Par for the course these days due to Trump Derangement Syndrome.
The year’s version of the annual Shakespeare in the Park summer program got underway on May 23, with the Bard’s famed work featuring until June 18.
One of the key scenes in the play is when Caesar is stabbed to death by conspirators in the Senate, after much plotting by two of his former friends, Cassius and Brutus.
That scene remains in the Public Theater’s new version, but it’s the appearance of Caesar that has many drawing comparisons to the president. The titular character in the play has reddish-blonde hair, wears a suit, and sports a tie that hangs a few inches below his belt.
And the similarities to the president don’t stop there. A woman who attended an early session of the play said Caesar’s wife, Calpurnia – who begs him not to attend the senate due to a premonition she had foreshadowing his murder, resembles Melania Trump and speaks with a ‘Slavic accent’.
The similarities were no fluke, as Playbill described the new version as taking: ‘aim at the current presidential administration’.
At least one person who has seen the play was outraged by the Trump-inspired take on Shakespeare. ‘I always go to Shakespeare in the Park, but I wasn’t expecting to see this,’ Laura Sheaffer told AM 970, according to Mediaite.
Sheaffer went on to explain how she was upset by the play, and especially the scene in which Caesar is killed. ‘They had the full murder scene onstage, and blood was spewing everywhere out of his body,’ she said. ‘To be honest I thought it was shocking and distasteful. I mean it was the on-stage murder of the president of the United States.’
She also took offense with the ending of the play, in which Antony – a friend of Caesar’s who fights to avenge his murder – forgives Brutus after he falls on his own sword in a bloody battle. ‘The message it sent was that if you don’t support the president, it’s OK to assassinate him,’ Sheaffer said.
However, the reason Brutus’ is celebrated in the play after his death is because his actions were motivated by wanting to see Rome prosper. Brutus took part in the plot to kill Caesar after Cassius manipulated him and planted fake letters in his home allegedly from Romans who were concerned about Caesar being elevated to the level of a deity.
He also described Caesar as serpents egg, ‘Which, hatch’d, would as his kind grow mischievous’, citing potential damage he could do in future if not killed. But then, before impaling himself on his sword, Brutus proclaimed Caesar can rest soundly now – as he and Cassius, who killed himself earlier in the battle with his own sword, were dead.
Many were outraged after news of the Trump-inspired Caesar spread on Monday and Tuesday.
‘This is sick! When will the Hollywood types learn it is inappropriate to act out the death of our president?‘ CNN contributor and Trump supporter Kayleigh McEnany wrote on Twitter.
‘THAT IS DISGUSTING. HOW COULD YOU MAKE A PLAY ABOUT THE PRESIDENT BEING STABBED TO DEATH. AMERICANS BOYCOTT,’ another person – who claimed in their bio that Barack Obama is planning to destroy America – tweeted.
‘Everyone associated with that play should go to prison,’ Ivan Gentry said.
‘We need FBI & Secret Service to stop this! Crazy people! I will not support this,’ a woman who claims the Democratic Party is corrupt added.
‘It wud (sic) have been extra special if you folks of Public Theater were stabbed to death also,’ another person, who was seemingly advocating for murder, chimed in on Twitter.
Much of the outrage seemed to appear shortly after the story was shared online by Breitbart – the right-wing news outlet formerly ran by Trump’s adviser, Steve Bannon.
And despite the anger, others seemed more sympathetic to the play’s infusion of Trump.
Read the rest of the story here.