Presentation on theme: "Julius Caesar Shakespeare’s Roman Tragedy. I. History of Rome A. 753 BC – Rome founded (mythological founder Romulus) B. 509 BC – Roman Republic created."— Presentation transcript:
Julius Caesar Shakespeare’s Roman Tragedy
I. History of Rome A. 753 BC – Rome founded (mythological founder Romulus) B. 509 BC – Roman Republic created C. 200 BC – Rome conquered Greece D. 71 BC – Spartacus slave revolt crushed E. 48 BC – Julius Caesar (100-44BC) rose to power F. 44 BC – JC assassinated G. 27 BC – Octavius proclaimed 1 st emperor (became Caesar Augustus, ruled brilliantly for 40 years) H. 476 AD – Roman Empire fell I. 1599 AD – Shakespeare wrote Julius Caesar BCAD 0
The Roman Empire Before Rome collapsed due to its own internal corruption and the rise of Christianity, the empire stretched from Scotland to the Sahara and from the Straits of Gibraltar to the Persian Gulf.
II. Caesar & Rome A. JC was a Roman General/statesman (His books on warfare are still studied. Lost only two battles.) B. Aristocratic family descended from Venus C. Married at 17. Ordered to divorce by Rome’s dictator. Refused, banished, eventually pardoned. (Went to Greece to study while banished.) D. Returned, elected director of public works/games (This position popularized him with the people.) Caesar advanced politically despite attempts to discredit him. Some scholars believe Julius Caesar a ruthless tyrant who ended the Roman Republic; others believe the Republic was already doomed and Caesar’s reforms and guidance stabilized the Mediterranean world.
Portraits of Caesar “The evil men do lives after them. The good is oft interred with their bones.” -- Shakespeare’s Caesar
III. Caesar Takes Power A. 60 BC – Caesar allied with Pompey & Crassus (The three form the 1 st triumvirate.) B. 53 BC – Crassus died, leaving Pompey in Rome and Caesar in Gaul (France) C. 49 BC – Pompey ordered Caesar arrested (He convinced people Caesar was too ambitious.) D. Caesar led 5,000 men across the Rubicon, starting a Civil War E. Within 60 days, he ruled Italy. (Pompey fled to Egypt, later killed by common soldiers.) F. Chasing Pompey, Caesar met, fell in love with, and helped win Egypt for Cleopatra. G. 45 BC – Pompey’s sons led an army against Caesar but were defeated. (The play begins here.)
Crossing the Rubicon
IV. Caesar’s Reign A. From 49-44BC, ruled as uncrowned monarch B. During his tenure, he… 1. Arrested dishonest governors 2. Improved public health (drained swamps) 3. Built aqueducts/sewers (still in use) 4. Granted suburban citizenship 5. Improved calendar (still in use) 6. Distributed free food 7. Founded libraries 8. Established colonies 9. Set up 1 st postal system 10. Established Olympics
V. Themes in JC A. Primary Theme – Focuses on the moral dilemma of allowing a tyrant to rule vs. betraying a friend and committing regicide Although “Caesar” was JC’s family name, it became a ruler’s title in Rome and other countries. In Russian it became “Czar” and in German it became “Kaiser.” B. Thematic Topics 1. Leadership 2. Friendship 3. Suicide 4. Fate & Superstition
VI. Roman Religion A. Believed in many gods/goddesses B. Extremely superstitious C. Other philosophies existed 1. Stoicism – virtue is life’s goal a. Emotions not to be shown b. Man is his own judge c. Brutus’s philosophy 2. Epicureanism – pleasure is life’s goal a. Greatest evil is fear b. No gods or afterlife c. Cassius’s philosophy