Our friend John was riding with us to an event and he expects me to provide literary and historical references when he cannot think of the source. We were talking about a certain portly presidential candidate and John asked what part of Shakespeare had the line about having people around who are fat. I laughed and said, "That's the one from Julius Caesar about Cassius having a lean and hungry look and it mentions that Cassius thinks too much and that is dangerous." I said I would have to wait to get home for the full quote.
The first play I saw (other than high-school events) was Julius Caesar. Mrs. Craig took a school bus load of us to Wilmington College to see the performance. I took along my copy of the play.
I was diligently following along with the dialogue and when it reached this part as Caesar speaks:
"Let me have men about me that are fat
Sleek-headed men and such as sleep a-nights
Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look
He thinks too much and such men are dangerous."
The actor portraying Caesar gestured toward the actor at stage left and it was a very portly young man portraying Cassius. Even wearing a toga, one could tell he was big! I burst out laughing at the incongruity of a rotund actor portraying Cassius. Several people turned to look at me. I could not stop laughing although Mrs. Craig and others were shushing me! I regained my composure but when Caesar uttered "Were he fatter" I broke out in peals of laughter, literally holding my hand over my face to quiet the laughter.
Riding on the school bus home someone said, "We can't take her anywhere!"
Since growing up, I have seen the play performed twice and have also seen the movie starring Marlon Brando and when that scene comes on I always laugh!
CLICK HERE to see the YouTube video Julius Caesar (1953) - A lean and hungry look.