Mood and Syntactic Choices in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: Implications for The Language Teachers


  • Olusegun Owolewa Adekunle Ajasin University, Department of Arts Education, Faculty of Education, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State.
  • Rafiu Jimoh



Mood, Syntactic choice, Shakespeare, Language Teachers


Correct verbal identification of different mood system has been a source of concern to teachers of English as a Second Language in Nigeria. Classroom efforts are mostly geared towards recognition of this concept, usually, in abstract and without connection to functional usage. Studies by scholars identify great difficulty in recognition of the verbal elements in sentence conveying the mood. However, such work never establishes a correlation between correct identification of mood and semantic interpretation. The purpose of this study is to establish the syntactic choices of the verbal elements in Julius Caesar and how they have helped to depict the mood of the characters in the text. This work relies on Systemic Functional Grammar approach to establish connection of mood to setting, tone and diction. It establishes that Shakespeare unconsciously reflects the mood through the characters use of certain clauses with the view to probably enhance the readers’ understanding of scene of actions in the play. Implications for the language teachers are discussed. 

Author Biography

Olusegun Owolewa, Adekunle Ajasin University, Department of Arts Education, Faculty of Education, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State.

Department of Arts Education. Ranking:-Lecturer 1



A. Primary Text

Shakespeare, W. (1611) in Roma Gill, ed. (1979) Oxford School Shakespeare Julius Caesar, Oxford University Press.

B. Secondary Texts

Berry, M. (1975) Introduction to systematic linguistics.

London: Richard Clay.

Crystal, D and Davy, D. (1976) Investigating English Style.

London: Longman.

Firth, J. R. (1968) Selected papers of J.R. Firth, 1952 – 1959 in F. R. palmer, ed.,

London: Longman.

Gregory, M. (1967) “Aspect of varieties Differentiation”

Journal of linguistics 3. 177-98.

Halliday, M.A.K (1961) “Categories of the Theory of Grammar” in Word XVII, 241-92.

Halliday, M.A.K (1964) “Descriptive Linguistics in Literary Studies” in Duthic, G.I. ed., English Studies Today. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Muir, J. (1992) A Modern Approach to English Grammar: An Introduction to Systematic Linguistics. London: B.J. Batsford Limited.

Murphy, M.J. (1972) Understanding unseen: An Introduction to English Poetry and the English Novel for Oversea Students. London. George Allen & Urwin Limited.

Okudolo, T.A. (1980) English Literature: Unseen Poetry and Prose. Lagos: exam Success Press.

Oni, D. (1982) ABC of Literature Ilesa: O.P.G Books.

Osisanwo, W. (1996) “Systematic Grammar as a model of Grammatical Description: An Evaluation” in Akorede, et al. Eds. Ondo Journals of Arts and Social Sciences (OJASS) (1). 1-19.

Quirk, et al. (1973) A University Grammar of English. London: Longman.

Uwalaka, M.A. (1993) “Pragmatic Interaction in Grammar on Mood” in Journal of Nigerian Languages (2) University of Ibadan. Ibadan. Pp. 61-92

Sampson, G. (1980) School of Linguistic. London: Hutchinson & Co. (pubs) Limited.

Scot, F.S. et al (1976) English Grammar: A linguistic Study of its Classes and Structures. London: Heinneman.