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William Shakespeare- Julius Caesar
Transcript of William Shakespeare- Julius Caesar
By Apple Lee 10B
What was the Senate?
Who was Pompey?
Who was Marcus Brutus?
Why was Caesar named "Dictator for life"?
- Julius Caesar
Caesar is a national hero, and there are rumblings in the Senate that he seems to be on the path to becoming a king.
Caesar has retuned to Rome after fighting and killing Pompey, his former co-leader in the Roman triumvirate. The irony of this is lost on the plebeians (common people), who celebrate the individual instead of the nation. The situation at the beginning of the play is tense, and it's clear something needs to happen to break the tension.
Cassius is gathering forces to rebel against Caesar, which amounts to treason. Brutus must be convinced to join the plot.
Caesar's slow ascendance toward kingship and absolute power worries those who think the members of the lower class are ignoring what will be an inevitable tyranny under Caesar. Though Cassius has been trying to incite Brutus to rebellion by suggesting that Brutus is better than Caesar, Brutus ignores this and is only moved by the fact that Rome must be greater than Caesar alone. Brutus receives a (fake) letter that confirms things in Rome are really pretty bad, and he's the only one that can do anything about it; this is when his personal convictions about Caesar have to overcome his patriotic commitment to Rome.
The conspirators agree that nobody touches Antony, which unsettles Cassius. When Antony comes to see Caesar's body, he convinces a trusting Brutus to let him speak at Caesar's funeral.
The conspirators pull off the murder easily enough, but they're hurt by Brutus's naive thinking that everyone will love them after they calmly explain their true motivations: that they only murdered Caesar for the good of Rome. The people are panicking, which was not part of the plan. What is even worse is that Antony takes advantage of Brutus's trust by asking if he can give a speech at Caesar's funeral. It turned out that he fully intends to have Caesar avenged by inciting the people to riot though he promised Brutus he'll lay no blame,
Why was he assassinated?
More than 80 spelling variations are recorded for Shakespeare's name, from "Shappere" to "Shaxberd"
Shakespeare's works contain first-ever recordings of 2,035 English words, including critical, frugal, excellent, barefaced, assassination, and countless.
In the few signatures that have survived, Shakespeare spelled his own name "Willm Shaksp," William Shakespe," and "William Shakspeare" -- but never "William Shakespeare.
Theaters had no curtain and used little or no scenery at all, therefore the playwrights described the setting within the text of the performance.
Law of inheritance to first born male
Interesting Facts about Shakespeare's Life
"Julius Caesar" Brief Plot
Time Period that Shakespeare lived
Pompey, full name Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, was the man who Caesar defeated. He was born at Picenum, Northeren Italy. Pompey was one of the main Roman leaders during the exciting final decades of the Roman Republic. Unlike Caesar whose Roman heritage was long and illustrious, Pompey came from a non-Latin family in Picenum with money. Following his father's footsteps at the age of 23, he entered the political scene by raising troops to help Sulla liberate Rome from the Marians. He made a political alliance with Julius Caesar, married his daughter, but later on fought against him. As he was a capable military leader, he earned the title of "the Great". After his wife (Caesar's daughter) died, the most important link between his alliance with Caesar that was already corrupting broke and so they faced each other as enemy commanders after Caesar, defying orders from Rome, crossed the Rubivon. Caesar was the victor of their battle at Pharsalus. Afterwards, Pompey fled to Egypt, where he was killed and his head cut off so it could be sent and offered to Caesar. In Act 1 when te story begins, Caesar is riding in on a chariot after he defeated Pompey.
In 44 B.C the Roman Republic was at its height of power. A "dictator for life" was a threat to the senate, and to the ideals of the republic, which had started 450 years earlier when the Romans had gotten rid of another dictator, the cruel King Tarquin. The Roman senators did not want to return to the time of dictators or kings. Besides, Julius Caesar had made many enemies in Rome. There were more than 60 conspirators, many had been his close friends. Their reason for joining the plot were many, some were personal: They felt Caesar had disrespected them or their families; others were ideological: The idea of a dictator for life was against every democratic idea of the Republic, and everyone knew that under Caesar's dictatorship and control, their opportunities for financial gain and political power would vanish, which means that the power of the Senate will be gone. They were not going to accept it, and so the assassination plan hatched.
A senate was a political institution in Ancient Rome that was established during the first days of the city. It was one of the longest lasting institution in Roman history as it survived the overthrows of kings in 509 BC. It was founded by Lucius Junius Brutus, who defeated the last king as it was more than an advisory council to the king. During the early Republic, the senate was weak, but as the transition from monarchy to constitutional rule differed, it reached the apex of its republican power after several generations. However, the late republic saw a decline in its power therefore it lost much of its political power along with prestige through the reforms of the tribunes Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus and never gained the strongest power they ever had back; it became political irrelevant.
Marcus Junius Brutus was a Roman politician that was borned at 85 BC and died at 42 BC near Philippi, Macedonia. He was one of the leaders in the conspiracy that assassinated Julius Caesar in 44 BC. He was the son of Marcus Junius Brutus but was adopted by an uncle, Quintus Servilius Caepio, therefore he was commonly called Quintus Caepio Brutus. However, he was brought up by another uncle named Cato the Younger who brainwashed him with the idea of Stoicism. He opposed Pompey's increasing power due to this but he reunited with him upon Caesar's invasion of Italy in 49. After Caesar defeated Pompey, Brutus was captured as his ally. He was soon released from his mother's influence against Caesar.
When Shakespeare died, he left most of his real estate to his daughter Susanna. A statement was inserted between the lines in the will, which said: "I gyve unto my wief my second best bed with the furniture." The "furniture" was referring to the bedclothes for the bed.
Shakespeare was born under the old Julian calendar instead of the current Gregorian calendar that was created in 1582 and adopted in England in 1751. What was April 23 during Shakespeare's life would be May 3 on today's calendar.
The American President Abraham Lincoln was a great lover of Shakespeare's plays and frequently recited from them to his friends. His assassin, John Wikes Booth was a famous Shakespearean actor.
Shakespeare is always referred to as an Elizabethan playwright, but as most of his most popular plays were written after Elizabeth's death, he was actually more of a Jacobean writer. His later plays also indicated the distinct characteristics of Jacobean drama.
Shakespeare was buried in the Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon. He put a curse on anyone daring to move his body from that final resting place. His epitaph was:
Good friend for Jesus’ sake forbear,
To dig the dust enclosed here:
Blest be the man that spares these stones,
And curst be he that moves my bones.
Chattels of men, whom they must obey. They were restricted in what they could do - they could not act in Shakespeare's plays for instance.
Plague spread by rats which decimated the population indiscriminately - wealthy stood some chance of surviving as they could move away.
Queen Elizabeth I
A Dictator can only be appointed by the Senate and they voted Caesar Dictator for life in 46 B.C. He was "officially" the first person to receive this title that was written in Latin. There were other Dictators voted by the Senate but this was only in times of military emergency and the term of office was limited to six months or the end of the emergency. He wanted this title for his big ego and through being a dictator, he could accomplish his goals for social reform quicker without having to bother to waste time on debating with the senate.
It was said that he led the assassination of Caesar for political survival and that he was defending the public. His fear against Caesar made him made his mind and carry out the assassination. On the other hand, there are also personal reasons as to why he actually did it. Caesar, since his teenage years, had been carrying on an affair with Brutus' mother. Obviously, this could lead to a number of interpersonal issues between the two men. Brutus might have simply been annoyed with Caesar's treatment of his mother, or taken an insult to heart as his family had always been the opposing side against Caesar's ideas.
Why did Brutus became the leader of the assassination of Julius Caesar?
Antony gives a rousing speech; public opinion turns against Brutus and Cassius.
Antony uses masterful rhetoric to highlight the terrible dishonor of the traitors. On the surface, he claims the traitors are all honorable men, but he subtly undermines his claims by showing all the wrongs they have done to Caesar. This gives the people reason to be incensed on Caesar's behalf. The people take it to the streets, screaming "Burn! Kill!" etc., etc., which really satisfied Antony, who knows his diabolical plan has worked.
Brutus and Cassius have fled; Antony is joined by Octavius and Lepidus; Brutus and Cassius are fighting.
Brutus and Cassius have fled the city. In the meantime Antony is busy plotting with his two friends, Octavius and Lepidus, whom he will likely betray. Even the would-be heroes, Brutus and Cassius, were quarreling over some shady business deals Cassius has made. Everything seems to have been for waste: Antony and his friends will become the new tyrants while Cassius seems to be showing his true colors as dirty and underhanded, which means that Brutus will have lost everything without succeeding in saving Rome from tyranny. What good can possibly come of this?
Portia dies; Caesar's ghost shows up; Brutus and Cassius make a suicide pact.
Everyone comes to their senses when Brutus announces that Portia has died. That single change begins to shed light on Brutus's sense of the futility of this fight. Caesar's ghost hasn't helped the matter, but Brutus is brave as ever, saying he'll meet the ghost when it comes. Cassius has a poetic reckoning with himself too – it's his birthday, so if he dies now his life will have come full circle. The two friends make a subtle agreement to never go back to Rome in chains, which implicitly means they'll take death before dishonor. The audience can now rest easy because either way the men are nobly resigned to die with honor, even if it's by their own hands.
Cassius and Brutus kill themselves; Antony and Octavius (with Lepidus) are free to rule Rome.
For once, this is exactly how it all played out in history (which Shakespeare often has a funny habit of revising). Having made peace with each other and themselves, Brutus and Cassius kill themselves when their battle against Antony and Octavius seems to be lost. Antony and Octavius take the field where Brutus has fallen, and Brutus is proclaimed the noblest man in all of Rome. Unfortunately, he's a bit too dead to hear it, and that praise likely didn't matter to him anyway.