Sunday, 9 February 2014

Scissored or Caesar'd: Act 1

I've been having fun with recapping A Midsummer's Night Dream, but our class inches along so slowly updates are few and far between. Coincidentally, I'm doing a side group project studying Mark Antony of Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra, and I'm supposed to read the former. So here comes my second Shakespeare parody/recap!

The first fifth of my copy is spent on an introduction I'm never going to read. Talk about wasting paper.

Summary of entire act: JC has his fandom amongst Roman commoners. The politicians think he sucks and plot to overthrow him.

Scene 1

We open with Flavius and Marullius, aka Tribune 1 and 2, yelling at a cobbler for not being at work. I have no idea why they care unless they have broken shoes. I suppose they don't like idle people. Which brings up the question of why they're idling around.

The cobbler rants about his job, then offers his explanation: he wants to see the titular Julius Caesar go on his post-war parade. Flavius and Marullis yell at him some more for that. Guess what the tribunes think of JC? (Laziness takes over, and I don't really want to call him Salad.)

They mess with the decorations to stop JC's imminent (?) coronation. JC apparently sucks.

Scene 2

I recapped MSND scene-by-scene, but the scenes here are way too short to do that. Poor props team.

Here's what the stage directions say:
... ANTONY (STRIPPED DOWN FOR MAKING THE RELIGIOUS RUN) ...
Hmmm. Moving on.

JC and company chat. Antony is to touch Caesar's wife Calphurnia (aka Calf) with a magic whip to make her fertile. And 'When Caesar says "Do this", it is performed.' Teach me your ways. On second thought, you did get assassinated.

A random soothsayer in the crowd watching JC's parade tells him to beware the Ides of March. JC says 'whatev'. Everyone leaves except for Brutus and Cassius. The two of them chat. Cassius rants a bit, but his main point is that Brutus is noble and brave and all that. Better, in fact, than JC. Guess what he thinks of JC?

They hear shouts and conclude Caesar is being crowned. Interesting deductions.

Cassius goes on to rant about how Caesar sucks and should not rule Rome. We get it, Cassius. Brutus says he loves Caesar (mind out of gutter) and needs to think about it. They hear more shouts, and the crowd is fangirling over Caesar. That's more logical than the above conclusion, I guess. Cassius continues to talk about how JC sucks.

After a few more pages of monologuing, Caesar comes back. He looks pissed. First, he monologues a bit to Antony about how he distrusts Cassius (wise choice), before Casca, a random JC fan, tells Brutus and Cassius what happened. Apparently the crowd and Antony tried to crown JC (what, are Cassius and Brutus telepathic?) and JC fainted. From anger, not shock, or so it's claimed. They are actors, after all. Caesar apparently offered to let the crowd slit his throat, but everyone forgave him.

Cassius is left alone on the stage. He rants about his plan to overthrow Caesar and put Brutus in power. Hint to aspiring overlords: don't monologue about your evil plans where anyone might hear.

Scene 3

Casca enters with his sword drawn and meets Cicero. I hate these names, and the minor characters barely have their own traits. Casca has drawn his sword because he's seen some weird miracles on the street. I doubt they're important beyond screaming "JC, try not to get Julius Caesar'd." Cicero says 'you're overreacting' and confirms with Casca that Caesar is going to the Capitol.

Cicero leaves and Cassius comes in. What is it with C-names? Cassius was wandering in the streets during a storm. This cements his image as an idiotic evil overlord wannabe. Anyways, Cassius tells Casca that JC sucks and claims as evidenced by the storm, the gods also think JC sucks. Casca asks if he means Caesar, and Cassius retains enough sense to deflect the question.

Casca says the Senators will crown Caesar. Cassius says he'll wear a dagger. I stand corrected, he's a complete idiot. Casca agrees with Cassius taking matters into his own hands and that Romans suck for fangirling over JC. Cassius hints that Casca might be a fangirl. Casca denies it and swears not to blab.

Cinna comes in. He's still in a revolution, but not designing clothes this time. His purpose is to say they need Brutus, because Casca is too much of an idiot to say so. Cassius says OK and tells Cinna to toss Brutus a couple of fangirl letters. Cinna leaves. Cassius repeats to Casca they need Brutus and Brutus will join them.

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