Brutus and John Anderton

What do Brutus (from The Tragedy of Julius Caesar) and John Anderton (from Minority Report) have in common?

The answer is: pre-crime, preemptive action. And this is why my Sophomores will have the opportunity to watch Minority Report after school with popcorn and pop. I don’t tell the kids why they are watching the film, and then I ask them to explain how the film relates to Shakespeare’s play.

Eventually someone arrives at Anderton’s job where he stops people from committing future crimes and connects this to Brutus’ lines (Act II, Scene 1, Lines 10-13 and 30-34) where he says:

It must be by his death: and, for my part,
I know no personal cause to spurn at him,

But for the general. He would be crown’d:

How that might change his nature, there’s the question…
Fashion it thus,—that what he is, augmented,
Would run to these and these extremities:
And therefore think him as a serpent’s egg
Which hatch’d, would, as his kind grow mischievous;
And kill him in the shell.

It’s a ton of fun to watch and a learning experience, too. Plus, Phillip Dick’s stories were so far ahead of his time that I can usually hook one or two kids on his writing for a few weeks.


5 thoughts on “Brutus and John Anderton

  1. mrschili

    This is my FAVORITE kind of lesson. I LOVE it when my kids make connections between the material they consider boring, dusty old English teacher stuff and modern culture. I had a blast teaching The Odyssey and Forrest Gump together, and a couple of my students managed to connect our reading of Hamlet to the Patrick Stewart version of A Christmas Carol we watched later in the semester. Let us know how this goes!

  2. Pingback: Movie and BBQ « The Doc Is In

  3. Clix

    Wow, it’s only PG-13? I might be able to swing that after all… hm. I take it this was an optional exercise? How did you persuade your students to give you their precious free time?

  4. drpezz Post author

    Normally I just tell them to come in after school or in the evening, and we bring our dinners and watch the flick. Sometimes I bring popcorn and drinks, whatever makes it a fun experience. Once I even turned it into a barbecue at my house, but that’s a rarity.

  5. Pingback: Reading in the Contemporary World « The Doc Is In

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