English Literature / Drama GCSE: Julius Caesar - Act 3, Scene 1 - Killing Caesar (workshop)

The actors use the clues in the text to build their unique interpretation of Caesar’s murder.

PLEASE NOTE: This scene contains violence which some people may find upsetting. Teacher review is recommended prior to use in class.

This short film is from the BBC series, Shakespeare Unlocked.

Teacher Notes

Ask your students to read through Caesar's speeches, making a 'thumbs up' sign every time Caesar speaks about himself and a 'thumbs down' sign when he speaks of others.

How does this help to emphasise Shakespeare's use of language here, and his creation of character for Caesar?

Ask students to draw a staircase or escalator.

On it, they should write the words and phrases that Caesar uses about himself in what they see as the increasing order of arrogance. They could draw a graph of the tension in the scene, with a different coloured line for each character, annotating key words at each spike in tension.

A release of tension comes with Casca's words and the first blow. Laying out the scene in this schematic form should clarify the way in which Shakespeare intensifies the tension in the scene so as to bring about the point of murder.

Curriculum Notes

This short film is suitable for teaching GCSE English literature and drama in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and National 4/ 5 in Scotland.

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