Julius Caesar Drama Terms and Themes

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´üČIntroduction
to William
Shakespeare’s
Julius Caesar
Part 1: Drama Terms for Julius Caesar
1. Soliloquy – A lengthy speech in which a
character alone on stage expresses his/her inner
thoughts aloud
2. Monologue – A lengthy speech delivered by
one character – other characters can hear the
speech
3. Aside – words spoken by a character, usually
brief, in an undertone that other characters do not
hear ( think Simpsons )
4. Climax – turning point in the play after which
the situations for the main characters will improve /
get worse (in Shakespeare’s plays, the climax is
always in the 3rd act – there are 5 acts ) Note:
Look at your Shakespeare hand-out
5. Catastrophe – final events in a dramatic tragedy –
the denouement
6. History Play – A play set in a non-fiction past –
The main source used for Julius Caesar was
Plutarch’s biography
7. Foreshadowing – a line/event that gives
clues/hints about what is going to happen
8. Suspense – a sense of concern/unknowing
created by foreshadowing, characterization and
atmosphere
9. Pun – humorous use of words/phrases to
suggest two or more meanings at the same time
Example: What do you call a fish
with no eyes?
A fsh!
Ha!
10. Motivation – the reasons behind a
characters actions
11. Iambic Pentameter – a line of 5 feet –
each foot followed by a stressed syllable ( 10
syllables )
12. Blank Verse – unrhymed iambic
pentameter
13. Comic Relief – a humorous section/scene
within a tragedy which is usually NOT written in
Iambic Pentameter
14. Heroic Couplet – 2 lines of rhymed iambic
pentameter that express a complete thought
Study these drama terms and your notes on
Shakespeare – There will be a quiz next week!
Part II: Themes & Motifs in Julius
Caesar
Theme: Universal Message or idea in a literary
work – There are 3 Major Themes in JC
# 1. Right to Rule
- How does one acquire the right to
rule?
-Who grants that right?
-Can it be revoked?
-What are the characteristics of a
good leader?
#2 – Appearance vs. Reality
- Things are not always as they
appear
- Appearances can be
deceiving (literally and
figuratively)
#3 – Destiny vs. Freewill
- Do we control our own fate or is
it predetermined?
- If we know the future, do we have
the power to change it?
Motifs – recurring images that
usually help convey the theme
(There are also three motifs
In Julius Caesar)
1. Blood
2. Supernatural Events
3. Rot and Decay
Remember, Motifs support themes.
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