William Shakespeare would be thrilled to know his work is still riling people up 400 years after his death.
This time, it’s Shakespeare in the Park’s production of “Julius Caesar” with a Donald Trump lookalike in the title role. Just as the real Caesar was assassinated in 44 B.C. by his fellow Roman senators, the Trump version meets his end about halfway through the play.
Even though the point of the play is that this treasonous act is what leads to the downfall of democracy, the internet didn’t even wait through the first beautiful summer weekend of the year to let loose its outrage.
One of the first out of the gate was Donald Trump Jr. who seems new to art world, which has been nothing if not fervently political since well before the election:
I wonder how much of this "art" is funded by taxpayers? Serious question, when does "art" become political speech & does that change things? https://t.co/JfOmLLBJCn— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) June 11, 2017
“Star Wars: Episode VIII” director Rian Johnson threw some shade using, what else, a quote from the play:
There’s the valid point that it shouldn’t actually matter who gets killed:
if you fund julius caesar and are upset that someone gets killed…haha. personally, i don't care, but making big deal of pulling it is weird— Rogue J. Bigham (@jeffbigham) June 12, 2017
Would liberals — the implication being that they’re bloodthirsty art lovers — still defend the play if the Caesar being killed were Barack Obama?
I'm sure a classic play that pictured stabbing murder of someone made up to look and talk like Obama would incite no controversy whatsoever.— Kyle Smith (@rkylesmith) June 11, 2017
Glad you asked because there was that one time back in 2012 when that’s exactly what happened to then-President Barack Obama and no one got their panties in a twist:
Oh and Trump has actually quoted Caesar himself, so there's that.
For those wondering: Yes, President Trump has tweeted Julius Caesar quotes pic.twitter.com/Fpd8j2Q6jO— Allan Smith (@akarl_smith) June 12, 2017
The dramatic irony doesn't stop there:
This makes the case that it's about how defending democracy with undemocratic methods is bad even if Trump is evilhttps://t.co/7jBw82AdSa— ben daniels 🌹 (@GaryRootbeer) June 11, 2017
Ironically your profile reads: 'Defend Liberty & Freedom'.— Michael Bornstein (@mikebornstein) June 11, 2017
TBH a modern adaptation of Julius Caesar about Trump would have the Senate decline to kill Caesar so they can keep getting rich— Ira Madison III (@ira) June 12, 2017
And if things keep going the way they are, this may not be the last Trumpified Shakespeare production we see:
I wonder which Shakespeare play will be most apt analogy for Trump by the end of 2017. King Lear, Julius Caesar, Macbeth or Richard III.— Phil Miller (@PhilipJEMiller) June 12, 2017