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July 29, 2013


Rocky Ford

Period dress: why would Posthumus don a hoody? In his time was it the habit of a monk? Though celibate as his Imogen was chaste, was your intent in clothing him in such a hooded vestment to symbolize that status? No, for then it would've had no markings (except perhaps a cross), rather, it was emblazoned with the Union Jack -- like a modern t-shirt. What was it he said when he doffed the scarlet Roman cape?

"I'll disrobe me
Of these Italian weeds and suit myself
As does a Briton peasant: so I'll fight
Against the part I come with; so I'll die
For thee, O Imogen, even for whom my life
Is every breath a death; and thus, unknown,
Pitied nor hated, to the face of peril
Myself I'll dedicate. Let me make men know
More valour in me than my habits show.
Gods, put the strength o' the Leonati in me!
To shame the guise o' the world, I will begin
The fashion, less without and more within."

In this, truly "his meanest garment," he is a subject of the realm which in turn was a vassal of Rome. How different is he from Trayvon Martin, the heir to a subject race of Americans on United States (formerly British) soil, whose garment was a hoodie, the fashion of his peers, and who laid himself before the gun of George Zimmerman, a legion of the neighborhood watch of the governing race in Florida just as Pothumus resigned himself to the inevitable fate of the ordinary Briton in a Roman world?

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