The tragedy of julius caesar
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The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. All of Shakespeare’s plays are written in Blank verse - this is unrhymed iambic pentameter. iambic pentameter - each line of poetry in the play contains this. An iamb contains an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. Example - Prepare.

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The Tragedy of Julius Caesar

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The tragedy of julius caesar

The Tragedy of Julius Caesar

  • All of Shakespeare’s plays are written in Blank verse - this is unrhymed iambic pentameter.

  • iambic pentameter - each line of poetry in the play contains this. An iamb contains an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable.

    Example - Prepare

The tragedy of julius caesar

Pentameter :means that there are five of these iambs in a line.

Example :The evil that men do lives after them

The tragedy of julius caesar

  • Archaic - old-fashioned words no longer used today. Many of these words are seen in Shakespeare’s plays.

  • Ex - Thy, thou, and thineThese words were used to mean “you”

Thou shall mind thy own manners, granny!

Thou art old!

The tragedy of julius caesar

  • Greek and Roman history had a great appeal for the English in the Elizabethan Age. Many times Shakespeare would take plots from historical events and create suspenseful plays from them.

The tragedy of julius caesar

  • The play, Julius Caesar, is about the assassination of the Roman military commander and dictator who lived from 102 to 44 BC. It contains murder, political, psychological, and moral turmoil.

How caesar became ruler of rome


Caesar was a powerful Roman

general along with his friend,

Pompey and both brought order

to the weakening Roman


Wanting more power, Caesar went to battle in parts of Europe (Gallic Wars) and collected money to give to the Roman government.

The tragedy of julius caesar

  • Caesar gains favor with Roman people, and Pompey becomes jealous.

  • Pompey convinces the senate that Caesar is trying to bribe the people.

  • The senate orders

    Caesar to give up

    his command.

The tragedy of julius caesar

  • Caesar’s army fights and eventually takes control of Roman government .

  • Caesar pursues Pompey to Egypt. Pompey is murdered by other forces.

  • Caesar meets Cleopatra

    and makes her ruler

    of Egypt.

The tragedy of julius caesar

  • Caesar returns to Rome and is declared dictator for life by the people.

  • Aristocracy plots to assassinate Caesar.

  • The play opens a month before the murder

Terms to know

Terms to know

  • Soliloquy: A speech made by a character when he/she is alone on stage

  • Aside: Comments made to the audience by a character in which others on stage cannot hear (this reveals the character’s private thoughts)

Act i


  • SCENE 1: Two tribunes (guards) scold commoners for celebrating the return of Caesar and disrespecting Pompey. “You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things!”

  • SCENE 2: In celebration of Caesar’s return a soothsayer warns “C” to “Beware the Ides of March (15th). “C” ignores the warning. Meanwhile, Cassius tells Brutus to refuse to kneel down to “C” because they are free men. Cassius tells Brutus he is a better man and potential leader than “C” will ever be. Meanwhile “C” faints when he is presented with a crown (to be king).

The tragedy of julius caesar

  • SCENE 3: Cassius meets fellow conspirators to finalize plans of “C’s” downfall. He gives Cinna forged letters (of people begging for Brutus’ help)to be planted at Brutus’ home.

    Vocabulary: Saucy, Mettle, Infirmity

    Assignment: Cassius delivers a soliloquy that reveals a plot to influence Brutus to participate in the conspiracy to overthrow Caesar. In a well developed paragraph, discuss what this plot entails and include a citation or citations to back up your discussion.

Act ii


  • Before reading, think about Brutus and his personality. What type of man is he? Based on his loyalty to both Caesar and Rome, what will he choose to do (based on Cassius’ proposal)? Should he join with the conspirators or should he remain loyal to Caesar?

Act ii activities

ACT II Activities

  • Vocabulary terms: Visage, Portent, Faction

  • Complete Decision/Reason/Consequences chart while reading

Act ii scene 1

ACT II Scene 1

  • Brutus worries that Caesar will be crowned king; what he questions is whether or not Caesar will be corrupted by his power. “It is the bright day that brings forth the adder…”He then reads forged letters from “citizens” to stop Caesar before he becomes too powerful. Later the conspirators meet and discuss killing Antony along with “C.” Brutus says this will make their cause too bloody and dissuades them. Later, Portia (B’s wife) begs him to confide in her and tell her what is wrong. “I have a man’s mind but woman’s might”

Act ii scenes 2 4

Act II Scenes 2-4

  • Calpurnia enters and insists that Caesar not leave the house after so many bad signs. Decius enters to escort “C” to the Capitol. He reinterprets Calpurnia’s dream that Caesar’s statue was pouring out blood. “C” decides to go to the capitol because he does not want to look weak.

Act iii scene 1

ACT III Scene 1

  • Caesar approaches the capitol and he ignores Artemidorous’ letter. The conspirators surround Caesar while he is preoccupied with Metellus’ flattery and Brutus’ conversation. “C” claims “I am as constant as the northern star…” which he claims he never changes his mind once he’s made a decision. Casca is the first to stab Caesar and “C” falls in front of Brutus saying, “Et tu, Brute? Then fall Caesar.”

  • Conspirators bathe in “C’s” blood and proclaim freedom! Antony asks Brutus if he may speak at Caesar’s funeral.

Act iii vocabulary

Act III Vocabulary

  • Bequeath, legacy, meet, redress

  • Journal Entry (after reading scene 1): Predict what the commoners will do after witnessing Caesar’s assassination. Explain your reasoning.

Act iii scenes i con t

ACT III scenes I con’t

  • Antony shakes hands with the conspirators; leading Brutus to think he is an ally. Once alone with “C’s” body, Antony is approached by Octavius Caesar’s (nephew/adopted son) servant. Antony tells “O” to come and listen to his speech at the funeral and judge how the crowd will react.

Act iii scenes 2 3

ACT III, Scenes 2-3

  • Brutus and Antony give different speeches at Caesar’s funeral and the crowd is swayed by both. Who is more effective? Why?

  • ACTIVITY: Read Brutus’ & M. Antony’s speeches & complete a venn diagram comparing/contrasting both.Lines 13-40 & 14-125 & 164-184.

Acts 4 5

ACTs 4-5

Discussion: Why is it that serious conflicts often end violently? What are other methods are there to end a conflict—other than violence?


  • Apparition—ghostly vision

  • Marry --mild exclamation

  • Perilous—dangerous

  • Servile—like that of a slave

  • Misconstrue--misinterpret

Act iv


  • Antony meets Octavius and they review names, deciding who must be killed. Antony suggests they examine Caesar’s will to see if they can redirect some of his funds.

  • Brutus and Cassius gather an army, but their partnership is weakening. Brutus finds out Portia killed herself when Brutus fled Rome. The night before a battle, Brutus sees the ghost of Caesar who says “I will see thee at Philippi.”

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