Presentation on theme: "Introductory Notes. The central character in a Shakespearean tragedy is called the protagonist. This protagonist has to be a person of high social class,"— Presentation transcript:
The central character in a Shakespearean tragedy is called the protagonist. This protagonist has to be a person of high social class, who is loved and respected at the start of the play. There are three things that contribute to the downfall of the protagonist: (1) They have a fatal flaw. (2) There is some outside influence (catalyst), a person who urges or encourages the protagonist to commit an illegal or dishonorable act.
(3) Fate always plays a role. Unplanned circumstances, beyond the control of humans, brings characters together at the exact moment when their actions will lead to tragedy. After the protagonist has lost position, respect, and honor, they die. The tragedy is the downfall of this character.
A noble character who holds a position of power and prestige. Possesses a tragic flaw – weakness leading to poor decisions and downfall. Cannot undo what has been done – path towards evil and destruction. When it is too late and the end is near, the tragic hero repents his actions. Death is inevitable and society, thrown into a state of chaos through the actions of the tragic hero, is restored to order.
Rome: 250 years of Kings and monarchy. Tarquin the Proud was overthrown as an oppressive King. The monarchy was replaced with Republican form of government – “rule by the people”. First Triumvirate to rule Rome: Pompey, Crassus and Caesar. - Death of Pompey’s wife (Caesar’s daughter) caused the bond between these two to die. -In 55 B.C.E. Crassus was killed in a campaign.
-Caesar, in charge of the army, is joined by Mark Antony, and they defeat Pompey. It was the first time Pompey was defeated on the battlefield and he fled to Egypt. The Egyptian government, however, was afraid to do anything that might displease Caesar. Therefore, they assassinated Pompey the instant he landed on Egyptian soil. -Caesar then went on to defeat Pompey’s sons.
As the play begins, it is October 45 B.C.E. and Caesar is returning to Rome after defeating the last armies of his adversaries that stood out against him. Note p. 115 “triumph”. Note: Not all of Rome is delighted with Caesar’s victory (opposed chiefly by the senators and the aristocratic families). They did not want to see the end of the Roman Republic – they did not want Caesar to be King!
Important reading – p. 115 “ Historical Background to Julius Caesar.”