During the height of the deficit debate, one did not know whether the drama unfolding was a comedy or a tragedy. But it was definitely political theatre with threats and oaths, protestations and pronunciamentos. It reminded me of lines from Shakespeare’s play, “Julius Caesar.”

During the height of the deficit debate, one did not know whether the drama unfolding was a comedy or a tragedy. But it was definitely political theatre with threats and oaths, protestations and pronunciamentos.


It reminded me of lines from Shakespeare’s play, “Julius Caesar.”


"Default," dear Brutus, is not in our stars,


But in our Congress.


Actually, that’s a line I bowdlerized to try to make it seem more timely.


But there are other lines from “Julius Caesar” that eerily applied to the titanic tussle between President Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner.


Depending on your party affiliation, the following could have applied either to the President or to the Speaker.


Upon what meat doth this our Caesar feed,


That he is grown so great?


Obama’s detractors might have cited this line:


Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look;


He thinks too much; such men are dangerous.


Both leaders seemed to be frowning a lot.


Seldom he smiles, and smiles in such a sort


As if he mocked himself, and scorned his spirit


That could be moved to smile at anything.


Taxes, deficit ceilings, entitlements and other issues created a fractious Congress and a frustrated president. Some sought short-term solutions; others insisted on remedies that would last into perpetuity.


There is a tide in the affairs of men,


Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;


Omitted, all the voyage of their life


Is bound in shallows and in miseries.


But the most apt quote describing the crisis was:


But for my own part, it was Greek to me.


How true, how true.


Peter Costa is a columnist for GateHouse Media. His humor books are available at amazon.com — so are Shakespeare’s.