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Life of Cicero for classicists
01 December 2017
Earlier this month, Mrs McAlister accompanied Classics students to see an adaption of the best-selling Robert Harris books based on the life of Cicero at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford.
After an enjoyable dinner we made our way to the RSC to Part I: Conspirator. We were immersed in the dramatic world of ancient Roman politics as we journeyed through the life of Cicero. We witnessed the start of Cicero’s influential career with his brave defence of Sextus Roscius on the charge of parricide. The play began the day before he was made consul of Rome, and tells the many trials he went through to ensure the safety of the Roman Republic. We watched the Catiline conspiracy unfold and how Cicero remained defiant in the face of dictatorship, adhering to his ideals of the Roman Republic.
We observed as Julius Caesar worked his way up the political ladder and seized ultimate power in Rome. Meanwhile Cicero still defiantly worked to restore the Roman Republic. We also saw the other side to Cicero’s character, such as his relationship with his daughter and wife. All these events were portrayed through engaging acting, witty humour and an interactive set.
For the second performance, Part II: Dictator, we watched the death of Julius Caesar and the rise of Octavian, his nephew, who was to become Emperor Augustus. Cicero continued his stand amidst the turbulent and precarious world of Roman politics. It was fascinating to follow such a powerful and influential figure during a time of significant change in the leadership of Rome.
We were delighted to have the opportunity to see such a well-made production. Thank you Mrs McAlister for organising the trip!
Mariam Al-Ani and Lava Yassen