Comparing Graphic Novel to Film to Analyze Caesar's Assassination

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SWBAT compare visualizations of Caesar's assassination by comparing the graphic novel version with the film version of the same scene.

Big Idea

Examining Caesar's assassination across media is a great way to deepen understanding.

Film Clip

10 minutes

This clip.  I have selected a modern adaptation of the scene to show to the class, and it lasts about 3 minutes.  I like this version not because of the high film/production value (it is not) but because the actors seem committed to their parts and because they project their voices well, making the lines easy to hear.  I also think that this kind of reading is good modeling for the students, and we are beginning with the video version of the scene as perhaps the easiest and quickest point of entry, and once the students have a good  mental model for the scene, we'll read it in other formats, which will take longer and require a different kind of work. 

My questions gear up for a discussion on representation and emphasis  (RL.9-10.7).  As you will see, the questions here focus on basic choices in how to interpret a scene--often in a non-traditional way, since the actors are in modern dress.

I will just show the opening image and ask:

1.) Why do this scene in suits?

2.) Why act Caesar in a park?

3.) What is motivating these actors to do a modern portrayal of the scene?  Would it be better if they had chosen classical costuming? 


I will show the scene and ask: 

1.) How did the actors try to create interest in the scene and empathy for Caesar?

2.) How did the actors commit to the characters involved?

Graphic Novel

15 minutes

Graphic Novel.

Next, I will ask the students to read the graphic novel in pairs (RL.9-10.10).  My teammates and I have secured a class set of the graphic novel to use in class, so each student will have a copy.  The graphic novel itself is a bit bloody in its representation of the scene, but it should provide an interesting contrast to the film and to their reading of the scene online in the text version (RL.9-10.7).  I will ask students to read Act 3, scene 1. 

The Graphic Novel


Follow-up Questions (SL.9-10.1):

1.) How does the graphic novel portray Caesar, Brutus, the Conspirators?  How does this representation differ from that of the original text or the movie?  What aspects of the text does the graphic novel attempt to amplify?  Why? 

2.) The graphic novel showed a lot of blood.  How does this create a different effect than the film clip that we watched or simply reading the play?  (RL.9-10.7)  Do you think that this is necessary or does your mind create the imagery on its own?

3.) What is meant by the line, "Et tu Brute"?  How does this line reveal the theme of loyalty (RL.9-10.2)?

Short Writing

10 minutes

I will circulate the following exit slip:

Why or why not?  Do you think the graphic novel assisted your understanding and enjoyment of the play?  


I am looking to gauge a bit of the affective domain with this but also to see if any of them comment on the issue of representation (RL.9-10.7) that we discussed.