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010 – Julius Caesar KEY Julius Caesar The play, Julius Caesar, was written in 1599. All the important characters – Brutus, Caesar, and Antony – and most of the events in the Republican Government: play were based on the writings of a Greek historian called Rome had overthrown the Plutarch (AD 45-120). Plutarch was a Roman, and was a great monarchy in 508 BC, and admirer of the Republican form of government, whereas was divided into republics, with a complex constitution most Elizabethans, including Shakespeare, were staunch outlining how they were run supporters of the monarchy. These differing political views may help the reader to understand Shakespeare’s attitude towards the conspirators who assassinate Caesar (ie Brutus and Cassius). Julius Caesar is a fascinating example of Shakespeare taking stories from history and turning them into moving, exciting dramas in which very real and complex people act out their destinies. Often English-speaking people know their history better from Shakespeare’s plays than from undoubtedly more accurate historical works! 1. What about you? Would you say that you know more about certain historical events that you have seen movies about? (Titanic, Pearl Harbor…etc) 2. Which is usually more accurate? Hollywood’s version or a text written by an Historian? 010 – Julius Caesar KEY 3. Before we begin, let’s compare Canada and America’s governments: CANADA USA Title of the Head of Gov’t How is the Head of Gov’t chosen? Prime Minister President Voted head of party who got the most seats in the House of Commons How much power does the Monarch have? Monarch is the Head of State in Canada (primarily ceremonial role) citizens elect the members of the U.S. Electoral College; these electors in turn directly elect the President and Vice President No power or position 4. How would citizens of Canada or USA feel if the Head of Gov’t stopped holding elections, then decided to stay in power for life and pass on their positions to their own children? 010 – Julius Caesar KEY Julius Caesar A Tragedy As the play begins… We are in Ancient Rome, and Julius Caesar is leader of Rome’s Republican government and head of the Roman Empire. But some men who used to be his friends in the Senate, think that the great Caesar is growing too hungry for power – they think that secretly he wants to ignore the senators and be crowned King. Eight men meet at night to plot how they will rid Rome of a potential tyrant: Brutus (a man of noble principles), Cassius ( a clever but discontented man), Casca , and five other conspirators. They plan the most decisive remedy of all… assassination. 5. Match the following terms with the correct definition: Assassination Conspirator King Senate Tyrant A wise group who advises the government Monarchy a person who governs oppressively, unjustly, and arbitrarily the murder of a prominent person or political figure by a surprise attack a person who takes part in a plot or scheme 010 – Julius Caesar KEY 6. What do you know about Julius Caesar? Why do you think he is so famous? Have groups brainstorm facts (no googling allowed!) the group that comes up with the best facts, wins! Roman general, politician and Consul (from 49 BC to 44BC): His full name was Gaius Julius Caesar. born in 100 BC. His father was also named Gaius Julius Caesar, and his mother was called Aurelia Cotta. Very little is known of Caesar’s childhood. brilliant military general. He successfully conquered Gaul (France) and he twice invaded Britain (in 55 BC and 54 BC). Caesar formed an alliance with Pompey and Crassus, gaining support from the public in opposition to the Roman Senate. Cato the Younger and Cicero opposed them. Following the death of Crassus, Pompey moved away from Caesar and supported the Senate. Julius Caesar was ordered by the Senate to give up control of the military. Caesar disobeyed the order and crossed the Rubicon river with his army. A civil war took place and Julius Caesar gained control of Rome. He was married three times. His first marriage was to Cornelia Cinnilla from 83 BC until she died while giving birth in either 69 or 68 BC. Then, in 67 BC, he got married to Pompeia, whom he divorced 6 years later, in 61 BCE. He got married for the third time, to Calpurnia Pisonis in 59 BC, and remained married to her until his death. Julius Caesar is known to have been involved with three other women in his lifetime. The first was Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, with whom he had a son called Caesarion. Cleopatra and Julius Caesar could not ever get married because she was Egyptian, and he was Roman, and under Roman law, only Roman citizens could get married to each other. Then, he was also involved with Servilla Caepiones, who just happened to be the mother of Brutus, one of the people who would assassinate him later on in life. The third woman that he had an affair with was the queen of Mauritania. Caesar was a brilliant speaker and he was prolific writer. Only his writings on his military conquests survive today, but he also wrote different forms, including poetry. Caesar had enormous political power. As dictator he could veto the Senate, he controlled the armies of Rome and he was the first Roman to be officially deified (given the status of a god). Julius Caesar’s face was depicted on Roman coins. Caesar introduced the Julian calendar. In 44 BC Caesar was assassinated by a large group of Roman Senators. He was apparently stabbed more than 20 times. Following his death, Caesar’s loyal supporter, Mark Anthony and Caesar’s named heir, Octavian (later Augustus Caesar) successfully fought a series of civil wars. Augustus Caesar became Rome’s first Emperor, ruling from 27 BC to 14 AD. The Roman Republic had become the Roman Empire. In a traditional pack of playing cards the King of Diamonds is meant to represent Julius Caesar. 010 – Julius Caesar Read the cast list together, (practice pronouncing the names!) then read the introduction together. The Players: Act Three Scene One Julius Caesar Soothsayer – one who fortells the future Artemidorus (ar-tem-ih-dor-us) – teacher of rhetoric (speech making/giving) Senators: Publius (Poo-blee-us) Popilius (Paw-pill-ee-us) Antony – Caesar’s successor Conspirators: Brutus (Broo-tus) Cassius (Kass-ee-us) Casca (Kass-kah) Decius (Dee-see-us) Metellus Cimber (Meh-tell-us Sim-ber) Trebonius (Treh-bone-ee-us) Cinna (Caius Ligarius) (Sinn-ah) KEY 010 – Julius Caesar KEY As the scene begins… Strange things have been happening in Rome. Casca has seen a lion in the street, who stared at him and passed by without molesting him. A hundred fearful women swear they have seen men walking the streets engulfed in flames. Other people claim the fountains are running blood. Caesar’s wife, Calpurnia, has heard these stories and more, and she has had a terrifying dream of her own. In the morning she begs Caesar not to go to the Capitol, the ancient temple where the Senate meets, being sure that all the omens mean doom for her husband. The augurers, who foretell the future by examining a chicken’s entrails, confirm her worst fears. But Caesar is Caesar – proud, courageous, and perhaps a little too sure of himself. When the hour comes, he sets forth from his house for the Capitol, accompanied by the senators he believes are his friends. Of these men, the one he trusts most is the noble Brutus. 7. What do we learn about Caesar in the above section? - Caesar is married - He is proud, courageous and sure of himself - He trusts Brutus 8. What do we learn about the superstitions some Romans believed? - Omens, dreams - Believe in soothsayers (people who tell the future) Note: A typical day for Julius Caesar – like the one in this scene, included going to the Capitol and listening to various petitioners. These were often citizens of Rome who wished to ask Caesar for favors, judgments, or pardons. It was a mark of his great power that he could say “yes” or “no” to their requests without consulting any advisors. Before watching the excerpt below, read through the boxes with the students, to give them an idea of what is happening! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoAPEHNWRj8 start at 1:04 go to 1:13 As we watch the above excerpt, follow along with the script below. 010 – Julius Caesar KEY Rome. Before the Capitol; the Senate sitting above. A crowd of People; among them ARTEMIDORUS and the Soothsayer. Flourish. Enter CÆSAR, BRUTUS, CASSIUS, CASCA, DECIUS, METELLUS, TREBONIUS, CINNA, ANTONY, LEPIDUS, POPILIUS, PUBLIUS, and Others. Not long ago, the Soothsayer warned Caesar to “Beware the ides of March”. Artemidorus’s document is a letter to Caesar naming all of the conspirators and warning Caesar about the danger he is in! CÆSAR [To the Soothsayer.] The ides of March are come. Soothsayer Ay, Cæsar; but not gone. 5 ARTEMIDORUS Hail, Cæsar! Read this schedule. DECIUS Trebonius doth desire you to o’er-read, At your best leisure, this his humble suit. ARTEMIDORUS O Cæsar! read mine first; for mine’s a suit That touches Cæsar nearer. Read it, great Cæsar. 10 CÆSAR What touches us ourself shall be last serv’d. ARTEMIDORUS Delay not, Cæsar; read it instantly. CÆSAR What! is the fellow mad? PUBLIUS Sirrah, give place. Ides of March – March 15th Schedule – document Suit - petition Touches – concerns 010 – Julius Caesar KEY CÆSAR What! urge you your petitions in the street? Come to the Capitol. 15 CÆSAR goes up to the Senate-House, the rest following. All the Senators rise. POPILIUS I wish your enterprise to-day may thrive. CASSIUS What enterprise, Popilius? Cassius is alarmed that Popilius seems to know about the assassination. He alerts Brutus. POPILIUS. Fare you well. [Advances to CÆSAR.] 20 BRUTUS What said Popilius Lena? CASSIUS He wish’d to-day our enterprise might thrive. I fear our purpose is discovered. Brutus and Cassius watch Caesar carefully to see if Popilius has warned him of the danger he is in. BRUTUS Look, how he makes to Cæsar: mark him. CASSIUS Casca, be sudden, for we fear prevention. Brutus, what shall be done? If this be known, 25 Cassius or Cæsar never shall turn back, For I will slay myself. BRUTUS Cassius, be constant: Popilius Lena speaks not of our purposes; For, look, he smiles, and Cæsar doth not change. CASSIUS Trebonius knows his time; for, look you, Brutus, He draws Mark Antony out of the way. [Exeunt ANTONY and TREBONIUS. CÆSAR and the Senators take their seats. 30 010 – Julius Caesar KEY DECIUS. Where is Metellus Cimber? Let him go, And presently prefer his suit to Cæsar. With Caesar’s friend Antony out of the way, the conspirators press closer to Caesar. Metellus Cimber kneels to him, asking that his brother be brought home from exile. 35 BRUTUS He is address’d; press near and second him. CINNA Casca, you are the first that rears your hand. CASCA Are we all ready? What is now amiss, That Cæsar and his senate must redress? METELLUS Most high, most mighty, and most puissant Cæsar, 40 Metellus Cimber throws before thy seat A humble heart,— [Kneeling. Caesar replies: “Don’t kneel to me. I won’t change my mind just because you try to flatter me.” CÆSAR I must prevent thee, Cimber. These couchings and these lowly courtesies, Might fire the blood of ordinary men, 45 And turn pre-ordinance and first decree Into the law of children. Be not fond, To think that Cæsar bears such rebel blood That will be thaw’d from the true quality With that which melteth fools; I mean sweet words, 50 Low-crooked curtsies, and base spaniel fawning. Thy brother by decree is banished: If thou dost bend and pray and fawn for him, I spurn thee like a cur out of my way. Know, Cæsar doth not wrong, nor without cause 55 Will he be satisfied. Presently prefer – immediately present Couchings – bowings address’d - ready lowly courtesies – low bows fond - foolish 010 – Julius Caesar KEY METELLUS Is there no voice more worthy than my own, To sound more sweetly in great Cæsar’s ear For the repealing of my banish’d brother? Brutus and Cassius also approach Caesar to plead for Metellus Cimber’s brother. BRUTUS I kiss thy hand, but not in flattery, Cæsar; Desiring thee, that Publius Cimber may 60 Have an immediate freedom of repeal. CÆSAR What, Brutus! CASSIUS Pardon, Cæsar; Cæsar, pardon: As low as to thy foot doth Cassius fall, To beg enfranchisement for Publius Cimber. Repealing – recall Enfranchisement - freedom 65 010 – Julius Caesar KEY CÆSAR. I could be well mov’d if I were as you; Caesar says he will not change his mind. If I could pray to move, prayers would move me; But I am constant as the northern star, Of whose true-fix’d and resting quality There is no fellow in the firmament. 70 The skies are painted with unnumber’d sparks, They are all fire and every one doth shine, But there’s but one in all doth hold his place: So, in the world; ’tis furnish’d well with men, And men are flesh and blood, and apprehensive; 75 Yet in the number I do know but one That unassailable holds on his rank, Unshak’d of motion: and that I am he, Let me a little show it, even in this, That I was constant Cimber should be banish’d, 80 And constant do remain to keep him so. CINNA O Cæsar,— CÆSAR Hence! Wilt thou lift up Olympus! DECIUS Great Cæsar,— 85 CÆSAR Doth not Brutus bootless kneel? Pray to move – beg favors of a superior resting – stable Apprehensive – intelligent holds on his rank- maintains his position Bootless – in vain/ useless 010 – Julius Caesar KEY CASCA Speak, hands, for me! [They stab Cæsar.] CÆSAR Et tu, Brute? Then fall, Cæsar! [Dies.] CINNA Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead! Run hence, proclaim, cry it about the streets. 90 Proclaiming that the death of Caesar means the beginning of liberty, the conspirators prepare to spread out through the city to explain their violent actions to the people. They promise that no harm will come to any other person. CASSIUS Some to the common pulpits, and cry out, ‘Liberty, freedom, and enfranchisement!’ BRUTUS People and senators be not affrighted; Fly not; stand still; ambition’s debt is paid. CASCA Go to the pulpit, Brutus. 95 DECIUS And Cassius too. BRUTUS Where’s Publius? CINNA Here, quite confounded with this mutiny. METELLUS Stand fast together, lest some friend of Cæsar’s Should chance— 100 BRUTUS Talk not of standing. Publius, good cheer; There is no harm intended to your person, Nor to no Roman else; so tell them, Publius. Et tu Brute – You too, Brutus? Abide – take the consequences of Common pulpits – public platforms (for public speaking) 010 – Julius Caesar KEY CASSIUS And leave us, Publius; lest that the people, Rushing on us, should do your age some mischief. 105 BRUTUS Do so; and let no man abide this deed But we the doers. Re-enter TREBONIUS. CASSIUS Where’s Antony? TREBONIUS Fled to his house amaz’d. Men, wives and children stare, cry out and run 110 As it were doomsday. BRUTUS Fates, we will know your pleasures. That we shall die, we know; ’tis but the time And drawing days out, that men stand upon. 115 The conspirators convince themselves that in shortening Caesar’s life they have done him a favor – he has twenty years less to fear death. CASCA Why, he that cuts off twenty years of life Cuts off so many years of fearing death. Abide – take the consequences of stand upon – regard as important 010 – Julius Caesar KEY BRUTUS Grant that, and then is death a benefit: So are we Cæsar’s friends, that have abridg’d His time of fearing death. Stoop, Romans, stoop, And let us bathe our hands in Cæsar’s blood 120 Up to the elbows, and besmear our swords: Then walk we forth, even to the marketplace; And waving our red weapons o’er our heads, Let’s all cry, ‘Peace, freedom, and liberty!’ CASSIUS Stoop, then, and wash. How many ages hence 125 Shall this our lofty scene be acted o’er, In states unborn and accents yet unknown! BRUTUS How many times shall Cæsar bleed in sport, That now on Pompey’s basis lies along No worthier than the dust! 130 CASSIUS So oft as that shall be, So often shall the knot of us be call’d The men that gave their country liberty. DECIUS What! shall we forth? 135 CASSIUS Ay, every man away: Brutus shall lead; and we will grace his heels With the most boldest and best hearts of Rome. Pompey’s basis – pedestal of the statue of Caesar’s predecessor If the conspirators had known what would happen as a result of Caesar’s assassination, they might have been less eager to take history into their own hands. For violence leads to more violence, and winners may become losers with just one turn of Fortune’s wheel. 010 – Julius Caesar KEY 9. For each of the following words bolded, fill in the bracket with a word that expresses the same meaning today. a. POPILIUS: I wish your enterprise ( plan, business ) today may thrive. b. CASSIUS: Casca, be sudden, (quick ) for we fear prevention. ( being delayed, prevented from finishing ) c. BRUTUS: Cassius, be constant:… ( firm, calm ) d. BRUTUS: He is address’d; press near and second him. (support his petition/request ) e. CINNA: Casca, you are the first that rears your hand. ( strikes / stabs) f. CASCA: What is now amiss, ( wrong Senate must redress? (Set right ) ) / That Caesar and his g. METELLUS: Most high, most mighty, and most puissant (powerful) Caesar, … h. CAESAR: Thy brother by decree is banished (exiled from Rome i. CAESAR: I spurn thee like a cur ( dog ) ) out of my way. j. CAESAR: But I am as constant as the northern star, … ( Polaris – also called the North Star… it never moves out of sight) k. CAESAR: Hence! ( Away! ) Wilt thou lift up Olympus! ( a mountain in Greece on which the gods dwelled ) l. BRUTUS: Fly not; stand still; ambition’s debt is paid. ( Ceasar has received the punishment he deserves for being ambitious) 010 – Julius Caesar KEY m. TREBONIUS: Men, wives and children stare, cry out and run / As it wer doomsday. (Day of judgement / the end of the world ) n. BRUTUS: Fates, (in Roman Mythology, these are the three goddesses who govern human destinies ) we will know your pleasures. o. CASSIUS: How many ages hence / Shall this our lofty scene be acted o’er. ( our noble actions be repeated in future history / reenacted in theaters) 10. Did Caesar say or do anything in this scene that made you feel he deserved to be murdered? Why do you think this? awv 11.Do you think that Brutus and Cassius sincerely believed they were doing the best thing for Rome when they assassinated Caesar? Why do you think this? Awv 12. Which lines / moments in this scene impressed you as very dramatic or surprising? Awv 010 – Julius Caesar ANTONY Act 3 Scene 1 (after Caesar’s death) O mighty Caesar! Dost thou lie so low? Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils, Shrunk to this little measure? Fare thee well. —I know not, gentlemen, what you intend, Who else must be let blood, who else is rank. If I myself, there is no hour so fit As Caesar’s death’s hour, nor no instrument Of half that worth as those your swords, made rich With the most noble blood of all this world. I do beseech ye, if you bear me hard, Now, whilst your purpled hands do reek and smoke, Fulfill your pleasure. Live a thousand years, I shall not find myself so apt to die. No place will please me so, no mean of death, As here by Caesar, and by you cut off, The choice and master spirits of this age. KEY Is this spoken by a man or a woman? ________________________ Is this meant to be serious or funny? _________________ Summary: _______________ ________________________ Oh, mighty Caesar! Have all your conquests, glories, triumphs, achievements, come to so little? Farewell. Gentlemen, I don’t know what you intend to do, who else you intend to kill, who else you consider corrupt. If it’s me, there’s no time as good as now, and no weapon better than your swords, covered with the noblest blood in the world. I ask you, if you have a grudge against me, to kill me now, while your stained hands still reek of blood. I could live a thousand years and I wouldn’t be as ready to die as I am now. There’s no place I’d rather die than here by Caesar, and no manner of death would please me more than being stabbed by you, the masters of this new era. 010 – Julius Caesar CASSIUS KEY Act 1 Scene 2 I will do so. Till then, think of the world. Exit BRUTUS Well, Brutus, thou art noble. Yet I see Thy honorable mettle may be wrought From that it is disposed. Therefore it is meet That noble minds keep ever with their likes, For who so firm that cannot be seduced? Caesar doth bear me hard, but he loves Brutus. If I were Brutus now and he were Cassius, He should not humor me. I will this night, In several hands, in at his windows throw, As if they came from several citizens, Writings all tending to the great opinion That Rome holds of his name, wherein obscurely Caesar’s ambition shall be glancèd at. And after this let Caesar seat him sure, For we will shake him, or worse days endure. Is this spoken by a man or a woman? ________________________ Is this meant to be serious or funny? _________________ Summary: _______________ ________________________ I’ll do so. Until then, think about the well-being of Rome. (Brutus leaves) Well, Brutus, you’re noble. Yet I see that your honorable character can be bent from its usual shape, which proves that good men should stick only to the company of other good men, because who is so firm that he can’t be seduced? Caesar resents me, but he loves Brutus. If I were Brutus now and Brutus were me, I wouldn’t have let him influence me. Tonight I’ll throw through his window a few letters in different handwriting—as if they came from several citizens—all testifying to the great respect Romans have for Brutus, and all alluding to Caesar’s unseemly ambition. And after this, let Caesar brace himself, for we’ll either dethrone him or suffer even worse than now. 010 – Julius Caesar BRUTUS Act 4 scene 3 You have done that you should be sorry for. There is no terror, Cassius, in your threats, For I am arm'd so strong in honesty That they pass by me as the idle wind, Which I respect not. I did send to you For certain sums of gold, which you denied me: For I can raise no money by vile means: By heaven, I had rather coin my heart, And drop my blood for drachmas, than to wring From the hard hands of peasants their vile trash By any indirection: I did send To you for gold to pay my legions, Which you denied me: was that done like Cassius? Should I have answer'd Caius Cassius so? When Marcus Brutus grows so covetous, To lock such rascal counters from his friends, Be ready, gods, with all your thunderbolts; Dash him to pieces! KEY Is this spoken by a man or a woman? ________________________ Is this meant to be serious or funny? _________________ Summary: _______________ ________________________ You’ve already done something you should be sorry for. Your threats don’t scare me, Cassius, because I’m so secure in my honesty and integrity that they pass me by like a weak breeze. I asked you for a certain amount of gold, which you wouldn’t give me. I myself can’t raise money by unethical means. I’d rather turn my heart into money and my drops of blood into coins than use crooked tactics to wring petty cash from the hardworking hands of peasants. I asked you for gold to pay my soldiers, and you wouldn’t give it to me. Was that the Caius Cassius that I knew? And would I have ever done that to you? If I ever get so greedy that I hoard such petty cash from my friends, may the gods dash me to pieces with their thunderbolts! 010 – Julius Caesar KEY Calpurnia Act 2 Scene 2 Caesar, I never stood on ceremonies, Yet now they fright me. There is one within, Besides the things that we have heard and seen, 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. O Caesar! these things are beyond all use, And I do fear them. Is this spoken by a man or a woman? ________________________ Is this meant to be serious or funny? _________________ Summary: _______________ ________________________ Caesar, I never believed in omens, but now they frighten me. A servant told me the night-watchmen saw horrid sights too, but different ones from what we heard and saw. A lioness gave birth in the streets, and graves cracked open and thrust out their dead. Fierce, fiery warriors fought in the clouds in the usual formations of war—ranks and squadrons—until the clouds drizzled blood onto the Capitol. The noise of battle filled the air, and horses neighed, and dying men groaned, and ghosts shrieked and squealed in the streets. Oh, Caesar! These things are beyond anything we’ve seen before, and I’m afraid. 010 – Julius Caesar KEY Antony: Act 3 Scene 2 But yesterday the word of Caesar might Have stood against the world; now lies he there. And none so poor to do him reverence. O masters, if I were disposed to stir Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage, I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong, Who, you all know, are honourable men: I will not do them wrong; I rather choose To wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you, Than I will wrong such honourable men. 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— Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read— And they would go and kiss dead Caesar's wounds And dip their napkins in his sacred blood, Yea, beg a hair of him for memory, And, dying, mention it within their wills, Bequeathing it as a rich legacy Unto their issue. Is this spoken by a man or a woman? ________________________ Is this meant to be serious or funny? _________________ Summary: _______________ ________________________ Only yesterday the word of Caesar might have stood against the world. Now he lies there worth nothing, and no one is so humble as to show him respect. Oh, sirs, if I stirred your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage, I would offend Brutus and Cassius, who, you all know, are honorable men. I will not do them wrong. I would rather wrong the dead, and wrong myself and you, than wrong such honorable men. But here’s a paper with Caesar’s seal on it. I found it in his room—it’s his will. If you could only hear this testament— which, excuse me, I don’t intend to read aloud—you would kiss dead Caesar’s wounds and dip your handkerchiefs in his sacred blood, and beg for a lock of hair to remember him by. And when you died, you would mention the handkerchief or the hair in your will, bequeathing it to your heirs like a rich legacy.