Julius Caesar

EQs for JC :
• What makes an effective leader?
• How can people use persuasive and literary techniques
to influence others?
• How do one’s choices affect both themselves and
Elements of Shakespearean Tragedy
In drama, the crisis is the turning-point in the play when
the tragic protagonist becomes more controlled than
controlling as a result of the consequences of his
hamartias or errors in judgment. Crisis in drama is the
equivalent to climax in a short story.
The exciting force is an
incident that begins the rising
action or the plot of the play
by introducing the dilemma of
the tragic protagonist. In
Moment of Final Suspense: The moment of final
Julius Caesar, this moment
suspense is an incident after the tragic force that gives
occurs when Antony offers
the impression that the tragic figure might escape his
Caesar the crown three
tragic downfall after all, the purpose of this incident
times, Brutus fearing that
being to sustain the level of interest and excitement as
Caesar might become king
the play moves to its resolution.
and abuse the power that is
given him.
RESOLUTION - Glimpse of Restored Order:
EXPOSITION - Loosely defined, the exposition
A Shakespearean tragedy never ends with the
is the beginning or opening scene of the play,
death of the tragic figure but rather with
and, since Shakespeare’s stage had few stage
a glimpse of restored order that implies that a
props and no central curtain, it had a number of new harmony, new social structure, is about to
very important functions, the most important of
be realized. This glimpse of restored order ends
these functions being
the play on an optimistic rather than a
i) To create the appropriate mood and
pessimistic note, for a Shakespearean tragedy is
never depressing. A Shakespearean tragedy, in
ii) To arouse the interest and curiosity of the
other words, never merely focuses on the tragic
audience and thus win their attention;
figure and the calamitous circumstances that
"Et tu, Brute! Then fall, Caesar."
Caesar ignores warnings, and meets his bloody end.
Hamartia: Hamartia is a Greek word derived from Aristotle’s Poetics that refers to
the error or errors in judgment that the tragic figure makes that leads him to his
tragic downfall. While it is true that the tragic figure suffers from hubris, which
translated, refers to a flaw in character that leads the tragic protagonist to make these
errors in judgment, Aristotle places more emphasis on hamartia than he does on hubris,
since hamartia places the focus on the actions of the tragic figure—for, “drama,” as the
word implies, is the depiction of action on the stage.
Hubris: A Greek word meaning a defect or flaw in character, hubris is an emotional
excess of some sort—jealousy, rage, excessive pride or carelessness—that leads
the tragic figure to make errors in judgment that cause his downfall.
Brutus and Antony: An Examination of the Style,
Structure and Effectiveness of their Funeral Orations
• Act III, scene ii is the crisis or turning-point in
Julius Caesar
– funeral orations to the Roman mob
– Brutus explains why he and his fellow conspirators
assassinated Julius Caesar, the “foremost man of all
this world.”
– When Brutus leaves the podium after his address, he
has the mob on his side, but he makes the fatal error
of leaving the Forum without listening to Antony’s
speech, giving Antony the freedom to turn the mob
against the conspirators.
Brutus and Antony: An Examination of the Style,
Structure and Effectiveness of their Funeral Orations
• In his famous oration—the most famous speech in
the play and one of the most famous speeches in all
of literature, second only, perhaps, to Hamlet’s “To
be or not to be” soliloquy—Antony plays on the
fickleness of the mob, turning them against the
conspirators and fashioning them into an instrument
of his revenge.
• It is not that Brutus delivers a bad oration—indeed, it
is, in many ways, a most eloquent speech—but
rather that Antony delivers a much more effective
Brutus and Antony: An Examination of the Style,
Structure and Effectiveness of their Funeral Orations
• Your TASK – Brutus deserves a second chance.
• You’ve been hired to be Brutus’s new speech
developer. Recreate Brutus’s oration. Include
appeals to ethos, logos, and pathos. Also, include at
least 5 rhetorical devices. Underline and label each.
• Be prepared to present your speech.
Brutus and Antony: An Examination of the Style,
Structure and Effectiveness of their Funeral Orations
How Did It Go?
1. Were you able to identify the different tactics your
classmates used to persuade?
2. Were you able to see relationships between those
tactics and the ones used by Antony?
• REFLECTION: Did the comparison give you some
understanding of Antony and his challenges in these
The Real Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar was born…
a. July 12, 1001
b. July 12, 100BC
c. March 15, 44BC
b. July 12, 100BC
Needing support both politically and financially, Caesar formed the
______________ with Pompey the Great and Crassus
a. First Triumvirate
b. Counsul of the Roman Empire
c. Veni, Vidi, Vici
a. First Triumvirate
After Caesar was named dictator for life, concern intensified for the future of
Rome. _______ and _______ began to conspire against him.
a. Cinna; Cassius
b. Pompey; Brutus
c. Brutus; Cassius
c. Brutus; Cassius
Quotes that have lived through the
"Beware the ides of March."
Soothsayer, Act I, Scene II
"Cowards die many times before their
deaths; The valiant never taste of death
but once.” Julius Caesar, Act II, Scene II
"Et tu, Brute! Then fall, Caesar."
Julius Caesar, Act III, Scene I
"Cry 'Havoc' and let slip the dogs of war”
Mark Anthony, Act III, Scene I
"Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me
your ears; I come to bury Caesar, not to
praise him.” Mark Anthony, Act III, Scene
"This was the noblest Roman of them all”
Mark Anthony, Act V, Scene V
• Overview
• Caesar has become the most
powerful man in the Roman
Republic and is eager to become
• Conspirators, such as Brutus and
Cassius, plot against the power of
Caesar; they do not want him to
become the head of the Roman
• They plot to overthrow Caesar and
assassinate him outside the
• Caesar is given many warnings,
but has become prideful with his
power and disregards these omens
• His excessive pride leads to faulty
judgment and a lack of clear
thinking, which makes him a
relatively easy target.
• Misuse of Power
• Corruptive Force of
• Man’s Fallibility
Power Corrupts: Caesar is a dictator
who is suspected of abusing his
power; Cassius is so power hungry
that he assassinates Caesar; Antony,
Octavius, and Lepidus become even
worse than Caesar!
• The Inherent Jealously
and Selfishness of Man
• Honor found in loyalty
and friendship
• Corruption found in
conspiracy and anarchy
• Stability through political
Countless books, movies and other theatre
adaptations have built on the theme of a
“friend’s betrayal”
• Viability of republic form
of government
Literary Focus
Overcast of impending doom, darkness and catastrophe
There is no trust left, only manipulation and corruption
Julius Caesar is largely set in Rome, 44 B.C.
Ancient Rome
Tiber River
the Capitol
the house of the Senate
The Forum
& Motifs
Omens and Portents
Throughout the play omens and portents manifest
themselves, each serving to crystallize the larger
themes of fate and misinterpretation of signs.
The motif of letters represents an interesting
counter part to the force of oral rhetoric in this
– Brutus allows a forged letter from Cassius affect him
– In contrast Caesar refuses to read the letter that
Artemidorus tries to hand him, as he is headed to the
Wives and Women
While one could analyze Calpurnia and Portia as full characters in their won
right, they function primarily not as sympathetic personalities or sources of
insight or poetry but rather as symbols for the private domestic realm.
The soliloquy, derived from the two Latin words
“solus” meaning “alone” and “loquere” meaning
“to speak,” is a speech delivered by a character
while he is alone on the stage, indicating what
that character thinks and feels, and explaining
the reasons or motives why he acts as he does.
In other words, to borrow a phrase from
Cassius, the soliloquy allows us to see “quite
through the deeds of men.”
• It is interesting to note that Julius Caesar has
very few soliloquies; in fact, there are but three
soliloquies in the entire play.,
• Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
• An ambitious & ruthless politician
• Skilled general
• Believes that he is worthy of more
power than just being the head of
Rome; he wants to be crowned the
leader of the entire Roman Empire.
• His ambition led to his downfall
• Long-time friend Brutus betrayed
and stabbed him to stop him from
becoming a tyrant
• Calpurnia
• Julius Caesar's sensible
and loving wife
• Warned her husband not
to leave the house during
the Ides of March after
having a prophetic dream
Calpurnia’s dream
foreshadowed future events
• Marcus Brutus, a servant and
close friend to Caesar, has a
strong relationship with
Caesar but a stronger
relationship with Rome and its
• Unlike Caesar, Brutus is able
to separate completely his
public life from his private life.
Brutus – a supporter of the republic
who believes strongly in a government
guided by the votes of senators
• Torn between his loyalty to
Caesar and his allegiance to
the state
• Brutus
• Once a friend of Caesar
and considered a talented
• Feeling of patriotism,
convinces him that Caesar
must die rather than
become a tyrant.
• Urges Brutus to
assassinate both Caesar
and Antony
• Cassius
• Becomes jealous of
Caesar’s power and fearful
he will abuse that power
• His strong principles led
him to allow his rival
Antony to speak at
Caesar's funeral
• Soldier and Caesar's
right-hand man
• Calculating and
persuasive with words
• Uses his influence to turn
the people of Rome
against Brutus
• With Caesar slain, seizes
the opportunity to take
control of Rome
Antony delivers Caesar’s
funeral oration
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