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Shakespeare's Julius Caesar Background Knowledge

Background knowledge meant to prepare students to read William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar
by

Adam Keel

on 4 August 2013

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Transcript of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar Background Knowledge

Julius Caesar
Many senators, however, resent Caesar for having so much power.
Julius Caesar: Introduction
The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
by William Shakespeare
Around 509 B.C., the Romans ended a monarchy by rebelling against the last king of Rome, Tarquinius.
Julius Caesar: Background
One of the reasons the Senate was concerned by Caesar’s accumulation of power was Rome’s long history as a republic.
Julius Caesar: Background
Shakespeare uses Roman customs and superstition to create spooky conditions to mirror the dangerous plot being planned.
Julius Caesar : Background
Some senators begin to conspire. . .
Brutus, Caesar’s friend who believes that he must act against Caesar for the good of Rome Casca, who hates the ordinary citizens of Rome yet is jealous because they love Caesar and not him Cassius, a greedy and jealous man who wants to take drastic measures to keep Caesar from winning any more power—and to take away any power that Caesar previously had!
Julius Caesar: Introduction
But the people don’t mind—in fact, they love him.

Caesar is made dictator, or ruler—a position that was sometimes granted for a ten-year term—for the rest of his life.
Julius Caesar: Introduction
Instead, he marches his army on Rome and takes over the government.
Their fears seem to be valid when Caesar refuses to enter Rome as an ordinary citizen after the war.
Julius Caesar: Introduction
Pompey, as well as others in the Roman senate, was disturbed by Caesar’s growing ambition.
Caesar was fighting Pompey, another powerful Roman, and his sons.
Julius Caesar: Introduction
Caesar, the most powerful man in Rome, has recently returned to the city after months of fighting abroad.
Julius Caesar: Introduction
Shakespeare creates a world full of political intrigue, magical occurrences, and military conquest.
The setting of this play is ancient Rome.
Julius Caesar: Introduction
After this revolution, the Romans established their famous republic, in which all citizens were represented in the Senate.

They were very proud of their non-king ruled government, and were determined to preserve it—but when Caesar arrived, they changed their minds!
Julius Caesar: Background
The Romans believed that omens could reveal the future.

These omens could take the form of unusual weather, flights of birds, or other natural phenomena.
Julius Caesar : Background
Full transcript