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The Tragedy of Julius Caesar

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1 The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
By William Shakespeare

2 Ideas to Consider as We Read…..
Most people resent others’ power…. Sometimes being superstitious is a good thing…. No cause, political or other, is worth dying for… Revenge is like drinking poison… Power necessarily corrupts….

3 Ideas to Consider as We Read…..
6. I am drawn more to advice from my peers than that from persons of authority…. 7. "The evil that men do lives after them; the good is [often buried] with their bones.” One instance of betrayal from a friend warrants ending that relationship… People are drawn toward darkness, whether they admit it openly or not…. Murder and honor cannot coexist….

4 Plot Diagram of Julius Caesar
Act I– Exposition- intro of characters, elements of setting (time, place) Inciting Incident/Exciting Force- intro of major conflict, force that drives rest of plot Act 2– Complication (Rising Action)- struggles intensify, plot events leading twrd climax Act 3– Climax- highest point of tension/action Act 4– Denouement (Falling Action)- events following climax, leading twrd resolution Act 5– Resolution- loose ends tied up; major problems solved!

5 Act I, Scene i Setting: Streets of Rome, 44 B.C.
Marullus & Flavius- 2 tribunes (officials elected to ‘protect’ interests of commoners) People are celebrating both the Feast of Lupercal and Caesar’s defeat of Pompey’s sons. (Caesar had defeated Pompey, an old rival, in 48 B.C; he has just defeated Pompey’s sons in battle)

6 Act I, Scene i Cobbler (shoemaker) & Carpenter- both commoners- meet Flavius, Marullus Note comic relief & pun- play on 2 words similar in sound and meaning- lines “mender of bad soles” F & M- see Caesar as threat to Rome’s republican rule, want to shame commoners, remind them of past loyalty to Pompey, lines 41-5

7 Act I, Scene i Flavius- disgusted w/ celebrations
He orders all statues be removed of any decorations celebrating Caesar (lines 73-80) “These growing feathers plucked from Caesar’s wing/ Will make him fly an ordinary pitch….”

8 Act I, Scene ii Note evidence of superstition and ritual early in this scene: Caesar orders Antony to touch his wife Calpurnia so that she may become fertile. (Antony participating in Feast of Lupercal races- lead runner believed to be able to remove curse of sterility)

9 Act I, Scene ii ---Soothsayer (fortuneteller) to Caesar “Beware the ides of March.” (foreshadowing) Ides- Latin- translated roughly to halfway point- ‘ides of march’- modern-day: metaphor for doom The arrogant Caesar blows him off: “He is a dreamer. Let us leave him pass.”

10 “That Tiber trembled under her banks…”- literary devices?....
Questions for Review 1.Why could Flavius and Marullus be described as officious and supercilious? 2. Look at the rhetorical ?s in Marullus’ speech in What is their function? “That Tiber trembled under her banks…”- literary devices?.... Characterize the relationship between Caesar and Pompey. (C & P had had a major falling out during their rule in the 1st triumvirate of Rome….)

11 Act I, Scene ii Cassius- is a shady, sly character- uses flattery to lure Brutus in; Cassius wants to take Caesar down, to take advantage of Brutus’ inner conflict regarding Caesar. Why might Brutus be conflicted? Brutus: “I love the name of honor more than I fear death.” “I would not Cassius, yet I love him well.”

12 Act I, Scene ii Brutus loves Caesar, but he fears that he will not lead Rome well. (internal conflict)-He is caught between his loyalty to a dear friend and his love of Rome, his commitment to honoring the good of the republic. Which Macbeth character does Brutus remind you of? Why?

13 Act I, Scene ii Cassius- ‘Why shouldn’t you, Brutus, be the leader of the Romans? You are just as good as Caesar!’ Cassius’ story of Caesar’s past: monologue- lines Caesar is a physically weak man; why should someone like him be king? (cannot swim, fevers, epilepsy)

14 Act I, Scene ii Casca to Brutus- The people of Rome love Caesar, want to crown him king. Caesar ‘refused’ the crown 3 times, suffered epileptic fits, even offered the crowd his throat to be cut…. – a true spectacle! “if Caesar had stabbed their mothers they would have done no less…”

15 Act I, Scene ii Caesar on Cassius: He is very wary of him, yet he goes on to say he doesn’t fear him…. (dramatic irony/foreshadowing) Caesar- half deaf and epileptic Why do you think Shakespeare portrayed Caesar this way?.....

16 (inciting incident/exciting force!)
Act I, Scene ii Cassius’ soliloquy- his plan to lure Brutus into the conspiracy against Caesar. Cassius’s plan- write letters in all sorts of handwriting, throw them in Brutus’ window (inciting incident/exciting force!) Note the presence of rhyming couplets. Cinna will plant the letters….. (Every conspirator plays a key role)….

17 Act I, Scene iii Notice the omens Casca says he experienced (signs from nature, usually somewhat spooky/supernatural, that are linked to future disaster). Locate 5.

18 Act I, Scene iii A tempest (violent storm)
A slave’s hand was on fire, but he is unscathed. There was a random lion in the capitol, but he did not attack. A crowd of women see a group of men walking around on fire. A creepy owl shrieking during the day (Shakespeare is clearly obsessed).

19 Act I, Scene iii Conspirators
Brutus, Cassius, Casca, Cinna, Metellus Cimber, Trebonius, Decius (Later, another is added as revealed later in Act 2- Caius Ligarius- he’s not so important, though).

20 Act II, Scene i Lucius- Brutus’ servant
Brutus’ soliloquy illustrates his feelings about Caesar: ‘My issues w/ Caesar are not personal. I fear that if he is crowned king, he will change; power might go to his head. He seems to have risen to power too quickly and poses a danger to the republic. Ambition may ruin him- and Rome!’ – B’s internal conflict….

21 Key points of his soliloquy:
Act II, Scene i Key points of his soliloquy: What is an adder anyway? ‘Th’ abuse of greatness is when it disjoins/Remorse from power./…lowliness is young ambition’s ladder,/Whereto the climber upwards turns his face…scorning the base degrees/By which he did ascend.’ Note the extended metaphor Note the simile in line 33.

22 Key points of his soliloquy:
Act II, Scene i Key points of his soliloquy: The adder is used as a metaphor to symbolically represent Caesar as a potentially evil tyrant. Brutus fears what could happen to Rome if he is given the crown, is successful in achieving total control. The ladder is used as a metaphor to symbolically represent Caesar’s rise to power. Should Caesar climb to the top, he will treat those down below- the common Romans- poorly and with disdain.

23 Act II, Scene i Act II, Scene i
Brutus’ reaction to letters planted by Cinna: I will act on these requests of the Romans and do what is best. He is resolute in his decision. --- Has Brutus started to change? How so? What exactly is his tragic flaw? (ironically enough…)

24 Act II, Scene i Act II, Scene i
It is the ides of March (as Lucius reveals) All conspirators arrive Cassius- repeats what is contained in letters to make sure Brutus joins conspiracy (97-102) Brutus: ‘Oaths are beneath us; they aren’t necessary for we are men of honor….’

25 Act II, Scene i Act II, Scene i
Cassius feels Marc Antony should also be killed, but Brutus does want to make things “too bloody.” He feels Antony does not pose too much of a threat, “is only a limb of Caesar./” – extended metaphor of body continues in 195,6 Clock strikes- anachronism- placement of an event, idea, or person in wrong time period- Clocks didn’t exist at this time.

26 Act II, Scene i Act II, Scene i
Portia, Brutus’ wife, senses he is tormented, begs him to trust her and confide in her, tell her his secrets. She states that even though she is a woman, she can handle anything he may tell her. She even stabs herself in the thigh to show her toughness! Does she remind you of anybody? How so?

27 Act II, Scene i Act II, Scene ii
Caesar is very troubled by Calpurnia’s dream in which she cried out 3X- “Help ho, they murder Caesar!” (foreshadowing) Omens she mentions: scary lioness, graves opening and closing, warriors fighting amongst themselves in the clouds, blood raining down on Capitol, horses going nutty… Doe she remind you of anybody? How so?

28 Act II, Scene i Act II, Scene ii
Calpurnia refers to omens as “comets from heaven”- He must not go to Capitol. Literary devices/techniques in her speech?... Where and how is animal sacrifice present? What does this show about the Romans? Why does Caesar decide to ignore the advice of Calpurnia? What does this show about him?

29 Act II, Scene i Act II, Scene ii
Decius follows through on his pledge to conspirators to ensure that Caesar goes to Capitol- uses flattery and trickery “This dream is all amiss interpreted./ It is a vision fair and fortunate.” This dream shows you are the lifeblood of Rome, giving Romans hope as a strong leader who will do what must be done! The blood is not a sign of death.

30 Act II, Scene i Act II, Scene ii Decius’ deception continues….
Decius: The Romans intend to crown you king. Are you going to tell them that you fear your wife and are too scared to show?....

31 Act II, Scene i Act II, Scene iii-iv
Artemidorus: He reads aloud a letter in which he tries to warn Caesar of the plot against him. He will try to pass this letter to Caesar as he passes on his way to Capitol. Portia is a mental wreck at this point. She is onto the conspirators. She pumps the soothsayer for info, but she can only wait….

32 Act II, Scene i Act III, Scene I
Shakespeare dramatized some of the actual history behind the story of JC’s assassination….. Caesar dismisses Artemidorus’ attempt to warn him about the threat to his life. “What touches us ourself shall be last served….What, is the fellow mad?”

33 Act II, Scene i Act III, Scene i
Trebonius: “draws Marc Antony out of the way.” (During the murder, Trebonius will pull MA aside so that he cannot protect C). Metellus Cimber: distracts Caesar by asking him to lift the banishment (exile) placed upon his brother, Publius Cimber. Casca: He will be the first to stab Caesar; others will then join him. (As Cinna states, “You are the first that rears your hand…” line 32)

34 Act II, Scene i Act III, Scene i
Caesar refuses to lift the banishment he has placed upon Publius Cimber: “I am as constant as the Northern Star.” Casca stabs Caesar, others join in Et tu, Brute? (Latin- you too, Brutus?)- shows Caesar’s recognition of the betrayal According to Brutus’ instructions, conspirators smear their swords, wash and hands in Caesar’s blood, walk around crying, Peace, Freedom, Liberty!

35 Act II, Scene i Act III, Scene i
Marc Antony’s servant enters, pledging that Marc Antony will be loyal to Brutus now that Caesar is dead. Brutus assures the servant that MA will be “untouched.” How does Cassius feel about Marc Antony’s vow? (lines 160-2) What had he said in II.i about Brutus’ decision to let Marc Antony live? What does this show about Cassius?

36 Act II, Scene i Act III, Scene i
When he appears, Marc Antony is trying to get the conspirators to trust him. He tells them that if they wish to kill him, then he would feel honored to die next to Caesar’s body. Brutus assured MA that he is not in danger. MA- “…you shall give me reasons/Why and wherein Caesar was dangerous” (Why did you kill my friend?....)

37 Act II, Scene i Act III, Scene i
Marc Antony- let me speak at the funeral Cassius doesn’t think this is such a hot idea Brutus grants Marc Antony permission to speak at C’s funeral under these conditions: Brutus speaks first MA has to tell the crowd he is speaking b/c Brutus said he could. MA cannot speak badly about the conspirators.

38 Act II, Scene i Act III, Scene i
What happens when MA speaks over Caesar’s body? In this soliloquy, MA vows to Caesar’s corpse that he will avenge Caesar’s death, will go after the conspirators bigtime. He invokes help of Ate (allusion to Greek mythology, god of discord & vengeance) to make Brutus & conspirators pay. MA- not afraid to start bloodiest of wars in getting justice for his friend.

39 Act II, Scene i Act III, Scene i
Octavius is on his way to Rome (Caesar’s great-nephew, actually did go on to rule Rome under the name Augustus)…

40 Act II, Scene i Act III, Scene ii
Rhetoric: the art of speaking and writing persuasively; skill in using language effectively Rhetorical devices: techniques writers (speakers) use to enhance their arguments and communicate more effectively Pay close attention to the rhetoric in both Brutus’ and MA’s speech: which proves more effective in winning over the plebeians?

41 Act II, Scene i Act III, Scene ii
Plebeians (common folk) demand answers regarding Caesar’s death. Brutus- Why did I kill Caesar?- “not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more…” (I killed Caesar for his ambition, his potential to become a tyrant).

42 Act II, Scene i Brutus’ Speech
He establishes his credibility and honor immediately by stating, rather logically, his reasons for killing Caesar: “as he was ambitious, I slew him.” The crowd is convinced by his authoritative pledge to protect the republic. At the end of his speech, he appeals to the plebeians’ sense of nationalism….. His 3 objectives: Establish his honor, that of the conspirators, and the necessity of Caesar’s death. His ambition would have choked the republic!

43 Rhetorical devices in Brutus’ speech
Act II, Scene i Rhetorical devices in Brutus’ speech - Repetition: “honor”, “ambition”, “love”, “weep”- these appeal to crowd’s emotions Parallelism- same types of sentences and grammatical constructions used over and over again emphasize his points Key example of parallelism: “Hear me….believe me….censure me…”

44 Rhetorical devices in Brutus’ speech
Act II, Scene i Rhetorical devices in Brutus’ speech Note the repetitious use of “If….” towards the end- This an example of anaphora- repetition of an initial word/s to emphasize a key point. Rhetorical questions “Who here is so vile that will not love his country?” (appeals to the plebeians’ sense of nationalism) How could we characterize his tone?....

45 Rhetorical devices in Brutus’ speech
Act II, Scene i Rhetorical devices in Brutus’ speech More on anaphora & parallelism: “As he was fortunate….As he was valiant….as he was ambitious….” “Who is here so base….Who is here so rude….Who is here vile…” Notice how the sentences begin the same way (parallelism) and key words are repeated (anaphora)

46 Act III, Scene ii- MA’s speech
Act II, Scene i Act III, Scene ii- MA’s speech Repetition- Honorable, ambitious Antony emphasizes that Caesar was not ambitious- at least in the negative way the conspirators suggest- and that the conspirators are not honorable Did in this Caesar seem ambitious?.....(had denied crown 3x during Feast of Lupercal) Apostrophe-  literary device in which someone (usually, but not always absent), some abstract quality, or a nonexistent personage is directly addressed.

47 Act III, Scene ii- MA’s speech
Act II, Scene i Act III, Scene ii- MA’s speech Rhetorical questions- (several times) He wants his listeners to think they have a say in what he is doing or even that they are controlling him. The crowd is reacting in exactly the way Antony wants them to: he is manipulating them, but they do not realize it. Key example of verbal irony: “Brutus is an honorable man.” (MA doesn’t think he is).

48 Act III, Scene ii- MA’s speech
Act II, Scene i Act III, Scene ii- MA’s speech Paralepsis- emphasizing a point by seeming to pass over it (the reading of the will). Notice that he wants the audience to hear about Caesar’s will. Why?.... What is the effect of the presence of Caesar’s body upon the audience? (Notice how MA shows them the wounds and uses the conspirators names as he does so).

49 Act III, Scene ii- MA’s speech
Act II, Scene i Act III, Scene ii- MA’s speech MA persuades the crowd into believing that Caesar’s murder was unjust and that the people should rise up. (Remember his vows during the soliloquy). ‘We’ll mutiny….“We’ll burn the house of Brutus!” (plebeians) Lepidus joins forces w/ MA and Octavius Brutus and Cassius have fled Rome b/c they are scared of the plebeians, who have turned against them.

50 Act III, Scene ii- MA’s speech
Act II, Scene i Act III, Scene ii- MA’s speech Cinna the poet is torn to death because the crowd has gone wild. At first, they think he is Cinna, one of the conspirators, but when they realize he is Cinna the poet, they shrug it off and murder him anyway. (They’re all riled up, want revenge, acting like lunatics). Cinna the poet is used to emphasize how effective MA’s speech was in ‘turning’ the plebeians against the conspirators….

51 Act II, Scene i Literary Terms
All literary plot diagram terms Internal Conflict Alliteration External Conflict Allusion Foreshadowing Anachronism Kenning Apostrophe Metaphor Dramatic Irony Parallelism

52 Act II, Scene i Literary Terms
Paralepsis 2 different types of speeches Pun Syntax Rhetoric Tragic Hero Rhetorical Devices Tragic Flaw Rhyming couplets Verbal Irony Simile

53 Act II, Scene i Key Characters Artemidorus Decius
Brutus Flavius/Marullus Calpurnia Marc Antony Casca Metellus Cimber Cinna Portia Cassius Soothsayer Cinna/Cinna the Poet Trebonius

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