Vladimir Putin, who has stirred up unprecedented protest to his more than decade-long rule in Russia, was not far from the minds of some watching the Royal Shakespeare Company’s “Julius Caesar” in Moscow.
Cleopatra was 18 when she and her 10-year-old brother, Ptolemy, jointly ascended the throne of Egypt. The family had a long history of internecine betrayal and murder, so it was no surprise when the siblings, now married, engaged in a fierce battle for supremacy.
At least since Julius Caesar came back from Gaul and made himself emperor, generals who overthrow the government have followed the same script: They take power only to make the country safe for rule by the people. Then they usually find a way to maintain their influence, even if they allow elections.