Paideia High School/Julius Caesar the play

"Julius Caeser" by William Shakespeare is a Paideia Unit Plan. These guidelines address teachers for the purpose of guiding instruction. See Paideia Learning Plan for the student's point of view.


Column OneEdit

Column One teaching and learning should make up about 10% to 15% of the total scheduled instructional time. It is didactic in nature and uses teacher lectures, text books or other didactic instructional materials, and questioning appropriate to this mode of education. Teaching in this mode encompasses of three facets: Exoridium, Interpretation, and Erudition.

ExordiumEdit

The Exordium is the teacher's didactic introduction to the work that is the subject of a Paideia Unit Plan. This introduction consists of both an oral and physical (or electronic) presentation of the work. For longer works, the teacher may limit the oral presentation to key parts of the work. The teacher should read texts live distinctly, accurately, and intelligently. Other works should be orally presented similarly as appropriate to the type of work. In addition, the teacher should provide high quality audio and video recordings of works if possible. Students should have a consumable print copy of the work both electronically and in hard-copy if possible.

Oral PresentationEdit

  • <Enter instructions or information about live presentation of the work.>
  • <Enter information and links to quality audio or video recordings of the work.>

Written PresentationEdit

  • <Enter a link to Wikisource or an external link to the work if possible. Do not enter the actual work markups or links. Versions with such elements can be entered under the Interpretation section (with vocabulary markups, for example) or the Erudition section (with links to background information, for example).>
  • <Enter references to available books, prints, scores, or recordings and include a reference as follows[1] A reference template may be added to update this template later because Majrjejm is sure there's a better way but doesn't know it yet.>
  • <Enter any notes about the work, whether it's in the public domain, under copyright, out of print, available through used booksellers, other vendors etc.>

InterpretationEdit

Textual Interpretation refers to the teacher's didactic analysis of a written work in terms of the four major questions a demanding reader should ask of a text.[2] Using the term work instead of book, these questions are: (1) What is the text about as a whole? (2) What is being said in detail, and how? (3) Is the text true, in whole or part? and (4) What of it? The Exordium begins to answer the first question because it introduces the whole text both orally and in writing (although the oral presentation may be limited in the case of longer works). It is in the Interpretation stage of Column One instruction that the teacher didactically begins to thoroughly unlock the second question. The third and fourth questions are relevant to Interpretation, but question two receives most of the teacher's attention. It is only when the student begins Column Two activities that a fuller grasp of questions three and four begins to mature in the student's mind. Consistent with the purpose of Column One instruction, the teacher is simply introducing elements of proper interpretation for the student to build on during Column Two and Column Three learning.

These questions can be appropriately modified for analysis of a work in science, mathematics, or the fine arts. Analysis of these types of works proceeds in a manner analagous to that of a text. Inasmuch as imaginative literature can be considered a work of fine art, the analogies drawn in Adler's and Van Doren's How to Read a Book can serve as a guide to other types of works too.

Interpretation of <Words and Terms> or <Elements>Edit

In textual interpretation, the teacher didactically presents the author's key terms in the stage of Interpretation of Words and Terms. In addition, the teacher anticipates unfamiliar general vocabulary. These words and terms are given didactically, either orally or in writing, or both, but the task of interpreting is a Column Two skill of learning that the teacher must coach. Consequently, the purpose of this Column One stage is merely to point out key terms and potentially unfamiliar terms. The student must learn how to interpret. Again, this planning can be adapted to other kinds of works.

Interpretation of Key TermsEdit

The key terms are those few words or phrases the author uses in unique, special, or important ways.[3]. In the Column Two stage, students are coached both to find these key terms and to "unlock" them on their own. This skill is essential to analytical reading. In this Column One stage, however, the teacher points out a list of such terms. Students should understand that this listing is not necessarily exhaustive. In addition, the teacher provides students with a handful of these terms worked out in detail for consideration; it should consist of about three to five terms.

  • <First Term>
  • <Second Term>
  • <Etc.>
General VocabularyEdit

The teacher may anticipate general unfamiliar vocabulary and point out the more difficult words either orally or in writing or both. However, defining words using context, a dictionary, or a knowlegable friend or adult (including the teacher) is a Column Two skill that must be coached. Teachers must help students build good habits of knowing the meanings of words. Dictionaries, in both electronic and book form must be available, and students must be taught how to use them. They must also be taught how to ask for definitions--a perfectly acceptible life skill commonly used by demanding readers!

  • <First Word>
  • <Second Word>
  • <Etc.>

Note: If the teacher points out words in anticipation of their potential difficulty, this should be done in context by giving citations or electronically highlighting the words.

Interpretation of SentencesEdit

One point of didactic interpretation at the level of interpreting sentences is to use grammar to get at the author's meaning. As with interpreting words and terms, this level of interpretation is also a Column Two skill that must be coached. Consequently, at the Column One didactic level, a teacher should choose a handful of the most difficult sentences in the text for demonstration. The teacher will always unlock the grammar of a few important and more difficult sentences for students independent of whether these sentences are key premeses to an argument. As appropriate to the text, a teacher should also consider demonstrating the grammar of sentences that work together as propositions in the author's most important arguments.

Another important point is to demonstrate the meter and prosody in both poetry and prose texts. This aim is in great danger of being completely overlooked or forgotten in a world where oral reading is not nearly as common as it once was. Nevertheless, great speechs often succeed in part because the author understands prosody. Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and King's I Have a Dream serve as striking examples. The teacher should select sentences or versus to demonstrate both meter and rhythm.

  • <First Sentence>: <explanation of the grammar and how it helps to unlock the author's meaning>
  • <Second Sentence>: <etc.>
  • <Third Sentence>: <explanation of meter and rhythm, consideration of overall prosody>
  • <Fourth Sentence>: <etc.>

Interpretation of PassagesEdit

At the level of passages, the full trivium (grammar, logic, and rhetoric) come into play. First, a teacher should choose one or two of the author's most important arguments for a demonstration of how to use logic as a key to interpreting a text. Next, the teacher should select several passages to demonstrate how they conform (or not) to rhetorical, poetical, and sylistic rules. These rules, of course, must be didactically taught as prerequisites to interpretation of texts.

  • <Argument>: <demonstration of both the grammar of the sentences comprising premeses and of the concluding proposition along with the logic of the argument followed by an explanation of how the arguments help to unravel the author's meaning>
  • <Passage Illustrating Rhetorical Rules>: <demonstration of the rhetorical rules and their value in the success of the author's purpose>
  • <Passage Illustrating Poetical Rules>: <demonstration of the poetical rules and their value in the success of the author's purpose>


  • <Passage illustrating the character and motivations of Cassius>: How is the author revealing Cassius' attitudes and motivations in these lines?

Act 1 Scene 2 line 140 "The fault (dear Brutus) is not in our stars,/But in ourselves, that we are underlings"

Act 1 Scene 2 lines 208-210 Caesar: . . . such men as he be never at heart's ease/Whiles they behold a greater than themselves,/And therefore are they very dangerous.

Act 1 Scene 2 lines 253-255 Brutus: 'Tis very like. He hath the falling sickness.

Cassius: No, Caesar hath it not, but you and I,/And honest Casca, we have the falling sickness.

EruditionEdit

Erudition refers to all manner of background information assumed by or necessary to understanding or fully appreciating the text.

<Note that these categories are presented alphabetically for ease of organization>

Anthropological ReferencesEdit

  • <information relevant to anthropological issues and discoveries--include citations--delete if not used>

Antiquarian ReferencesEdit

  • <information about references to things no longer commonly understood because of their situation in ages past--include citations--delete if not used>

Archaeological ReferencesEdit

  • <information about details related to archaeological discoveries--include citations--delete if not used>

Biographical ReferencesEdit

  • <information about the author--always include>
  • <information about other textual references to important people--include citations--delete if not used>

Cultural ReferencesEdit

  • <information and links to cultural references--include citations--delete if not used>

Ethical ReferencesEdit

  • <information and links to ethical references--include citations--delete if not used>

Geographical ReferencesEdit

  • <links to relevant maps--delete if not used>
  • <information relevant to geographical references--include citations--delete if not used>

Historical ReferencesEdit

  • <information and links to historical references--include citations--delete if not used>

Mathematical ReferencesEdit

  • <information and links to mathematical references--include citations--delete if not used>

Political ReferencesEdit

  • <information and links to political references--include citations--delete if not used>

Religious ReferencesEdit

  • <information and links to religious references--include citations--delete if not used>

Scientific ReferencesEdit

  • <information and links to scientific references--include citations--delete if not used>

Column TwoEdit

Column Two teaching consists of coaching[4]. This mode of instruction aims at helping students to form habitual skills in the language, scientific, and fine arts. Thus, a teacher must correct students as they practice listening, speaking, reading, writing, observing with the senses unaided, observing with the aid of scientific apparatus, measuring, estimating, calculating, and exercising dexterity in the musical and visual arts. Each of these arts in turn rely upon the aquisition of fine and gross motor, imagination, and memory skills. These rules for developing Paideia Unit Plans address teachers. For their counterpart written for students, see Paideia Learning Plan.

Column Two learning comprises 65% to 75% of scheduled learning time. It's chief charactaristic is student activity. Students must be practicing some skill or skills while the teacher corrects him or her. While athletic coaching is an obvious example of this type of instruction, debate coaching, directing a drama, art instruction, and piano lessons also represent coaching. In order to coach well, a teacher must have a repertoire of activities carefully designed to exercised desired skills. Additionally, the teacher must have a clear idea of how to correct the skills as students practice them to ensure their habitual formation.

ActivitiesEdit

Prerequisite ActivitiesEdit

Fine & Gross Motor SkillsEdit

<delete if not used>

Sensory Imagination SkillsEdit

<delete if not used>

Mnuemonic SkillsEdit

<consider this category for every unit>

Language ArtsEdit

Listening SkillsEdit

The best current movie version was made in 1953, starring Marlon Brando as Marc Antony. We start by watching this film, with frequent stops for summary and explanation, particularly in the beginning.

Speaking SkillsEdit

Will be exercised in presentation of both paraphrased and original language presentations of selected scenes as outline in "Practice Skills."

Integrated Practice of SkillsEdit

Handout for initial assignment:

Plays—the movies of an earlier era “Julius Caesar”

Just as we don’t sit around reading screenplays for entertainment, the best approach to a play is not to sit and read it—especially at first. This is why we started with viewing the movie made from the play. Without a good live production to take you to, that was the best way to be introduced to the story.

Now that you know the story in general, it is time to delve more deeply into the content of the play—what is happening, why, and how the characters impact the plot and each other. The people who often end up knowing a play the best are the people who produce it—the actors and director.

With Shakespeare, there is the added challenge of the language. Let’s be clear—NO ONE EVER REALLY SPOKE THIS WAY. Some of the vocabulary and forms were more commonly used in Shakespeare’s day than they are now, but he was writing poetry. Just as very few people walk around quoting song lyrics as a primary form of communication now, very few people walked around speaking as Shakespeare’s characters did. This is art. He’s making the English language sing, which is what good writers try to do.

So . . . Don’t be closed minded, work hard, I’ll help you, and let’s see what you can find. Each of you will be assigned a part or parts in a specific scene from the first two acts of the play. You will do the following:

1. Read the scene over silently.

2. Read your character(s) line(s).

3. Write out your character(s) line(s) in your own words—a modern English paraphrase.

4. Read the scene aloud in the paraphrase form with your fellow actors, critiquing each others’ paraphrases as necessary.

5. Revise your paraphrase as needed, and turn it in for assessment by your instructor.

6. Practice your scene (still paraphrased) with good acting principles, with your fellow actors.

7. Practice your scene in the original language, still using good acting principles, with your fellow actors.

8. Present both your paraphrased and original language scenes to your classmates.


Good Acting Principles:

ALWAYS enunciate and speak clearly. If the audience can’t hear you, there is no point.

Speak not as if you were reading, but as if you were thinking of these words and really saying them from your own thoughts.

Know WHY your character is saying what he/she is saying, and put that meaning in the inflection and emphasis of the way you speak.

Translate your characters’ meaning and motivation into the physical actions, postures, and facial expressions you use while speaking.

Listen to your fellow actors, not just for your cue, but for what they are saying and how they say it. React to what your fellow actors say, as your character would react.


Scenes and parts to use in this activity:

Act 1 Scene 1: Flavius, Marullus, Commoners (combined)

Act 1 Scene 2 lines 78-190: Brutus, Cassius

Act 1 Scene 2 lines 190-290: Antony/Cassius, Caesar, Casca, Brutus, Cassius

Act 2 Scene 1 lines 59-227: Lucius/Trebonius, Brutus, Cassius, Decius Brutus, Cinna/Metellus Cimber, Casca

Act 2 Scene 2 lines 1-105: Servant/Decius Brutus, Caesar, Calphurnia


Act 3 Scene 1 lines 123-295 (end): Brutus, Servant, Cassius, Antony

Act 3 Scene 2 Antony's Oration, divided up among multiple students, omitting commentary--challenge students to memorize their lines: lines 73-106; 117-136 AND 139-145; 148-151 combined with a small part, Lepidus, in Act 4 Scene 1; l65-193; 205-225 AND 240-245

Act 3 Scene 3 (This is a short, but interesting scene. Have students in this scene all double with a part in the other fairly short scene, Act 5 Scene 5 lines 51-80): Poet, First Plebeian, Second Plebeian, Third Plebeian, Fourth Plebeian

Act 4 Scene 1: Octavius, Lepidus (doubled with Act 3 Scene 2 lines 148-151,memorized), Antony

Act 4 Scene 3 lines 1-118: Brutus, Cassius

Act 5 Scene 5 lines 51-80 (Doubled with the parts from Act 3 Scene 3): Octavius, Messala, Strato, Lucilius, Antony

Writing SkillsEdit

These are exercised in the paraphrases that students are writing for their scenes.

After working out and performing the scenes, students will write "summary notes" of each scene in the play, all students will address one level, the literal. Students who are ready to will also address motivation and reasons for scenes.

Scientific ArtsEdit

Observation SkillsEdit
Skills Using ApparatusEdit
Measuring SkillsEdit
Estimation SkillsEdit
Calculation SkillsEdit
Solving ProblemsEdit

CorrectionEdit

Column ThreeEdit

Some possible seminar questions:

From How to Read a Book

Adler & Van Doren (1972)

Question Type Purpose of Question Type Sample Seminar Questions

Answers to Be Supported from the Text

What is the book (work) about as a whole? Opening Identify main ideas Traditionally, Shakespeare's plays are divided into three categories:

Histories: Dealing with dramatic events of the past and the people who both caused and were impacted by those events. Comedies: Humorous stories with happy endings--frequently romantic in nature. Tragedies: Stories with a hero capable of both great good and great evil ultimately making the wrong decisions, ending in despair and death. There is debate among scholars as to whether “Julius Caesar” is a history or a tragedy. Which category do you think "Julius Caesar" fits into? Why?

The title is "Julius Caesar." Who is the main character?

What is being said in detail and how? Analytical Root out main ideas, assertions, and arguments In Act 2 Scene 1 lines 153-190 the conspirators discuss whether or not they should also kill Marc Antony. What decision did they make? Was it the right one?

Does Caesar have a "fatal flaw" that leads to his death, or is he an innocent victim? If he does have a flaw, what is it? By the end of the play, Brutus and Cassius are both dead like Caesar--did they have fatal flaws that lead them to their untimely deaths? If yes, what were their flaws? Did they share the same one or have different ones? With Caesar dead, who should rule Rome?


Were Antony and Octavius morally superior to the conspirators/assassins? (If no one brings it up, reference Act 4 Scene 1.) What are their motivations?


The common people--how are they regarded and what is their role? Look at them in Act 1 Scene 1, in Casca's account of events in Act 1 Scene 2, during Brutus and Antony's orations in Act 3 Scene 2 and in Act 3 Scene 3.

Is the book (work) true, in whole or part? Evaluative Make and support judgments


The word "honorable" is defined in Webster's Dictionary in the following way:

Main Entry: hon·or·able

Pronunciation: primarystressä-nschwar-(schwa-)bschwal, primarystressän-rschwa-

Function: adjective

Date: 14th century

1 : deserving of honor

2 a : of great renown : ILLUSTRIOUS b : entitled to honor -- used as a title for the children of certain British noblemen and for various government officials

3 : performed or accompanied with marks of honor or respect

4 a : attesting to creditable conduct b : consistent with an untarnished reputation <an honorable withdrawal>

5 : characterized by integrity : guided by a high sense of honor and duty

Was Brutus "an honorable man"? (Some scenes to reference, Act 2 Scene 1 lines 1-58; Act 2 Scene 1 232-300; Act 5 Scene 5 lines 49-50)In which sense?


Why did the conspirators kill Caesar? Were they justified?


Were any of the characters in “Julius Caesar” “honorable”?


In one sentence, what is the lesson, or moral, of "Julius Caesar"?

What of it? Closing Relate judgments about ideas to one's own life

In what way(s) do you agree or disagree with the moral of the play that you identified?


Have politics changed much from Caesar's time to Shakespeare's to now?


SEMINAR PLAN USED SPRING 2011:

What is the play about as a whole: (10-15 mins)


Traditionally, Shakespeare's plays are divided into three categories:

Histories: Dealing with dramatic events of the past and the people who both caused and were impacted by those events.

Comedies: Humorous stories with happy endings--frequently romantic in nature.

Tragedies: Stories with a hero capable of both great good and great evil ultimately making the wrong decisions, ending in despair and death.


There is debate among scholars as to whether “Julius Caesar” is a history or a tragedy. Which category do you think "Julius Caesar" fits into? Why?


What does the play say in detail: (25-30 mins)


Does Caesar have a "fatal flaw" that leads to his death, or is he an innocent victim? If he does have a flaw, what is it?


By the end of the play, Brutus and Cassius are both dead like Caesar--did they have fatal flaws that lead them to their untimely deaths?


If yes, what were their flaws? Did they share the same one or have different ones?


In Act 2 Scene 1 lines 153-190 the conspirators discuss whether or not they should also kill Marc Antony. What decision did they make? Was it the right one?


What in the play is true: (30-35 mins)


The word "honorable" is defined in Webster's Dictionary in the following way:

Main Entry: hon•or•able

Function: adjective

Date: 14th century


1 : deserving of honor


2 a : of great renown : ILLUSTRIOUS b : entitled to honor -- used as a title for the children of certain British noblemen and for various government officials


3 : performed or accompanied with marks of honor or respect


4 a : attesting to creditable conduct b : consistent with an untarnished reputation <an honorable withdrawal>


5 : characterized by integrity : guided by a high sense of honor and duty


Was Brutus "an honorable man"? (Some scenes to reference, Act 2 Scene 1 lines 1-58; Act 2 Scene 1 232-300; Act 5 Scene 5 lines 49-50)In which sense?

Why did the conspirators kill Caesar? Were they justified?


Were any of the characters in “Julius Caesar” “honorable”?


In one sentence, what is the lesson, or moral, of "Julius Caesar"?


What of it: (10-15 mins)


In what way(s) do you agree or disagree with the moral of the play that you identified?


Total time: 1hour 15 mins—1hour 35 mins

ReferencesEdit

  1. Title by Author, date, Vol. number, pp. pages.
  2. How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren, 1972, pp. 46-7)
  3. How to Read a Book, Ch. 8
  4. see Adler, The Paideia Proposal, 1982, pp. 27-8; see also Adler, The Paideia Program, 1984, ch. 2