Nicolae Ceaușescu was a Romanian communist politician. He was the general secretary of the Romanian Communist Party from 1965 to 1989 and hence the second and last Communist leader of Romania, he was the country's head of state from 1967, serving as President of the State Council and from 1974 concurrently as President of the Republic until his overthrow in the Romanian Revolution in December 1989, part of a series of anti-Communist and anti-Soviet Union uprisings in Eastern Europe that year. Born in 1918 in Scornicești, Olt County, Ceaușescu was a member of the Romanian Communist youth movement. Ceaușescu rose up through the ranks of Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej's Socialist government and, upon Gheorghiu-Dej's death in 1965, he succeeded to the leadership of Romania’s Communist Party as General Secretary. Upon his rise to power, he eased press censorship and condemned the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in his speech on 21 August 1968, which resulted in a surge in popularity. However, the resulting period of stability was brief as his government soon became totalitarian and was considered the most repressive in Eastern Europe at the time.
His secret police, the Securitate, was responsible for mass surveillance as well as severe repression and human rights abuses within the country and he suppressed and controlled the media and press, implementing methods that were among the harshest, most restrictive and brutal in the world. Economic mismanagement due to failed oil ventures during the 1970s led to skyrocketing foreign debts for Romania. In 1982, he exported much of the country's agricultural and industrial production in an effort to repay them; the shortages that followed drastically lowered living standards, leading to heavy rationing of food, oil, electricity and other necessities. His cult of personality experienced unprecedented elevation, followed by extensive nepotism and the intense deterioration of foreign relations with the Soviet Union; as anti-government protesters demonstrated in Timișoara in December 1989, he perceived the demonstrations as a political threat and ordered military forces to open fire on 17 December, causing many deaths and injuries.
The revelation that Ceaușescu was responsible resulted in a massive spread of rioting and civil unrest across the country. The demonstrations, which reached Bucharest, became known as the Romanian Revolution—the only violent overthrow of a communist government in the turn of the Revolutions of 1989. Ceaușescu and his wife Elena fled the capital in a helicopter, but they were captured by the military after the armed forces changed sides. After being tried and convicted of economic sabotage and genocide, they were executed by firing squad on 25 December and Ceaușescu was succeeded as President by Ion Iliescu, who had played a major part in the revolution. Capital punishment was abolished shortly thereafter. Ceaușescu was born in the small village of Scornicești, Olt County on 26 January 1918, being one of the nine children of a poor peasant family, his father Andruță owned 3 hectares of agricultural land and a few sheep, he supplemented his large family's income through tailoring. He studied at the village school until at the age of 11, when he ran away from his religious and strict father to Bucharest.
He lived with his sister, Niculina Rusescu, became an apprentice shoemaker. He worked in the workshop of Alexandru Săndulescu, a shoemaker, an active member in the then-illegal Communist Party. Ceaușescu was soon involved in the Communist Party activities, but as a teenager he was given only small tasks, he was first arrested in 1933, at the age of 15, for street fighting during a strike and again, in 1934, first for collecting signatures on a petition protesting the trial of railway workers and twice more for other similar activities. By the mid-1930s, he had been in missions in Bucharest, Craiova, Câmpulung and Râmnicu Vâlcea, being arrested several times; the profile file from the secret police, Siguranța Statului, named him "a dangerous Communist agitator" and "distributor of Communist and antifascist propaganda materials". For these charges, he was convicted on 6 June 1936 by the Brașov Tribunal to 2 years in prison, an additional 6 months for contempt of court, one year of forced residence in Scornicești.
He spent most of his sentence in Doftana Prison. While out of jail in 1939, he met Elena Petrescu, whom he married in 1947 and who would play an increasing role in his political life over the years. Soon after being freed, he was arrested again and sentenced for "conspiracy against social order", spending the time during the war in prisons and internment camps: Jilava, Caransebeș, Văcărești, Târgu Jiu. In 1943, he was transferred to Târgu Jiu internment camp, where he shared a cell with Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, becoming his protégé. Enticed with substantial bribes, the camp authorities gave the Communist prisoners much freedom in running their cell block, provided they did not attempt to break out of prison. At Târgu Jiu, Gheorghiu-Dej ran "self-criticism sessions" where various Party members had to confess before the other Party members to misunderstanding the dogma of Marx-Engels-Lenin-Stalin as interpreted by Gheorghiu-Dej; these "self-criticism sessions" not only helped to cement Gheorghiu-Dej's control over the Party, but endeared his protégé Ceaușescu to
Lord Banquo, the Thane of Lochaber, is a character in William Shakespeare's 1606 play Macbeth. In the play, he is at first an ally to Macbeth and they meet the Three Witches together. After prophesying that Macbeth will become king, the witches tell Banquo that he will not be king himself, but that his descendants will be. Macbeth in his lust for power sees Banquo as a threat and has him murdered by two hired assassins. Banquo's ghost returns in a scene, causing Macbeth to react with alarm during a public feast. Shakespeare borrowed the character of Banquo from Holinshed's Chronicles, a history of Britain published by Raphael Holinshed in 1587. In Chronicles Banquo is an accomplice to Macbeth in the murder of the king, rather than a loyal subject of the king, seen as an enemy by Macbeth. Shakespeare may have changed this aspect of his character to please King James, thought at the time to be a descendant of the real Banquo. Critics interpret Banquo's role in the play as being a foil to Macbeth, resisting evil where Macbeth embraces it.
Sometimes, his motives are unclear, some critics question his purity. He does nothing to accuse Macbeth of murdering the king though he has reason to believe Macbeth is responsible. Shakespeare used Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles of England and Ireland—commonly known as Holinshed's Chronicles—as a source for his plays, in Macbeth he borrows from several of the tales in that work. Holinshed portrays Banquo as an historical figure: he is an accomplice in Mac Bethad mac Findlaích's murder of Donnchad mac Crínáin and plays an important part in ensuring that Macbeth, not Máel Coluim mac Donnchada, takes the throne in the coup that follows. Holinshed in turn used an earlier work, the Scotorum Historiae by Hector Boece, as his source. Boece's work is the first known record of his son Fleance. In Shakespeare's day, they were considered historical figures of great repute, the king, James I, based his claim to the throne in part on a descent from Banquo; the House of Stuart was descended from Walter fitz Alan, Steward of Scotland, he was believed to have been the grandson of Fleance and Gruffydd ap Llywelyn's daughter, Nesta ferch Gruffydd.
In reality, Walter fitz Alan was the son of a Breton knight. Unlike his sources, Shakespeare gives Banquo no role in the King's murder, making it a deed committed by Macbeth and his wife, Lady Macbeth. Why Shakespeare's Banquo is so different from the character described by Holinshed and Boece is not known, though critics have proposed several possible explanations. First among them is the risk associated with portraying the king's ancestor as a murderer and conspirator in the plot to overthrow a rightful king, as well as the author's desire to flatter a powerful patron, but Shakespeare may simply have altered Banquo's character because there was no dramatic need for another accomplice to the murder. There was, however; when Jean de Schelandre wrote about Banquo in his Stuartide in 1611, he changed the character by portraying him as a noble and honourable man—the critic D. W. Maskell describes him as "... Schelandre's paragon of virtue" -- for reasons similar to Shakespeare's. Banquo's role in the coup that follows the murder is harder to explain.
Banquo's loyalty to Macbeth, rather than Malcolm, after Duncan's death makes him a passive accomplice in the coup: Malcolm, as Prince of Cumberland, is the rightful heir to the throne and Macbeth a usurper. Daniel Amneus argued that Macbeth as it survives is a revision of an earlier play, in which Duncan granted Macbeth not only the title of Thane of Cawdor, but the "greater honor" of Prince of Cumberland. Banquo's silence may be a survival from the posited earlier play, in which Macbeth was the legitimate successor to Duncan. Banquo is as both a human and a ghost; as significant as he is to the plot, he has fewer lines than the insignificant Ross, a Scottish nobleman who survives the play. In the second scene of the play, King Duncan describes the manner in which Macbeth, Thane of Glamis, Banquo, Thane of Lochaber, bravely led his army against invaders, fighting side by side. In the next scene and Macbeth, returning from the battle together, encounter the Three Witches, who predict that Macbeth will become Thane of Cawdor, king.
Banquo, sceptical of the witches, challenges them to predict his own future, they foretell that Banquo will never himself take the throne, but will beget a line of kings. Banquo remains sceptical after the encounter, wondering aloud if evil can speak the truth, he warns Macbeth that evil will offer men a small, hopeful truth only to catch them in a deadly trap. When Macbeth kills the king and takes the throne, Banquo—the only one aware of this encounter with the witches—reserves judgment for God, he is unsure whether Macbeth committed regicide to gain the throne, but muses in a soliloquy that "I fear / Thou play'dst most foully for't". He pledges loyalty. Worried that Banquo's descendants and not his own will rule Scotland, Macbeth sends two men, a Third Murderer, to kill Banquo and his son Fleance. During the melee, Banquo holds off the assailants so that Fleance is himself killed; the ghost of Banquo returns to haunt Macbeth at the banquet in Act Three, Scene Four. A terrified Macbeth sees him
Michael Feast is an English actor of stage and screen. He was born in Brighton, trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama, he performed in the original 1968 London production of Hair. He worked several times with John Gielgud, whom he played in Nicolas de Jongh's biographical play Plague Over England. Feast had a significant role in the acclaimed TV series State of Play, he played Aeron Greyjoy in the sixth season of the HBO series Game of Thrones. His film credits include roles in I Start Counting, Private Road, Brother Sun, Sister Moon, Got It Made, The Music Machine, McVicar, The Draughtsman's Contract, The Fool, Velvet Goldmine, The Tribe, Sleepy Hollow, Long Time Dead, Penelope, The Deaths of Ian Stone and There Be Dragons. Hair 1968 Nicholas Beckett. Directed by Braham Murray at the Royal Exchange, Manchester. Henry in The Skin of Our Teeth by Thornton Wilder. Directed by Richard Negri and James Maxwell at the Royal Exchange, Manchester. Telegin in Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov. Directed by Michael Elliott at the Royal Exchange, Manchester.
Roland Maule in Present Laughter by Noël Coward. Directed by James Maxwell at the Royal Exchange, Manchester. Billy Bigelow in Carousel by Rodgers and Hammerstein. Directed by Steven Pimlott at the Royal Exchange, Manchester. Subtle in The Alchemist by Ben Jonson. Directed by Greg Hersov at the Royal Exchange, Manchester. Michael Feast on IMDb
Great Performances is a television anthology series dedicated to the performing arts. It is produced by the PBS member stations WNET in New York City; the series is the longest running performing arts anthology on television, has won an Emmy Award, three Peabody Awards and an Image Award, with nods from the Directors Guild of America and the Cinema Audio Society. Great Performances' predecessor, New York Playhouse, premiered on October 7, 1972 with a production of Antigone. In 1973, Exxon and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting provided grants to create Theater in America, which reran the New York Playhouse and some NET Playhouse productions; the first original production for Theater in America was of Enemies. In 1974, WNET added a series of classical concerts. In 1976, Great Performances became the umbrella title and the music section was named Music in America. A third section, Dance In America, was added; the first episode "Sue's Leg: Remembering the Thirties" featured choreography by Twyla Tharp.
Episodes featured such performers as Mikhail Baryshnikov. Although it is not seen as as there have been new Dance in America programs, such as the Emmy-winning 2005 production of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, starring Angel Corella, Gillian Murphy and the American Ballet Theatre. In 2007, Great Performances began telecasting performances from the Metropolitan Opera Live in HD series, a series of HD opera tapings re-purposed from their original purpose as Fathom Events films carried in high-quality movie theaters for a premium admission price. Repeat guest hosts include Julie Andrews and Whoopi Goldberg. Major underwriters throughout the show's run have included The National Endowment for the Arts, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS viewers, Martin Marietta, Deluxe, Ernst & Young, Chase Manhattan Bank and UBS. In 2009, a new theme music for Great Performances was composed by John Williams. Antigone The Rimers of Eldritch Theatre and Film'72 As Theatre in America Enemies, from the Repertory Theater of Lincoln Center June Moon Cyrano de Bergerac, from the American Conservatory Theater Antigone, from Playhouse New York King Lear, from the New York Shakespeare Festival In Fashion, from the Actors Theatre of Louisville Feasting with Panthers by Adrian Hall and Richard Cumming, from Trinity Repertory Company The Contractor by David Storey, from Chelsea Theater Center The Widowing of Mrs. Holroyd, from Long Wharf Theater A Touch of the Poet Monkey, Bottle of Beer, How Many Monkeys Have We Here?, from Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park Arthur Rubinstein: Chopin Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Solti Conducts Mendelssohn Bernstein at Tanglewood Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra play Beethoven's Ninth Symphony Theater in America: Zalmen or the Madness of God by Elie Wiesel, from Arena Stage Theater in America: The Seagull, from Williamstown Theatre Festival Theater in America: Brother to Dragons, adapted from the poem by Robert Penn Warren by Adrian Hall and Ken Campbell, from Trinity Repertory Company Theater in America: The Ceremony of Innocence Theater in America: Forget‐Me‐Not Lane by Peter Nichols, from Long Wharf Theater Pagliacci, from La Scala Theater in America: The School for Scandal, from the Guthrie Theater Theater in America: The Rules of the Game, from the New Phoenix Repertory Company Who's Happy Now? by Oliver Hailey Jennie: Lady Randolph Churchill The Collection, from Laurence Olivier Presents Theater in America: Beyond the Horizon, from the McCarter Theatre Dance in America: Joffrey Ballet Theater in America: First Breeze of Summer by Leslie Lee, from the Negro Ensemble Company Theater in America: The Mound Builders by Lanford Wilson, from the Circle Repertory Company Dance in America: Twyla Tharp & Dancers Theater in America: The Time of Your Life, from The Acting Company Theater in America: All Over, from the Hartford Stage Dance in America: Martha Graham Dance Company Theater in America: Who's Happy Now, from the Mark Taper Forum Theater in America: The Year of the Dragon, from The American Place Theatre Dance in America: Pennsylvania Ballet Dance in America: Martha Graham Dance in America: Dance Company Theater in America: The Patriots, from Asolo Theatre Company Theater in America: The Eccentricities of a Nightingale, with the Old Globe Theater Theater in America: Ah!
Wilderness Fine Music Specials: Madama Butterfly Theater in America: The Taming of the Shrew, from the American Repertory Theater Solti Conducts Mendelssohn Chester Mystery Plays Secret Service by William Gillette, from the Phoenix Theatre Arthur Rubinstein at 90 episode featuring Mstislav Rostropovich Theater in America: The Prince of Homburg from the Chels
Socialist Republic of Romania
The Socialist Republic of Romania refers to Romania under Marxist-Leninist one-party communist rule that existed from 1947 to 1989. From 1947 to 1965, the state was known as the Romanian People's Republic; the country was a Soviet-aligned Eastern Bloc state with a dominant role for the Romanian Communist Party enshrined in its constitutions. As World War II ended, Romania, a former Axis member, was occupied by the Soviet Union, the sole representative of the Allies. On 6 March 1945, after mass demonstrations by communist sympathizers and political pressure from the Soviet representative of the Allied Control Commission, a new pro-Soviet government that included members of the outlawed Romanian Workers' Party was installed. More members of the Workers' Party and communist-aligned parties gained control of the administration and pre-war political leaders were eliminated from political life. In December 1947, King Michael was coerced to abdicate and the People's Republic of Romania was declared.
At first, Romania's scarce post-war resources were drained by the "SovRoms", new tax-exempt Soviet-Romanian companies that allowed the Soviet Union to control Romania's major sources of income. Another drain was the war reparations paid to the Soviet Union. In the 1950s, Romania's communist government began to assert more independence, for example, the withdrawal of all Soviet troops from Romania by 1958. In the 1960s and 1970s, Nicolae Ceaușescu became General Secretary of the Communist Party, Chairman of the State Council and assumed the newly established role of President in 1974. Ceaușescu's denunciation of the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and a brief relaxation in internal repression helped give him a positive image both at home and in the West. However, rapid economic growth fueled in part by foreign credits gave way to an austerity and political repression that led to the fall of his totalitarian government in December 1989. A large number of people were executed or died in custody during communist Romania's existence, most during the Stalinist era of the 1950s.
While judicial executions between 1945 and 1964 numbered 137, deaths in custody are estimated in the tens or hundreds of thousands. Many more were imprisoned for political, economical or other reasons and suffered abuse, torture and/or death. Geographically, Romania bordered the Black Sea to the east; when King Michael, supported by the main political parties, overthrew Ion Antonescu in August 1944, breaking Romania away from the Axis and bringing it over to the Allied side, Michael could do nothing to erase the memory of his country's recent active participation in the German invasion of the Soviet Union. Romanian forces fought under Soviet command, driving through Northern Transylvania into Hungary proper, on into Czechoslovakia and Austria. However, the Soviets treated Romania as conquered territory, Soviet troops remained in the country as occupying forces under the pretext that Romanian authorities could not guarantee the security and stability of Northern Transylvania; the Yalta Conference had granted the Soviet Union a predominant interest in Romania, the Paris Peace Treaties failed to acknowledge Romania as a co-belligerent, the Red Army was sitting on Romanian soil.
The Communists, as all political parties, played only a minor role in the first Michael's wartime governments, headed by General Constantin Sănătescu, though their presence increased in the one led by Nicolae Rădescu. This changed in March 1945, when Dr. Petru Groza of the Ploughmen's Front, a party associated with the Communists, became prime minister, his government was broad-based on paper, including members of most major prewar parties except the Iron Guard. However, the Communists held the key ministries, most of the ministers nominally representing non-Communist parties were, like Groza himself, fellow travelers; the King was not happy with the direction of this government, but when he attempted to force Groza's resignation by refusing to sign any legislation, Groza chose to enact laws without bothering to obtain Michael's signature. On 8 November 1945, King Michael's name day, a pro-monarchy demonstration in front of the Royal Palace in Bucharest escalated into street fights between opposition supporters and soldiers and pro-government workers, resulting in dozens of killed and wounded.
Despite the King's disapproval, the first Groza government brought women's suffrage. However, it brought the beginnings of Soviet domination of Romania. In the elections of 19 November 1946, the Communist-led Bloc of Democratic Parties claimed 84% of the votes; these elections were characterized by widespread irregularities, including intimidation, electoral fraud, assassinations Archives confirm suspicions at the time that the election results were, in fact, falsified. After forming a government, the Communists moved to eliminate the role of the centrist parties. A show trial of their leadership was arranged, they were put in jail. Other parties were forced to "merge" with the Communists. In 1946 and 1947, several high-ranking members in the pro-Axis government were executed as war criminals for their involvement in the Holocaust and for attacking the Soviet Union. Ant
Macbeth is a tragedy by William Shakespeare. It dramatises the damaging physical and psychological effects of political ambition on those who seek power for its own sake. Of all the plays that Shakespeare wrote during the reign of James I, patron of Shakespeare's acting company, Macbeth most reflects the playwright's relationship with his sovereign, it was first published in the Folio of 1623 from a prompt book, is Shakespeare's shortest tragedy. A brave Scottish general named Macbeth receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and takes the Scottish throne for himself, he is wracked with guilt and paranoia. Forced to commit more and more murders to protect himself from enmity and suspicion, he soon becomes a tyrannical ruler; the bloodbath and consequent civil war swiftly take Macbeth and Lady Macbeth into the realms of madness and death. Shakespeare's source for the story is the account of King of Scotland.
The events of the tragedy are associated with the execution of Henry Garnet for complicity in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. In the backstage world of theatre, some believe that the play is cursed, will not mention its title aloud, referring to it instead as "The Scottish Play". Over the course of many centuries, the play has attracted some of the most renowned actors to the roles of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, it has been adapted to film, opera, novels and other media. The play opens amid thunder and lightning, the Three Witches decide that their next meeting will be with Macbeth. In the following scene, a wounded sergeant reports to King Duncan of Scotland that his generals Macbeth, the Thane of Glamis, Banquo have just defeated the allied forces of Norway and Ireland, who were led by the traitorous Macdonwald, the Thane of Cawdor. Macbeth, the King's kinsman, is praised for his fighting prowess. In the following scene and Banquo discuss the weather and their victory; as they wander onto a heath, the Three Witches greet them with prophecies.
Though Banquo challenges them first, they address Macbeth, hailing him as "Thane of Glamis," "Thane of Cawdor," and that he will "be King hereafter." Macbeth appears to be stunned to silence. When Banquo asks of his own fortunes, the witches respond paradoxically, saying that he will be less than Macbeth, yet happier, less successful, yet more, he will father a line of kings, though he himself will not be one. While the two men wonder at these pronouncements, the witches vanish, another thane, Ross and informs Macbeth of his newly bestowed title: Thane of Cawdor; the first prophecy is thus fulfilled, Macbeth sceptical begins to harbour ambitions of becoming king. King Duncan welcomes and praises Macbeth and Banquo, declares that he will spend the night at Macbeth's castle at Inverness. Macbeth sends a message ahead to Lady Macbeth, telling her about the witches' prophecies. Lady Macbeth suffers none of her husband's uncertainty and wishes him to murder Duncan in order to obtain kingship; when Macbeth arrives at Inverness, she overrides all of her husband's objections by challenging his manhood and persuades him to kill the king that night.
He and Lady Macbeth plan to get Duncan's two chamberlains. They will be defenceless. While Duncan is asleep, Macbeth stabs him, despite his doubts and a number of supernatural portents, including a hallucination of a bloody dagger, he is so shaken. In accordance with her plan, she frames Duncan's sleeping servants for the murder by placing bloody daggers on them. Early the next morning, Lennox, a Scottish nobleman, Macduff, the loyal Thane of Fife, arrive. A porter opens the gate and Macbeth leads them to the king's chamber, where Macduff discovers Duncan's body. Macbeth murders the guards to prevent them from professing their innocence, but claims he did so in a fit of anger over their misdeeds. Duncan's sons Malcolm and Donalbain flee to England and Ireland fearing that whoever killed Duncan desires their demise as well; the rightful heirs' flight makes them suspects and Macbeth assumes the throne as the new King of Scotland as a kinsman of the dead king. Banquo reveals this to the audience, while sceptical of the new King Macbeth, he remembers the witches' prophecy about how his own descendants would inherit the throne.
Despite his success, Macbeth aware of this part of the prophecy, remains uneasy. Macbeth invites Banquo to a royal banquet, where he discovers that Banquo and his young son, will be riding out that night. Fearing Banquo's suspicions, Macbeth arranges to have him murdered, by hiring two men to kill them sending a Third Murderer; the assassins succeed in killing Banquo. Macbeth becomes furious: he fears that his power remains insecure as long as an heir of Banquo remains alive. At a banquet, Macbeth invites Lady Macbeth to a night of drinking and merriment. Banquo's ghost sits in Macbeth's place. Macbeth raves fearfully, as the ghost is only visible to him; the others panic at the sight of Macbeth ragi
17th Screen Actors Guild Awards
The 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, honoring the best achievements in film and television performances for the year 2010, was presented on January 30, 2011 at the Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles for the fifteenth consecutive year. It was broadcast live by TNT and TBS; the nominees were announced on December 16, 2010 by Rosario Dawson and Angie Harmon at Los Angeles' Pacific Design Center's Silver Screen Theater. Winners are highlighted in boldface. Ernest Borgnine Hilary Swank introduced a recorded "In Memoriam" segment which pay tribute to the life and career of the great actors who died in 2010: Official website