A Note to Teachers Classical works are an important part of our collective culture and history, and unless students are given the opportunity to read historical texts and to experience them live, as they were meant to be experienced, many will think of those written treasures as outdated words in a textbook anthology. With the goal of increasing students’ lifelong understanding and enjoyment of classic works and of theatre going, Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park is honored to partner with you in the effort to preserve our literary heritage.
The purpose of this study guide is to provide a variety of contexts in which to read and see the play . The material is flexible and easily adapted to a variety of uses—discussion questions can also be used as essay questions, historical, cultural and artistic contexts can provide ideas for research projects, and acting exercises provide the opportunity for active student involvement and passionate argument.
As with all our student matinees we recommend the students read the play before seeing the production. Any and all of the material in the guide may be reproduced as you see fit. We especially request that all students receive A Students Guide to Performances at Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park (3 pages) or that you go over the information with them in class prior to attending the theatre.
This guide was written to correspond to the following Standards: THE ARTS
Skills and Techniques-- the student understands and applies arts techniques, media and processes
Creation and Communication-- the student creates and communicates a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas using knowledge of the structures and functions of the arts
Culture and Historical Connections-- the student understands the arts in relation to history and culture
Aesthetic and Critical Analysis-- the student analyzes, evaluates and responds to characteristics of works of art. LANGUAGE ARTS
Writing-- the student uses the writing processes effectively. Listening, Viewing & Speaking-- The student uses listening strategies effectively. Language-- The student understands the nature and power of language. SOCIAL STUDIES
History-- The student understands historical chronology and the historical perspective Government and the Citizen—The student understands the role of the citizen in American Democracy
A Student’s Guide to Performances at Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park Soon you will be experiencing the exciting world of Shakespeare with Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park. Soon Shakespeare’s stories will spring to life as the tales move off the page and onto the stage. “Why is this important?” you may ask. The answer is simple. The stage is the only place where the magic of Shakespeare’s world can be fully experienced. Simply put, Shakespeare wrote plays, not books, and his plays were written to be performed and not just read.
The only way to ensure that you fully experience this world is by your helping us with the following:
Please remember that you are attending a live show, not a movie. Unlike a movie theater, in a live theater the audience can influence what type of performance the actors will give. No two performances are the same because no two audiences are the same. Simply put, audiences that show respect for the actors by being the best audience they can be will be rewarded with a more exciting performance. You set the standard for the show you will see.
What you will see in our performance is the result of many weeks of collaboration between performers , designers and technicians. Just as they have a role to play in the art of theatre so do you! We need you to participate with us to create this play. Here are some ways in which you can help us.
Matinee Guidelines Stay Together You are on a field trip to see a performance by Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park. This means that students must stay in the building once they have arrived and before re-boarding their buses. Students must also stay in the theatre and lobby, no exploring! We are guests of Oklahoma City Community College and classes are going on around you.
Listen carefully to the performance and remain quiet The theater is a “live” space—you can hear the performers easily, but they can also hear you, and you can hear other audience members, too! Even the smallest sounds, like rustling papers and whispering, can be heard throughout the theater, so it’s best to stay quiet so that everyone can enjoy the performance without distractions. Please save your conversations for after the show.
Participate by responding to the action onstage. HA HA! or Shhhhhh? Sometimes during a performance, you may respond by laughing, (yes, Shakespeare can be funny!) crying or sighing. By all means, feel free to do so! Appreciation can be shown in many different ways, depending upon the art form. For instance, an audience attending a string quartet performance will sit very quietly, while the audience at a gospel concert may be inspired to participate by clapping and shouting.
Concentrate to help the performers. These artists use concentration to focus their energy while on stage. If the audience is focused while watching the performance, they feel supported and are able to do their best work. They can feel that you are with them! The language our actors are speaking is English, however it is heightened language which takes just a bit more concentration to get into it. You will find that if you focus on the language for the first few scenes your ear will be accustomed to listening and you will “get” what is being said.
Off with Your Head! Errrr … I Mean Your Cell Phone: Cell phones, pagers, and beeping watches must be turned off during the show. It is rude and distracting to the actors and fellow audience members to have the play interrupted by a ringing cell phone, beeping pager or a singing watch. So, just turn them off. In addition, some electronic devices interfere with our stage management headsets, so any text messaging or cell phone/cameras that are used by students during a show will be confiscated and a teacher will need to get it from house management before you leave!
Show appreciation by applauding. Applause is the best way to show your enthusiasm and appreciation. Performers return their appreciation for your attention by bowing to the audience at the end of the show. It is always appropriate to applaud at the end of a performance, and it is customary to continue clapping until the curtain comes down or the house lights come up.
Restrooms Please visit the restrooms BEFORE the play starts. We will take a very short (5 minute) intermission and ask that you remain in the theatre at that time. The play itself is abriged (or cut down) so that the total running time is under two hours.
Thank you for helping us give you the best show possible. See you soon!
Meet the Characters The Supporters of Caesar Julius Caesar (Ruler of Rome)- He has become so popular and powerful that some citizens fear that he will convince the public to make him a king, changing Rome's government from a republic to a monarchy.
Calpurnia (Caesar's wife)- She begs her husband not to go to the Senate on the day of his assassination because of a dream she had foretelling the event.
Mark Antony (Senator and loyal friend of Caesar)- He uses reverse psychology to turn the Romans against the conspirators during his famous funeral speech. He is a member of the ruling Triumvirate after Caesar's death.
Octavius Caesar (Caesar's adopted son)- He is a member of the ruling Triumvirate after Caesar's death and convinces Mark Antony to begin the war against the conspirators.
Aemilius Lepidus (A general in Caesar's army and Caesar's ally)- He is a member of the ruling Triumvirate after Caesar's death but holds less power than the other members.
The Conspirators Against Caesar Marcus Brutus (Caesar's closest friend)- He joins the conspiracy in killing Caesar because he strongly believes in keeping Rome a government ruled by the people.
Caius Cassius (An ambassador for Caesar and the instigator of the conspiracy against Caesar)- He and Brutus lead the army against the ruling Triumvirate in the civil war following Caesar's death.
Casca (A Roman Senator)- He is the first to stab Caesar. He does so from behind.
Decius Brutus (A Roman senator)- He is sent to accompany Caesar to the Senate on the day of Caesar’s assassination.
Cinna (A Roman senator)- He assists Cassius' manipulation of Brutus by planting anonymous letters around Brutus’ house.
Trebonius (A Roman senator)- He supports Brutus' decision to spare Mark Antony's life and is the only conspirator who doesn’t stab Caesar.
Metellus Cimber (A Roman Senator)- He distracts Caesar so the others can attack him.
Caius Ligarius (A Roman Senator)- At first he hesitates in joining the conspiracy against Caesar, but joins once he knows Brutus is also convinced.
Family and Followers of the Conspirators Portia (The wife of Marcus Brutus)-She feels Brutus is hiding something from her and pleads with him to confide in her.
Lucius (Brutus' servant)
Pindarus (A servant to Cassius)- He delivers an inaccurate report to Cassius regarding the death of one of his men.
Strato (A servant and friend to Brutus)- He holds the sword on Brutus' behalf so that Brutus may run upon it.
Other Romans Cicero (A Roman senator and well known orator)
Publius (A Roman senator)- He travels with Caesar to the Senate House the day of the assassination. He also tries to calm the angry crowd.
Popillius Lena (A Roman senator)- He frightens Cassius by wishing him well on his "enterprises" just before Caesar enters the Senate House on the day of Caesar's assassination.
Soothsayer (A soothsayer is someone who foretells events or predicts the future)- He warns Caesar to "beware the Ides of March."
Artemidorus (A Roman writer and philosopher)- He presents Caesar with a letter warning him about the assassination. Caesar does not heed this warning.
Flavius (A commoner of Rome)- He is skeptical of Caesar's power.
Murellus (A commoner of Rome)- He criticizes the other commoners for praising Caesar without enough reason.
Cinna the Poet (A artisan of Rome)- He is killed during the crowd's riot when he is mistaken for the conspirator of the same name.
Plot Summary at a Glance Julius Caesar is a highly successful leader of Rome whose popularity seems to model that of a king's. Although Caesar is loved and supported by his citizens, some begin to grow wary of his increase in power. Soon, these wary citizens conspire to assassinate Caesar before he becomes king thus turning their republic government into a monarchy. Cassius, the leader of the conspirators, convinces Marcus Brutus, Caesar's most trusted friend, to join the conspiracy. During a celebration, Caesar is warned by the Soothsayer that he must "beware the Ides of March". The next morning, despite his wife Calpurnia's pleas, Caesar travels to the Senate House where the conspirators assassinate him. Caesar's friend Mark Antony provides the famous funeral oration and incites the crowd to riot leading to a civil war. Antony and Octavius, Caesar's heirs, join the fight against the conspirators. Antony and Octavius defeat the conspirators avenging Caesar's death and restoring order to Rome.
Having defeated his archenemy, Pompey the Great, Julius Caesar returns to Rome in triumph. Before Caesar arrives for his celebration, some Roman commoners discuss Caesar's growing power in the streets. When Caesar arrives in the town, the Soothsayer stops him and warns him to "Beware the Ides of March." Caesar disregards the Soothsayer's warnings and continues to celebrate his victory.
Cassius and some other Roman senators, known collectively as the Conspirators, are wary of Caesar's popularity and have begun to plot against him. They aim to recruit Caesar's good friend, Marcus Brutus, as a member of their group in order to reinforce their cause. After much deliberation, Brutus decides to join the conspirators in order to protect Rome and its citizens from Caesar's ambitions to become king. They decide to assassinate Caesar on March 15th. After the meeting, Brutus' wife, Portia, tries to get her husband to tell her what is happening. Brutus will not answer her.
The next morning, Caesar's wife, Calpurnia, awakes from terrible nightmares about his death and civil war. She pleads with Caesar to stay home. Caesar ignores her warnings and departs to the Senate House with Decius Brutus, one of the conspirators. In the streets, Portia and the Soothsayer speak about their feelings of impending danger as they wait for Caesar to pass by on his way to the Senate House.
As Caesar proceeds to the Senate House, he passes by the Soothsayer. He addresses her by saying, "The Ides of March are come." The Soothsayer responds with, "Ay, but not gone." Caesar disregards this final warning and steps inside the Senate House where the conspirators surround him and stab him to death. Brutus delivers the final blow. When Casear recognizes Brutus he utters-- in total disbelief-- the famous phrase, "Et tu, Brute?" (i.e. "You too, Brutus?"). Caesar dies. Mark Antony, Caesar's close friend, witnesses the assassination, but manages to remain calm. He requests to speak at Caesar's funeral. The Conspirators agree and run into the streets crying, "Liberty, Freedom, Tyranny is dead!" Alone, Mark Antony swears to avenge Caesar's death. At Caesar's funeral, Brutus speaks first, telling the citizens that Caesar was killed because his ambition threatened their liberties. Brutus is pleased with the approving reaction of the crowd and steps down for Antony to give his eulogy. Antony subtly incites the crowd to turn against the conspirators, reminding them of Caesar's goodness. By the end of his speech, Antony manipulates the citizens to riot and the conspirators flee the city.
Mark Antony, Octavius, and Aemilius Lepidus become allies. The three men declare themselves the Second Triumvirate of Rome and propose to jointly rule. They also declare a civil war against Brutus, Cassius, and the Conspirators. Brutus and Cassius become generals of their army, but struggle with sharing their joint power. Late one night, Brutus is visited by Caesar's ghost who warns him that they will meet again at the battle of Phillippi.
Cassius, worn down by Mark Antony's army, sends his soldier and friend, Titinius, across the field to learn the identity of some nearby troops. When Cassius' slave, Pindarus, mistakenly reports that Titinius has been captured, Cassius loses all hope of victory. He asks Pindarus to stab him and Pindarus consents, killing Cassius with the same sword Cassius used to stab Caesar. In another part of the battlefield, Brutus continues to fight until his troops are defeated. He despairs and asks his servant, Strato, to hold the sword while Brutus runs on it. Upon finding the body, Antony expresses his admiration for the fallen Brutus, saying, "This was the noblest Roman of them all." With Cassius and Brutus dead, the Triumvirate takes control of Rome and order is restored.
Tools for The Text: Paraphrase Reading a Shakespeare play can be a daunting task. Whether it is a class requirement or a personal project, Shakespeare's language can make it difficult to lose yourself within its pages. However, there are a few tools you can use to help break down the text into something more understandable and enjoyable.
The first tool is called 'Paraphrasing'. This is when you take the text and put it into your own words. This is not only a useful tool for reading the language, but it is the primary method of deconstructing the text by Oklahoma Shakespeare’s artists. Although the words used 400 years ago are similar, their meaning was quite different. Examine the following lines, when Brutus tries to convince Cassius to spare Mark Antony's life.
Our course will seem too bloody, Caius Cassius,
To cut the head off and then hack the limbs—
Like wrath in death and envy afterwards—
For Antony is but a limb of Caesar.
Let's be sacrificers, but not butchers, Caius.
This shall make our purpose necessary, and not envious;
Which so appearing to the common eyes,
We shall be called purgers, not murderers.
And for Mark Antony, think not of him,
For he can do no more than Caesar's arm
When Caesar's head is off.
One possible paraphrase might read: Cassius, we will seem too nasty-- like killing an animal and then chopping off it’s arms after it is dead. The arm can’t hurt you. If we must kill Caesar, let's do it as a sacrifice, not a murder. Then our actions will look more noble and less treasonous. And when people hear about our actions, they will say we were martyrs, not murderers. So don't worry about Mark Antony, because he won't be any threat once Caesar is gone.
Tools for The Text: Imagery Another tool to help with the words of Shakespeare is to use what comes into your mind as fuel for a scene of a character. Just as pictures come into your mind when you read a book, Shakespeare used even more profound words and phrases that create very powerful images. Let's look at the Brutus monologue again.
Our course will seem too bloody, Caius Cassius,
To cut the head off and then hack the limbs—
Like wrath in death and envy afterwards—
For Antony is but a limb of Caesar.
Let's be sacrificers, but not butchers, Caius.
Take a look at the words in bold. Step One is to write down the first few images that come into your mind:
Cut the head off:
Hack the limbs:
The next step is to ask yourself what those images might mean to you. What emotions do they produce? What actions do they make you want to do? You may find that certain words contain more powerful images than others.
Now that you are personally connected to the words, say the monologue out loud and allow the images to fill your mind, and your audience's mind, as you speak.
Tools for The Text: Iambic Pentameter Take a look at the monologue used in the previous two examples. Do you notice anything about the way the lines are written? Why are the first letters of every line in capital letters? This is because Shakespeare chose to write much of his text in Iambic Pentameter. There are many definitions as to what this means, but the simplest way is to say that each line of text (from the beginning of the line to the end) contains 10 syllables, 5 of which are stressed, 5 are unstressed.
Let's look at a line for an example:
To cut the head off and then hack the limbs
Count the syllables. You'll notice that there are 10 syllables. Let's break the line up into two syllable sections, which we call feet:
To cut the head off and then hack the limbs
Now within each foot, we decide on a strong stress and a weak stress. In Iambic Pentameter, the second syllable of the foot is the strong stress:
To cut the head off and then hack the limbs Iambic Pentameter sounds as if you were saying "eye-am" five times. Try it:
Iam Iam Iam Iam Iam There are several reasons why Shakespeare wrote this way. One was because it has a beautiful sound and rhythm, similar to the beating of the human heart. Another was to give actors a choice as to what words were more important. Another still was that the meter helped actors learn their lines quickly, since 400 years ago, plays rehearsed for only a few days before performing. When an actor goes through his/her script to mark the feet and designate the strong stresses, it is called scanning the script. Here's a hint: sometimes the meter breaks up a word into two different feet (such as bloo dy). Try it yourself:
Our course will seem too bloo dy, Cai us Cass ius,
To cut the head off and then hack the limbs
Like wrath in death and en vy af terwards
For An tony is but a limb of Cae sar.
Did you make every other syllable strong? Or did you decide that some syllables were more important than others? This is what makes acting Shakespeare so much fun. The actor gets to choose what is more important to him or her.
Tools for The Text: Variations to Iambic Lines
Sometimes you may find that a line of text contains less than 10 syllables. If you look closely, you may find that there are two lines that combine to form 10 instead. For example, here are the Soothsayer and Caesar sharing a line:
Soothsayer: Beware the Ides of March
Caesar: What man is that?
This is an example of a shared line. The combination of the syllables suggests to the actors that these two lines should be treated as one. Thus the implied stage direction tells the actor playing Caesar not to pause before he speaks but to "jump on his cue."
Now, what about a line that contains more than 10 syllables. Look at one of the lines from the Brutus monologue again:
Brutus: Our course will seem too bloody, Caius Cassius,
A line with 11 syllables contains what we call a feminine ending. This suggests that the character is in a heightened emotional state because they are trying to cram extra words into their line.
FYI: As a general rule, there are several different theories regarding iambic pentameter. Some scholars believe that there are only five strong stresses per iambic line. Many classical actors and directors believe that you can scan a line however you want, and throw away the rules. Basically, what it all comes down to is: what do you want to do? What helps you to enjoy Shakespeare the most? Hopefully, these guidelines will help to bridge the 400 year gap between Shakespeare's time and our own.
Discussion Questions 1. Throughout the play, Caesar receives warnings about his impending doom. Look through the first two acts and try to find as many signs as possible. Are all these signs just a coincidence? What do you think was behind all these events?
The Soothsayer’s “beware the Ides of March” (I, 2)
Casca’s account of the tempest, comets, man on fire, lion, and bird of night (I, 3)
Calpurnia’s dream (II, 2)
Artemidorus’s letter (II, 3)
Portia hears a commotion (fray) coming from the direction of the Capitol (II, 4)
2. Brutus agonizes over the decision to kill his best friend Caesar. In the end, he puts his love aside for the good of the country. Do you think Brutus is justified? Does assassinating a leader for the good of the people constitute bravery worthy of a tragic hero, or do the ends never justify the means?
3. Mark Antony uses his funeral speech to incite the crowd against the conspirators. Furthermore, he does it by focusing on Caesar’s goodness, rather than saying anything negative about the conspirators. Can you think of other instances when crowds of people have been manipulated by a person's speech?
4. How powerful are words? Think of words that have power, such as hate, love, war, anger. What makes these words powerful? How careful should you be when using these words?
One of the warnings in Julius Caesar comes from the Soothsayer, who utters the famous lines, "Beware the Ides of March." In the Roman calendar, the Ides of March falls on March 15. Derived from the languages of Middle English, Old French, and Latin, the word ides referred to a favorable day in the Roman calendar, kind of like a holiday. The ides fell on the 15th of March, May, July and October and on the 13th of the other months.
When Caesar is killed, Mark Antony joins with two other men to become the new rulers of Rome, calling themselves the Second Triumvirate. In ancient Rome, a Triumvirate referred to a ruling board of three men. Triumvirates were common in the Roman republic. Each ruler had his own territory to govern, but they shared their power, and would aid each other in war. The First Triumvirate was the alliance of Julius Caesar, Pompey, and Marcus Licinius Crassus formed in 60 B.C. The Second Triumvirate was legally established in 43 B.C. and the members were Octavius Caesar, Marc Antony, and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus. This group was granted enormous power by the senate. Lepidus was deposed in 36 B.C. and Antony was defeated in a battle at Actium in 31 B.C.., leaving Octavius the head of the Roman Empire.
Influence of Plutarch
Julius Caesar is a play based on historical events. Shakespeare wrote this play based on the accounts of writers and biographers who documented these events in history. One of Shakespeare’s primary resources was Plutarch, who is the most famous biographer of the ancient world.
Born in 46 A.D. in Greece, Plutarch was a writer and historian who wrote the famous collection of biographies now known as Plutarch's Lives. Plutarch's original title was Parallel Lives of Famous Greeks and Romans, and that describes his unique approach: the biographies were presented in pairs, the life of one Greek contrasted with that of a similar Roman. Plutarch's subjects were statesmen, generals and public figures including Alexander the Great, Solon, Pyrrhus, Julius Caesar, and Marc Antony, and together the biographies present a basic history of Greece and Rome up to Plutarch's life. Therefore, Plutarch has been a favorite of scholars and schoolteachers for centuries.
The Complete Learning Plans
This LEARNING PLAN is designed for grades: 7th-12th
Objectives: This lesson will connect the story and events of Julius Caesar with modern government and politics. The students will relate current political events to the events in Julius Caesar using research and writing skills.
Materials Needed: For an in-class or homework experience; newspapers, news magazines, the internet and the library will be needed for research.
Introductory Information: Although Shakespeare wrote Julius Caesar over 400 years ago, thousands of scholars, writers, and audiences still find the themes and events in the play to be important and meaningful. Julius Caesar is based on real events that happened in history-- events from which we can still learn.
Discussion Questions: Julius Caesar tells a tragic story about politics and government that can still be relevant to people today. Many of the events in Julius Caesar even seem like they could happen in America in 2005. For example, Julius Caesar is the ruler of the most powerful country in the world. Although he is the leader, the power of the country's government is held by the people. Doesn't that sound like America's Democratic government?
Now, just like any political leader, Caesar has both supporters and enemies. Each group has a very different view of Caesar. Depending upon who is talking, Caesar might sound like two very different people. Does this happen in politics today? Do Democrats have different views on the President than Republicans do?
What do you think would happen in America today if our President became so popular that many people wanted to give up all of their power as citizens to make the President of the United States the King of the United States? What would be some repercussions of this event ?
Lesson Process: Day 1 1. Read the Introductory Information and talk about the Discussion Questions.
2. Read Handout # 1 and notice how different Cassius, an enemy of Caesar, and Mark Antony, a supporter of Caesar, speak about their leader.
3. For homework, have the students find two contrasting media articles discussing the President of the United States. This can be anything from the last election to articles discussing current legislation. Explain that one article should describe the President or his actions in a positive light, and the other should describe him negatively.
Day 2 1. Discuss the articles in class and have students explain why they chose the article. Encourage a discussion on the journalist's or politician's opinions.
2. Read Handout #2 in class. In this scene, Casca tells Brutus and some others about Caesar's refusal of thecrown (Act I Scene 2). Caesar is offered the crown three times and refuses it three times, the last time
having a seizure and fainting.
3. Discuss the different ways a journalist could view this event. For example, a journalist writing from an enemy's perspective may report that Caesar has gone crazy; causing him to have a seizure and then faint. A journalist writing from a supporter's perspective may report that Caesar was so overwhelmed by love for the people that he fainted.
4. Using their chosen articles as a guide, have students write their own newspaper article about this event. They should choose whether or not they support Caesar and write from this perspective.
*Teachers may grade students on the depth of contrast in the articles they chose. How well did the articles show differences of opinion and bias?
*Teachers may also grade students on the quality of their own newspaper article: How well did they parallel the telling of the event in Julius Caesar to an event in modern politics? How well did they use composition skills to sound like a journalist rather than a teenager? How well did they write their article from a certain perspective? Was it clear how they felt about Caesar through the article?
*While watching the play, students can take notes about the different characters' opinions of Caesar, and how their actions effected the country. (i.e. how the conspirator's assassination caused a civil war)
CASSIUS (ENEMY OF CAESAR)
I was born free as Caesar; so were you: We both have fed as well, and we can both Endure the winter's cold as well as he: And this man Is now become a god, and Cassius is A wretched creature and must bend his body, If Caesar carelessly but nod on him. He had a fever when he was in Spain, And when the fit was on him, I did mark How he did shake: 'tis true, this god did shake; His coward lips did from their color fly, And that same eye whose bend doth awe the world Did lose his luster: I did hear him groan: Ay, and that tongue of his that bade the Romans Mark him and write his speeches in their books, Alas, it cried 'Give me some drink, Titinius,' As a sick girl. Ye gods, it doth amaze me A man of such a feeble temper should So get the start of the majestic world And bear the palm alone.
ANTONY (SUPPORTER OF CAESAR) excerpts from Antony's speech to the citizens Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears; I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him. He was my friend, faithful and just to me: He hath brought many captives home to Rome Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill: Did this in Caesar seem ambitious? When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept: Ambition should be made of sterner stuff: You all did see that on the Lupercal I thrice presented him a kingly crown, Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition? But here's a parchment with the seal of Caesar; , I found it in his closet, 'tis his will: Let but the commons hear this testament-- Here is the will, and under Caesar's seal. To every Roman citizen he gives, To every several man, seventy-five drachmas. Moreover, he hath left you all his walks His private arbors and new-planted orchards, On this side Tiber; he hath left them you, And to your heirs for ever, common pleasures, To walk abroad, and recreate yourselves. Here was a Caesar! when comes such another?
HANDOUT #2 BRUTUS Ay, Casca; tell us what hath chanced to-day, That Caesar looks so sad.
CASCA Why, there was a crown offered him: and being offered him, he put it by with the back of his hand, thus; and then the people fell a-shouting.
BRUTUS What was the second noise for?
CASCA Why, for that too.
CASSIUS They shouted thrice: Was the crown offered him thrice?
CASCA Ay, marry, was't, and he put it by thrice, every time gentler than other, and at every putting-by mine honest neighbors shouted.
BRUTUS Tell us the manner of it, gentle Casca.
CASCA I can as well be hanged as tell the manner of it: it was mere foolery; I did not mark it. I saw Mark Antony offer him a crown; and, as I told you, he put it by once: but, for all that, to my thinking, he would fain have had it. Then he offered it to him again; then he put it by again: but, to my thinking, he was very loath to lay his fingers off it. And then he offered it the third time; he put it the third time by: and still as he refused it, the rabblement hooted and clapped their chapped hands and threw up their sweaty night-caps and uttered such a deal of stinking breath because Caesar refused the crown that it had almost choked Caesar; for he swounded and fell down at it: and for mine own part, I durst not laugh, for fear of opening my lips and receiving the bad air.
CASSIUS But, soft, I pray you: what, did Caesar swound?
CASCA He fell down in the market-place, and foamed at mouth, and was speechless.
BRUTUS 'Tis very like: he hath the failing sickness.
CASCA I am sure Caesar fell down. If the tag-rag people did not clap him and hiss him, according as he pleased and displeased them, as they use to do the players in the theatre, I am no true man.
BRUTUS What said he when he came unto himself?
CASCA Marry, before he fell down, when he perceived the common herd was glad he refused the crown, he plucked me ope his doublet and offered them his throat to cut. An I had been a man of any occupation, if I would not have taken him at a word, I would I might go to hell among the rogues. And so he fell. When he came to himself again, he said, If he had done or said any thing amiss, he desired their worships to think it was his infirmity. Three or four wenches, where I stood, cried 'Alas, good soul!' and forgave him with all their hearts: but there's no heed to be taken of them; if Caesar had stabbed their mothers, they would have done no less.
BRUTUS And after that, he came, thus sad, away?
This LEARNING PLAN is designed for Grades: 7th-12th Objectives:
This lesson encourages students to notice and enjoy the images in Shakespeare's poetry. They will use his words to inspire their own creative writing.
Materials Needed: Handout #3, pencils and paper
Introductory Information for Teacher and Students: Although Shakespeare was a playwright, he was also a poet, and his plays reflect that poetry. Shakespeare used language as a painter uses a paint brush, creating vivid and colorful pictures with his words. But Shakespeare's beautiful words weren't just meant to be read on the page-- they were meant to be heard. The audience would hear the actors speak these words with excitement and emotion, and the pictures would come to life.
1. Read and discuss the Introductory Information with your students.
2. Pass out Handout #3 and ask students to pick one passage.
3. Have the students use the Tools for the Text of Paraphrase, Imagery, and Iambic Pentameter, with their chosen passage so they can become familiar with the meaning and excitement of the language. They can
write their notes about the passage on the right column of Handout #3.
4. For homework, assign the students to write a poem, song lyrics, or a short story using the images in their chosen Shakespeare passage.
5. The next day, the students will present their material in class, first reading the Shakespeare passage, then their own writing.
6. Assign students to listen for their selected passage while watching the play. After seeing the show, have them identify who said the line, who they said it to, and what it meant in the full context of the play. ______________________________________________________________________________ Assessment:
*Teachers may grade on the quality of the student's writing-- how creatively they used the Shakespeare passage to write their own piece, and how well they were able to bring both passages to life.
Handout #3 PARAPHRASE AND IMAGES
1. Let's kill him boldly, but not wrathfully;
Let's carve him as a dish fit for the gods,
Not hue him as a carcass fit for hounds.
2. And Caesar's spirit, ranging for revenge,
Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war
That this foul deed shall smell above the earth
With carrion men groaning for burial.
3. I have seen tempests when the scolding winds
Have rived the knotty oaks, and I have seen
The'ambitious ocean swell, and rage, and foam,
To be exalted with the threatening clouds;
But never till tonight, never till now,
Did I go through a tempest dropping fire.
4. There is one within,
Recounts most horrid sights seen by the watch.
A lioness hath whelped in the streets;
And graves have yawn'd, and yielded up their dead;
Fierce fiery warriors fought upon the clouds,
In ranks and squadrons and right form of war,
Which drizzled blood upon the Capitol;
The noise of battle hurtled in the air,
Horses did neigh, and dying men did groan,
And ghosts did shriek and squeal about the streets.