Julius Caesar and Ancient Rome

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Transcript Julius Caesar and Ancient Rome

 In today’s society, who calls the shots when it comes to
war? You’re right – it’s the president.
 2000 years ago in Rome, war was kind of a free-for-all.
Rome did not have a king and war generals did
basically whatever they wanted to do!
 When a general and his army gained land through war,
Roman government took over and ruled the land and
its people.
 All this power led to Roman generals turning on one
another, which is where Julius Caesar comes in.
Some History
 For centuries, Romans debated and even fought
civil wars while trying to decide whether a
monarchy, a republic or a dictatorship was the best
form of government.
 Until 509 B.C., Rome was a monarchy, but, in that
year, Rome was established as a republic
 By 100 B.C., Rome was a moderate democracy in
form; in actual practice, the Senate was ruling
 In 60 B.C., a triumvirate (a 3-man rule) of Caesar,
Crassus, and Pompey was formed to govern Rome.
Life for the People
 There were 2 classes of people in Rome.
 The people were either rich or poor. The rich were
called Patricians and the poor were called Plebeians.
 It is easy to distinguish these two classes within the
play and Shakespeare has interesting commentary and
puns about this distinction throughout the play.
 Caesar and Pompey, both Roman generals, were
buddies at first. They worked together to strengthen
the Roman government. Pompey even married
Caesar’s daughter!
 Caesar took his armies around Europe and gained even
more land for Rome. All the money he won went right
back to the Roman people.
 49 B.C. – Pompey became jealous of Caesar. He
teamed up with the Roman Senate, who ordered
Caesar to give up his armies and return to Rome
 The order from the Senate enraged Caesar. He
refused, of course, and decided to march his army
back to Rome and take over the country himself.
 Pompey fled to Egypt and was killed before Caesar
could capture him.
 Caesar spent a little extra time in Egypt, canoodling
with the lovely Cleopatra before returning to Rome.
 Caesar was eventually declared dictator of Rome when he
invaded and took over (which you will see in the play.)
He took full advantage of his power, giving leadership
positions to his supporters.
While common people seemed to love him, many critics
believe he kept support by bribing people.
Caesar became power-obsessed, even having a statue of
himself, with the inscription “The Unconquerable God,”
This is where the idea of power and its abuse comes into
play, within the play…: )
 After about five years of Caesar’s power trip, many
Romans were fed up with Caesar’s dictatorship.
 60 men (sixteen of them senators whom Caesar had
appointed himself) planned Caesar’s assassination for
March 15, 44 B.C.
 This “fall” is the main idea behind Shakespeare’s
famous play, written and performed for the first time
in 1600.
Politics of Caesar
 Julius Caesar is a political play, and political issues are
the root of the tragic conflict in the play.
 It is a play about a general, who because of his own
pride and ambition, meets an untimely death.
 This play focuses on those men who were responsible
for the assassination of Caesar and their ill-fated
attempt to control Rome
 As if you hadn’t guessed…
 The play takes place in Rome, Italy.
 It is based on some historical accuracy of the real
Julius Caesar, but of course Shakespeare put his own
spin on the story.
 Timeline: Shakespeare compresses the actual
historical time of 3 years into a period of 6 days.
Shakespeare wrote three types of plays.
What are they?
 A. Comedies, tragedies, and dramas.
 B. Tragedies, histories, and dramas.
 C. Comedies, tragedies, and histories.
Terms to Know
 Soliloquy-A dramatic or literary form of discourse in which
a character talks to himself or herself or reveals his or her
thoughts without addressing a listener.
 Aside-An actor’s speech, directed to the audience, that is
not supposed to be heard by other actors on stage. An aside
is usually used to let the audience know what a character is
about to do or what he or she is thinking
 Prose-The term applies to all expressions in language that
do not have a regular rhythmic pattern. It is usually
grouped into paragraphs.
Shakespeare writes almost completely in
blank verse. Blank verse is
 A. Unrhymed iambic pentameter
 B. Invisible ink
 C. Two lines that rhyme
The term dramatic irony refers to the idea
that the audience or reader knows
 A. That one or more of the characters onstage does not
 B. That will cause the play to end dramatically.
 C. Really scary is about to happen.
 Baptized on April 26, 1564(born a few days before) in
Father was a merchant-equivalent to a mayor
Married to Anne Hathaway
Became an actor and a playwright
Became a member of theatrical group called the Lord
Chamberlain’s Men
Retired to Stratford in 1612 and had written 37 plays
Died in 1616 at the age of 52
 Shakespeare’s plays were performed at the Globe
Theatre in London.
*Original burned down but a replica was built close by
and still exists today
He used imagination instead of elaborate setting
All male actors
More than 3,000 people attended this theatre at a time
Actors walked around and stayed on the move to keep
audience interested and so they could see from
different views in the theatre