? Study the pages 104-118 and the pages 121 and 122 in the book called ‘Literatuur zonder grenzen’.
? Read a tragedy written by Shakespeare.
? Write a summary (200-250 words) of the play.
? Give a detailed summary of act three.
? Give a characterisation of the main character (give quotes and examples why it should be like that).
? Explain with examples the central theme of the play (it is a flaw in the main persons character).
Prove everything you say. There also is a discussion. This counts as your speaking test.
2. The book
Title: Julius Caesar
Author: William Shakespeare
Edition: The Macmillan Shakespeare
Edited by: D. R. Elloway
Advisory editor: Philip Brockbank
General editor: Peter Hollindale
First published: 1974
3. Summary of the play
Caesar is governing the great Roman Empire. But his followers are fed up with him. Caesar takes all the domination and they do not like that. They want to have power themselves.
In the night the conspirators come together to discuss the manner they are going to murder Caesar. The agreement is that they will kill Caesar together.
Calphurnia, the wife of Caesar does not want him to go outside, because she had a vision in which Caesar was killed.
In the middle of Rome a crown should be offered to Caesar. Some people knew about the plan of the conspirators and tried to warn Caesar. But Caesar did not want to listen to the common people and he went on to the stage. There, he was killed.
The wife of Brutus (the most important conspirator), called Portia, noticed something was wrong. Brutus told her of their plans and when her husband was away to kill Caesar, she died without a clearly known cause.
Mark Antony, who was in favour of Caesar, came to bury the body. At his oration he did not say anything bad about the conspirators, but he did make the public angry with them.
After the burial Mark Antony, Octavius Caesar and Aemilius Lepidus (all in favour of Caesar) came to battle with the conspirators. By a fault of Brutus they won.
4. Summary of the third act
On the way to the senate, where Caesar shall be crowned, the conspirators are trying to please him. Mark Antony is kept out of the way. Caesar is not impressed by all the flattering that is done.
Then they all stab Caesar. Caesar says his last words “Et tu, Brute? Then fall Caesar.” After that Caesar dies.
The public is told what has happened. Mark Antony has fled away in fear of his own life.
A servant of Mark Antony came to the conspirators to ask whether Mark Antony was allowed to speak on the burial. He was. But Cassius was not certain that Mark Antony would not make the conspirators look bad. But Brutus allows him to, after Mark Antony has said that he thought them noble men.
Octavius Caesar should come to Rome, but Mark Antony tells his servant what was happened and said that Octavius would be better off if he stayed away.
The public wants to know why the killing of Caesar was needed. After explaining done by Brutus and Cassius (one of the conspirators and the brother of Brutus), in which they told the public that Caesar was to powerful, the public was content.
At the burial Mark Antony did not say anything bad about the conspirators but he did say a lot of good about Caesar. Because of that the public did not accept Caesar being dead anymore. Because of this the conspirators are not safe in Rome anymore.
5. The main character
In my opinion the main character is Brutus. I think so, because he is the most important conspirator.
In the beginning Brutus was not sure by killing Caesar, but Cassius (his brother) talks with him about it, and after that Brutus wants Caesar to die. Brutus is shown that there are more conspirators.
The night before the murder, Brutus is very nervous. He can not sleep. The conspirators come to his house. Brutus tells them that he actually likes Caesar, but that the power of Caesar is too big for his opinion. But he does make sure that Caesar is not killed in a brutal way.
Portia, the wife of Brutus is worried about him and asks him what the problem is. First Brutus did not want to tell her, but eventually he did because of his nerves.
Fast Brutus becomes one of the most important conspirators. This can be said because he is one of the two talking to the public about the reasons of the killing and he makes the most decisions. Also Cassius has an argument with Brutus in which he accuses him for making himself to important.
In the battle, Brutus decides to leave. This was to early and he got killed. This was because Brutus was too ambitious.
6. The central theme
I think the central theme is over-ambition.
For a start Caesar was too ambitious. His followers did not accept that anymore and they killed him.
Second I think Brutus was too ambitious too. He became one of the most important conspirators in little time. Also he thought himself a lot of power. Cassius said this to him and Brutus denied. But this was not true. In the battle of the conspirators against the men in favour of Caesar, Brutus made a decision on his own, which caused his dead.
And the last reason was that Cassius committed suicide after the battle, because he thought that he had taken to much power.
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