Plan for the day: Fill out fitness cards Discuss a boat-load of notes (boat-load=more than a couple less than a crap-ton) GRAB A FITNESS CARD! Remember: Projects due on Monday (4/4/11) Commander Baker Softball game--- TODAY!!! Wear a YELLOW shirt with a quote for extra credit! --- Meet at the track tomorrow! Wednesday 3/30/2011
FITNESS DAY! • Our color is YELLOW! • If you wear a yellow shirt and some how put a quote about power, or a Shakespeare quote you will get extra credit! YAYAYA!
Julius Caesar Background Information
Notes • 503 BC – Rome ends rule of Tarquins, a series of harsh, cruel rulers • Rome decides never again to be under rule of oppressive government. • Refuse all forms of govt. that consists of kings & emperors (rulers who achieve power based on inheritance)
Rome sets up a Republic – a govt. in which officials are elected • The new govt. was made of 2 parts: • 2 Consuls (leaders) – elected officials • Senate – appointed by Consuls • Governing bodies could be made of people from any walk of life: noble or common
Julius Caesar got into politics during a time in which the Consuls and the Senate were having problems. In this time of instability, he became an outspoken leader.
In 60 BC the first triumvirate (3-person governing body) was formed of Caesar, Pompey (a famous general), and a wealthy man named Crassus.
Crassus died; Pompey began to fear that Julius Caesar was growing too powerful and popular.
Caesar and his army were far away from Rome, conquering many lands for the Roman Empire. Pompey ordered him back so that he would not have to fear Caesar and his powerful army. Instead, Caesar attacked Pompey, defeating his forces and killing him in the midst.
Caesar returned to Rome, was accepted by the people for his military abilities, was loved for all the goods he brought back from his conquests, and was elected Dictator for Life. • He would now rule Rome until his death, and the next leader would have to be elected
Many believed that Caesar wanted to be Emperor instead of just Dictator for Life. If emperor, Caesar’s son would inherit the throne, instead of being elected.
Many feared that Caesar would bring back a style of life similar to when the Tarquin’s ruled. To prevent this, some members of the legislature carried out a deceitful plan…
Shakespeare and His Times
Basic Shakespeare facts • Born: April 23rd,1564 • Died: April 23rd, 1616 • Married Anne Hathaway 1582 • (he was 18, she was 26) • They had 3 children Susanna, Hamnet and Judith (twins)--- Hamnet died as a child.
“players” were not always greatly accepted by the cities they visited because play-acting was considered sinful by some communities. • In 1574 players were banished from London
To get around this, James Burbage built the first public playhouse or theater in England leading to the development of other theaters • Shakespeare’s company performed at Burbage’s theater, until building their own
Shakespeare (along with other company shareholders) built his theater in 1599- he called it the “Globe”- and he referred to it as the wooden “O” • The Globe was a circular building with three levels overlooking a courtyard with a platform stage
THE AGE OF SHAKESPEARE • He wrote from 1585-1616 during the Renaissance or the Elizabethan Age • This time period is known for its theater and thriving literature
Queen Elizabeth and King James of Scotland were great supporters of literature and the arts- they both supported Shakespeare during their reign • This time period also brought economic and social growth to England
Some Ideas that characterized the English Renaissance that are important to this play are: • Humans had potential for development. • The Protestant Reformation that begun in Germany, and Elizabeth’s father’s break with the Roman Catholic Church paved the way for rapid advances in art, science, and philosophy.
Elizabethans still maintained their belief that the reigning monarch was God’s agent, and to rebel against a reigning monarch was to rebel against God. • In England, there was a succession crisis- Queen Elizabeth was 66 years old, obviously nearing death and had no children. • The potential horrors of an unclear succession were still very fresh in the minds of the Elizabethans.
1599 was the year of Julius Caesar’s first performance and the completion of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater. • Many English writers saw numerous similarities between their own country’s current situation (Elizabeth’s lack of a heir, England’s establishment as a world power, the first attempts at colonization of the New World) and the political uncertainty faced by the first century BCE Romans.
Key Themes • Honor • Ambition • Envy • Power
So why did Shakespeare feel that Renaissance England would respond to Julius Caesar?
Shakespeare saw Caesar and Roman civilization not just as one that precedes the future, but as one that sets the pattern for future civilizations. • Shakespeare's England faced concerns of a country about to change leadership and centuries.
The Play • In 1599 the play would have served as a timely reminder of the enormous upheaval that would follow an attempt to seize power through violent means.
JC’s Current Relevance • It is this issue of leadership and, in particular, the question of when effective leadership becomes a tyranny, that has most relevance. • Consider the role of President, Prime Ministers, Senates, etc.
JC’s Current Relevance • But the play is also about more ageless issues, such as the corrupting effect of power. "People are rightly nervous about placing trust in politicians," says Rylance. "I believe that the vast majority of politicians are genuinely trying to do some good. But there is always the danger, when in a position of power, that means and ends can become blurred."
Julius Caesar • Ruler of the Roman Empire. • He is presented as a man of strong will and self-belief. He is used to issuing commands and being obeyed. He is stubborn and will not listen to pleas for mercy if he thinks he is in the right. He considers himself to be resolute and unwavering. • Caesar denies he is afraid of Cassius and claims not to fear anyone or anything. • The conspirators believe Caesar is too ambitious and will soon acquire such power that Rome will be enslaved to one man. • Although Caesar is a commanding figure, he is physically weak, suffering from epilepsy as well as deafness in one ear.
Mark Antony • Mark Antony is Julius Caesar’s right-hand man and personal friend. • He enjoys sports and theater. • It is Antony’s cunning speech to the masses after Caesar’s death that turns public opinion against the assassins, who gravely underestimated and misread him. • He shows fairness/nobility in victory.
Marcus Brutus • Marcus Brutus is recruited for the assassination by Cassius. • He becomes part of the plot because he is concerned about the welfare of Rome. • He does not covet power for its own sake, and nor does he have any personal complaint about Caesar. • He is presented throughout as a man of courtesy and honor, although perhaps also as a man who is unsuited to wield political power. • After he is dead, Antony salutes him as “the noblest Roman of them all.”
Cassius • Cassius is the chief conspirator against Caesar. • It is he who recruits Brutus and the others. Cassius is consumed with envy of Caesar, and sees no reason why Caesar should hold power over him. • Cassius is a good observer of men and he has uncommon insight into people’s motivations. • Caesar observes that Cassius has a “lean and hungry look.” • He is in every way a contrast to the more sociable Antony.
Casca • Casca is one of the conspirators, and it is he who stabs Caesar first. • Casca is known for his wit and liveliness. • He is a man of action who can get things done.
Artemidorus • Artemidorus is a teacher of rhetoric who tries but fails to warn Caesar of the plot against him.
Trebonius • A member of the consipiracy against Caesar.
Decius Brutus • Conspirator who uses flattery to get Caesar to the Senate House.
Calpurnia • Caesar’s wife. • Calpurnia invests great authority in omens and portents.
Portia • Brutus’s wife; the daughter of a noble Roman who took sides against Caesar.
Flavius • A tribune (an official elected by the people to protect their rights).
Murellus • A tribune-condemns the plebeians for their fickleness in cheering Caesar (they once cheered for Caesar’s enemy Pompey.
Cicero • A Roman senator renowned for his oratorical skill.
Blank Verse • Shakespeare’s essential pattern in his plays is BLANK VERSE (unrhymed iambic pentameter). • Therefore, whenever a reader notices a change in this pattern there is a reason for the change. • With the change, Shakespeare is creating a mood, establishing character, etc. • Shakespeare’s characters often speak in similes and metaphors- to expand ideas and amplify IMAGERY.