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The Tragedy of Julius Caesar -BACKGROUND INFO -CHARACTERS

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1 The Tragedy of Julius Caesar -BACKGROUND INFO -CHARACTERS

2 How to read a play (no need to copy):
-Look at the cast of characters -Read the description of the setting -Try to get a feeling for the mood of the play -Look for the conflict -Watch for any evidence that reveals a change in the main character -Try to spot the themes

3 General who would be king, but because of his pride and ambition, meets an untimely death.
Shakespeare seems to say that good government must be based on morality. Shakespeare compresses actual historical time of 3 years into 6 days.

4 STOP *Create a TIMELINE for Julius Caesar’s life.

5 Background 102/100 BC Gaius Julius Caesar born to patrician (aristocrat) family 60 BC Joined Pompey & Crassus in “The First Triumvirate” 59 BC Married only daughter, Julia, to Pompey (to consolidate alliance -Pompey becomes son-in-law)

6 58 BC Caesar left for Gaul (France) and conquered all
54 BC Julia died in childbirth; Crassus killed in battle

7 Crossing the Rubicon 49 BC Caesar crossed the Rubicon river with his army which was automatic civil war Declared dictator 48 BC Fought Pompey; Pompey defeated & escaped to Egypt

8 48 BC, Oct. 2 Caesar landed in Egypt & given the head of Pompey, who was betrayed by Egyptians
Brought back Cleopatra to throne and became her lover 47 BC Won battles in Asia Minor with slogan: veni, vidi, vici : “I came, I saw, I conquered”

9 The Roman Empire


11 Rome 45 BC Roman people celebrated triumph over Pompey
Issued coin with Caesar’s face Allowed his statues to be adorned like statues of gods Senate gave him right: to wear laurel wreath (made of leaves) to wear purple and gold toga to sit in gold chair at all public functions


13 Rome 44 BC, February Named dictator perpetuus
Wore purple garb for first time NOT THIS! THIS! Antony offered him a diadem (crown) Caesar refused

14 Rome 44 BC Ides of March (March 15)
Caesar attended last Senate meeting Brutus & conspirators struck Caesar 23 times at the base of Pompey’s statue Legend has it when Caesar saw Brutus, he said, “You too, my child?” (“Et tu, Brute?”) Conspirators did not kill Mark Antony who had control of the military and access to the money and to Caesar’s will

15 Review Quiz 1. Who made up the triumvirate?
2. Who died and how did they die? 3. Why did the Roman people love Julius Caesar? JC, Pompey, Cassus Cassus was killed in battle, Pompey was killed by Egypt Julius Caesar conquered so many territories for them, won so many battles

16 The Death of Julius Caesar

17 Roman Life

18 Patricians Roman aristocracy The privileged class
Held all government positions & public offices Elected into Senate by the plebeians Rich

19 Plebeians (plebes) Had minimal rights of citizenship
Could not hold public office or government positions Exempt from military service Lived in communities separate from patricians Poor; did not have right to marry a patrician

20 Women Legal marriage age for girls – 12 years old
Men married in their 20’s and 30’s Women were treated like property Often died young in childbirth from complications & from diseases Sought to marry into wealthy families


22 Themes

23 STOP! The tree will give us life to continue!
So let’s draw a tree map to survive!

24 1. Fate vs Free Will Play questions force of fate vs the capacity of free will. Characters believe that belief in fate to be passive or cowardly where one waits for things to happen, rather than making things happen or asserting self. Play supports fate and freedom maintaining a coexistence. Certain events lie beyond human control but to wait for them in fear is worse than death.

25 2. Public Self vs Private Self
Play's tragedy comes from character’s neglect of private feelings in favor of what they think is to be the public good. Characters put aside loyalties for the good of the country.

26 3. Misinterpretations and Misreading
Characters fail to interpret correctly the omens they encounter. Inability to read people and events lead to downfall while ability to read people and events is key to survival.

27 4. Inflexibility vs Compromise
Inflexibility, stubbornness brings untimely death. Individuals succeed through adaptability. Brutus’ honorable ideals open him up to manipulation; Caesar’s consistency brings his death.

28 5. Rhetoric and Power Rhetoric is the ability to make things happen by words alone. The most powerful type of authority. Words serve to move hearts and minds.

29 Tragedy

30 Chaos results when the lawful social order is broken.
The best intentions of good, noble people can lead to tragedy. Language is powerful weapon, and in the hands of a skilled person, it can be used to manipulate others. Violence and bloodshed can never have morally good results. Orderliness and stable rule, even rule by a dictator, are preferable to chaos.

31 Characters

32 The First Triumvirate Julius Caesar –The greatest and most powerful Roman. Crassus Pompey – defeated by Caesar; killed in Egypt The Second Triumvirate (after Caesar dies) Octavius Caesar –Caesar’s great nephew and heir to his uncle’s wealth and power Mark Antony – Caesar’s loyal friend M. Lepidus

33 -Marcus Brutus – Caesar’s great friend, he joins the conspiracy against Caesar because he loves Rome more than he loves his friend. -Portia – Brutus’ wife -Calpurnia – Caesar’s wife -Cassius – the conspirer and organizer of the conspiracy -Casca – A member of the conspiracy. Used by Shakespeare because he scoffs at ceremony and is superstitious

34 Brutus, the Hero Hero of the play is not Caesar but Brutus
Tragic hero (A.K.A. Ms. Tran) Noble man Believes his actions are for the good of Rome Is thought to be Caesar’s illegitimate son

35 YAY! You are done (for now).
Plot Synopsis will be given to you on Monday. We will find out what happens in Acts I-V before we begin reading Act I. Turn in your notes 

36 The End (Back to the future)
The energy is restored back to you. May the force be with you.

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