Travel Blog

Rome Edition

Discussion Facilitation

VIDEOS: 

Group 1: ( Act one scenes 1-3)

Below are videos that might help you understand each scene as it summarizes and analysis each scene in just a few minutes!

Group 2: (Act two scenes 1-4)

Below are videos that might help you understand each scene as it summarizes and analysis each scene in just a few minutes!

Group 3: (Act three scene 1)

Below are videos that might help you understand each scene as it summarizes and analysis each scene in just a few minutes!

 

Group 4: (Act three scenes 2-3)

Below are videos that might help you understand each scene as it summarizes and analysis each scene in just a few minutes!

 

 

Hope you find these videos helpful as you read Julius Caesar!

 

Reflection:

On Tuesday January 28 of 2019, I gave the first of many presentation on Shakespeare. The class was assigned to read Julius Caesar Act 1-3 as well as “Stage Directions” from the book The Arden Introduction to Reading Shakespeare. For my presentation I wanted to tie both the reading of Julius Caesar and Stage Directions. At first I had no idea how I would present these two readings to the rest of the class. I struggled with the planning process of this presentation. Not only was I the first one to present for the semester and had no model to refer back to but also I did not have the book “The Arden” to read the second reading assignment for my presentation. However, my professor Dr.Rippy posted a pdf file of the readings since most of the class had not yet received their books from the bookstore; which allowed me to complete the reading for my presentation. My main focus of my presentation was Acts 1-3 as Julius Caesar presents the reader with concepts of symbolism and foreshadowing as it is seen in many occasions throughout the story.

While reading the first three acts of shakespeare, I’ve noticed many themes that are repeated over and over again and signs of foreshadowing hidden in the play. When one reads through any shakespeare’s play, it’s easy to get lost in shakespeare’s language as it is foreign for most. Not everyday does one come across this type of vocabulary. But what is clear to see is that each play is usually based on a specific umbrella topic. In this case, Julius Caesar’s umbrella topic is leadership and authority. For example the theme of authority and leadership is consistent throughout the play as the play revolves with the dilemma of who the leader of Rome will be. The main runner up for Rome’s next ruler is the great warrior and successful Julius Caesar. However characters such Brutus fears for “Rome’s safety” under Julius leadership and plots with the conspirators to kill Caesar to strip him from authority. We see Brutus stepping up to the plate of leadership in Act 2 and in Act 3. In Act 2, Brutus starts to lead the conspirators and sway their opinion on what goes down in the following act. In Act 3, we can once again see Brutus leadership when he disregards  the conspirators opinion and allows Mark Antony to speak at Caesar’s funeral. To say Brutus is a great leader is debatable but I believe he is capable for being Rome’s leader and holds qualities that would make him one. It is evident in his actions that Brutus longs for authority regardless of the means to get there. How ironic is it that Brutus turns his back on his friend Caesar just so his friend Mark Antony can do the same to him.

One of the most famous lines from this play is in Act one scene two “ Beware the ides of March”. This is the first time where Julius Caesar’s death is for foreshadowed to the reader. The reader can already speculated that something such as danger is coming soon, more specially sometime in March. Although this is said three times in the play, Caesar ignores various of warning signs and walks right into his death.         

After reading the assigned reading for the week, I thought really hard about how I would be able to present this to class. I had first planned to to present the Acts tying it back to Stage Directions in a powerpoint format. However the only thing I could do with powerpoint is provided a summary for each act and point out the stage directions for each act. As I reflected on this plan, I did not like how this presentation would allow little to zero participation from the class. So I had to rethink how I would want this to work out. Then I decided that the best way to present the readings will be by creating a class activity. I thought since the class was already assigned into groups I could use that to my advantage and make a class activity that allows students to work within the groups. I planned to use my  MU Common’s page for my presentation. I had never used MU Common’s before and thought it would be nice to incorporate it with my presentation to get use to using it. So I spent hours trying to figure out how to make separate link pages for each group: Group 1, Group 2, Group 3 and Group 4. In each link I decided to make 4 to 5 discussion questions so each group can participate and partake in the class discussion. Examples of questions asked in each group : Act 1 scene 2- In this scene Caesar was offered the crown three times. Yet he refused three times. What might the number three foreshadow? In Act 2 scene 2- what can be taken away in regards to women’s role in Roman society? What correlations can you draw to Caesar’s story with the story of Jesus’ betrayal ( if any)? What does the easy sway of opinion by the Romans in this scene (Act 3 scene 2)  say about Shakespeare’s Rome?

For my presentation I thought It was important to break down each act because what I noticed from our first two classes was that the majority of the class have never read Shakespeare before nor did they understand Shakespeare’s language. So I decided to break up each act into the four groups making discussion questions that highlight the important events in each act. So Group 1 was assigned Act 1 scenes 1-3, Group 2 was assigned Act 2 scenes 1-4, Group 3 was assigned Act 3 scene 1 and lastly Group 4 was assigned Act 3 scenes 2-3. One day before my presentation, I uploaded videos under the “Discussion Facilitation” tab on my MU Common’s page that I hoped helped other classmates with their readings. Each video was a quick 2-3 minute summary that hits key points and themes in each act. They were posted a day before so students could watch them before my presentation and come prepared.  

On the day of presentation, I came in with the assumption that each student saw the videos I had posted and hoped that it helped them digest Shakespeare’s language/ words. I started my presentation with asking the class what they do to help them with the readings. What I had imagined was true for many students. Youtube videos and Fear no Shakespeare was common among lots of students. I was glad to know that I was not the only one who uses other sources to help me understand the readings. I also wanted to discuss this as a class so other students can get ideas and recommendations on what other students use to digest Shakespeare. After discussing outside sources, students were separated into their groups. Each student signed in to their MU Common’s account and click on the link that corresponds to their group. I gave each group 10-15 minutes to work on their discussion questions. What I liked about using MU Common’s page is that it allows students to leave “replies” and comments with each other. I noticed after giving 10-15 minutes for each group, class time was almost over. There was just not enough time to complete the class activity I had planned. So I had to improvise my presentation and cut it short. I had just enough time left of class to allow students to share with the group what they had discuss within their groups and had them pick out one scene they found the most important which highlights important themes that carry on through the rest of the story in Julius Caesar.  

What I had initially planned for the class activity was that each group would act out the scene they found most important instead of just sharing to the class. By doing so after each reenactment of a scene, time would be taken to discuss stage directions that would tie the two reading together. However there was just not enough time for all that I had planned. I did my best to make sure I mention/ tie it back to the other reading assigned such of “Stage Directions” before everyone left.

I hope that my presentation allowed each student to digest the readings as will provided suggestions of outside sources that students can use to help them do their readings. I learned from doing all this work that planing a class activity is not easy at all. I appreciate all the work teachers do for students; I never realized just how difficult and how much time and effort professors put into class. This assignment was very eye opening.

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