Rubric instruction | Example from the text | Analysis | Quote/Evidence |
Students explore various representations of events. | E.g. The assassination of Julius Caesar. | Brutus and Antony conflict in their perspectives as to what motivated Caesar politically. Brutus needs to convince the Plebians that the assassination was for the good of Rome and not a betrayal of Rome. Antony wants to convince the Plebians that Caesar was a good and noble leader and not an ambitious future dictator. Comparing the two speeches after the funeral of Caesar reveals the two perspectives. Shakespeare uses speech structure, irony, rhetorical questions, repetition, emotive language, pause, caesura/enjambment and listing of key events, to represent each character’s perspective of Julius Caesar and the reason for his assassination. | Brutus: …As Caesar loved me, I weep for him; as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as/ he was valiant, I honour him; but, as he was ambitious, I slew him… (Act III ii 21-23).
Antony: When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:/ Ambition should be made of sterner stuff;/ Yet Brutus says he was ambitious,/ And Brutus is an honourable man. (Act III ii 83-86) |
Iambic pentameter – Alternation of light and heavy syllables in a line of verse consisting of five beats – one unaccented syllable followed by an accented syllable. Speeches are generally in iambic pentameter which in rhythm most closely resembles normal speech. It lends itself to a more evocative and dramatic vocabulary and rhythm than most prose. Shakespeare also uses prose to create a contrast between high status characters, Caesar, Antony, Octavius, Brutus and Cassius and the low status characters, the citizens.
Note: Shakespeare uses prose for Brutus’ funeral oration. This choice reflects Brutus’ purpose which is to avoid violence by appealing for calm through the use of logic not emotion. The rhythmic quality of this prose is created by repetition. This is contrasted with Antony’s highly...