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William Shakespeare
Background on William
Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564 in
Stratford-upon-Avon in England.
He attended the local grammar school were he
learned to read and write in English and Latin.
Shakespeare background cont.
When he was 18, he married a woman by
the name of Anne Hathaway. She was 26 at
the time of their marriage.
It is not known if Shakespeare actually loved her,
but when she became pregnant he felt that it was his
duty to marry her.
Shakespeare background cont.
Shakespeare and Anne had three children
together: Susanna and the twins Judith and
Shakespeare background cont.
Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway did not
have a loving marriage.
As soon as
Shakespeare had
saved enough money,
he moved to London
to become an actor.
Shakespeare background cont.
Shakespeare acted in and wrote plays
until he retired in 1602.
By this time he had written thirty-seven
plays-comedies, tragedies, histories, and
Shakespeare background cont.
Shakespeare died on April 23, 1610, at the age
of forty six.
The Elizabethan Stage
Queen Elizabeth (1558-1603) was the ruling
monarch in England during Shakespeare's
She was an avid fan and supporter of the
At this time, London was the heart of
England, reflecting all the vibrant qualities
of the Elizabethan Age.
The Globe Theatre
The Globe Theatre cont.
All of the plays were performed during the
The cost of admission was one penny.
All of the actors were young boys or men.
(Women were not allowed to act until 1660).
The stage at The Globe
The Stage- Major playing/acting area
Side view of the stage
The Gallery during performance
The Gallery
The Groundling Area
The Pit- Sometimes referred to as
“The Yard” where the groundlings
watched the play for their onepenny admission.
The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
Most agree that Shakespeare wrote The
Tragedy of Julius Caesar in 1599.
The historical play is based upon the
assassination of Julius Caesar by his close
friends and confidants.
The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
During Caesar’s time, Rome was constantly
at war.
The ruling power of Rome was in the hands
of its generals.
These generals would have private armies
and conquer other countries that were
weaker than Rome.
The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
After these “private armies” conquered a new
area, a Roman governor was sent there to watch
over the new land.
In many cases, the governor forced the conquered
people to pay high taxes.
Sometimes the generals themselves fought with
each other, because they were strong men battling
for power.
This is exactly what happened in Julius Caesar.
Julius Caesar
The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar was born in 100 B.C. in Rome.
Julius Caesar rises to power through the use of his
oratory skill.
He was always a member of the democratic or
popular party.
He married Cornelia, the wealthy daughter of
Lucius Cornelius Cinna.
Caesar’s uncle arranged the marriage.
Roman Toga
The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
When Caesar was given orders by Sulla to
divorce Cornelia, he fled Rome in 81 B.C. for
fear of his life because he refused to obey Sulla.
After Sulla’s death, Caesar returned to Rome
and began to climb his way through the political
Caesar soon began to back Pompey, the head of
the popular party.
Caesar helped him gain both military and
political advantages.
Pompey the Great
The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
Caesar and Pompey agreed that one would leave
to fight for the good of Rome every three years,
and then return to Rome so that the other person
could leave and have his turn at conquest.
During this time Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus
form the First Triumvirate, which means “three
men” or “rule by three.
The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
Pompey had the political power, and
Crassus had the financial backing.
Pompey was even married to Caesar’s
daughter Julia at this time.
The First Triumvirate would not last long
due to the jealousy that erupted between
Caesar and Pompey.
The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
Pompey returned early from his sieges and
told Caesar that it was his turn to leave
While Caesar is gone, Pompey uses this
opportunity to rally people behind him by
claiming that Caesar has become too
powerful and is only interested in
benefitting himself and not the Roman
The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
By making these allegations, Pompey
declares a war with Caesar.
While Caesar is conquering new territory
for Rome, he gets word of Pompey’s plan.
Caesar decides to quit his campaigns and
return to Rome to face Pompey and the
charges against him.
The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
When Caesar returns to Italy, Pompey
warns him that if he crosses the Rubicon
River, he is declaring a civil war on Rome.
Caesar responds with Alea Iacta Est, which
translates to “the die is cast.”
Roman Legionaire
Roman Helmets
The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
Caesar’s crossing of the Rubicon is a symbolic
acceptance of Pompey’s challenge.
During this time the other member of the First
Triumvirate, Crassus, takes his money and
Caesar easily makes his way into Rome and
forces Pompey to flee.
Caesar was now in total control of Rome.
The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
During this time Caesar proclaims himself
Senator for Life.
Caesar eventually tries to go after Pompey,
who fled to Egypt, but he never catches him.
Servants of Cleopatra later kill Pompey while
he is in Egypt, and his sons try to avenge the
death of their father by declaring war on
Shakespeare’s play begins after Caesar defeats
Pompey’s sons.
The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
Caesar was not an actual Emperor of Rome. In
fact, Rome had no actual emperors until about
twenty years after Caesar’s death.
While Caesar was living, Rome was a Republic
ruled by a Senate.
The name “Caesar” eventually became not a
name, but a word meaning “ruler” or “chief” in
Outside the Roman Coliseum
Inside the Roman Coliseum
The Pantheon
The Forum of Julius Caesar