Tag Archive for julius caesar

World Lit: Brainstorming Day

Standard: ELAGSE9-10W1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

Learning Target: I can develop an argument about a theme in Julius Caesar.

Opening Session: Why care about Caesar?

Work Session: Today I’m going to give you your essay assignment for this unit! You will be doing a literary analysis essay, which means you will be analyzing a specific question or theme raised in Julius Caesar. Here’s the deets:

Julius Caesar Essay Assignment

Your assignment is to write an analytical essay about one of the topics listed below. Choose a side for your topic and write an argumentative essay of about 750 words in which you examine your topic and explain which interpretation is best supported by evidence from the play. You will need to use at least six quotes from the play with proper lead-ins and citations. Your essay should also address and refute the counterargument, explaining the other side and why that side is wrong.

Your essay must:

  • Choose a side (do not argue “in the middle” or “It depends”)
  • Be approximately 750 words in length
  • Be supported by evidence (quotes) from the play
  • Incorporate a minimum of 6 quotes, each with proper lead-in and citation
  • Address and refute the counterargument

Topic Choices:

  1. Fate vs. Free Will: Throughout the play, we see Caesar warned about his impending doom over and over again. Despite all the signs telling him to stay home, Caesar goes to the Senate anyway on the Ides of March, where he is brutally murdered by a conspiracy of Senators. Was Caesar’s end predetermined by the gods/fate/destiny? Or was it Caesar’s own arrogance that led him to his doom?


  1. Did Brutus kill Caesar for good reasons or bad reasons? Marcus Brutus’s internal conflict of whether or not he should murder his friend Caesar is one of the central conflicts of the play. Brutus is good friends with Caesar, but believes that Caesar is an ambitious tyrant. However, the people love Caesar, and Caesar’s assent to power also takes power away from Brutus. Did Brutus kill Caesar because he did not want to lose his own powerful position in Rome? Or did Brutus kill Caesar because he truly believed it was for the good of his country?


  1. Did anyone die a noble death? Like most Shakespearean tragedies, almost all of the characters are dead by the end of the play. Several commit suicide (Brutus, Cassius, Portia), and Caesar is murdered. When he finds Brutus’s body, Octavius says Brutus was the noblest Roman of all. Does anyone in the play truly die a noble death? Or does everyone ultimately die in a cowardly or tragic way?

Your essay is due Monday, March 12th.


After we talk about each topic and I hand out the topic sheets, I want you to start brainstorming. Flip to the back of your sheet, choose your topic, and write a sentence that explains your stance on it. This will become your thesis statement. Then, start jotting down bullet points about why you think that or how you formed that opinion. For example, if you think that Caesar’s arrogance led to his death, jot down all the examples you can think of when Caesar is arrogant in the play. This brainstorming technique is called a brain dump.

Closing Session: After we brain dump, I want to take a little informal survey of y’all’s opinions!!

Assessment: Formal (essay)

Differentiation: Process (scaffolding)

World Lit: Recap!

Standard: ELAGSE9-10RL1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

Learning Target: I can understand rhetorical devices and find examples of them in “Caesar’s Funeral Speech” from Julius Caesar.

Opening Session: Caesar THUGNOTES!

Work Session: VOCAB!!!

  1. Visage
  2. Puissant
  3. Emulation
  4. Interred
  5. Ambitious
  6. Honorable
  7. Grievously
  8. Coffers
  9. Heir
  10. Bequeath

And I swear to you, we WILL have a quiz this week, and I WILL NOT FORGET!! Sheesh…

After vocab, we will recap the questions you guys did last Thursday and Friday. Then, I’ll give you your assignment for tomorrow while I’m out. Have fun!

Closing Session: Share out rhetorical devices.

Assessment: Informal – book check

Differentiation: Process – reading in groups or solo.

World Lit: Act V, the Grand Finale


  • ELAGSE9-10RL6 Analyze a particular point of view or cultural experience reflected in a work of literature from outside the United States, drawing on a wide reading of world literature.

Learning Target: I can finish reading Julius Caesar and understand why the characters died in the way that they did; I can discuss my feelings about the play with my classmates.

Opening Session: THUGNOTES! This will recap the entire play and give you some analysis on it as well.

Work Session: Today we’re finishing up reading Julius Caesar by reading Act V! Yay! After this we’ve read the entire play! Which, personally, I think is pretty cool

As we read Act V, I want you to take note of how everyone starts to die – not just the fact that everyone is dying, but HOW they do it. You’ll notice that each character chooses his own time and means of death, and there’s lots of discussion of honor and who is more honorable and taking the honor and…what’s all this about honor?

We will pause in the reading after each major death and discuss these things.

Closing Session:

When we finish reading the play and it’s all said and done, I want you guys to write a little paragraph for me:

Ticket out the door: Why did the Romans consider suicide to be more honorable than dying in battle? How is that different than what we think today? Why do you think it is so different?


Process, readiness, interest (different length reading parts).


TOTDs will be summatively assessed, formative checks for understanding during class discussion

World Lit: Act IV, the Home Stretch!


ELAGSE9-10RL3 Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.

Learning Target: I can understand act IV of Julius Caesar and analyze the motives of one of the main characters in a story by using a bubble map to describe him.

Opening Session: Daily video! This will preview Act IV and Act V of Julius Caesar, and provide a humorous and simple perspective on the various characters in the play.

Work Session: Today we are continuing with our reading of Julius Caesar by reading act IV. No lie, the book is kind of downhill after act III. I mean, they fight a war and all, but aside from that nothing happens. In other words, the climax of the story was definitely Caesar’s death and funeral last act. I also want to point out to you today that Shakespeare violates the bajeezes out of something called the classical unities – that is, the play should take place in one general spot (unity of place), it shouldn’t span more than a day or so (unity of time), and there should be very few if any subplots (unity of action). Shakespeare basically throws those out the window. Anyway, get ready to read your parts again today!!!

As we finish reading act IV today, I’d like you guys to pick a character and work on describing them. Make a bubble map – I’ll make an example on the board for you – write your character’s name in the center and five adjectives that describe your character in the bubbles around it.

You may choose from Caesar, Brutus, Cassius, Casca, or Antony.

Closing Session: Think-pair-share with a partner who used a DIFFERENT character than you did – then share with the group the adjectives your partner chose to describe his or her character. Differentiation: Process, interest, readiness (different length reading parts based on readiness and interest); Interest, product (choice of character for bubble map.)
Assessment: Bubble maps will be graded

World Lit: Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Lend me your Wednesday!


  • ELAGSE9-10RL4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone.)

 Learning Target: I can understand Antony’s famous “Friends, Romans, Countrymen” speech, both for its meaning as well as for its impact.

Opening Session: Look at these two versions of Antony’s famous speech that we’re about to read (preview). What do you notice is different about the two interpretations? Which one do you like better? Which one do you think is closer to how Shakespeare intended it to be?

Work Session: Today we are going to finish reading Act III, which contains the most famous scenes in the entire play, the funeral speeches!! We’re also going to see act III scene III, which is kind of entertaining and is intended as comic relief.

After we finish that, we’re going to work on a translation of Antony’s famous speech to modern English. You can use any slang or informal language you like, so long as you keep the meaning from the original intact. We also need to go down to the computer lab for another formative assessment, so we’ll do that during the first half of class.

That’s today, y’all! Hope you have a fabulous weekend!!

Closing Session: 3 volunteers to share their speeches with the class!

Assessment: Speech translations will be graded

Differentiation: Process, readiness, interest (Varied reading part lengths based on readiness and interest); process (graphic organizers for the speech translation, adapted speech versions (No Fear Shakespeare) as needed).