“The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars, but in ourselves” says George Clooney with a smirk in Intolerable Cruelty (2003) (a lesser known Coen brothers film).
You never hear George Clooney recite Chaucer:
He was an easy man in penance-giving
Where he coul dhope to make a decent living
Shakespeare, on the other hand, influences us every day. Harold Bloom claims all writers after Shakespeare live in a constant anxiety of his influence.
I imagine T.S. Eliot reading in Julius Caesar:
I have seen tempests when the scolding winds
Have riv'd the knotty oaks, and I have seen
Th' ambitious ocean swell, and rage, and foam
And then I imagine him writing his famous Prufrock:
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker
I decided to read Julius Caesar to escape my own anxiety with doing a startup. The written play comes to life more vividly than Avatar in blu-ray.
I admire Brutus more than Caesar. As Mark Antony remarks after Brutus’ death,
He was the noblest Roman of them all:
His life was gentle, and the elements
So mix'd in him that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world, This was a man!
Furthermore, when Cassius threatens him, Brutus replies:
There is no terror, Cassius, in your threats;
For I am arm'd so strong in honesty
That they pass by me as the idle wind,
Which I respect not. [...]
Instead of backing down, Brutus raises all-in, and Cassius folds. Baller.
My favorite quote (Brutus’ objection to Caesar’s ambition) rings so similar to the Occupy Wall Street Message:
Th' abuse of greatness is when it disjoins
Remorse from power
Here’s a good quote to end on from our dear Brutus when Cassius tries to convince him to kill Caesar:
I love the name of honor more than I fear death.