Things that distract me when thinking about Shakespeare’s Roman plays, a partial list

1. Bro Julius Caesar from Horrible Histories:

2. Asterix, because obviously I spent most of my childhood reading Asterix cartoons

3. This. Oh lawks, the memories:

4. Coriolanus jokes.  I’ll Corio-YOUR… sorry sorry sorry


They play the triumph bit in undergrad Shakespeare lectures and it is DISTRACTING

6. Anything Eddie Izzard has ever said about Romans/Latin:

A can of dog food for small yapper-type dogs (aka the reason I cannot think of Caesar without saying ‘I am played by JAMES MASON’ in my head)

On the audio recording of Definite Article I had on my ipod he described the Cesar dog as a ‘small dog with bushy face’. Once I was listening to it on a train and just when it got to that line I felt something brush my leg. I looked down and a small dog with a bushy face looked up at me. It had slipped its lead and gone for a walk down the train under the seats. Obviously the first thought I had was EDDIE IZZARD IS MAGIC. (Eddie Izzard IS magic. Of course).

7. Cartoons, as usual:

JC 'Danger knows full well / That Caesar is more dangerous than he.' HIGHWAY TO THE CAESAR ZONE

JC (well, his cultural presence in late C16th England) was described as ‘the ultimate Roman’ in one of our undergrad Shakespeare lectures. Related: I can’t draw arms.

Crap you can just imagine their OKCupid profiles can't you

‘Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look. / And I bet he doesn’t even lift.’

'I dunno, I'm just here to wear out these shoes'

Oh yes, jokes about Pompey’s ‘triumphs’ could be no.8 on this list

Finally: one of my students alerted me to this today. I had forgotten it, as it’s shamefully long since I saw Mean Girls. It is, of course, glorious.

Richard III comics

So obviously I meant my first blog post after submitting my thesis to be a) posted sooner than nearly two months after handing the damn thing in, and b) a lucid, pithy response to that whole thesis thing. This post is not that. There are plans afoot, though I am not sure of their pithiness or lucidity, but I haven’t managed to do any illustrations for them yet, and in defiance of all reasonable post-thesis expectations I appear to be in something of a work crisis right now.

So in lieu of such a thing, please accept several bad phone photos of dumb cartoons about Richard III. The Shakespeare version, not the actual version, in case any medievalists get mad (never make a medievalist angry. You won’t like them when they’re angry).

Sorry the first picture is well blurry. My phone doesn’t seem to like blue biro. My kingdom for a new scanner (just as soon as I have spent all the money I don’t have on attempting to fix my crappy computer) et cetera.

Nobody went to Richard's party and now look what happened

Don’t blame it on the sunshine, don’t blame it on the moonlight, don’t blame it on the good times, blame it on the guy with a G in his name

The disappearance of those princes has left you in a TOWERING rage amiright

This could be any of the women in the play, to be honest. Take yer pick.

richard haterz

I flipping love Richard III. I love how Richard keeps turning to the audience and going ‘Heh! Aren’t I awful!’ You ARE bad, Richard. You’re the WORST. Let’s have an evil disco.

See also the Richard III episode of We Are History, aka one of the greatest historical documentaries ever made.

Also, for balance: a lovely song.

* * * *

And, in memoriam… (sobs uncontrollably) (notes that he is wearing an overcoat in that picture, and THAT is why you can’t see his brooch with the flowers in it, in order to forestall criticism from her father)