Pro-Trump protesters disrupt NYC's Julius Caesar, 1 arrested

There are two types of clowns in Shakespeare: clever fools who speak truth to power (King Lear's court jester, Feste in Twelfth Night) and actual idiots, written to be laughed at, who spew malapropisms and wind up magically transformed into asses.

Sunday is the last performance of the play, which is part of the free Shakespeare in the Park series in the Delacorte Theater. I couldn't believe they were going on with the play in light of what happened with the attack on Congressman Scalise.

Certain segments of the Right have been stirred by news reports of this Caesar, in which the assassinated Roman emporer has been recast as a Trump figure.

Julius Caesar is a political play, one that plumbs the uneasy relationship between power and populism, as well as the conflicts that arise between personal relationships and loyalty to country. As the British critic and Shakespearean scholar Frank Kermode once wrote, "Shakespeare treats [Brutus] with delicate sympathy, but can not have thought his act a right one".

The production's director, Oskar Eustis, also released a statement. But any good-faith critic of the show who actually sat through it would have to admit there's zero celebration of violence in the staging.

Republicans such as former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and the president's son Donald Trump Jr. point at the play an example of hostility toward the right because it portrayed Julius Caesar, who is murdered in William Shakespeare's play, as a man in a suit with an American flag pin, long tie and blondish hair that looked like President Trump.

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Seconds later, a woman dressed in black rushed onto the stage.

Audience members tweeted out footage of Posobiec being removed from the theater shortly after Loomer, as he kept up the Nazi-slinging diatribe.

"Our stage manager stopped the show and we waited for security to remove them, and then we proceeded with the show to the great pleasure of the audience, who gave the cast a standing ovation", Eustis said.

So with this production, having the Trump-like Caesar getting killed has sent his supporters into a tailspin. Amid the ruckus, Posobiec stands up in the crowd and starts repeatedly screaming, "You are all Goebbels" and "Goebbels would be proud", until security removes him too. Turning to my friend, I whispered, "Why is this guy calling us gerbils?".

The incident was filmed by Jack Posobiec, a right wing provocateur best known for helping to spread the Pizzagate conspiracy theory. President Trump was stabbed again and again and the crowd cheered.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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