No! Totally unacceptable!

A performance of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar featured the titular character in contemporary dress.

In this summer’s rendition in Central Park, Caesar is “dressed in a business suit, with a royal blue tie, hanging a couple inches below the belt line, with reddish-blonde hair,” according to Laura Shaeffer, an audience member who spoke to a local radio station.

Then there was the murder scene, with blood spurting everywhere. People were very upset at the scene with a character looking a heck of a lot like Trump. So am I.

Julius Caesar was brilliant and competent, maybe too competent, as he ruled Rome with the force of his will, his dignitas, his armies, his history of victory. Any comparison with Donald Trump is intolerable and inappropriate. I demand that the company cease besmirching the memory of a truly intelligent and historically important man.


  1. snuffcurry says

    Julius Caesar was brilliant and competent, maybe too competent, as he ruled Rome with the force of his will, his dignitas, his armies, his history of victory.

    Crikey, I don’t even think [what he wrote of] his Commentarii go this far, PZ.

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    …“dressed in a business suit, with a royal blue tie, hanging a couple inches below the belt line, with reddish-blonde hair,”…

    Perfect costume & cosmetics for Iago, not Caesar. Would also work very well for Bottom.

  3. monad says

    On the one hand, Trump hasn’t earned much comparison to Caesar, someone like Didius Julianus might be more his speed. On the other hand…Orange Julius.

  4. Artor says

    Birgerjohansson, are you really surprised? This sounds entirely typical for tRumplethinskin. Obviously, he needed that cash more than some pathetic loser kids with cancer! He likes kids who don’t get cancer. In a few years, he’ll be dating them!

  5. cartomancer says

    Much more apt would be to portray Trump as Shakespeare’s Richard III. For the rhyming slang if nothing else.

    Or King Lear, with Eric, Donald Jr. and Ivanka as Reagan, Cordelia and Goneril.

  6. John Harshman says

    So who’s Octavian? Jared or Ivanka? Sean Spicer clearly is an inadequate Marc Antony, though well matched to his master. Plenty of candidates for Brutus, so it’s hard to choose. Don’t have a clue as to Cassius or Casca.

  7. gijoel says

    @1 standing ovation.

    I would have thought Titus Andronicus or King Lear be more appropriate.

  8. robro says

    Julius Caesar was brilliant and competent…

    At least according to Julius Caesar, or someone who wanted it to appear that way. So, perhaps Caesar is a fitting model for Trumpster.

  9. handsomemrtoad says

    Julius Caesar has something in common with Trump: both are/were sexually aggressive and (ahem) unconventional.

    JC was known for debaucheries with both genders, including, his military officers.

    When JC marched home from a campaign, the soldiers sang:

    “Home we bring the bald whore-monger;
    Romans, lock your wives away!”

  10. Chakat Firepaw says

    A bit from the show “History Bites”[1] seems to fit a Trump inspired Caesar almost as much as it did a JFK based one[2] in the show:

    Vidi vici veni

    At least it’s what Orange Julius would claim he did.

    [1] The concept was: What if TV were around for (moment in history)? Let’s flip around the channels to see the news, cooking shows, kid’s shows, etc.

    [2] Done in retrospect about JC’s murder and the “Lone Knifeman” anti-conspiracy theorists.

  11. methuseus says

    Just because he was dressed in a similar way doesn’t mean he was a stand-in… Of course my comments won’t stop the Secret Service from thoroughly investigating everyone involved in that play for lots of incriminating things. They may possibly pop up on the no fly list, or extra security list. It happens quite a lot to anyone who even jokes about the President (whoever he (hopefully to become a non-gendered term soon) may be).

  12. KG says


    Indeed – he’d have divided Macron into three parts by now.

  13. KG says


    While Caesar’s Gallic Wars is certainly propagandistic, there really isn’t any doubt about his military and political achievements.

  14. Dauphni says

    Julius Caesar was brilliant and competent, maybe too competent, as he ruled Rome with the force of his will, his dignitas, his armies, his history of victory.

    Julius Caesar was a genocidal warmonger who fucked over his friends for a quick buck. But he did write some popular memoirs where he tried to paint himself in the most positive light possible. So I guess all you can really say is that his PR is better than Trump’s.

  15. rietpluim says

    Trump is so terribly incompetent he cannot even fuck over his friends for a quick buck.

  16. Ichthyic says

    Plenty of candidates for Brutus

    maybe, but right now I think the casting call is still out, and for my money… nobody wants the part.

    which is unfortunate, as it was truly the only way to stop a mad emperor historically.

    I must admit to not thinking we have evolved enough to have an alternative even today.

  17. says

    The Schaeffer source was apparently a plant from a right-wing think tank, sent to be outraged. So it was performance art. That makes her Popilius Lena, playing both sides of the game, waiting to see whether the widely known secret conspiracy thrives or fails. As Trump would say, if he were capable of iambic pentameter and anything approaching complex thought,

    The fault is not in our stars but in our selves that we are underlings. Except me, I’m an overling.

  18. davidc1 says

    Is it true that everybody on Earth has some of JC ‘s atoms in them ,or something .
    Infamy .infamy ,everyone has it in for me .
    Carry on Cleo .

  19. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    Remember last March15 that the movement tried to be known as “Ides of Trump” ?
    I saw yesterday a conservopodiansnowflakes calling for boycott of this show, due to it depicting the assassination of our “glorious leader” (who apparently deserves oodles of adoration and respect and kudos, etc).
    As if a boycott of a FREE PERFORMANCE could register in any way; other than as a Tweet flood in the Twitverse.
    Also showing selective amnesia of the non-response from last year’s portrayal of Julius as a POC with a strong Obama likeness.
    Agreed, I too object to this performance in the “liberal” way. Portraying Trump as the modern version of Julius Caesar (hereafter July). Not the “assassination of Trump” that the conserves see.
    Portraying ~45 as July is the outrageous part, regardless of JC’s fate. ~45 has done nothing even comparable to July’s accomplishments.
    [sorry for ranting in this thread]

  20. blf says

    Forget Julius Caesar — Trump is more like Richard III, Shakespeare’s satanic joker:

    Two US companies have pulled their sponsorship from a New York production of Julius Caesar because it depicts a Trump-like character — grisly ending and all. But the bard has other characters that better fit the US president [sic]

    Sponsorship, a British director once told me, is implicit censorship. As if to prove the point Delta Airlines and Bank of America have pulled out of funding a New York Shakespeare-in-the-Park production of Julius Caesar on the grounds that the Roman dictator is played as a blond-haired bully with an American tie-pin and a Slavic wife. A spokesperson for one of the sponsors said the portrayal of Caesar was clearly designed to provoke and offend, which some of us thought was one of theatre’s basic functions.

    [… I]s there scope for re-casting other Shakespeare plays with Trump lookalikes? [… Richard III] is a satanic joker who systematically wipes out all obstacles to ultimate power, puts on a false face to deceive the populace and is ultimately confronted by his own hollowness. As he says on the eve of battle: “There is no creature loves me; and if I die, no soul shall pity me.”

    [… T]here is one character who shows that Shakespeare had an uncanny understanding of the Trump type and that is the lying braggart, Parolles, in […] All’s Well That Ends Well. Parolles has a repugnant chauvinism […, and] poses as a military hero but is exposed as a treacherous coward when he is ambushed by his fellow-soldiers and tricked into revealing their strategies: this could almost be Trump subverting the FBI or engaging in reckless dialogue with the Russians. There’s even a shamelessness about Parolles that allows him to survive exposure and declare: “Simply the thing I am shall make me live.”