We know Gretchen Weiners sees herself as the Brutus to Regina George's Caesar, but her take on Shakespeare is more on point than you thought.
Mean Girls turned fifteen years today and not only are super excited to relive the entire movie, we're also quoting all of the sassy and hilarious quotable quotes from one of the smartest scripts in the history of comedy. The script is so smart, that it even manages to squeeze in a paraphrase of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. And may I say, Gretchen Weiners does it masterfully as she completely sees herself reflected in some of the characters.
It's pretty obvious when she does it but it's still worth explaining why it's so great. Shakespeare's play has everything to do with Mean Girls from the moment Janice, Caddy and Damien decide to plot a coup on Regina George's regime, the most popular and conniving girl in high school. Julius Caesar tells the story of a group of Roman politicians who conspire to overthrow Caesar's dictatorial rule. It's no secret why Julius Caesar speaks to Gretchen. She may be friends with Regina George, but still suffers her absurd rules her, mocking, bullying, judgmental little snarks. That's until Caddy cracks her.
In the play, on the other hand, Cassius is a petty politician who is 100% right about Caesar being a dictator but who actually doesn't hate him for it. Cassius hates Caesar because Caesar thinks he's better than him. In Cassius's mind, Brutus is just as good as Caesar, so he approaches Brutus to tell him so.
I was born free as Caesar; so were you: We both have fed as well, and we can both endure the winter's cold as well as he: (...) Brutus and Caesar: what should be in that 'Caesar'? Why should that name be sounded more than yours? Write them together, yours is as fair a name; sound them, it doth become the mouth as well; Weigh them, it is as heavy; conjure with 'em, Brutus will start a spirit as soon as Caesar. Now, in the names of all the gods at once, upon what meat doth this our Caesar feed, that he is grown so great?
In Mean Girls, which portrays high school so vividly and so faithful it's hilarious, they are clearly reading the play, as many high schoolers are required to, and the students have to write some sort of assignment.
Enter Gretchen Weiners, who takes the dialogue above and rewrites it in her own way, clearly using Caesar and Brutus as proxys for Regina and herself. See how similar their words are:
"Why should Caesar get to stomp around like a giant, while the rest of us try not to get smushed under his big feet? What's so great about Caesar? Hm? Brutus is just as cute as Caesar. Brutus is just as smart as Caesar. People totally like Brutus just as much as they like Caesar. And when did it become okay for one person to be the boss of everybody, huh? Because that's not what Rome is about. We should totally just stab Caesar!"
That is so fetch! Leave it to genius Tina Fey to write a genius script.
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