Having seen clips of the current play “Julius Caesar being performed in Central Park in New York City, I only have one word to say about it: appalling. Lest you think my reaction is related to my support for the current president; I can assure you that I would feel the same way if the main character of the play was portraying a living past president or presidential hopeful. Have we become so immune to violence in the arts that we find this kind of political statement acceptable? Have the politics of today truly become a blood sport?
Julius Caesar had been invested with the title “Dictator Perpetuo”, Dictator for Life. This was obviously an affront to the Roman Republic and the senators involved in the assassination plot felt they had no other option but to put an end to his life. This scenario is not true in American politics. Our representatives are elected for two year terms, our presidents for four and our senators for six year terms. There is a lawful way to remove elected officials should they not perform or overstep their boundaries; it is called the ballot box.
We also have a set of checks and balances in our constitutional government. The Senate, House and Justices of the Supreme Court have ways to keep a sitting president’s actions within the boundaries of the law. Since our current president has not been elected “Dictator for Life”, can we all just take a few deep breaths and let our elected officials govern?
I, for one, have not agreed with everything this current president or any of our past presidents have done; and I am sure most of you have not either. But I will not carry water for any hate mongering, no matter what form it comes in. Just because something is labeled “art” does not make it acceptable or worthy of our time and attention.
Shakespeare’s play “Julius Caesar” is a marvelous rendition of a true incident that happened in Roman history. His words are brilliant and his portrayals are spot on for the characters he represents. This current play is an insult to the intelligence of the American people; we can see the difference between Roman history and our current political situation today. Let’s not support any art form that portrays violence against any of our elected officials.