Elements of Fiction/Shakespearean Tragedy Exposition: Act I Characters & Setting Rising Action: Act II Introduction of Conflicts Climax: Act III Turning Point In a tragedy, things usually go from bad to worse in Act III Falling Action: Act IVConflict resolution begins to fall into place Result of the climax Denouement: Act V Main conflicts are resolved This act includes a catastrophe, which is another climactic turning point in the story line.
Julius Caesar Physically weak: Caesar has several infirmities A tyrant: Caesar has had Marullus and Flavius arrested Superstitious: Caesar believes in portents and dreams Indecisive: Caesar cannot make up his mind whether or notto go to the senate Inflexible: Caesar thinks himself perfect and decisiveProtagonist: Julius Caesar is an arrogant soldier and ambitious politician, whobelieves that he is infallible. After his great victory over the sons of Pompey, hebelieves that he is worthy of more power than just being the head of Rome; hewants to be crowned the leader of the entire Roman Empire.
Brutus* Of Noble Heritage Brutus is a Roman nobleman, as was hisfather Sincere: Brutus truly believes that his role in the assassinationis for the good of Rome Honest: He refuses to take bribes Naive: He believes in the essential goodness of those aroundhim Philosophical: His philosophies guide his actions and decisions.
Cassius· Envious: Cassius has contempt for Caesar and envies Caesars position ·Fearful: Cassius is afraid that Caesar has ambitions to be king. He fearswhat might become of Rome in such an instance.· Politically Astute: He advises Brutus to assassinate Antony along withCaesar. Understanding what can happen, he advises Brutus not to allowAntony to speak at Caesars funeral.· Corrupt: Prior to the battle at Philippi, he is accused by Brutus of takingbribes· Military Strategist: His battle plan for Philippi is well thought out andbased on sound military principles
Marc Antony Loyal to Caesar: Antony loved and admired Caesar· Clever: Antony pretends to befriend the conspirators andasks that he be allowed to speak at Caesars funeralA skilled orator: Antonys speech at Caesars funeral swaysthe crowd Hard: Antonys role in condemning men to death shows hecan be as cold hearted as he is passionate· A skilled military leader: Antony has an equal voice inplanning the war against the legions of Brutus and Cassius
THEMESMajor ThemeThe major theme of Julius Caesar is that misused power is acorruptive force. This is seen in the fact that Caesar is a dictatorsuspected of being tyrannous, that Cassius is so power hungry thathe assassinates Caesar, hoping to become more powerfulhimself, and that Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus become adictatorial and tyrannical Triumvirate, worse than Caesar everhinted at being.
Minor Themes• goodness of loyalty, honor, and friendship;• the evil of pride, conspiracy, and anarchy;• the logic of political order;• and the viability of republicanism as a form of government.
MOODThe mood of Julius Caesar is one of impending doom and catastrophe.From the beginning, danger lurks in every corner. Friends can no longerbe trusted, as they turn to manipulation and conspiracy and plot their nextmoves.Images of violence, blood, and death dominate the visual texture of theplay.The weighty political intrigue is always present throughout the drama.The latter half of the play even assumes an eerie mood with theappearance of Caesars ghost, returning to seek revenge.The closing phase of the play is dominated by the sinister image of thesword.
Antagonists• Caesars antagonists are Brutus, Cassius, and the other conspirators who do not want him to become the head of the Roman Empire.• They plot to overthrow Caesar and assassinate him outside the Capitol; he is an easy target because of his fatal flaw - his extreme "hubris" or pride.• Many times, Caesar is nearly saved by omens and warnings, but he disregards them, thinking himself infallible.• He is so proud that he is easily flattered, leading him to think less strategically and placing himself in grave danger.
SETTING• Julius Caesar is largely set in Rome, in February of the year 44 B.C.• In later scenes, the action moves to Sardis and the battlefield at Philippi.• The physical landmarks of ancient Rome, such as the Tiber River, the Capitol, and the house of the Senate, are referred to with great frequency.• The Forum is also the setting for an important scene. Roman political institutions and officials, such as tribunes, Senators, Patricians, and priests, are always present.
Shakespeare’s Globe Theater•The Globe Theater was a perhaps the most famous andinteresting theater in the Elizabethan era.•The theater was built just outside of London, (inSouthwark to be exact.) after the triumphant reign ofQueen Elizabeth I.•The main reason the Globe Theater is especially famousis the fact that many of William Shakespeares plays werewritten and preformed there.•The idea of creating plays and theaters to perform themin was a strange new concept for the Europeans of theElizabethan Era (aka the sixteenth century.)
Today’s Globe TheaterThe Globe Theatre is a faithful reconstruction of the open-air playhousedesigned in 1599, where Shakespeare worked and for which he wrotemany of his greatest plays. The theatre season runs from May to Septemberwith productions of the work of Shakespeare, his contemporaries andmodern authors.Each year the Globe Theatre Company rediscovers the dynamicrelationship between the audience and the actor in this unique building.The Globe also welcomes international theatre companies to share theimpact Shakespeare’s plays have had worldwide. Today, audiences of this‘wooden O’ sit in a gallery or stand informally as a groundling in the yard,just as they would have done 400 years ago.