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Introduction to William Shakespeare and Julius Caesar

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Briana Harrison

on 21 January 2016

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Transcript of Introduction to William Shakespeare and Julius Caesar

Intro to Shakespearean Language
With the person sitting next to you, in the chart under "Assignment #1," write down 4 lines each of dialogue.

Troublesome and Odd Words
A: A rampallion cogged me. (A punk deceived me.)
B: How wast thou cogged? We’ll thwack him whenst he is found. (How were you deceived? We’ll drive him away when we find him!)
A: Thou zwaggered me while I’st was eating my mess. (He bullied me when I was eating my meal.)
B: Thou ist an irregulous jolthead, a banditto! (He is a lawless blockhead, an outlaw!)
A: Aye! I saw that geck at the gym, about to fadge! (Yes, I saw that fool at the gym about to work out!)
B: Fut! We must aroint and slubber him at once! (What!! We must go after him at once!)

Gaius Julius Caesar
July 12, 100 BCE: Born by C-section to noble family (though not rich or influential)
Married 3x for political reasons
“tall, fair haired, and well built”
Occasional epileptic fits
Cunning, determined to climb political ladder
The Roman Dictator
Made himself sole rule of Rome
Immune from prosecution for life
6-month term extended to 1 year
Renewed 9 times
44 BCE: voted
dictator perpetuus
Freewrite #1
What do you think of when I
mention William Shakespeare?
Introduction to
The Tragedy of
Julius Caesar

by William Shakespeare

Young Caesar
Dangerous political alliances --> joined army
Furthered education in rhetoric
Statue of Alexander the Great
Brutal: fleeing soldiers killed, pirates crucified
Debt: buying favor of people
60 BCE: The First Triumvirate with Pompey & Crassus
Roman Civil War
59 BCE: daughter Julia marries Pompey
54 BCE: Julia dies in childbirth
52 BCE: Pompey marries daughter of one of Caesar’s greatest enemies
49 BCE: Crosses the Rubicon
48 BCE: Defeats Pompey, follows to Egypt, presented w/head
46 BCE: Returns triumphantly to Rome
What is your previous experience with his plays?
How was that experience?
How do you feel about reading one of
his plays next?

What’s the big deal about Shakespeare?
Why do we study him every year?
Why are his plays so important?
Write down any ideas or answers you have as we review some background information.
William Shakespeare,
"The Bard"
Born April 23?, 1564
Working class family
Father glove maker
1582 - Marries Anne Hathaway (age 26)
Kids: Susanna and twins Hamnet and Judith

Life in London
1585-1592: The Lost Years
1594: Lord Chamberlain’s Men (later The King’s Men)
Actor and playwright until 1612
37+ plays, 154 sonnets, 2 longer poems
1612: Retired to Stratford
April 23, 1616: Died on 52nd birthday

Shakespeare's Works
Quoted more than any other single author
4 genres: comedy, tragedy, history, romance
Did not hold to any particular philosophy, religion, or ideology
Most stories “stolen” from other writers or history
Characters flawed and inconsistent; neither wholly good nor wholly evil
Can’t find the right word or phrase? Make it up!

Original words & phrases
Woe is me

Wild goose chase
Piece of work

Laughing stock
Dead as a doornail
In a pickle
Neither here nor there
Set your teeth on edge
Too much of a good thing
Vanish into thin air
All Greek to me
Up in arms
Too much of a good thing

Fair play
In the twinkling of an eye
Mum’s the word
Send him packing
Method in my madness
Beward the Ides of March
Fault in our stars
Et tu, Brute?
Double, double, toil and trouble
Something wicked this way comes

Stony hearted
Foregone conclusion
Green-eyed monster
All’s well that ends well
All of a sudden
Love is blind
As good luck would have it
Good riddance
Give the devil his due
Hot blooded
The Devil incarnate

Who wrote the plays?
2 separate William Shakespeares: 1 in Stratford, 1 in London
Why skeptical?
No books in his will
No education at university
No record of attending school
No references from contemporaries
The REAL Shakespeare?
Edward deVere, 17th Earl of Oxford
Francis Bacon
Christopher Marlowe
Queen Elizabeth I

Life in
Elizabethan London
Queen Elizabeth I
Time of
National strength
Religious Reformation
“Renaissance men”
Fear over succession and civil war
Irish rebellion
The "Great Chain of Being"
Also known as “Natural Order”
There is a PROPER order within all things.
Everything in its PROPER position = HARMONY.
ALL of Shakespeare’s plays about this DISORDER.
Last person to speak will RESTORE ORDER.

The "Great Chain of Being"
“Natural Order” reflected in social structure
BROKEN chain = EVERYTHING upset , EVERYONE suffers.
Upsets in chain: signs and divinations in nature (stars, weather, unusual animal behavior, etc.)
Elizabethan Theatre
Puritans = No theaters in city walls
The Plague
The Globe (1599) – part owner
Daytime performances
1613 fire
Closed in 1642
Rebuilt and reopened in 1997

The Globe
6 performances / week, only rehearsed a few times
No stage crew, costumers, etc.
No female actors
Little to no scenery / props
Theater = mischievous fun
Rowdy audiences – some on stage
No bathroom breaks
Part 2:
Julius Caesar, Rome,
and Shakespearean Language

Freewrite #2
How do you define a good or bad leader?
Give examples of both good and bad leaders and WHY you believe they are such. How do domestic relationships, physical condition, and/or athletic ability affect whether or not one is a good/bad leader?

Freewrite #3
What are the advantages of government by one person vs. a representative democracy?
Why do we have “separation of powers”? What if we decided to abolish Congress and make the president King of America?
What actions would you take?

Talent for Military Command
58 BCE: Governor of Gaul (France & Germany)
One of most successful military campaigns of ancient history
Strategy and tactical warfare still studied
Expansion as far as Britain, Turkey, Asia, and Africa
Angers members of senate

Freewrite #4
For what would you betray a friend?
(Don't say you wouldn't.)
Under what circumstances would you reveal a friend’s secret to a parent, teacher, or other person of authority? How far would you go to stop a friend from harming your country?
A: I love English class.
B: Yeah, there is no better way to spend 96 minutes.
A: Reading
Julius Caesar
will be so interesting.
B: Have you read it before?
A: No, but I have always wanted to.
B: I bet once we learn some simple interpretation rules for Shakespearean language and syntax we will understand it.
A: Yeah. Do you want to go to the gym after school?
B: No, let’s go to the movies instead.
Translate Your Conversation
A: I lovest English class.
B: Indeed, ‘tis no better way to spend 96 minutes.
A: Reading Julius Caesar will be so interesting.
B: Hast thou readst it before?
A: No, but I hast always wanted to. I hearest ‘tis difficult to read.
B: I bet once thou learnest some simple rules for Shakespearean grammar, thou will understandst it.
A: Yeah. Will thou goest to the gym after school?
B: No, will thou goest to the movies instead?
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