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Copy of Introduction to Shakespeare's Julius Caesar

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on 23 February 2017

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Transcript of Copy of Introduction to Shakespeare's Julius Caesar

The "real" Julius Caesar Biography
The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
The tragic drama is set in Rome during 44 BCE (so, a long time ago!)
Shakespeare creates a world full of political intrigue, magical occurrences, and military conquest.
Protagonist: Julius Caesar
Antagonist: Cassius
The text was written in 1559 in England, but was not published until 1623
Literary Period: The Renaissance (1500-1660)
Rome was ruled by a “Triumvirate”
(a coalition of three men)

A great politician & Caesar’s son-in-law

The famous general

The wealthiest man in Rome

Shakespeare’s audience was also fascinated by Caesar’s life and death (a “dictator” becoming corrupt and ignoring the other branches of government, then being assassinated by his own friends) because in the 1400’s in England the people experienced civil war and the result was the Tudor family (Queen Elizabeth’s family line) taking over.

Introduction to Shakespeare's
Julius Caesar

William Shakespeare wrote the play
The Tragedy of Julius Caesar

It was the first play performed in the Globe Theatre in 1599.
(Maybe today we’d call him P-Pompin’)
Julius Caesar
Caesar, the most powerful man in Rome, has recently returned to the city after months of fighting abroad.
Caesar was fighting Pompey, another powerful Roman, and his sons.
Pompey, as well as others in the Roman senate, was disturbed by Caesar’s growing ambition.

Instead, he marches his army on Rome and takes over the government.
Caesar is made dictator, or ruler—a position that was sometimes granted for a ten-year term—for the rest of his life.
Some senators begin to conspire (make secret plans)

, Caesar’s friend who believes that he must act against Caesar for the good of Rome.

, who hates the ordinary citizens of Rome yet is jealous because they love Caesar and not him.

, a greedy and jealous man who wantsto take drastic measures to keep Caesar from winning any more power—and to take away any power that Caesar previously had!

About Julius Caesar:

An ambitious and 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 (using power unjustly).

About Brutus:
Friend of Caesar, an honorable man
Feeling of patriotism, convinced that Caesar must die rather than become a tyrant.
His strong principles led him to allow rival Antony to speak at Caesar's funeral.

About Calpurnia:
Julius Caesar's sensible and loving wife

The English knew a lot about the Romans back then. They were conquered by Caesar and believed that they were descendents of early Romans.
Their fears seem to be valid when Caesar refuses to enter Rome as an ordinary citizen after the war.
Many senators, however, resent Caesar for having so much power.
The rest of
Julius Caesar
is for you to find out!
About Cassius:
Becomes jealous of Caesar’s power and fearful he will abuse that power
Urges Brutus to assassinate both Caesar and Antony
Tries to convince Brutus not to allow Antony to speak at Caesar’s funeral

About Marcus Mark Antony:
Soldier and Caesar's right-hand man
Persuasive with his words
Uses his influence to turn the people of Rome against Brutus
With Caesar slain, seizes the opportunity to take control of Rome

Do you realize it when you are quoting Shakespeare throughout everyday life?

(Yes, you DO quote Shakespeare!)

If you have ever said…

You are quoting Shakespeare when you say...
“Catch a cold”
“Laugh it off”
“Disgraceful conduct”
That’s “lousy”
“In a pickle”
I didn’t “sleep a wink”
It won’t “budge an inch”
I’ve “seen better days”
“Knit your brows”
“Vanish into thin air”
“Give the devil his due”
An “eye sore”

All's Well That Ends Well!
“Love is blind”
“Off with his head”
“Have seen better days”
“Wild goose chase”
“Night owl”
“Mums the word”
“A sorry sight”

"Tongue tied"
"Fair play"
"Foul play"
"Fool's Paradise"
"As luck would have it"
"Lie low"
"Without rhyme or reason"
"Be that as it may"
"That's the long and short of it"

How many words can you think of that are associated with the name
Julius Caesar
Once you run out of words, reflect on what you came up with. Do the words have any connection to one another? Or are they totally random?
Background History
What is the Ides of March?!
The Ides of March is a day on the Roman calendar that corresponds to March 15
The holidays observed by the Romans from the first through the Ides often reflect their origin as new year celebrations.
Warned her husband not to leave the house during the Ides of March after having a prophetic (predicting the future) dream.
Full transcript