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Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Revising for GCE 'O' Level: Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare; BBC Radio 4

Well, it felt like that. All the characters and the big lines came back to me. Unforgettable!

I was driving home from Castle Cary, Somerset, this afternoon, when I tuned into BBC Radio 4 and caught episode 2 of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.

I'd forgotten how powerful the play can be when well produced and acted, as this radio adaptation proved to be. Brilliant! Compelling listening. It was directed by March Beeby.

I wish I'd had a recording of this production when I was studying the play for GCE 'O' Level English back in Bruton and Castle Cary all those years ago.

Episode Two -  the plot against Caesar reaches crisis point as the conspirators gather at the Capitol in Rome.

Episode One - Cassius persuades Brutus that Caesar's ambition is a threat to the republic and a conspiracy is formed.

Episode Three (of 3) 

It's even better in the car.

Marlon Brando as Mark Antony

The Ancient Theatre at Philippi

Related, King Lear, for four weeks only, BBC 4, iPlayer

There is a tide in the affairs of men

As a schoolboy I had to study Shakespeare,
Julius Caesar, the set book for exams.
I remember seeing Brando in the film, 
The way he drawled out 'Fie-li-pie'
And shattered sense of accent and of place.

Philippi, Filippi or Fie-li-pie.

I stand here on the battleground itself…
- As Brutus to the ghost of Caesar,
So I to the ghost of Brutus say:
"Why, I will see thee at Philippi, then".
("Aye, at Philippi").

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