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The Tragedy of Julius Caesar By William Shakespeare.

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Presentation on theme: "The Tragedy of Julius Caesar By William Shakespeare."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Tragedy of Julius Caesar By William Shakespeare

2 Act II, Scene i Food for Thought/?s for Review 1. Who are the members of the 2 nd triumvirate? 2. Discuss the context: “Is it fit,/The threefold world divided, he should stand/ One of the three to share it?” 3. How are honor and corruption present in the denouement thus far?

3 Act II, Scene i Act IV, Scene i Opens w/ members of 2 nd triumvirate: Marc Antony, Octavius, Lepidus Triumvirate: ruling coalition of 3 rulers They are making a ‘hit list’- determining who should die among their enemies. They want to change Caesar’s will (try and take $ from his heirs) to raise money for an army. MA & O- both dislike Lepidus. They are going to use him and then dispose of him….

4 Act II, Scene i Act IV, Scene ii We meet various officers in army of Brutus and Cassius. (Pindarus- Cassius’ slave) Brutus accuses Cassius of corruption/bribery. “sell and mart your offices for gold…” He accuses him of hiding/stealing $ and gold, being greedy. Cassius to Brutus- Watch it!... Then, he tries to prove his worth by saying that Brutus can kill him- similar to Portia offering herself to Brutus, MA offering himself to conspirators when he first sees C’s corpse, & B to the plebeians as he finished his funeral speech…

5 Act II, Scene i Act IV, Scene iii Brutus casually reports to Cassius that Portia is dead, has committed suicide. Portia swallowed hot coals apparently since she was lonely and had figured that Brutus was killed/was going to be killed. Notice how Brutus seems to ‘just learn’ of her death when he speaks to Messala later in this scene. (editorial error? Or Brutus wanting to be private, not show emotion?)

6 Act II, Scene i Act IV, Scene iii B & Cassius disagree about battle strategy. Cassius- let enemy (2 nd triumvirate) come to us, exhaust themselves; then, we’ll strike! Brutus- no; let’s seize moment and march on toward Phillipi! Brutus meets Caesar’s ghost, who tells him he will meet him at Phillipi….(What might this show?) Caesar’s ghost: “To tell thee thou shall see me at Phillipi…” (literary device present?)

7 Act II, Scene i Quick Review ?s Discuss the context of this quote in terms of plot developments in the denouement of JC: “Out, out brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow… a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing.” What is an aphorism? How is foreshadowing strongly present at the end of 4.3? Do Brutus and Caesar have both ‘public’ and ‘private’ selves? How so?

8 Act II, Scene i Act V, Scene i Antony & Octavius argue about the directions each will take in battle. They also exchange insults w Brutus & Cassius. Cassius: It’s my birthday! Cassius sees ravens and crows circling above them (omens of death/evil) rather than eagles, a more positive ‘sign’…. Brutus- I won’t commit suicide; I won’t be dragged through the streets of Rome as a prisoner either…. – refers to suicide as “cowardly and vile”

9 Act II, Scene i Act V, Scene iii Cassius asks his trusted friend Titinius to see if oncoming troops are friends or enemies. Pindarus mistakenly reports to Cassius that Titinius is surrounded by MA’s troops. Cassius loses hope, thinks Titinius is dead. Grief- stricken & guilt-ridden, he asks his slave Pindarus to kill him w/ Caesar’s sword. Pindarus is then free. Messala reports that Brutus’ army beat Octavius’. Titinius returns alive and kills himself w/ Cassius’ sword- devastated over Cassius’ suicide. Titinius’ guilt: “Mistrust of my success hath done this deed.”

10 Act II, Scene i Act V, Scene iii Brutus: O Julius Caesar, thou art mighty yet- said in response to suicide of Cassius and Titinius. (Caesar is getting his revenge; Brutus, like Macbeth, seems to understand the consequences coming to him) Scene iv Lucilius pretends to be Brutus to save him from being captured by 2 nd triumvirate. MA honors him for his bravery, decides to keep him safe as captive.

11 Act II, Scene i Act V, Scene v Brutus asks Clitus, Dardanus, Voluminus to kill him. They all refuse. Strato holds Brutus’ sword as Brutus runs on it and dies. Antony: Brutus was “the noblest Roman of them all.” He killed Caesar for the good of Rome, not out of envy like the other conspirators. (MA- Brutus truly believed in his cause of Rome’s honor).

12 Act II, Scene i Act V, Scene iii ---Cassius is typically read as a shrewd but ultimately weak character. He consistently recognizes MA as a threat and even interprets the omens of the ravens and crows correctly. He is successful in manipulating Brutus, but notice that Brutus does not seem to heed Cassius’ advice once he usurps power. (He lets MA live and speak at the funeral and also ignores Cassius’ advice regarding optimal battle strategy). ---Moreover, C has his slave Pindarus kill him while his face is covered. Brutus faces death more proactively and for reasons more closely aligned w/ the pursuit of honor.

13 Act II, Scene i Act V, Scene v Did Brutus violate his own honor code and philosophy by choosing to die? Unlike Pindarus, Brutus' men are very reluctant to assist his suicide. Unlike Cassius, Brutus kills himself not necessarily to avoid the humiliation of capture, but because he actually may believe he deserves death. If his suicide is a just punishment rather than just a strict avoidance of capture and defeat, then Brutus does not strictly violate his philosophy. (tragic flaw?)

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