I wanted to name this blog after my favorite line from Caesar. And then I became self conscious over who would or wouldn't know the reference and the context. And then I became more self conscious because people might think of me as pretentious, as arrogant, or think of me how I used to think of my peers in literature classes making obscure references during their diatribes to show off to or try to relate with the professor. This line of thinking hindered me from moving forward with the creation of this blogspot because I couldn't name the page Walk Abroad and Recreate Yourselves and I couldn't really move on with my life without getting in this line. So here it is.
"He hath left them you, and to your heirs forever--common pleasures to walk abroad and recreate yourselves."
What I love about this line is Antony's relationship to the mob. The mob is powerful and influential and drives the politicians' psyches. First, we see the mob in Act I enjoying the holiday without any regard for the on-going political shuffle. One day they drink in merriment for Pompey; the next for Caesar. It doesn't matter to them who rules Rome as long as the mob's status quo remains. In Act III, the mob is so stereotypical and easily swayed by political rhetoric they love Brutus one minute. Next they riot because Antony hinted there would be no legal consequence, and if they don't burn Rome, they lose their recreation and their freedom. Then, they disappear for the rest of the play while the handful of politicians go to war to see who gets to call themselves emperor. In the end, the outcome doesn't matter to the mob; all the mob knows is they will keep on being a mob and as long as they maintain the ability to recreate themselves, all is well. Also, the cobbler in Act I, with his pun about being a "mender of bad soles," is so much more witty and with it compared to the dweebs Flavius and Marullus. This seems to suggest the mob has a deeper understanding of their place in the world than these stuffy politicians and the mob understands the meaning of life. Dare I say the mob in Caesar is like Randall "Pink" Floyd, Wooderson, Mitch, and the whole crew hanging out at the Emporium in Dazed and Confused ? Teachers, police, coaches, parents and anyone else that struggles for power are all just peripheral shadows that seek the support of these Texas high school kids in order to have meaning in their adult lives.
Even these cats figure out they need to stop preparing and planning for something their parents, teachers, and authorities feel is important and get on with recreating themselves.
Anyway, back to Antony and his relationship to the mob. Maybe Antony is like Wooderson--as Antony gets older, the players of the game (like Octavius) stay the same age and to keep himself relevant, Antony needs to recreate himself. Or, Antony is envious of the mob's freedom, power, and balanced lives that allow them to take the day and hang out in the parks and recreate themselves--or he knows that is important to the mob and they have life figured out. Or, Antony needs to live vicariously through the mob and he needs them to burn Rome because he couldn't do it while maintaining his status quo in the political game. There is something proverbial about this line that makes Antony a deep character. Antony is the guy with whom the cobbler wants to drink beers because Antony gets the value of the arbors, orchards, and recreation. Cassius feels threatened by Antony's prowess. Brutus sees altruism in Antony. Caesar trusted Antony with his life and now Octavius trusts Antony with his. Antony has it. Antony is one of them--he gets it and knows how to maintain status quo and keep L-I-V-I-N.
My point is, I don't know what this blogspot is really going to be do as it matures. I don't really know what I'm going to do with my life as I mature.
I do know that I always want to be able to recreate myself. I do know I need to find a better balance of work and recreation in my life. I do know I would vote for Antony and if he told me to burn Rome, I would do it. Like Antony says, "Mischief thou art afoot; take thou what course thou wilt."