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Genesis of a man : a drama in miniature of the life of Marcus Tullius Cicero (January 3rd, 106 B.C., to December 7th, 43 B.C.) Haga, Charles Karel

Abstract

The title "Genesis of a Man" for the drama of Cicero's life suggests the process of growth of the man Cicero in the course of certain stages of his life. The concept of 'Becoming' is further developed in the sequential presentations of the events during his consulship in 63, his farewell to active politics in 56, and the end of his life in 43 Before Christ. Analogous to this development, are the themes of each of the acts. "A Man's Deeds" is the central concept of the first act which shows Cicero's activities during the summit of his political career. The influence of traditional religion caused his forceful action at a point in time that the need arose to save the commonwealth from destruction by means of a just application of natural law. When in the years to follow the republican form of government made way for greater centralization of power due to the formation of the first triumvirate, Cicero voluntarily withdrew from active participation in politics, but not before he had expressed his support for the new regime. He deemed his action necessary for the preservation of the state, because consensus of all parts of the body politic was the guiding principle in his political outlook, even if the main power was concentrated outside the senate. Since, however, this important legislative body had now assumed a subordinate role, he dedicated himself to the formulation of his concept of the ideal state in his treatise 'On the Commonwealth'. This period of Cicero's life is described in the second act as "A Man's Thoughts". Finally, following a brief period of resumed, political activity as the undeclared, but real leader of the senate in its indignation about Mark Antony's arrogance, Cicero had to flee Rome and was planning, to leave Italy. Mark Antony had made Cicero's death a condition 'sine qua non' for the formation of his triumvirate with Octavius and Lepidus. Even though Cicero's head and hands appeared in the Forum following his death, his spirit lived on in the final scene when his unfortunate, young student, Philologus, became the object of a mock trial in the market of Rome. "A Man's Spirit;" or "From Death to Rebirth" thus presents itself as the final stage in this drama. The existential quality of this drama may be realized to its fullest extent as a radio play, or, as a stage play supported by multi-media effects, such as slides projected on one or more screens during the monologues in the Prologue, in Act Two, Scenes 1 and 3, and in Act Three, Scene 1. A film version could readily portray the scenes mentioned while preserving parts or all of the spoken scenes. In any case, adaptation of the drama in its present form to the requirements of the various performing media appears a distinct possibility. Although the life and times of Cicero are better documented than any other period in classical antiquity, the figure of Cicero has so far not become the central theme in a similar study of his life. This is an astonishing discovery since he himself contributed so extensively by his letters and diverse works to our present knowledge of his own era. "Genesis of a Man" is, therefore, a first attempt in this manner to put into perspective the humanness or the man-in-becomingness of this remarkable person in history.

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