Julius Caesar: Themes and Lessons
Provides teachers with extensive information about Julius Caesar, including general background, historical context, character breakdowns, the concept of stoicism in the play, the role of women, and how closely the play hews to Shakespeare’s source material in Plutarch’s Lives. Scansion workshop and scene breakdowns help bring the text alive. YouTube research assists in the creation of classroom playlists for comparison purposes. A multimedia project focused on rhetoric is presented as a possible student activity.
Attendees receive resources, reproducible handouts and three lesson plans (scansion for acting clues, rhetorical and convincing arguments, and Shakespeare’s flexible use of time in the play).
[note: requires space enough for at least 10 attendees to be used as examples for the audience]
Julius Caesar: Intro, Sources, Themes, and Preview
Provides students with an extensive (and, thus, spoiler-filled) introduction to Julius Caesar, including discussions of historical context and sources, characters and themes.
A breakdown of the provided Character Map handout follows and ties together the concepts presented.
Julius Caesar: Scene Study (speech, scansion, and meaning)
After a brief introduction to blank verse, students are guided through a close reading of Antony’s funeral oration in Julius Caesar, with special attention paid to rhetorical devices and how character and action are revealed within the poetic line.
[note: requires space for up to 5 participants to perform]
Julius Caesar: Plutarch’s Lives and Shakespeare’s ‘history’ and fictions
Give your students a break from the typical read-through of the play with this close look at the differences between the real history, what is found in Shakespeare’s source–Plutarch’s Lives–and the text from Julius Caesar.
A breakdown of the provided infographic handout follows and ties together the concepts presented.
[note: this presentation is filled with spoilers!]
Julius Caesar: Review, Discussion and Q&A
A great way to end the unit of study on Julius Caesar, this review of the play includes Socratic discussions of the themes of marriage, civil rule, and the supernatural, with textual evidence cited for the concepts. The session ends with a Q&A and “stump Bill” segment.