Like multitudes of others, I studied Shakespeare's Julius Caesar in Grade 10 English. I quite enjoyed it, despite having to listen to various classmates stumble over and generally mutilate the (former) Queen's English. Shakespeare was a superb storyteller and a genius at coming up with descriptive phrases which linger in your memory and creep into your vocabulary. Hearing, for example, of Cassius' "lean and hungry look", we scarcely needed Caesar's warning that "such men are dangerous."
Before high school, I had never read the play, and although I knew the bare bones of the tale, my previous exposure to it was limited to the old Wayne and Shuster sketch, "Rinse the Blood Off My Toga." For those unfamiliar with this comedic gem, it is a retelling of the play as a murder mystery, with Frank Shuster as Brutus, and Johnny Wayne as Flavius Maximus, Private Roman Eye.
When Shakespeare wrote: How many ages hence
Shall this our lofty scene be acted o'er,
In states unborn, and accents yet unknown!,
I very much doubt that he was imagining Wayne and Shuster's broadly comedic Canadian tones, but since he wasn't opposed to a bit of farce himself, I don't think he would have minded. So, in honour of the day, here's an abridged version of the classic sketch: