Tragedy is build up in 5 stages:
1. Happy times
2. The introduction of the problem
3. The problem becomes a crisis
4. The characters are unable to prevent the problem from
5. The problem results in some catastrophic, terrible ending,
which is the tragedy happens
The setting of this play is ancient Rome.
Shakespeare creates a world full of political
intrigue (interest), magical occurrences, and
Caesar, the most powerful man in
Rome, has recently returned to the city
after months of fighting abroad.
• Monarchy: King has complete rule over Rome
• Republic: Roman Government ruled by the people.
• Dictatorship: One leader has complete political
The Age of Caesar
• Born 100 B.C.
• Married Cornelia at 18
years old; daughter Julia
• 69 B.C. Cornelia dies; 67
B.C. Caesar marries
What do we have presently
in the U.S. similar to a triumvirate?
Established to restore order to RomeEstablished to restore order to Rome
59 B.C. Pompey marries Caesar’s daughter,59 B.C. Pompey marries Caesar’s daughter,
Caesar wanted more power and went afterCaesar wanted more power and went after
more conquests and money.more conquests and money.
54 B.C. Julia dies; Pompey jealous of54 B.C. Julia dies; Pompey jealous of
Caesar’s power and influence.Caesar’s power and influence.
In 54 B.C. Caesar’s
daughter, Julia, dies.
Because she was the
the only real
personal tie between
Pompey and Caesar,
between the two
In 53 B.C.
This ends the First Triumvirate
and sets Pompey and Caesar
against one another.
Caesar began a military career and
his armies conquered multiple countries.
After Crassus was killed, trouble began
to develop between Pompey and Caesar.
Caesar was fighting Pompey, another powerful
Roman, and his sons.
Pompey, as well as
others in the Roman
senate, was disturbed by
Because he was jealous, Pompey persuaded the
Senate to order Caesar to break up his army and
return to Rome.
Instead, Caesar invaded Rome and took
control and chased Pompey all the way to Egypt.
He was killed there before Caesar could capture him.
Later Caesar defeated and killed Pompey’s
sons in Spain.
Their fears seem to be valid when Caesar refuses
to enter Rome as an ordinary citizen after the war.
Instead, he marches his army on Rome and takes
over the government.
But the people don’t
mind—in fact, they love
Caesar is made
“dictator for life.”
Julius Caesar gained support of the people by:
Spending money for public entertainment
Establishing laws that freed farmers and
tradesmen from heavy taxes
Promising to improve the overall economy
Suggesting new laws, most of which were
approved by the Senate.
Reorganizing the army.
Improving the way the provinces were governed.
Caesar was an ambitious leader…
This is where our play
When it opens, we see some citizens in
support of Caesar and some against him.
One of the reasons the Senate was concerned by
Caesar’s accumulation of power was Rome’s long
history as a republic.
Some senators begin to conspire. . .
Brutus, Caesar’s friend who believes that he must act
against Caesar for the good of Rome
Casca, who hates the ordinary citizens of Rome yet is
jealous because they love Caesar and not him
Cassius, a greedy and jealous man who wants
to take drastic measures to keep Caesar from winning any
more power—and to take away any power that Caesar
February* 15:February* 15:
The Feast of the LupercalThe Feast of the Lupercal
What is that?What is that?
Lupercus was the fertility god the Romans
worshipped. They would sacrifice goats and a dog. The
goats’ blood would be smeared on the foreheads of
two young men, then wiped off with wool dipped in
milk. Then young men wearing only strips of goatskin
around their loins, ran around the city striking women
with strips of goatskin. It was believed that pregnant
women would have an easier labor and infertile
women would become fertile.
*februaue actually means “to purify”
During this feast some of the
conspirators discuss Caesar and what
to do about him having too much
The plan to kill him
Would you beWould you be
worried ifworried if
someone toldsomeone told
you somethingyou something
terrible wouldterrible would
to you in ato you in a
As we read The Tragedy of Julius Caesar…
• We will discuss the conspiracy…
• We will discuss how Rome fell to mob rule after
• We will discuss why history seems to repeat itself
over and over again…
• And we will discuss our own flaws in our
personalities and how we can prevent a tragedy in our
lives by our every day actions…
Veni, vidi, vici
• Veni, vidi, vici means “I came, I saw, I conquered” –
it’s how Caesar summed up his accomplishments
• His name means “emperor” in at least 2 languages
• The month of July is named after him
• During his life, he was a famous lawyer, a high
priest, a brilliant general, and a major author before
declaring himself dictator of Rome
Discussion starter topic 1:
1. How important is loyalty?
Does your country or do your friends consider
“loyalty” something to value? When can “loyalty”
sometimes cause problems?
What should people do when loyalty to their
country and loyalty to their friend comes into
Are there limits to what people should do in
defense of the nation?
Discussion starter topic 2:
2. What will a person do for the sake of
Assassinations of political figures are common in
What political figures do you know of who have
What effect did these assassinations have on the
general public, a political party, or a cause at the
time of the assassination?
The Romans believed
that omens could reveal
These omens could
take the form of
flights of birds, or
Animals were seen as indicators of the future.
The Romans often
sacrificed animals to the
gods, and had their entrails
(guts) examined by an
official called a haruspex.
Any abnormalities or
imperfections indicated the
anger of a god or a
particularly bad event
about to happen.
Around 509 B.C., the
Romans ended a
monarchy by rebelling
against the last king of
They were very proud of
their non-king ruled
government, and were
determined to preserve it—
but when Caesar arrived,
they changed their minds!
After this revolution, the
Romans established their
famous republic, in which
all citizens were
represented in the Senate.