English Literature / Drama GCSE: Julius Caesar - Act 3, Scene 2 - The Orations

Brutus explains to the crowd why the conspirators killed Caesar and then insists they stay to hear Mark Antony.

Antony gives an emotional eulogy over the dead body of his friend.

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

Teacher Notes

Before watching the scene, ask your students to write down what they know of the characters of Brutus and Mark Antony, from the play so far.

How far do they see these characters as similar, and how far are they differentiated by Shakespeare?

How do they think that each character will react to the death of Caesar?

Alternatively, you could write snippets from each speech onto cards (e.g. 'as Caesar lov'd me, I weep for him', 'it were a grievous fault, and grievously hath Caesar answered it'), and ask students to try and decide which man is most likely to say each thing about Caesar.

Ask students to brainstorm ways in which to calm down an angry crowd.

Ask students to evaluate how effective Brutus's speech is in excusing his actions.

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 - Rhetoric and politics (workshop)
Act 3, Scene 2 - Brutus reasons with the crowd (workshop)
Act 3, Scene 2 - Mark Antony moves the crowd (workshop)