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Julius Caesar: The Power of Words

Who can forget Marc Antony’s speech about Brutus being an honorable man while steadily giving examples that he is anything but honorable in killing Julius Caesar? Or Julius Caesar’s “Et tu, Brutus?” as he is being stabbed to death? I was familiar with those sayings but had not read or seen Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” until March 14.

The production at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater brought these words to life with fine actors, especially David Darlow as Caesar, John Light as Brutus, and Dion Johnstone as Marc Antony. The contemporary setting of “Julius Caesar” made it more relevant to our times with modern clothes and an paramilitary aura, but the words were all William Shakespeare’s. And what an array of words in this magnificent play.

Julius Caesar’s death just before the intermission was especially gory and nasty, and the real blood was stark and frightening. Cassius was evil incarnate and corrupt. In the second half, Brutus sees Cassius’s corruption and wonders at his actions.

Mar. 23, 2013