Long ago William Shakespeare wrote Julius Caesar, one of his great political tragedies. John Kani, the great South African actor, referred to it as Shakespeare's African play. In the history of Africa in the last 50 years, many countries gain their independence with leaders coming to power on a wave of popularity, then beginning to pull power to themselves in a one-party state, frequently then being overthrown in a military coup and then plunging the country into civil war. This is the plot of Julius Caesar.
The literature students will be studying in this resource is a persuasive review from The New Yorker of The Royal Shakespeare Company’s performance of the play, using an all African cast. Also, students will work with two different scenes from the RSC performance of the play, as a link is provided to the text and video performance. Students will, close read and annotate the text, view supporting video clips, view a TED TALK on African leaders both positive and negative and view the writing prompt for the 1982 AP Literature essay Question #3 on violence in literature, examining several student samples on the prompt. There is also a 7 question multiple choice assessment based on Cassio’s speech to Brutus.
There is also an opportunity to write a Rhetorical Précis, as well as supporting material for teaching this to your students. These four lessons prepare students for AP Language and Literature exams, Common Core extended response assessments, American and World Literature Course exams, the SAT and ACT essay and critical thinking activities
In this resource, there is a unique detailed rubric that can be used to score Socratic Seminars in a way that encourages organic fluid discussions. In the guide, there is a step by step explanation on how to conduct a fish-bowl discussion with the rubric. The packet includes complete lessons, common core standards, essential and key questions.