Home
Shop  |  Calendar  |  Join  |  Buy Tickets  |  Hamnet  |  Site Rental  |  Press Room  
  
About UsWhat's OnUse the CollectionDiscover ShakespeareTeach & LearnFolger InstituteSupport Us
Teaching Resources
• Teaching Modules
Teaching Modules Archive

   Sign up for E-news!
   Printer Friendly

Lesson 06: The Adder and the Ladder: Figurative Language as Persuasion in Julius Caesar



Teachers' Rating:
  28 ratings


Quotation from Julius Caesar in the hand of John Adams. Manuscript, 18th or 19th century.


 
February 2007
 
Tim Clark, Contoocook Valley Regional High School, Peterborough, New Hampshire.
 

Plays/Scenes Covered
Julius Caesar 2.1.10-36
 
What's On for Today and Why

Students will read, speak, and analyze Brutus's soliloquy of 2.1.10-36, where he uses figurative language to associate ambition (the "ladder") and poison (the "adder.") In doing so, they will gain a deeper understanding of Brutus as a character and, perhaps, a new sense of skepticism about persuasive language and oratory.

 

This lesson can be completed in one class period.


 
What You Need

Folger edition of Julius Caesar
Available in Folger print edition and Folger Digital Texts


 
What To Do

1. Clear classroom desks to the sides of the room so that the students can stand in a circle. Begin with a choral reading of the soliloquy: ask one student to begin reading the soliloquy out loud until she or he encounters a period, exclamation point, question mark, colon, or semicolon. At that point, the next student should continue to the next major punctuation mark, and so on until the soliloquy is over. Check for comprehension of vocabulary.

 

2. Now divide the class into two lines, facing each other. Have the two sides alternate reading the soliloquy out loud, stopping at major punctuation marks as before, but increasing the volume as they go, until they are shouting by the last line.

 

3. Ask the students to discuss what Brutus is saying. Does he have conflicting feelings about assassinating Caesar? If so, what evidence of conflict is in the lines? For example, does he consider any arguments against the murder? Where are they?

 

4. Have students return to their desks and, in small groups (no more than four) look for figurative language  in the soliloquy. Give them no more than two minutes to find one example of Brutus comparing Caesar to someone or something else.

 

5. Have one student from each group report on findings. There may be some surprises (which would be good!), but the findings will probably come down to the man on the ladder, and the poisonous adder "that craves wary walking." Give the groups another two minutes to answer this question: which of the two images (the adder or the ladder) best describes Caesar's actions as we know them from the first act of the play?

 

6. Have a different member of each group report on its findings. The teacher or a student facilitator might record the findings in four columns on the board: the adder, the man on the ladder, both, or neither.

 

7. As a class, discuss each of the four columns. How does the use of two images, the adder and the ladder, affect the way each is seen by the reader or heard by the listener? Does a "climber-upper" seem threatening by himself? What happens when you link him to a poisonous serpent? If the class has read or discussed the story of Adam and Eve, you might ask if there's anything interesting about the fact that Brutus is walking in his orchard, talking about serpents and thinking about breaking an oath. The class might also consider the question of how to recognize a future threat ("a serpent's egg") and eliminate it before it becomes dangerous. What are the risks in such an approach?


 
How Did It Go?
Listen in on the small group work and review the class discussion. Did students see or hear the way Brutus was using figurative language to build a case for killing Caesar, in spite of the lack of hard evidence? Were they able to apply the lesson to their own lives and times?
 


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.

Login or register to post comments.

5 CommentsOldest | Newest

I must know more about the music at the end! I would happily pay and download. Buy High PageRank BackLinks
mohan July 6, 2014 2:03 AM

auto insurance specialists California auto insurance calculator California insurance auto California Mexican insurance CA insurance top auto insurance companies California home and auto insurance California online auto insurance quotes California what is the cheapest car insurance California cheap car insurance quotes online California car quote California car insurance cheap California buy car insurance online California car insurance prices California sr22 insurance quotes California motorcycle insurance rates California high risk auto insurance California car insurance company California online auto insurance California insurance quote online California auto insurance ratings California free auto insurance quotes California car insurance quote online California insurance online California low cost car insurance California liability car insurance California , , , , , Commercial Loans  , , , , Working Capital Loans , , , Line of Credit  , , , , Unsecured Loans for Business  , Truck loans Business Cash Advance  , , Merchant Cash Advance , Fast business loans  , ,Wedding Photographer Manchester , Commercial Truck loans . , , Startup business loans , ,  ,Concrete Calgary Stamped concrete Calgary Concrete contractors Calgary Cost of concrete Calgary  ,Concrete patios Calgary Concrete driveways Calgary , Concrete removal Calgary Garage pads Calgary Concrete services Calgary Replace concrete Calgary ,  ,  , , http://www.pinterest.com/rfreemandds/ , hk escort ,  ,hong kong escort hong kong escorts , , http://www.escorthongkongonline.com/ , calgary wedding photographers newborn photography calgary maternity photography calgary , wedding photography calgary calgary wedding photography destination wedding photography engagement photos calgary , pregnancy photography calgary  ,engagement photography calgary calgary newborn photographers , , buy-write call spreads covered call writing covered calls equity options trading learn options trading learn stock options trading online options trading online stock option trading option trading option trading examples option trading strategies option trading strategy option trading tutorial options trading books options trading course options trading guide put spreads stock option trading stock option trading tips stock options trading stock options trading course stock options trading tips , , hk escort ,  ,hong kong escort hong kong escorts , , fort lauderdale condo hotels fort lauderdale hotel condos ft lauderdale hotel condos ft lauderdale condo hotels hilton condos fort lauderdale w condos fort lauderdale conrad condo hotel  , hk escort ,  ,hong kong escort hong kong escorts ,  , tree service tree care , dance competitions , dance competition , dance festival , dancing competitions canada dance festival , canada dance festival canada dance competition western canada dance festival  ,western canadas largest dance festival , Auto Insurance, Bakersfield Auto Insurance Clovis, CA Auto Insurance Fresno Auto Insurance Fresno, CA Auto Insurance Kerman, CA Auto Insurance Kingsburg, CA Auto Insurance Modesto, CA Auto Insurance Selma, CA Auto Insurance Stockton, CA Auto Insurance Tulare, CA Auto Insurance Visalia CA Mexican Auto Insurance Mexican Auto Insurance Fresno , Car Insurance, Bakersfield CA Car Insurance Fresno, CA Car Insurance Kerman, CA Car Insurance Kingsburg, CA Car Insurance Modesto, CA Car Insurance Selma, CA Car Insurance Stockton, CA Car Insurance Tulare, CA Car Insurance Visalia, CA Mexican Car Insurance Mexican Car Insurance Fresno Mexican Car Insurance Clovis digital agency India digital agency Mumbai social media agency Mumbai digital marketing agency India social media agency India digital marketing agency Mumbai mobile application India mobile application Mumbai Wedding Photographer Cheshire Tree Service Tree Care Tree Pruning  ,stump grinding Lean To Conservatories  ,Lean To Conservatory boat moving boat transportation  ,move boat  ,boat hauling , boat shipping  , Commercial Loans  , , , , Working Capital Loans , , , Line of Credit  , , , , Unsecured Loans for Business  , Truck loans Business Cash Advance  , , Merchant Cash Advance , Fast business loans  , ,Wedding Photographer Manchester , Commercial Truck loans . , , Startup business loans , , Hong Kong Escorts  ,stock quotes stock prices , stock charts , stock quote cnbc stock market news , stock market news stock market quotes nasdaq stock market  ,stock market futures stock market update Personalized Picture Frame , Personalized Photo Frame Personalized Wedding Frame Wedding Picture Frame  ,Wedding Photo Frame , Personalized Wedding Sign ,  , las olas condos las olas beach club , las olas grand las olas condos sale las olas grand condo downtown fort lauderdale condos symphony fort lauderdale las olas river house condo las olas grand condo sale , http://lasolasfortlauderdalecondos.com/ , , ,conservatory prices diy conservatory diy conservatories conservatories prices lean to conservatory lean to conservatories self build conservatories self build conservatories self build conservatory ,  , ,hk escort ,  ,hong kong escort hong kong escorts ,  , , ,hk escort ,  ,hong kong escort hong kong escorts , Suicide Bunny , Standard Vape Adam Bomb Must Vape , Fuzion Vapor Mastermind Elixirs Vape Craving , Hangsen Junkie Juice  ,Jackson Vapor Virgin Vapor E juice E liquide e cigarette  , uk visa uk immigration uk visa  ,appeal uk immigration appeal spouse visa uk spouse visa , spouse visa , application marriage visa uk marriage visa marriage visa application uk  ,fiance visa  ,fiance visa uk , fiance visa application uk visa application visa application uk , partner visa uk partner visa tier 2 visa tier 2 application form deportation uk stop deportation uk uk deportation , deportation process  ,immigration deportation further leave to remain flr o form  ,flr o visa settlement visa uk settlement visa uk settlement ,  ,  ,https://local.yahoo.com/info-20670355-dental-wellness-westlake-robert-freeman-dds-westlake-village , http://www.crunchbase.com/organization/dr-robert-freeman-dds , , , http://www.yelp.com/biz/freeman-robert-dds-westlake-village , http://www.wellness.com/dir/1480257/dentist/ca/westlake-village/robert-freeman-dds ,  , ,https://www.facebook.com/rfreemandds , , https://twitter.com/RobertFreemanDD , immigration solicitor immigration lawyer immigration solicitor uk , immigration lawyer uk  ,immigration lawyer London , immigration solicitor London immigration lawyer Birmingham  ,immigration solicitor Birmingham  ,  , calgary matrimonial property lawyer calgary custody lawyer divorce lawyer calgary family law calgary calgary family law calgary divorce lawyer divorce lawyer in calgary family lawyer in calgary separation agreements lawyer calgary calgary pre nuptial agreements lawyer legal separation lawyer in calgary family law firms in Calgary calgary mobility lawyer , Massage HK  ,SEO Fresno  ,web design fresno ,Calgary Concrete  , , Newbury Park Dentist Dentist Newbury Park dentist Newbury Park ca dentists Newbury Park ca Newbury Park Family Dental Toothache Newbury Park Emergency Dentist Newbury Park Invisalign Newbury Park Teeth Cleaning Newbury Park Family Dentist Newbury Park Cosmetic Dentist Newbury Park Newbury Park Cosmetic Dentist Newbury Park Family Dentist Newbury Park Dental Hygienist Newbury Park dental office , , , Santa Clarita Dentist Dentist Santa Clarita dentist Santa Clarita ca dentists Santa Clarita ca Valencia Dentist Dentist Valencia dentist Valencia ca dentists Valencia ca Santa Clarita Family Dental Toothache Santa Clarita Emergency Dentist Santa Clarita Implants Santa Clarita Dental Implant Santa Clarita Teeth Cleaning Santa Clarita Family Dentist Santa Clarita Cosmetic Dentist Santa Clarita Santa Clarita Cosmetic Dentist Santa Clarita Family Dentist Santa Clarita Dental Hygienist Valencia Family Dental Toothache Valencia Emergency Dentist Valencia Implants Valencia Dental Implant Valencia Teeth Cleaning Valencia Family Dentist Valencia Cosmetic Dentist Valencia Valencia Cosmetic Dentist Valencia Family Dentist Valencia Dental Hygienist ,PCB Fabrication China PCB Manufacturer China PCB Manufacturing China PCB Manufacturing Service PCB Fabrication Service Cheap PCB Fabrication/Manufacturer/Service PCB Prototype Fabrication/Manufacturer/Service PCB Prototype Manufacturer PCB Prototype Manufacturing PCB Quotation PCB Quoting PCB Mass Production Quick Turn PCB FR4 PCB Fabrication/Manufacturer/Service FR4 Printed Circuit Board Fabrication/Manufacturer/Service CEM PCB Fabrication/Manufacturer/Service CEM Printed Circuit Board Fabrication/Manufacturer/Service 94V0 PCB Fabrication/Manufacturer/Service 94V0 Printed Circuit Board Fabrication/Manufacturer/Service 94HB PCB Fabrication/Manufacturer/Service 94HB Printed Circuit Board Fabrication/Manufacturer/Service 22F PCB Fabrication/Manufacturer/Service 22F Printed Circuit Board Fabrication/Manufacturer/Service High Frequency Printed Circuit Board Fabrication/Manufacturer/Service High Frequency PCB Fabrication/Manufacturer/Service HF PCB Fabrication/Manufacturer/Service Aluminum Printed Circuit Board Fabrication/Manufacturer/Service Aluminum PCB Fabrication/Manufacturer/Service Alu PCB Fabrication/Manufacturer/Service Impedance PCB Fabrication/Manufacturer/Service HDI PCB Fabrication/Manufacturer/Service Blind Vias PCB Fabrication/Manufacturer/Service Thick copper PCB Fabrication Rigid PCB Fabrication/Manufacturer/Service Rigid Printed Circuit Board Fabrication/Manufacturer/Service Flexible Printed Circuit Board Fabrication/Manufacturer/Service FPC Fabrication/Manufacturer/Service , , , Personalized Picture Frame , Personalized Photo Frame Personalized Wedding Frame Wedding Picture Frame  ,Wedding Photo Frame , Personalized Wedding Sign , , , , , hk escort ,  ,hong kong escort hong kong escorts , diy conservatory diy conservatories conservatories prices lean to conservatory lean to conservatories self build conservatories self build conservatories self build conservatory , , ,  , hk escort ,  ,hong kong escort hong kong escorts , ,Hong Kong Escort Service , , , hk escort ,  ,hong kong escort hong kong escorts , ,Hong Kong Escort Service , , , , , hk escort ,  ,hong kong escort hong kong escorts , ,Hong Kong Escort Service , hong kong escorts , hong kong escorts  ,hk escort ,  ,hong kong escort hong kong escorts , ,
Napoles, May 28, 2014 7:57 AM

Thank you for this! tod converter
abe April 12, 2014 2:06 AM

Thanks posting this! This went over well with my students. We went outside to do this activity. When it came to elevating their voices they struggled a bit. I'll follow up tomorrow with a writing prompt. I enjoyed this assignment and would use it again.
Sarah October 9, 2013 12:23 AM

E Thank you for this! The only modification I made was to have the groups draw the image on the board and if another group used their imagery, they had to expand on the example and go deeper. This allowed them to get to Genesis on their own! They were as pleased as I was!
Karen May 12, 2013 11:30 AM
  Common Core State Standards

There are no standards associated with this Lesson Plan.
 
 
Additional Information

Note to Mozilla Firefox Users: If the PDF documents are freezing, please try the following fix: Go to Tools. Under Options click the Applications icon. Under Content Type, find Adobe Acrobat Document. Select Use Adobe Reader. If the option already says Use Adobe Reader, try changing the option to Use Adobe Acrobat.



Bookmark and Share   
 
     Copyright & Policies   |   Sitemap   |   Contact Us   |   About This Site
RSS   
 
  Address:
201 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Get directions »

Federal Tax ID #04-2103542
    Hours:
PublicReading Room
10am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday8:45am to 4:45pm, Monday through Friday
12pm to 5pm, Sunday9am to noon and 1pm to 4:30pm, Saturday
    Phone:
Main: 202 544 4600
Box Office: 202 544 7077
Fax: 202 544 4623