English Literature / Drama GCSE: Julius Caesar - Act 3, Scene 2 - Mark Antony moves the crowd (workshop)

The citizens explore their responses to Mark Antony’s speech.

The actors then explain why the citizens turn away from Brutus to support Antony.

This entirely alters the course of the play.

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

Teacher Notes

Mark Antony's speech is famous for its opening — but it is markedly similar to that of Brutus.

Focus on what makes the speeches different, using the comments made by the actors here as a starting point.

How is Anthony's persuasiveness here differently structured from Brutus's speech? (The length of the speech and the interpolations of the crowd are both clues here).

Taking both speeches, look carefully at the structure of verse and prose.

Ask your students, in pairs, to turn Brutus's speech into iambic pentameter and to take Anthony's speech out of verse and turn it into prose, while staying as close to Shakespeare's words as possible by using only subtraction or repetition of words already in each speech.

How does this exercise change the nature of each speech?

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.

More from Shakespeare Unlocked: Julius Caesar

Act I, Scene 2 - Cassius enlists Brutus
Act I, Scene 2 - Cassius and Brutus (workshop)
Act I, Scene 2 - Persuading Brutus (workshop)
Act I, Scene 2 - Marking the words (workshop)
Act 3, Scene 1 - The Murder
Act 3, Scene 1 - Leader or dictator (workshop)
Act 3, Scene 1 - Killing Caesar (workshop)
Act 3, Scene 2 - The Orations
Act 3, Scene 2 - Rhetoric and politics (workshop)
Act 3, Scene 2 - Brutus reasons with the crowd (workshop)