Today I used the embedded video below with Transcendentalism and The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. Green Day’s “Warning” is about how living in fear is not the way to live. Obviously, the video contains a fair amount of hyperbole, but the kids are sophisticated enough to see this.
First, I had the students list all of society’s rules that are violated in the video, and then I asked the students what the music group’s point is. Then I asked them to connect the video to what we are studying.
They connected this with transcendentalists’ ideas of self-reliance, individuality, and living by one’s own idea of goodness.
In Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Julius Caesar they connected the video with Caesar’s lines: “Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once.” Living in fear is not the answer.