Pre-Reading Activities- Julius Caesar

Leaders of Yesterday and Today

View the following video uploads. These are some very accomplished leadres, some popular, some not so respected. Yet, their claim to fame has been the staunch believers of their own causes , for their own philosophies, to leave the trails to suit their legacy.  From Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, Saddam Hussain…and the current sensation of sorts….Muammaer Qaddafi.


Alexander the Great



He Stands as a Hero for Some

The Holocaust


Saddam Hussain

Muammer Qaddafi

Pro=Qaddafi Forces

Rebels Rising against Qaddhafi

Thinking Prompts


  1. What makes a leader popular?
  2. What choices a leader should make to let his popularity afloat?
  3. Could there always be fair play if one has to stay in power? Comment with specific examples to the abovementioned leaders of the world.
  4. Is it the dedication to Service or the element of Ambition , which leads a man to the throne/leadership?

About Mrs. Nazir's Rhyme and Reason

Am I a bird for Maya Angelou? If yes, why do I and so many of you around me feel caged? why not free? Am I a free spirit, then?If yes, then why don't I locate my limits? Because I can see I have lost the way. The quest for enlightenment is taking me acknowledge just Him ..and this strife just becomes so rewarding and so assuringly peaceful when I see myself having adopted His favourite occupation- the one he designated to his prophets. What has obstructed this self -actualization so far?
This entry was posted in For Teachers:The Art of Assisting Discovery, Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Pre-Reading Activities- Julius Caesar

  1. kashaf says:

    1. Firm footing makes a leader popular. There are two sorts of popularity. Good and bad. A good leader and a bad leader, both would have haters and lovers. Haters are going to criticize until the leader steps down. A firm footed leader won’t be stepping down thus, would gain popularity amongst his haters and lovers. For example Qaddhafi, a 69 year-old leader who has reigned in Libya for 41 years. “His reign is marked by corruption, cronyism and ruthlessness”-copied from Reader’s Digest.
    He has earned dislike of the population under him, but he isn’t stepping down. Which makes him well known in the world.

    2. A leader should make the right choices concerning the people under him to let his popularity afloat. if the people have confidence in him, his popularity won’t be endangered. However, when his people are wrong, he should do what he thinks would be better for them. Not caring if it would gain dislike for him. A leader should have confidence in himself.

    3. No, there can not always be fair play if one has to stay in power. We can see similarities between Alexander and Napoleon. They both were good army men, probably the best army men ever. They both experienced success. But then they both started off for power. They murdered many innocent people for remaining in power. They didn’t care if they were liked or not. They descended from fair leaders to unfair leaders. And this finally led to their downfall.

    4. It is dedication to the Service which leads man to the throne.

    • I am glad to note that like always, you are the first to come up with the assigned task. Keep a copy of your answers with yourself in the class for the discussion.

      • @ Kashaf
        1.popularity and notoriety are two different phenomenon.
        2. You are right in evaluatiing that a leader needs to have a degree of confidence in himself and should be able to translate that confidence into trust so that people help him acquire his goals..
        3. So do you think the drive for power had become the hunger for power that led to their downfall?
        4. Check your evaluation …check your immediate surrounding too .

  2. sinm96 says:

    Intesab Nasir

    A1. A popular leader’s top characteristic is always doing what is right for his people. A leader is popular only if he does what helps his subjects. If he acts like a tyrant and uses force then definitely he will not be a favorite. A leader must have the courage to take charge of his people and not be afraid or concerned by any criticism. He must remain composed and act accordingly to the need of the situation.
    A2. A leader’s popularity depends mostly on the confidence and support of his people. If a leader does not support his subjects he will never enjoy their confidence. There needs to be a balance of trust and support between the two sides. A leader must always put his subjects’ priority first and then his needs. The choices he makes should be solely for the benefit of his people and their future. An example is how Napoleon lost his support after he led a hopeless campaign in the freezing winter and faced a hard defeat not only from the British but also from the harsh conditions and his subjects.
    A3. NO. Fair Play is not necessary for establishing a long rule. Most of the great yet unpopular leaders clung on to their throne for long periods without having to play fair. Leaders like Ozymandias and Adolf Hitler were hated by most of the people yet remained in power due to their cruel and unjust decisions. They used to finish and destroy anyone who would stand against them without thinking of the consequences thus remained in power for so long. Both were man of actions and used to silence any opposition to their rule. As mentioned above by my classmate that both Napoleon and Alexander remained in power due to being cruel and unjust even though after being the greatest conquerors of their time.
    A4. It be either, both, or none. It depends on the type of leader and his plans for the future which decide which is the catalyst for their victories. Leaders like Napoleon and Saddam Hussain both had dedication to serve their countries. Another example is Quaid-e-Azam, a great man in both personality and character, this man along with the help of his partners created the first ever independent Muslim state. Other than that it is not always the dedication that counts. Leaders like Alexander had an ambition to conquer the world which further led him to creating one of the greatest empires of all time.

    • @ Intesab are right Intesab. However, what do you think about the illusions that the leader might spin around his followers? Like making his people believe what he wants them to believe , so that it would suit his motives? Check your right and left for examples.
      2,3: Hmm..interesting evaluations. Do discuss them in the class and see if you can generate more from your peers.
      4. I appreciate your example of Quaid-e-Azam.

  3. Marium Zaidi says:

    A1:If a leader determines a vision ,than he or she has a clear ,vivid picture of where to go ,as well as a frim grasp on what success look like and how to acheive it but it is not enough to have vision ,leaders must also share it and act upon it.Great leaders create a vision ,passionately own the vision , and relentlessly drive it to completion.A leader having discipline to work toward his or her vision single-mindely and knowing how to drive his or her words into actions always ends up in the rise in popularity of that leader.

    A2:A leader should have integrity which is the integration of outward actions and inner values. A person of integrity is the same on the outside and on the inside. Such an individual can be trusted because he or she never veers from inner values, even when it might be expeditious to do so. A leader must have the trust of followers and therefore must display integrity.Honest dealings, predictable reactions, well-controlled emotions, and an absence of tantrums and harsh outbursts are all signs of integrity. A leader who is centered in integrity will be more approachable by followers and his or her popularity will afloat.

    A3:Yes, i do think there should be fair play if one has to stay in power which can only be done by dealing with others consistently and justly. A leader must check all the facts and hear everyone out before passing judgment. He or she must avoid leaping to conclusions based on incomplete evidence. When people feel they that are being treated fairly, they reward a leader with loyalty and dedication which can be predicted by watching the vidoes based on Alexander The Great and Napoleon.

    A4:Dedication means spending whatever time or energy is necessary to accomplish the task at hand. A leader inspires dedication by example, doing whatever it takes to complete the next step toward the vision. By setting an excellent example, leaders can show followers that there are no nine-to-five jobs on the team, only opportunities to achieve something great.THe dedication to the work always lead s a man to throne/leadership.

    • @ Marium

      1. Yes Marium, a leader needs a firm belief in his vision. But do think going for his goals’single-mindedly’ as you said , would not connote an autocratic or one-man rule that would disregard the wishes of the ordinary supporters?
      2.I appreciate your ideals for an ideal leader, Marium.
      3.What happens when they know that they are being treated unjustly? Do they raise their voice? What happens to them then?
      4. Wonderful! I am impressed.

  4. Ameema says:

    Answer1: A leader well known by the common men has to be democratic and a brave man with self-belief. He should be a good decision-maker, despite the crucial criticism he might receive.

    Answer2: A leader should make wise and strong-willed choices to make his leadership well-received. He should work towards the betterment of his country and people. Hence, his popularity will stay for a longer period.

    Answer3: No, staying in power is not always accompanied by a ‘fair-play’ and justice. Hitler is known for his ruthless character against the Germans. However, when we come across his ambition to stay in power, we see that there was not even a single sphere of fair play in his propaganda.
    Napolean Bonaprte was a brave fighter who stayed in power for a long time. However he also had to crumble his enemies to death for his regime. He was hated by his enemies yet he was also respected by them because of his military skills.

    Answer4: The ‘element of ambition’ in one’s character and persona leads him to his goals. If a person is ready to work hard for what he has to achieve and has a composed vision towards it, then he surely achieves his goal. However, he also has to be dedicated towards his service in order to reach his targets. Along with ambition, it is essential for one to be loyal and consistent to his goals.

    • 1. The leaders that you have just viewed on the link above, NONE of them regarded democratic rule. Yet the world deems them great rulers.
      2.You are right. the choices should be ‘strong-willed’.But what is the link between the will and the popularity?
      Hilter against the ‘Jews’, not Germans.I agree with your other observations.

      4.You are absolutely impressive here. Yes, some degree of ambition is required even if some service has to be rendered.

  5. I think when someone gets the higher authority; he or she ultimately becomes famous, whether it is in a small group of people or a large group of people. Once a person is popular it is up to him to create his image a positive one or a negative one in front of the people. If he uses his authority efficiently, do not take it for granted he will be remembered with a good name always. But if he mis-uses his power and authority no one will appreciate him and he will be hated forever. When one becomes popular he or she is remembered even when he is not present whether he was good or bad, but his actions will be remembered also. I think a leader should not have ambitions, he should be composed and determined, he should know his aims and targets. And his aims and targets should be in the favour of his subjects.

    A good leader will always make choices which are in the national interest. He would be farsighted and would always judge the pros and cons of the decision he is going to make. He will not be in haste to make any decision but would take time to analyze what we will be the rewards and consequences of the decision he is making. Whatever steps would he be taking will not be for his own self but for the nation as a whole. A leader should be democratic and should always involve the public in decision making. I think a person who is interactive with his people would be the one who would be the most favourite. A good leader will not think about the rivalries or about the hatred people will have for him if he does something that will not be liked by them, but if it is the favour of the people themselves. If he does so then he will enjoy the confidence of the whole nation except for those who have some personal rivalries that is.

    I think that fair play or unfair play depends on the leader himself. I think that when the power of ambition is very strong or when a person at the higher authority is physically very strong. If he has the power of defeating everyone and is a person who does not care about the humanity as a whole but only himself, it’s not about fair play, because he does not need the support of the nation he is self sufficient for himself. He has the power to do whatever he wants he will not be worried about the reactions of the people as he will be having the physical strength to control the uprisings of people for example Hitler and Napoleon. On the other hand when there are leaders for example “Corazan Aquino” who was the 11th president of Philippines and she is considered as an icon of democracy, she was very much famous amongst her subjects and that is why she is remembered with a good name till now. Her policies backed upon building up of the people’s confidence in her as the president or as their leader. She is still remembered by the people of Philippines by many murals, statues of hers.

    I think it can be both depending on the leader himself.

  6. asnasulaiman says:

    answer 1: A leader is popular if he is strong and has a hold on things, is brave and courageous and has good communication skills. He can only be popular if he effectively fulfills the needs of the masses leaving no chance of complain and should know how to take action according to the situation, for eg: Hitler is remembered as the most tyrant dictator but for some he is also a hero.

    answer2:A leader can keep his popularity afloat by placing the demands and needs of his people before his own and should only spend on himself lavishly when the requirements of the masses have been sufficed. He should constantly do acts of valor to prove himself worthy and to gain the trust of the people eg: Napoleon’s enemy Willouby was when asked about him he replied that he was the best leader for all ages.

    answer3: No, a leader only regains power by foul play and it is his requirement to do illegal; acts to stay in power eg: Hitler treated the Jews like animals and the opposition against Qaddafi as he was a dictator and snatched people of their rights in ordr to stay in power.

    answer 4: It is the element of ambition that leads a man to the throne whether by fair means or foul eg: Macbeth was a ambitious person who wanted to become the king more than anything.

  7. Taleaa M says:

    Ans1. According to Google, a leader is “The person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country.”The post of ‘leadership’ is enough to have someone granted the spotlight. A leader will be sought after, and looked up to by people under or beyond his influence. His actions will be scrutinized by every concerned eye, and his speeches will be confronted by the people under or in any way affected by his authority. Though only a few leaders’ popularity will eventually qualify to have them enumerated in history books. It’s the steps a leader takes to govern his county, the words he enunciates, the ways he chooses to entangle transpiring tribulations, the laws he lays down, the policies he implies, that make him popular. Take Hitler for example, he is universally known, and no conversation dedicated to his existence can be carried without the mentioning of “The Holocaust”; that genocidal policy of his which has come to define him, hence making him awfully popular.

    Ans2. To let his popularity afloat a leader should be moderate in his traits and careful of his actions. He should be concerned for the welfare of the people he’s governing; he should be a man of strong morals, and be steadfast on his promises. His efficiency should lie in governance, and he should know how to fully exploit the things he has control over to benefit the community. Loyalty and patriotism should be dominant traits in his character. He should be careful while choosing his words and actions; he should be generous but not too generous such that it could be taken to his disadvantage; he should be gentle with his people and yet firm while handling the law. He should not hesitate in taking any possible steps to demolish any evil existent in the community. The perfect example of a judicious leader lies in the Holy Prophet (S.A.W), who through his strong governance was able to undertake the whole of Saudia Arabia under his control. Another example of perfectionism in governance resides in the second caliph of Islam, Umar-bin-Khattab (R.A), who was a man of strong morals, and Islam flourished greatly under his reign, he had a strong sense of accountability, and felt himself as much answerable to the law as any other citizen of his empire.

    Ans3. Should there be? Yes. Could there be? No. Napoleon Bonaparte, his claim to fame was shaping European politics in the early 19th century, a military genius as he was; he is also responsible for killing many innocent lives. Hitler was an ambitious leader, and a shrewd statesman. He knew that the British and French would back down the moment they were faced with his direct violations of the treaty of Versailles in world war II, and while the British and French ‘negotiated’ Germany grew stronger and Germans started looking up to him as their savior. But his character was stained with the Jewish blood he shed during the Holocaust. Most of the leaders which history can recall have used illegitimate means to claim or retain their rule.

    Ans4. It is ambition which leads a man to power. It’s an impetus of vaulting desire that makes a man reach his ultimate goal. Shakespeare’s accord with this notion can be seen in the silhouette of Macbeth.

  8. Faiza Urooj says:

    Ans 1: A leader gains popularity by being loyal to his subjects. They gain fame by by excersising equality, bravery, confidence and using their strengths to benefit the people who they rule.

    Ans 2: A leader should always choose wisely what is good for his people. He should be true to his subjects. That way his popularity will prevail for a longer period.

    Ans 3: Gain of power is not always dependent on justice or fair play. It is related to the interests of the leader and the majority. Popularity brings power. Such are the examples of famous leaders of the world, Adolf Hitler who treated the Jews even inferior to animals during the Holocaust was brutal but yet powerful. Gaddafi a dictator who ruled over Libya for a long time was supported by crowds of people against Obama and America how ever his dictatorship was led to a end by the Libyans only.

    Ans 4: In my opinion it is the dedication to Service that brings man near to power. If one is true to their work they succeed. However it is not only dedication, a person needs to be ambitious and determined to achieve their goal, they must not let any thing hinder in their way to leadership.Integrity and honesty to work must also be accompanied by struggle and hardwork for the achievement of power.

  9. Mufaddal Borhany says:

    Ans 1: what makes a leader popular is his decision making and personality. a leader is required to make tough and accurate decisions for his people and country. and he should be brave enough to do so. even if the people don’t agree with him later they will get to see their leaders true potential and respect him. the leader should be strict but at the same time connect with his people. that is how he will remain popular among the masses.

    Ans 2: A leader should be responsible and make the best use of the power given to him.he should be loyal to his subjects . that is how his popularity will prevail for a longer period of time.

    Ans 3: There is no such word ‘fair’ in the rule book of politics. on has to play the game if he/she wants to remain in power. and all the successful leaders have done so . be it Napolean Bonaparte who fought with valour in the battles but was ruthless to his enemies. Adolf Hitler was extremely ambitious and was respected for his military skills but at the same time he treated the jews even worse than slaves and shed a lot of innocent blood.

    Ans 4: In my opinion the element of ambition and dedication to service both are imperative to become a leader.unless you strive for power you will never really get need to be ambitious to fulfill your dreams. at the same time if you are not dedicated to your work you will not hold on for a longer period of is vital for one to work hard and remain loyal to your subjects.

  10. aleena s. says:

    Answer 1 : Putting his subjects before himself makes a leader popular. Good leaders always communicate with their people and listen to their complaints, which is a key factor in successful leadership. Great leaders are always determined fighters and unwaveringly do what they believe is right, whether it really is or not.

    Answer 2 : To have a successful leadership, a leader must be a wise decision maker. He decides exactly how, what and why certain steps are taken for his people, but first he thinks deeply upon the topic before going any farther. A leader never leaves any decision for tomorrow and never makes a decision without thinking twice or maybe thrice. They make their decisions based on all the available information they have but if, during the course of something they learn that something needs to be changed for the better, they take no time in adjusting their plans for their people and their land. A great leader is aware of his responsibility. He knows that whatever he chooses to do for his people, he will be responsible for it and therefore he always does what is best for them and his choices do not revolve around himself. Whatever a leader believes in, he will follow through and do it, not stopping because it seems pointless. If his initial approach doesn’t seem to be working, he will adjust it and modify it but he will never give up. In this way, his leadership will remain afloat.

    Answer 3 : In order to stay a leader, or to stay in power, one is not always fair. Alexander the Great, who was at one point a very successful leader who made fair decisions, changed to a cruel and thoughtless person when he felt it was needed to stay in power. He killed people that were testing his authority or were a threat to his leadership. Adolf Hitler, to most people, was not a fair leader. He had innocent people killed only because he felt it was the right thing and although most hated him, he stayed in power for a long time which proves that fair play is not necessary to stay in power.

    Answer 4 : I personally feel it takes both dedication and ambition to become a leader. Without dedication, a person will not take the extra efforts to come into the spotlight and make a difference. If someone is dedicated to their belief or country, they will want to speak up and object when they feel it is being wronged. If they were not dedicated, they would not care if something unjust happened and therefore they would never be recognized as a person of value who people could view as a potential leader. It also takes ambition to become a leader. If you have no ambition to become a person of significance, you will not strive to overcome the hurdles that will surely come in your way. You have to have a sheer determination that you WILL become the leader no matter what.

  11. Azhar Ahmed Siddiqui says:

    A1. What makes a leader popular is not how many people support or oppose him but do the people around him admire him and consider him a role model for themselves and their children ? It is obligatory for him that he is a patriot and that all the propaganda and promises were not just lies but that he is in sincere love with his people and country ,and that he does what he believes is good for his country ,but if the people are not yet ready he must not force them to accept as people have different mindsets and may take more time to accept the need for a revolution. The leader must have the knowledge of what his people expect of him and he must try to fulfill their expectations of him for verily only a man who pleases his people get their support.

    A2. The choices a leader needs to make are the ones that contain the favor of the people and that may please the people and which they may accept gladly. The leader must be aware of what reforms need to be brought in to increase the efficiency of the government ,he must be a wise decision maker and must do what he believes is best for the people and convince them that it is necessary to bring in those reforms and it is for their betterment that he is doing it for them. If he makes popular choices his popularity will afloat and he will be more supported.

    A3. I do not believe this possible as i believe in total democracy and that the people must choose their leader ,even if the leader is working for the betterment of the people he must allow them to see for themselves that he was working in their interests and not his own interest. It would not be fair play as you must allow your opponents to act as it is only fair it would be unfair to be like Napoleon to kill your people if they are against your rule and to gain power.

    A4.Yes I believe it so ,that both are necessary to ascend the throne as being dedicated to your work you give it your best and the element of ambition is also necessary because being patriotic you work for the betterment of your country and speak against the wrongs in the society ,if you are patriotic and dedicated to your country you will stand up for the rights of your countrymen and will make the best decision for his country and he must be a role-model for all politicians as he would be loved by the people because of their dedication and love.

  12. Ushna Azeem says:

    A1 :
    A leader becomes popular by his own actions and attitude towards his people . He will be popular no matter how good or bad he is to his people.If he is good to everyone and tries to help and make them happy , he would be popular and honored whereas if he is unfair , he would again be popular but he would be remembered as corrupt and vile .

    A2 :
    Making decisions is one of the most difficult tasks a leader has to do .A leader should make the choices that are accepted by his community or majority of it, that way the people will accept him and his popularity would afloat

    A3 :
    yes, there always has to be fair play if one has to be in power , however that is not always possible. for example, Hitler who mistreated the people in order to stay in power .

    The element of ambition leads a person to the throne. if someone wants to become a leader ,sets that as his goal and works hard to achieve it he is definitely going to become a leader some day
    “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step”-Lao-Tzu

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