Julius Caesar And Cassius

We accompanied the Lady de Gloves to see Julius Caesar at the Great River Shakespeare Festival.  Afterwards the Counterfactuals played.  It is a great play done reasonably well.  The band was worth of their name.  It gave rise to two thoughts:

First, Cassius Clay, Jr. who recently died as Mohammed Ali had this poem (we quote from memory so it may not be 100% accurate and there was more too it)

Cassius of old dropped Caesar 20 centuries ago
And this Cassius will drop Liston as you already know.

Second, to use US terminology, we see Cassius as the liberal and Brutus as the conservative in this drama.  It is not a perfect analogy but it is not bad either.  Cassius, like the liberals is driven by envy.  In this case he is envious about power making it a liberal two for the price of one.  For example:

Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
Like a Colossus, and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs and peep about
To find ourselves dishonourable graves.
Men at some time are masters of their fates:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.

Cassius wants to kill Antony as well to bring power to himself.  Brutus is a conservative man of principle.  Much like Scalia, he is not looking for favorable answers but actions based on principle and process.  Brutus does not what to kill Anthony because Caesar is guilty of ambition but Antony is not or at least not yet.  Brutus is a man of principle even if it makes life difficult for him and eventually leads to his death.  He also has the conservative problem of thinking that the electorate will listen to reason.

Shakespeare tells us why it is so difficult for conservatives and liberals to work together.  He also shows why disasters come on the rare times when it happens.  Julius Caesar is truly a tragedy for conservatives.


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