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Starting Julius Caesar. English 112. Why teach Shakespeare?. For historical value? For the beautiful language? Because we hate our students and we like to see them suffer! Ha!—?. Universal Themes. What are some examples of universal themes?. Some Examples.

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Starting julius caesar

Starting Julius Caesar

English 112

Why teach shakespeare
Why teach Shakespeare?

  • For historical value?

  • For the beautiful language?

  • Because we hate our students and we like to see them suffer! Ha!—?

Universal themes
Universal Themes

  • What are some examples of universal themes?

Some examples
Some Examples

  • Lust, sex, love, forbidden love, envy, jealousy, greed, happiness, youth, youth fades, friendship, camaraderie, war, power, money, peace, pain, joy, struggle, becoming a better person, coming of age, generation gap, parenting, childhood, loneliness… etc.


  • Marcus Brutus is Caesar’s best friend, but is also a patriot, and loves Rome

  • He is convinced that killing Caesar is the right thing to do for Rome, because Caesar is power hungry

  • He helps kill Caesar

  • Afterwards, Mark Anthony, another of Caesar’s friends, takes over Rome, and starts a civil war with Brutus

  • Brutus’s guilt over the death of Caesar eats him up inside…

What are the themes in jc
What are the themes in JC?

  • The painful nature of change

  • Betrayal

  • Jealousy

  • Guilt

  • Friendship


  • Yes, friendship—this might not be so hard to understand in high school


Change is hard
Change Is Hard

  • Brutus’s internal guilt corresponds to a very external political strife—civil war

  • Changing the Roman empire, good or bad, is something that is very difficult for the characters in the play


  • The American, French, and Russian Revolutions are perfect examples of how change can be painful—all involved a great deal of bloodshed

  • However, in the case of the American Revolution, and certainly the American Civil War, the blood was worth the desired change

A few film quotes
A few film quotes

  • “To be free, one must give up a little part of one’s self.” —Hedwig and the Angry Inch

  • “Destruction is a form of creation.” —Donnie Darko


  • This doesn’t have to be too serious, that is, don’t worry too much about spelling and grammar

  • Write one page on the following topic, and it would be nice if you’re willing to share it in class:

    • When was a time of great change in your life? Was it hard, or did it seem to be natural? If it was hard, was the outcome worth the difficulty?

  • Read Act 1, Scene 1 of Julius Caesar, and look at the Dramatis Personae—begin to memorize the characters and who they are