English Literature / Drama GCSE: Julius Caesar - Act I, Scene 2 - Persuading Brutus (workshop)

A classic rehearsal exercise is used to investigate and break down the tactics Cassius uses to persuade Brutus to join the plot to assassinate Caesar.

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

Teacher Notes

After watching this short film, ask your students to decide on the physical representation of the emotional distance between characters in the scenes immediately preceding and following this.

Now that they have knowledge of the discussion between Caesar's exit and entrance, how do they think that Cassius and Brutus would situate themselves around Caesar?

Does Caesar draw close to them, and they further away from him? Would Brutus and Cassius stand closer together following their conversation?

Then ask students to imitate this exercise with another scene - how does the physical distance between characters imitate their emotional distance?

You can do this exercise with pictures or toy figures representing characters if you wish, and then ask students to annotate a large sheet of paper with the pictures or figures laid out on it, explaining their choice of positions.

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

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Act 3, Scene 1 - Killing Caesar (workshop)
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Act 3, Scene 2 - Brutus reasons with the crowd (workshop)
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