Stick Figure Iconography: Rosalind

Shakespeare's tragic characters are usually easy to depict, as they have instruments of death and destruction to wave around. Comedic characters are usually a little trickier, like today's subject: Rosalind! 


Am I wrong about Rosalind's hair? Almost all of the Rosalinds I have ever seen have been red-headed. (I should mention that I've so far never seen a non-white Rosalind... which is not to say that non-white Rosalinds can't also have red hair if they want to.....)

Stick Figure Iconography: Julius Caesar

I know we just got finished with the entirety of Julius Caesar, but it's the Ides of March, and what are the Ides of March without Julius Caesar? So here's the latest in my ongoing examination of the distinguishing characteristics and props of Shakespeare's most famous characters:


Julius Caesar is one of those characters who is most famous for being dead. He is lying onstage, dead, for many more lines than he actually speaks. However, despite being dead most of the time, he still manages to dominate the entire play. That's good PR.

Stick Figure Iconography: Lady Macbeth

Let's continue our look at the distinctive characteristics and props of some of Shakespeare's most famous characters! 


Lady Macbeths generally come in all manner of shapes, colors, costumes, and hairstyles nowadays, so it's a bit hard to nail down an iconic look, but one thing is certain: slap a bunch of stage blood on a lady's hands, have her look slightly unhinged, and HEY PRESTO! You've got yourself a Lady Macbeth.

Bloody hands is always a challenge when it comes to stick figures because (SURPRISE SURPRISE) stick figures don't actually have hands. I usually just sprinkle some blood droplets around and call it a day. 

Stick Figure Iconography: Hamlet

When you're a stick figure artist, the main challenge you run into is how to differentiate various characters, because... well... they're all stick figures. Fortunately, many of Shakespeare's main characters have very distinctive characteristics and props that I can use. For the rest of the month we'll be taking a closer look at some of them, starting with The Big Guy:


Note that Hamlet is clean-shaven. While he almost certainly would have originally been played with a beard (by the bearded Richard Burbage), in later generations it was customary for him to be clean-shaven, with Alec Guinness's bearded Hamlet in 1951 creating quite a stir and a rather nasty backlash. Nowadays, of course, you get all sorts of Hamlets: bearded, female, non-white, etc. It's a much more exciting playground now.

But they all have that dang skull. (Well, almost all. I'm looking at you, Maxine Peake...)

Julius Caesar: Death & Marriage Totals

OK! Julius Caesar is over, the dust has settled, and it's time to look back at what REALLY happened during the play. Let's start off with some good old death and marriage totals:


Some points of note:

  1. Flavius and Murellus, who pull scarves off of Caesar's statues in the first scene, are reported as being "put to silence", which sure sounds like they've been executed. However, historically they were apparently just stripped of their titles as tribunes. So they might not actually be dead.
  2. Brutus and Messala's letters don't agree on how many senators were killed along with Cicero; Brutus's letter says 70, Messala's says 100. I'm only counting Cicero, the only executed senator whose name we know. The other gets lumped under "plus assorted..." at the end.
  3. No marriages. That's how you know it's REALLY not a comedy. 

Tune in next week, when we'll sum up the entire play in a single page for those of you who haven't been paying attention!

Julius Caesar: Act 5, Scene 5 (part 2)



Public service announcement: Please don't run on swords. 

If your eyes kind of glazed over for the last couple of months since I started doing Julius Caesar, (a) I don't blame you, and (b) check in Thursday for a succinct summary of the important bits.