Shakespeare stuff). As Brutus’s followers get Shakespeared one by one, Brutus decides that fighting a losing battle is much worse than being Shakespeared; so he Shakespeares himself. At the end, Augustus and Octavius gives a Shakespeare for Brutus.
The most interesting part of the play is the modern adaptations (no offense to Shakespeare). I thought it was quite interesting that the whole thing was set in (though logically not right) a high school. It gave kind of a connection with the audience; considering that we are in a high school at the moment. Of course a lot of interesting features came with the high school: such as the morning announcements (which were great). Another good addition (at least I think is an addition) is the beginning part with the people doing random stuff and the middle part that was suppose to reflect that. That part was played in silence; thus, it gave the audience a chance to interpret it for themselves*. I interpreted that part as a reflection of society. After Caesar’s murder, society became much more violent as depicted by the actors. Another great adaptation is the expressions. Of course, in a serious play, actors would not have such playful expressions and personalities, which I rather enjoy. The reason that I don’t go to watch plays is that I know I would only be watching people getting humorlessly (or if it is humorous it would be some ancient humor that I would not understand) Shakespeared, and being that I am not really into theatrical arts, I don’t really look for much else but a story, which I won’t understand precisely because I am not too interested in theatrical arts. But this modern adaptation that was scripted by people my age allows me to be able to connect to the humor and the characters, which I find fairly enjoyable.

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