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Hennessy Catholic College

HSC Advanced English

Module C: Representation and Text
Elective 2: Conflicting Perspectives
Text: Shakespeares Julius Caesar


MODULE C: Representation and Text
This module requires students to explore various representations of events, personalities or
situations. They evaluate how medium of production, textual form, perspective and choice of
language influence meaning. The study develops students understanding of the relationships
between representation and meaning. (Reread English Stage 6 Syllabus, p 52.)

MODULE C: Representation and Text
Elective 1: Conflicting Perspectives
In their responding and composing, students consider the ways in which conflicting perspectives on events, personalities
or situations are represented in their prescribed text and other related texts of their own choosing. Students analyse and
evaluate how acts of representation, such as the choice of textual forms, features and language, shape meaning and
influence responses.
Students choose one of the following texts as the basis of their further exploration of the representations of conflicting
Shakespearean Drama
Shakespeare, William, Julius Caesar, Cambridge University Press, New Cambridge Shakespeare, 2004, ISBN:
9780521535137; or Cambridge School Shakespeare, 1992, ISBN: 9780521409032, or 2008, ISBN: 9780521706773
Prose Fiction
Guterson, David, Snow Falling on Cedars, Bloomsbury/Allen & Unwin, 1995 or 2008, ISBN: 9780747522669; or 2007,
ISBN: 9780747590040
Drama (d) or Film (f)
Whelan, Peter, The Herbal Bed, Josef Weinberger/Hal Leonard Australia, 1996, ISBN: 9780856762239 (d)
Levinson, Barry, Wag the Dog, Roadshow, 1997 (f)
Hughes, Ted, Birthday Letters, Faber/Allen & Unwin, 2005, ISBN: 9780571194735
Fulbright Scholars, The Shot, The Minotaur, Sam, Your Paris, Red
Robertson, Geoffrey, The Justice Game, Vintage/Random House, 1998, ISBN: 9780099581918 The Trials of Oz,
Michael X on Death Row, The Romans in Britain, The Prisoner of Venda, Show Trials, Diana in the Dock: Does
Privacy Matter?, Afterword: The Justice Game

Module C: Representation and Text

This module requires students to explore various representations of events,
personalities or situations. They evaluate how medium of production, textual
form, perspective and choice of language influence meaning. The study
develops students understanding of the relationships between representation
and meaning.

Each elective in this module requires the study of one prescribed text offering a
representation of an event, personality or situation. Students are also required to
supplement this study with texts of their own choosing which provide a variety
of representations of that event, personality or situation. These texts are to be
drawn from a variety of sources, in a range of genres and media.

Students explore the ways in which different media present information and ideas to
understand how various textual forms and their media of production offer different
versions and perspectives for a range of audiences and purposes.

Students develop a range of imaginative, interpretive and analytical compositions
that relate to different forms and media of representation. These compositions may
be realised in a variety of forms and media.

BOS definition:

Representation The ways ideas are portrayed through texts.
Re-present how does the punctuation assist you to develop understanding of the
Representations of an event, personality or situation can be expanded upon or
challenged depending on the perspective written from. You must assess representations
from the range of perspectives: social, cultural, political, historical, gender, religious and
intellectual in which they are created and from which they are received and read (your
Assess and deconstruct the stereotypical from the objective, bias from subjectivity.
Assess and deconstruct authorial purpose and intentional agendas against the position
and agenda of the readers reception and the agenda in studying the text.

Meaning: The dynamic relationship between text and responder involving information
(explicit and implicit), the affective and the contextual.

Meaning in and through texts: This expression implies that:
meaning variously resides in texts
is a dynamic process through which responders engage with texts, and
involves the incorporation of understanding gained through texts into a wider

Fill in the table with your interpretation of the vocabulary of the syllabus:
Syllabus Vocabulary Actual Your interpretation
Medium of Production Drama Script

Textual Form Drama Script
Stage Performance

Choice of Language Soliloquy
Direct address
Dramatic irony



Event Assassination of Caesar and the impact on the
Roman Republic

Personality Julius Caesar

Situation Usurpation of leadership and assassination
literally or figuratively - to publically defeat or
refute the power invested in the personage

Provide a range of synonyms and antonyms for:











Past HSC Questions:
You need to test all evidence you select from Shakespeares Julius Caesar and from your related
texts against these questions. Discard any evidence or ORTs hat cannot be discussed with all
1. You are speaking to an audience of your peers. Compose a speech in which you
demonstrate how your understanding of conflicting perspectives is shaped by the
construction of the texts. (2009 CSSA Trial)

2. How does the representation vehicle you have studied allow Conflicting Perspectives
to be revealed?

3. The idea of Conflicting Perspectives suggests that the composers of the texts present
an evenhanded, unbiased attitude to the events, personalities or situations represented.
Evaluate the extent to which the representation of events, personalities or situations in
the texts you have studied reflect this attitude. (Independent 2009 Trial)

4. My perspectives were veiled Your Paris, Ted Hughes. To what extent has the
representation of your text and other material heightened your understanding of
Conflicting Perspectives?

5. There are no certainties, only representations. Discuss.

6. Acts of representation are carefully constructed to the audiences beliefs, desires and

7. Perspectives of an event, personality or situation may be manipulated by the ways in
which a composer represents them. Evaluate the ways in which the composer
manipulates perspectives in your prescribed text and in at least TWO other related
texts of your own choosing.

8. Conflicting perspectives of any event, personality or situation are a result of the ways
the composer represents them. Discuss this statement.

9. Dont be afraid of opposition. Remember, a kite rises against, not with, the wind.
Hamilton Mabie. Explore this proposition.

10. It is not possible to hold a mirror to what we seek to represent. Representation will
always modify thereby shaping meaning and influencing responses. To what extent do
you agree with this statement?

11. You are a speaker at a conference for writers and directors which is exploring the
relationships between representation and meaning. You have been asked to discuss
the extent to which conflicting perspectives intentionally distort meaning.

12. Exploring conflicting perspectives helps us gain a better understanding of our world.
Do you agree? In your response, make particular reference to your personal
understanding of this Elective. (ETA 2009 Trial)

13. Sometimes what is right to one person is wrong to another. How relevant is this
quotation to the ideas you have explored in your study of Conflicting Perspectives.
(ETA 2009 Trial)

14. Truth springs from argument amongst friends. David Hume. How far has
investigation of different arguments encountered in your study of [texts] led you to a
better understanding of the truth? (ETA 2009 Trial)

15. Passionate convictions, articulating opposing views, are presented in texts you have
studied. How effectively has your response been manipulated by the representation of
these views? (2010 CSSA Trial)

16. More than anything else, conflicting perspectives are the result of bias or self-interest.
Respond to this statement through an analysis of the ways perspectives are
represented in your prescribed text and at least ONE other related text of your own
choosing. (2011 CSSA Trial)

17. How does your study of this elective demonstrate the idea that conflicting
perspectives are shaped by the construction of texts?
Refer in detail to your prescribed text and at least ONE other related text of your own
choosing. (2011 GRC Trial)

18. Conflicting perspectives are fundamental to our human desire to raise questions. To
what extent do the texts you have studied in this module support or challenge this
idea. In your response, make detailed reference to your prescribed text and at least one
other related text of your own choosing. (Abbotsleigh 2010 Trial)

19. You have been asked to take part in a debate on the topic: that the existence of
conflicting perspectives in society can only be enriching. Write a speech that you
could use to argue FOR or AGAINST this statement. In your speech, support your
argument with close reference to how ideas have been represented in your prescribed
text and at least TWO other related texts of your own choosing. (Baulkham Hills 2010

20. Evaluate how composers acts of representation shape meaning and influence
responses on conflicting perspectives. In your response, you must refer to your
prescribed text and at least ONE additional text of your own choosing. (Fort Street
2010 Trial)

21. How have the texts you have studied in this elective enhanced your understanding of
the complexities of conflicting perspectives? Refer to your prescribed text and TWO
texts of your own choosing. (James Ruse 2010 Trial)

22. At the heart of representation are acts of deliberate selection and emphasis. How does
your prescribed text and ONE text of your own choosing illustrate this in relation to
Conflicting Perspectives? (North Sydney Girls 2010 Trial)

23. It does not help us understand an event, situation or a personality when we encounter
conflicting perspectives about that event, situation or personality. You have been
asked to present a view on this statement to an audience of HSC students. Write a
transcript of the speech you would give. In your response, you must make detailed
reference to your prescribed text and at least TWO other texts of your own choosing.
(St Ignatius Riverview 2010 Trial)

24. Explore how [core text] and ONE other related text of your own choosing represent
conflicting perspectives in unique and evocative ways.

25. To what extent has textual form shaped your understanding of conflicting
In your response, make detailed reference to your prescribed text and at least ONE
other related text of your own choosing.

26. Analyse the ways conflicting perspectives generate diverse and provocative insights.
In your response, make detailed reference to your prescribed text and at least ONE
other related text of your own choosing.

27. Compare how the texts you have studied emphasise the complexities evident in the
nature of conflicting perspectives.

28. How have the texts studied in this elective challenged your ways of thinking about
Conflicting Perspectives?

29. Texts in this elective offer perspectives on the significance of truth in human
Were you persuaded to embrace these perspectives?
30. At the heart of representation are acts of deliberate selection and emphasis.
Do the texts you have studied demonstrate this in relation to Conflicting

31. You are the keynote speaker at a conference for young writers and directors.
The title of your presentation is: Visions and Versions of Conflicting Perspectives.
In your presentation, explore how and for what purpose composers create their visions
and version.

32. Imagine you are a journalist. You have been asked to contribute an article to an
educational supplement for HSC students about the ways texts represent Conflicting
Your headline is Representation and Misrepresentation.

33. How has your understanding of events, personalities or situations been shaped by
their representations in the texts you have studied?

34. You have created an exhibition of texts entitled One persons perspective is
The exhibition includes your prescribed text and other related texts of your own
Write your speech for the opening night of the exhibition. In your speech, explain
how the exhibition reflects your vision of conflicting perspectives.

Techniques and structures to look for that present conflicting perspectives in
Shakespeare and your related texts
Active versus passive verbs
Metaphors- simple or in preference extended and how the language extends synecdoche,
metonymy etc.
Simile how the comparative is constructed and with what and for what purpose and to what
Visual imagery artwork, photography or picture book analysis - , juxtaposition of contrasting
images, deliberate use of size or perspective, framing, colours, lines, shapes forms to deliberately
expose conflicting views of the same event, personality or situation
Poetic devices juxtaposition created through simile, figurative language including alliteration,
antithesis, contradiction, allusion, contextual metaphors
Modality use of specific verbs to construct an agenda or manipulate or persuade the audience
either within or external to the text
Tone- how is it constructed- usually through verbs, adverbs and adjectival phrasing, use the tone
words list to develop vocabulary here. Sardonic, mocking, satirical, critical, duplicitous, wary,
antagonistic, bitter, deprecating, ambiguous, ruthless, benevolent,
Imagery bestial, connotative images that represent or symbolise perspectives of an event,
personality or situation
Hyperbole, hyperbolic metaphor
Thematic synopsis
Contrast, contradictions,
Dramatic movement
Tragedy/tragic hero/ tragic flaw
Rhetorical devices- especially in Shakespeare logos, ethos, pathos and the devices used to
construct same, political rhetoric
Metre and rhyme or rhythm of speech- iambic pentameter, blank verse; examine in particular the
different ways Shakespeare has Antony and Brutus give their funeral orations- iambic pentameter
v poetic verse which view is being privileged?
Structural premises, how the narrative unfolds and why in that order differs across texts to
present or privilege one perspective over another
Voice- which voices are privileged and which are silenced
Allusion to heroes, historical events, legend and myth with metaphorical or hyperbolic effect
Parallels- in text, in speeches, in characterisation, in image form, in editing to present perspectives
in film
Micro versus macro structure of the play- vignettes that unfold creating a play in itself within
texts- evident cross a range of text types
Staging directions, editing decisions,
Irony, paradox evident across all texts types but state how it is constructed dramatic,
situational, verbal,
Tragic hero
Puns comedic relief, entendre
Apostrophe invocations in Shakespeare
Anthropomorphism, personification
Repetition, anaphora and how it is constructed and why
Jargon, rhetoric
Sensory imagery
Logic objective language
Subjective language
First, second, third person emotive, subjective, versus objective or distancing
Rhetorical question
Dialectical language
Polemical language
Language of extreme opposites oxymorons
Antithesis direct or indirect contradictions of argument (Brutus and Caesar both use this
strategy, one in sincerity, one to satirise.

Suggested texts that can be used as related material:

Film Prose Fiction
and non-
Short stories,
Documentary Poetry Artworks,
Image and
Picture Books
Good Morning
In the Lake of the
Woods Tim
The Pedestrian
Ray Bradbury
Four Hours in My
We Are Going
Artwork: Girl
Before a Mirror
Platoon The Bell Jar
Sylvia Plath
The Story of an
Hour Kate
HOPE Bora Ring Judith
Artwork: Kate
Durham Siev X
Sliding Doors Pamela Samuel
Letters to Literary
Ladies Maria
Bowling for
Columbine -
This Lime Tree
Bower my Prison -
Artwork: My Wife
Nude Salvador
Philadelphia Heart of Darkness -
A Vindication of
the Rights of
women -
Leaky Boat -

The Lovesong of J
Alfred Prufrock
T S Elliot

Propaganda Posters
Australian, Nazi,
Avatar Animal Farm -
Rights of Man
Thomas Paine
documentary on
Conflict with Israel

Poetry that reveals
a dominant cultural
voice and then
suggests the
submission or
rejection of
oppression of the
group- resistance I
the form of poetry
protest works
such as
Slave poetry
African American
Native American
Apartheid poetry
Indigenous poetry

PB: The Rabbits by
John Marsden and
Shaun Tan
Spotswood 1984 - Orwell I Have a Dream -
Outfoxed Easter 1916 - Yeats PB: The Island by
Armin Greder
The Island Brave New World
Aldous Huxley
Redfern Speech
Paul Keating
Fahrenheit 9/11 Paradise Lost -
Artwork: Blue
Poles /criticism
and art theory by
Sydney Pollack
AI Fahrenheit 451
Ray Bradbury
The Limerick
loves- Maria
The Awful Truth War Poems_
Wilfred Owen ( not
those on the HSC
Standard List
PB: Black and
White by David
Apocalypto Crime and
Punishment -
A Modest Proposal
- Swift
Frontline War Poetry of
Siegfried Sassoon

Anonymous Dracula Bram
Biopics Hawke

Digging Seamus

Spotswood The Picture of
Dorian Gray -
JFK documentaries Ode to melancholy
John Keats
Ode to a
Nightingale John

Motorcycle Diaries Motorcycle Diaries Refugee Blues by
W H Auden

Maos Last Dancer Sense and
Regicide Poetry
just Google -
excellent resources

The Power of One Jane Eyre Bronte
The Green Mile Maos Last Dancer
Li Cunxin
The Hollow Men
T S Elliot

The Shawshank
Cry Freedom
John Briley

The Power of One
The Boys from
The Boys from
Brazil- Ira Levin

Lord of the Flies Lord of the Flies-

Flowers for
To Kill a

Runaway Jury The Year of Living

Goodnight and
Good Luck
Uncle Toms Cabin
Harriet Beecher

The Reader GulliversTravels -

Life is Beautiful Shindlers List
(also in film)

Websites Newspaper
Cronulla Riots SIEVX.com Henson Art or

Cronulla Riots Malcolm X Vietnam images
girl running from
Gillard v Rudd
debates, either
personal or written
in analysis
Belonging CSIRO Wheat

Four Corners Not without my
Daughter (also in
written text)

Henson art or
Holocaust websites Media Watch Go Back to Where
You Came From
any series but
most current is best

Greenpeace v
Vietnam Veterans
Q and A find a
specific topic

How to study Julius Caesar and identify then analyse conflicting

Make a detailed list of each character in the text
Mind map who each character aligns with or is in opposition to
Locate textual references that suggest acceptance, and rejection of other characters or
Assess and locate textual references where individuals experience inner conflict and
evaluate their own perspectives acknowledging conflict ( Brutus)
Evaluate Shakespeares perspective and how the language exposes his perspective
Evaluate if any language privileges one perspective over the other?
Select key scenes, soliloquies or monologues then deconstruct in detail for techniques
and how they have been uses to reveal/expose/challenge/confront perspectives
Identify the conflict that surrounds Caesar and who constructs the conflict
Assess Brutus role and internal conflict
Assess Cassius revengeful and aggressive stance as a find suggest how he has been
used as a foil to Antony or Brutus perspectives
How is Cassius anger and frustration and fear and need for regicide explored in the
Who argues against regicide and why?
Why are the perspectives of Caesar differing across the characters as a man, as a
leader, as a monarch and how do these differ from Caesars own perspective?
What is the significance of the Republic, the idea of monarchy, the concepts of
liberty, freedom and honour in the text? How do the perspectives of what these ideas
constitute differ across the various character
What events take place what is the reaction of a range of individuals Brutus,
Antony, Cassius, Flavius, the populace?
Are the conflicting perspectives resolved with Caesars death?
After analysing your key quotes in excruciating detail test your evidence against the
34 suggested questions. Evaluate your effectiveness in choice of references and
analysis in responding to each question. What evidence would you need to discard,
what evidence do you still need to locate?
After analysing your key quotes in excruciating detail test your evidence against the
examiners comments for Conflicting Perspectives that are on the Board of Studies
Website not just last years comments but those of previous years- are you meeting
the requirements for the stronger responses with your choice of references and your
depth of analysis?
Read the academic readings provided. Reassess your analysis against these readings
Develop a position about conflicting perspectives that you can use in any essay- your
thesis statement.
Test your references and arguments against your thesis statement and reevaluate or
amend evidence as required

How to read, study, analyse and evaluate the links between your related
text choices and Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

Read the text closely and identify the key events, personalities or situations that are
evident and represent conflicting perspectives
Complete the relevant ORT analysis sheet
Identify key scenes, passages, quotes that reflect conflict either at an individual or
group level
Locate the parallel that reflects antithesis, argument, rejection of other view the
conflicting perspective
Analyse judiciously chosen references for techniques relevant to the text type ensure
you select texts or references that are rich in technique
Create a comparative text type chart- demonstrate similarities or differences in
techniques noting how they link to similar arguments on conflicting perspectives with
Julius Caesars dramatic techniques
Make a comparative chart between your ORTs and Julius Caesar and evaluate how it
links or makes a comparison
Locate evidence that stands apart from Julius Caesar but demonstrates a distinct
conflicting perspective to use in paragraphs in isolation
Identify the contexts that surround the meaning of your text
Test your analysis against the module description and rubric
Test your analysis against each of the past paper questions (ALL OF THEM)
Test your analysis against the markers comments on the Board of Studies website
Test your analysis against exemplars
Reevaluate any references that need to be updated or discarded
Write into paragraphs, either discrete or as comparatives with Julius Caesar as
Test your work against the thesis statement/s you have decided upon- make changes
as required
Go the Descriptor Bands provided by the Board of Studies for Advanced English
Print off the rubrics for two past exams for this Module (Module C). Develop the
rubric in more details so you can determine what each dot point is requiring.
Print off the Notes from the BOS Marking Centre for the past two years and highlight
and annotate to aspects of the Descriptor bands and rubrics
Create a scaffold for an essay, a debate, an interview script and a formal speech that
you can use to rehearse your understandings and analysis of the core and related texts
you have developed.
Evaluate, develop further sophistication and insight, reevaluate, reassess, use every
subject throughout the HSC to build your depth and breadth of understanding and
continually revise the work notes you compete in readiness for mid-year
examinations and Trials.

Exercises to do with Shakespeares J ulius Caesar

Construct a table for each character identifying key events they are involved in, their political
position, their theoretic position on Caesar and whether the character demonstrates shifts or changes
in their internal perspectives of Caesar. Locate how language is used and shaped to reveal/expose
perspectives and the actions/decisions/shifts or catalysts that occur in the internalisation of ideas.

Construct a table of conflicting perspectives of people and events in the text. Who is at greatest
opposing perspectives? Who is manipulated by the perspectives of others? Are the perspectives based
on moral/ethical/political/social/human factors? How is language used to shape these perspectives. Do
the perspectives change across the text? What do the changes suggest about the
stability/integrity/naivety/ malevolence of the characters involved?

Take each Scene of the play and insert into the text analyser on www.usingenglish.com.
Locate significant language that is repeated in the scene (bolder and bigger) Evaluate why this
language is used and privileged in the text. Is any of the language suggesting silences?

Select two quotes about Caesar from the perspective of different characters from each scene in the
play. Identify the common or conflicting perspectives present across the play as a whole. What is
Shakespeares purpose and effectiveness in revealing these perspectives as he does?

The original folio printing of the text states that the title is The Tragedie of Julius Caesar. What is the
true tragedy of the play? Write an analysis of the tragedy of each character in terms of how conflicting
perspectives leads to the downfall of humanity. Discuss the paradox of humanitys perpetuating of the
destruction of themselves as represented in this play.

Go the CSU HSC online material on Julius Caesar. Go through the notes and exercise and create notes
that you can use in your study and essays.

Develop an annotated plot graph of key events in the text that reflect conflicting perspectives. Look
for patterns of the protagonists of the conflict and the impact it has on other characters across the
play- whether literal, inferential, metaphysical or philosophical.

Read the academic readings on the play provided for you. Annotate for key arguments and theses you
can use to develop a range of statements from. Evaluate these thesis statements in light of the essay
questions you have been provide with. Discard unsuitable ones and develop those which are relevant.

Construct visual interpretations of the conflict between characters. Annotate the images presenting
size and proportion as evidence of the power juxtapositions between the characters. Evaluate how the
visual representations reshape your understanding of the conflict and the significance of opposing
views of Caesar, of his politics, of his supporters, of his death and of his value as an historical figure
in representations such as literature.

Develop the transcript of a debate entitled Butchers or Purgers. Argue both sides of this debate using
textual evidence that identifies, exposes and evaluates the impact of the conflicting perspectives
embedded in the text. You must have evidence from a range of Acts and Scenes across the play
including Act One Scene One and Act Five, final scene.

Identify which characters speak in what metre and rhyme. What are the patterns? Evaluate how the
language patterns are used by Shakespeare to represent the conflicting perspectives?

Related Text Synthesis

After creating a detailed analysis of each related text (you must complete at least TWO) using
the scaffolds provided, develop tables that link the texts to Shakespeares Julius Caesar.

Julius Caesar ORT 1 ORT 2

Julius Caesar ORT 1 ORT 2

Julius Caesar ORT 1 ORT 2

Studying a Drama Text for HSC English
1. List the name, author and publication details of the play.
Must know the provenance.
Must know the edition you are using for the HSC.
2. Develop a brief context sentence not a retell for example: Shakespeares effective
development of characters and setting presents the paradoxes and ironies innate to the concept of
conflicting perspectives.
3. Establish the context for the play
When was the play written?
Who was it written by?
How does this work fit into the context of the composers other works?
What does the play suggest about society?
What does the play suggest about the culture it has been written to be received in?
Are there any social or cultural assumptions present in the text?
What political commentaries are being made in the content of the text?
What gender constructs does the text affirm or subvert?
What philosophical and intellectual arguments re being made in the text?
What values are exposed in the text?

4. Establish purpose and audience:
What is the purpose of the text?
What issues does it raise discussion about?
Are these issues limited by the time period in which the text is set or are they universal?
What do you think the composer is attempting to convey?
Is there any evidence of intertextual or archetypal texts content that provide evidence to
confirm your assertion of purpose?
Who was the audience for the text?
What social classes did the audience represent?
What level of education did the audience have?
What does the content of the play suggest about the audience?
Are there any records to suggest a response from the audience to the text? What was it
and how effective was the composer in conveying his ideas?

5. Where does the text belong in the history of literature?
What themes dies the text deal with?
What issues does the text use to convey the themes?]
What specific ideas are raised that argue for the theme of the text?
Is the composer effective at conveying the themes? Why? Why not?
How has the composer conveyed the theme effectively?
What language techniques has he/she used? How are they effective?
What complex vocabulary or phrasing has been used?
How does the language include or exclude the reader?
What links, either implicit or explicit does it make to other texts?

6. Stage directions
What stage directions have been provided by the composer?
How realistic are these directions for the modern stage?
Are the stage directions limited by special effects or by the interpretation originally
designed by the composer?
How could this affect a response form a contemporary audience?
Do the stage directions provide any specific insights into the composer or the audience?
What assumptions are made by a director when accessing the text for a performance?

7. Develop a detailed character analysis of each Act and Scene
You should create visual mind maps of the interactions and relationships between the
characters i.e. Is it love, power, pity that form the interconnections and relationships
with the other characters in the text?
Establish the power roles of each character
Establish what is gendered about the dialogue Shakespeare has constructed for each
Identify any subversions of gender that take place through the dialogue
Differentiate between the dialogue used between all male characters on the stage as
well as all female and male / female interactions. How does the language change? What
is Shakespeare attempting to do?
Has social class been engendered into the text and how does, for example, the language
of characters differentiate and demonstrate social class, education etc.?
Does the language used by each character change as the text progresses? How and

8. Language and structure
List the major metaphors, allusions, metaphysical conceits, ironies, paradoxes used in
the text. Explain how each one provides insight into the purpose, contexts and
underlying themes of the text
List the significant phrases, soliloquies and monologues in the text.
Why have you selected these references? Do they demonstrate change in your
characters? Do they represent conflicting perspectives?
How do the extracts you have selected provide a sense of continuity to the text?
Why has the text been constructed as it has?
What do the various language forms, features and structures of the text suggest about
the composer? Audience?
What other major language forms or structures are used in the text?
Historical Context Notes Worksheet
What is the historical context?

How does the historical context
impact on the text? (use of
Events, key characters, sites,
dates. Inference, allusions, factual
statements etc.)

Does the historical context
provide insight or depth into the
events or characters in the text?
How? Why?

How does the historical context
affect your response to the text?

What specific language features
or structures of the text convey
the historical context? (motifs,
symbols, metaphors, similes,
descriptors etc.)

Copy out any quotes (and their
provenance) that you may need
to use in your final work that
suggest or provide evidence of
historical context?

Political Context Notes Worksheet
What is the political context?
(Examine relationships of power,
government power, bullying, force,
demands, any character or individual
that is forced or coerced into acting in
a certain way or who is restricted
from acting in a certain way by a
higher power or more powerful

How is the political context revealed
in the text characterisation, setting,
themes, issues, ideas, values,
symbols, motifs etc

Does the political context provide
depth or insight into the events or
characters in the text? How? Why?

How does the political context affect
your response to the text? (Include,
exclude etc.?)

What specific language features or
structures of the text convey the
political context? (motifs, symbols,
metaphors, similes, descriptors etc.)

Copy out any quotes (and their
provenance) that you may need to
use in your final work that suggest or
provide evidence of political context?

Intellectual Context Notes Worksheet
What is the intellectual context
explored in the text ideas about
life, philosophy the big ideas the
text deals with?

How does the intellectual context
impact on the text (include,
exclude, determine level of
education the audience needs to
explore meaning etc.)?

Does the intellectual context
provide depth or insight into the
events or characters in the text?
How? Why?

How does the intellectual context
affect your response to the text?

What specific language features
or structures of the text convey
the intellectual context? (motifs,
symbols, metaphors, similes,
descriptors etc.)

Copy out any quotes (and their
provenance) that you may need
to use in your final work that
suggest or provide evidence of
intellectual context?

Social Context Notes Worksheet
What is the social context?
(education, work, family
relationships and friendships -
professional or personal)

How is social context used by the
composer to shape meaning in
the text?

Does the social context provide
depth or insight into the events or
characters in the text? How?
Why? (For example, does any
change in social context occur
that creates conflicting
perspectives of characters or

How does the social context affect
your response to the text?

What specific language features
or structures of the text convey
the social context? (motifs,
symbols, metaphors, similes,
descriptors etc.)

Copy out any quotes (and their
provenance) that you may need
to use in your final work that
suggest or provide evidence of
social context?

References you MUST read to develop your view on Shakespeares veracity
or reconstruction of the narrative of Caesar from primary sources:



J ulius Caesar: Analysis by Act and Scene
From Julius Caesar. Ed. Henry Norman Hudson. New York: Ginn and Co., 1908.
Act I, Scene i. The popularity of Csar with the Roman mob and the jealousy of the official
classes--the two motive forces of the play--are revealed. The fickleness of the mob is shown
in a spirit of comedy; the antagonism of Marullus and Flavius strikes the note of tragedy.
Act I, Scene ii, 1-304. The supreme characters are introduced, and in their opening speeches
each reveals his temperament and foreshadows the part which he will play. The exposition of
the situation is now complete.
Act I, Scene ii, 305-319. In soliloquy Cassius unfolds his scheme for entangling Brutus in the
conspiracy, and the dramatic complication begins.
Act I, Scene iii. Casca, excited by the fiery portents that bode disaster to the state, is
persuaded by Cassius to join "an enterprise of honourable-dangerous consequence" (lines
123-124). The conspirators are assigned to their various posts, and Cassius engages to secure
Brutus before morning.
Act II, Scene i. The humane character of Brutus, as master, husband, and citizen, is
elaborated, and his attitude to Csar and the conspiracy of assassination clearly shown. He
joins the conspirators--apparently their leader, in reality their tool. In lines 162-183 he pleads
that the life of Antony be spared, and thus unconsciously prepares for his own ruin.
Act II, Scene ii. Csar is uneasy at the omens and portents, and gives heed to Calpurnia's
entreaties to remain at home, but he yields to the importunity of Decius and starts for the
Capitol, thus advancing the plans of the conspirators. The dramatic contrast between Csar
and Brutus is strengthened by that between Calpurnia in this scene and Portia in the
Act II, Scene iii. The dramatic interest is intensified by the warning of Artemidorus and the
suggestion of a way of escape for the protagonist.
Act II, Scene iv. The interest is further intensified by the way in which readers and spectators
are made to share the anxiety of Portia.
Act III, Scene i, 1-122. The dramatic movement is now rapid, and the tension, indicated by
the short whispered sentences of all the speakers except Csar, is only increased by his
imperial utterances, which show utter unconsciousness of the impending doom. In the
assassination all the complicating forces--the self-confidence of Csar, the unworldly
patriotism of Brutus, the political chicanery of Cassius, the unscrupulousness of Casca, and
the fickleness of the mob--bring about an event which changes the lives of all the characters
concerned and threatens the stability of the Roman nation. The death of Csar is the climax
of the physical action of the play; it is at the same time the emotional crisis from which
Brutus comes with altered destiny.

Act III, Scene i, 123-298. With Brutus's "Soft! who comes here? A friend of Antony's" begins
the resolution, or falling action, of the play. "The fortune of the conspirators, hitherto in the
ascendant, now declines, while 'Csar's spirit' surely and steadily prevails against them."--
Verity. Against the advice of Cassius, Brutus gives Antony permission to deliver a public
funeral oration. Antony in a soliloquy shows his determination to avenge Csar, and the first
scene of the falling action closes with the announcement that Octavius is within seven
leagues of Rome.
Act III, Scene ii--Scene iii. The orations of Antony, in vivid contrast to the conciliatory but
unimpassioned speeches of Brutus, fire the people and liberate fresh forces in the falling
action. Brutus and Cassius have to fly the city, riding "like madmen through the gates of
Rome." In unreasoning fury the mob tears to pieces an innocent poet who has the same name
as a conspirator.
Act IV, Scene i. Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus, having formed a triumvirate of which
Antony is the master spirit, agree on a proscription list and join forces against Brutus and
Cassius, who "are levying powers."
Act IV, Scene ii. Brutus and Cassius, long parted by pride and obstinacy, meet to discuss a
plan of action.
Act IV, Scene iii. This is one of the most famous individual scenes in Shakespeare.... Its
intensely human interest is always conceded, but its dramatic propriety, because of what
seems a 'dragging' tendency, has been often questioned. The scene opens with Brutus and
Cassius bandying recriminations, and the quarrel of the two generals bodes disaster to their
cause. As the discussion proceeds, they yield points and become reconciled. Brutus then
quietly but with peculiar pathos tells of Portia's death by her own hand. In all the great
tragedies, with the notable exception of Othello, when the forces of the resolution, or falling
action, are gathering towards the dnouement, Shakespeare introduces a scene which appeals
to an emotion different from any of those excited elsewhere in the play. "As a rule this new
emotion is pathetic; and the pathos is not terrible or lacerating, but, even if painful, is
accompanied by the sense of beauty and by an outflow of admiration or affection, which
come with an inexpressible sweetness after the tension of the crisis and the first counter-
stroke. So it is with the reconciliation of Brutus and Cassius, and the arrival of the news of
Portia's death."--Bradley. While the shadow of her tragic passing overhangs the spirits of
both, Brutus overhears the shrewd, cautious counsel of Cassius and persuades him to assent
to the fatal policy of offering battle at Philippi. That night the ghost of Csar appears to
Act V, Scene i. The action now falls rapidly to the quick, decisive movement of the
dnouement. The antagonists are now face to face. Brutus and Cassius have done what
Antony and Octavius hoped that they would do. The opposing generals hold a brief parley in
which Brutus intimates that he is willing to effect a reconciliation, but Antony rejects his
proposals and bluntly charges him and Cassius with the wilful murder of Csar. Cassius
reminds Brutus of his warning that Antony should have fallen when Csar did. Antony,
Octavius, and their army retire, and the scene closes with the noble farewell without hope
between Brutus and Cassius.
Act V, Scene ii. The opposing armies meet on the field, and a final flare-up of hope in the
breast of Brutus is indicated by his spirited order to Messala to charge. The scene implies that
Cassius was defeated by being left without support by Brutus.

Act V, Scene iii. The charge ordered by Brutus has been successful, and Octavius has been
driven back, but Cassius is thus left unguarded, and Antony's forces surround him. He takes
refuge on a hill and sends Titinius to see "whether yond troops are friend or enemy."
Believing Titinius to be slain, he begs Pindarus to stab him, and Cassius dies "even with the
sword that kill'd" Csar. With the same sword Titinius then slays himself, and Brutus, when
Messala bears the news to him, exclaims in words that strike the keynote of the whole falling
action and dnouement:
O Julius Csar, thou art mighty yet!
Thy spirit walks abroad, and turns our swords
In our own proper entrails.
Act V, Scene iv. Like Hamlet, Brutus at the last is a man of supreme action. He rallies his
forces for a last attack. With hopeless failure before him, he is at once a heroic figure and one
of infinite pathos. Young Cato falls. Lucilius is attacked; assuming the name of Brutus, he is
not killed but taken prisoner. Antony recognizes him and gives orders that he be treated
Act V, Scene v. Brutus dies by his own sword, and his last words tell the story of failure and
defeat. Like a true Roman, he meets his doom without a murmur of complaint. He had been
true to his ideals. The tragic dnouement comes as the inevitable consequence, not of wilful
sin, but of a noble mistake. In death he commands the veneration of both Antony and
Octavius, who pronounce over his body the great interpretation of his character, and in their
speeches the tragedy closes as with a chant of victory for the hero of defeat.
1. Historic time. Csar's triumph over the sons of Pompey was celebrated in October, B.C.
45. Shakespeare makes this coincident with "the feast of Lupercal" on February 15, B.C. 44.
In the play Antony delivers his funeral oration immediately after Csar's death; historically,
there was an interval of days. Octavius did not reach Rome until upwards of two months after
the assassination; in III, ii, 261, Antony is told by his servant immediately after the funeral
oration that "Octavius is already come to Rome." In November, B.C. 43, the triumvirs met to
make up their bloody proscription, and in the autumn of the following year were fought the
two battles of Philippi, separated historically by twenty days, but represented by Shakespeare
as taking place on the same day.
2. Dramatic Time. Historical happenings that extended over nearly three years are
represented in the stage action as the occurrences of six days, distributed over the acts and
scenes as follows:
Day 1.--I, i, ii.
Day 2.--I, iii.
Day 3.--II, III.
Day 4.--IV, i.
Day 5.--IV, ii, iii.
Day 6.--V.
This compression for the purposes of dramatic unity results in action that is swift and
throbbing with human and ethical interest.
3. Place. Up to the second scene of the fourth act Rome is the natural place of action. The
second and third scenes of the fourth act are at Sardis in Asia Minor; the last act shifts to
Philippi in Macedonia. The only noteworthy deviation from historical accuracy is in making
the conference of the triumvirs take place at Rome and not at Bononia.... But there is peculiar
dramatic effectiveness in placing this fateful colloquy in the city that was the center of the
political unrest of the time.
How to cite this article:
Shakespeare, William. Julius Caesar. Ed. Henry Norman Hudson. New York: Ginn and Co.,
1908. Shakespeare Online. 20 Aug. 2009. (date when you accessed the information) <
http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/juliuscaesar/juliushudson.html >.