Bil Hoff, Faribault High School. Faribault, Minnesota.
Julius Caesar 4.3.94-142
What's On for Today and Why
This lesson will focus on the terms used to express friendship in Shakespeare's world, today's world, and in a gender-free context. Students will act this out in a variety of ways.
This lesson will take one class period.
What You Need
Folger edition of Julius Caesar
Available in Folger print edition and Folger Digital Texts
Script for Julius Caesar 4.3.94-142
What To Do
1. Have students discuss what friendship means to them: trust, companionship, loyalty. Ask the students to explain how same sex friendships differ from platonic friendships between males and females.
2. Divide the students into pairs, making sure that some pairs are male, some female, and some/most are mixed.
2. Hand out scripts and assign each pair of students their roles.
3. Have students read the script. Repeat the exercise with each student taking a different part.
4. Have students decide on a new context for the scene (e.g old friends, former classmates). Discuss how the context would change-how would they greet each other? Would they trust each other? Would they want to share confidences? How does the gender difference affect the friendship in the new context? How would these new contexts affect the language? Bearing these factors in mind, have students read their script and then perform their scene to the class.
5. As a group, discuss the students' performances. How does the scene play differently with students of different genders taking the roles? How does it change their view of the friendship between characters?
How Did It Go?
1. Were the students able to "see" things from a new perspective when they read a different part? Were the students able to effectively adapt the scene to a new context?
If you used this lesson, we would like to hear how it went and about any adaptations you made to suit the needs of YOUR students.