"Now is the winter of our discontentâ€¦"
This month kicks off a six-month citywide celebration honoring William Shakespeare. Venues in and around Washington, D.C., will be filled with plays, ballet, readings, exhibits -- all honoring the Bard of Avon.
So how curious it was to see that Richard III begins on Monday here in Washington. This 16th century play is considered by many to be his masterpiece. In it, he created a political character of evil incarnate in the form of Richard III. The Shakespeare Theater Company is serendipitously located in the Lansburgh Theater, just off Pennsylvania Avenue, almost halfway between the White House and Capitol Hill.
Richard III is the master of deception, who lets nothing stop him in his quest for power. He's evil, ruthless and completely immoral. His society is one of ambition and revenge. His ends absolutely justify his means.
What better setting for this than Washington, D.C.? What better month? We've recently witnessed the execution of a dictator, the burial of a President known for healing the nation after Watergate, and now the "surge," "escalation," "increase" of troops to Iraq.
This city today is consumed by Iraq: Reaction to Bush's speech last night, and the administration trying to sell the plan on the Hill, and to the American people. Capitol Hill, too, has an agenda: Those who support the plan, those who don't, and those who see the plan as something that perhaps benefits their own personal agenda.
If you're in Washington, Richard III will be performed from January 16-March 18. There are no discounts for politicians, but tickets are still available.