When it comes to Shakespeare, it can be hard to understand. That’s what I’m assuming happened when Delta and Bank of America wrongly pulled funding from the Public Theater in New York City after they realized the production of Shakespeare in the Park this year of Julius Caesar features a ‘Donald Trump’-esque figure getting assassinated.
Now, let’s be clear: Julius Caesar is, in fact, about an assassination. But the bigger message of the play is that if anger incites violence, the republic will fall. Remember how the Roman empire fell after his death?
So making it about Trump is actually pointing out that violence will do nothing to help the nation as a whole. And worse than that, there was a production of Julius Caesar that featured President Obama as Caesar and that production was considered riveting. So what’s the big deal?
Basically, Fox News baiting everyone into pulling their funding by saying a “New York Play” featured the president getting killed. Now if you specified that it was, in fact, Julius Caesar or any of the people complaining about it realized what the message of the piece is, we wouldn’t be having this problem.
It all stems from a ‘react first then ask questions’ mentality. If Delta and Bank of America simply researched the production or asked the Public about their interpretation, maybe we wouldn’t be having this issue.
It’s not about the fact that there is a Trumpian figure heading the show, it is about the context of the actual piece. So for those who jump to conclusions about what it means: Julius Caesar expresses the idea that violence isn’t the answer. That turning our anger towards our leader into violence leads to the fall of our civilization as we know it.
Or, you know, listen to click-bait titles instead and don’t really take in the powerful message that Julius Caesar provides. But remember, the version of this show with Obama as Caesar was called riveting. The one with Trump? Treasonous.