Shakespeare - Julius Caesar


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Shakespeare - Julius Caesar

  1. 1. Bewarethe Idesof March AN INTRODUCTION TO:
  2. 2.  Shakespeare’s Caesar  The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, also known simply as Julius Caesar, is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1599.  It portrays the 44 BC conspiracy against the Roman dictator Julius Caesar, his assassination and the defeat of the conspirators at the Battle of Philippi.  It is one of several Roman plays that Shakespeare wrote, based on true events from Roman history, which also include Coriolanus and Antony and Cleopatra.
  3. 3.  Date & Text  Julius Caesar was originally published in the First Folio of 1623, but a performance was mentioned in September 1599 which is when scholars date the play as being written.  The text of Julius Caesar in the First Folio is the only authoritative text for the play.  The source used by Shakespeare was Sir Thomas North's translation of Plutarch's Life of Brutus and Life of Caesar
  4. 4.  Main Characters  Julius Caesar  Calpurnia: Wife of Caesar  Octavius, Mark Antony, Lepidus: Triumvirs after the death of Julius Caesar  Cicero, Publius, Popilius Lena: Senators  Brutus, Cassius, Casca, Treboni us, Ligarius, Decius Brutus, Metellus Cimber, Cinna: Conspirators against Julius Caesar  Portia: Wife of Brutus  Flavius and Marullus: Tribunes  Artemidorus: a Sophist of Cnidos  A Soothsayer  Cinna: A poet, who is not related to the conspiracy
  5. 5.  Julius Caesar  Although the title of the play is Julius Caesar, Caesar is not the most visible character in its action; he appears in only three scenes, and is killed at the beginning of the third act.  Marcus Brutus speaks more than four times as many lines, and the central psychological drama is his struggle between the conflicting demands of honour, patriotism, and frien dship.
  6. 6.  The Story  Julius Caesar begins with Caesar returning home triumphant from a victorious battle.  He is cheered by the crowds, until a mysterious old man tells him to “Beware the Ides of March” (March 15th).  Meanwhile, the others in the senate fear Caesar’s increasing popularity, and believe he may try use his power to become a tyrannical emperor.
  7. 7.  The Plot Against Caesar  Cassius plants false letters in Caesar’s apartment, which Brutus finds, to suggest that Caesar is seeking more power.  Cassius arrives at Brutus’s home with his conspirators, and Brutus, who has already been won over by the letters, takes control of the meeting.  The men agree to lure Caesar from his house and kill him.  Cassius wants to kill Antony too, for Antony will surely try to hinder their plans, but Brutus disagrees, believing that too many deaths will render their plot too bloody and dishonor them.
  8. 8.  Visions & Murder  Caesar prepares to go to the Senate. His wife, Calpurnia, begs him not to go, describing recent nightmares she has had in which a statue of Caesar streamed with blood and smiling men bathed their hands in the blood.  At the Senate, the conspirators speak to Caesar, encircling him. One by one, they stab him to death. When Caesar sees his dear friend Brutus among his murderers, he gives up his struggle and dies.  The murderers bathe their hands and swords in Caesar’s blood, thus bringing Calpurnia’s premonition to fruition.
  9. 9. Consequences  The murder sets in motion an unstoppable chain of events, pitting Brutus against his former friend, Mark Antony, and leading the Roman Empire into Civil War with itself.  Antony sways an angry Roman crowd with a passionate speech, turning them against Caesar’s assassins.  Later, in a second supernatural event, Caesar's ghost appears to Brutus the night before a deciding battle with a warning of defeat.
  10. 10.  Quotes  You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things! (1.1.39)  The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings. (1.2.135)  Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass, Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron, Can be retentive to the strength of spirit; (1.3.93)  Let's carve him as a dish fit for the gods, Not hew him as a carcass fit for hounds. (2.1.173)  Fierce fiery warriors fought upon the clouds, In ranks and squadrons and right form of war, Which drizzled blood upon the Capitol. (2.2.22)  Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once. (2.2.34)  Et tu, Brute? Then fall, Caesar! (3.1.77)  Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears; I come to bury Cæsar, not to praise him. The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones. (3.2.79)
  11. 11.  More Quotes  I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon, Than such a Roman. (4.3.27)  A friend should bear his friend's infirmities, But Brutus makes mine greater than they are. (4.3.86)  There is a tide in the affairs of men Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life Is bound in shallows and in miseries. (4.3.218)  I had rather have Such men my friends than enemies. (5.4.28)  Cry, 'Havoc!' and let slip the dogs of war. (3.1.268)  Passion, I see, is catching. (3.1.283)  As he was valiant, I honour him: but, as he was ambitious, I slew him. (3.2.27)  This was the most unkindest cut of all; For when the noble Caesar saw him stab, Ingratitude, more strong than traitors' arms, Quite vanquished him: then burst his mighty heart; (3.2.189
  12. 12.  Caesar on Film  Julius Caesar (1950), starring Charlton Heston as Antony and Harold Tasker as Caesar.  Julius Caesar (1953), starring James Mason as Brutus, Marlon Brando as Antony and Louis Calhern as Caesar.  Julius Caesar (1970), starring Jason Robards Jr. as Brutus, Charlton Heston as Antony and John Gielgud as Caesar.
  13. 13.  Caesar as Entertainment  Despite being a depiction of an actual historical event, Shakespeare was not interested in teaching a history lesson to his audiences, instead he created a heightened drama to paint characters who were richly human, and conflicted.  Human qualities such as honor, friendship, loyalty, decei t, and revenge are feelings we still experience, and still speak to audiences today.
  14. 14. A Nutsy the Squirrel Production Copyright 2012 Oak Hills Media Center All Rights Reserved.