You are on page 1of 8

Julius Caesar

Act 1, Scene i Page 1


1. How does Shakespeare make the common people appear to be less than noble?
As Flavius and Marullus are from a higher social order as tribunes, it is when the
tribunes and commoners all gather to see Caesar and rejoice in his triumph over
Pompey that a conflict erupts between the tribunes and commoners and the
commoners are referred to as knaves, blocks and stones.
2. What are the people doing that angers Marullus and Falvius? Why does this
anger them?
Commoners have gathered to participate in Caesar's triumph over Pompey,
another Roman. Caesar is being honored for defeating other Romans rather than
foreigners.
3. What actions do Marullus and Flavius take to correct he situation?
Flavius and Marullus become convinced that they must turn the commoners
against the ambitions of Caesar. They remove the ceremonial decorations placed
on public statutes in honor of Caesar's triumph to prevent Caesar from becoming
a godlike tyrant.
Act 1, Scene ii
4. Why does Caesar want Calphurnia to stand in Anthony's path during the race in
honor of the feast of Lupercal?
Caesar hopes that Calphurnia may be cured of her sterility by having Antony who
is one of the holy runners touch her.
5. What is Antony's response to Caesar's instructions? What does this suggest
about their relationship?
Antony's response, "When Caesar says 'Do this,' it is performed". This suggests
that Antony respects Caesar's authority and eminence by complying with Caesar's
request.
6. What is Caesar's reaction to the soothsayer's warning?
He says he's a dreamer and sends him away.
7. What complaint does Cassius make about Brutus's behavior towards him? How
does Brutus answer this complaint?
Since Cassius finds out that Brutus has been engrossed with his own private
thoughts, Cassius reacts by saying he has held back his own ideas because he
feared Brutus was no longer his friend. Cassius compliments the upstanding
reputation Brutus holds in the community and that he values so highly. This
leads Brutus to wonder what danger Cassius would lead him into.
8. Cassius's story attacks what aspect of Caesar's makeup? What is this attack
supposed to say to Brutus?
Cassius dwells upon Caesar's physical weaknesses that he defines as lack of
stamina and the epileptic fits. These weaknesses he argues do not make Caesar
any different physically so why should he and Brutus treat Caesar as the god he
desires and allow Caesar to rule over them.
Page 2
9. What does Cassius mean by the following statement? "'Brutus' will start a spirit
as soon as 'Caesar'." (147)
The name Brutus would cause cheering just as easily as Caesar.
10. How does Brutus respond to Cassius's attack on Caesar?
Brutus says he will consider Cassius' words. Since Brutus is not completely
persuaded by Cassius, he admits he would rather not be a citizen of Rome in such
strange times.
11. What astute observation does Caesar make of Cassius?
Caesar is uneasy when he observes Cassius' lack of a private life that suggests to
Caesar a coldness about Cassius and a lack of human warmth. Cassius is seen as
a danger to those in power.
12. What faults does Caesar see in Cassius's nature?
Caesar comments to Antony that Cassius loves no plays, hears no music and
seldom smiles.
13. What does Caesar mean by the following statement? "I rather tell thee what is to
be feared/Than what I fear; for always I am Caesar." (211-12)
He is saying he would want to tell them what to fear than the people knowing his
fears.
14. What does this statement show about Caesar's nature?
He doesn't want to show weakness, he wants to appear powerful and serious.
15. What story does Casca relate to Brutus and Cassius? What does Casca tell us by
the personal remarks he adds to the story?
At the procession Antony offered Caesar a crown three times, each time rejecting
it and the crowd cheering him for refusing instead of demanding he accept it.
Caesar's angry emotions overcame him and he collapsed. Casca mentions that
when Caesar hesitates to accept the crown his motivations seem to be a noble act,
but only leads him to believe that Caesar is capable of wanting power and
becoming a dictator.
16. How did the people react to Caesar's fit? What does this tell us about their
feelings for Caesar?
Caesar's fit did not did not seem to affect his authority and the crowd continued
to cheer and express their love for Caesar.
17. What information does Casca give about Marullus and Flavius?
The tribunes were stripped of the positions as civil servants for removing
decorations from Caesar's statutes.
18. At the end of the scene, what plans does Cassius make to sway Brutus to his
cause?
Cassius plans to forge letters from Roman citizens declaring their support for
Brutus and their fear of Caesar's rise to power. He will throw the letters into
Brutus's house that evening.
Act I, Scene iii Page 3
19. What wonderous things has Casca seen on this night?
He has seen lions running free in the streets, an owl out during the day and
people on fire.
20. What reason does Cassius give for the terrible storm?
He reasons that the gods are mad at someone's actions.
21. What important news does Casca give Cassius about the Senate's plan?
The Senate intends to crown Caesar king of all the Roman dominions " 'save here
in Italy.' "
22. What does Cassius mean by the following statement? "He were no lion, were not
Romans hinds." (106)
Caesar's real power is not from any lion-like characteristics. His strength comes
from the goodwill and good opinions of the people
23. What instructions does Cassius give Cinna that will help sway Brutus to their
cause?
He tells him to go lay the letters out where Brutus will find them.
24. What reason does Casca give for wanting Brutus to join their cause?
Brutus's participation in their plot will bring worthiness to their plans because
people love him.
Act II, Scene i
25. What question is Brutus pondering at the opening of the scene?
Brutus questions whether to be a part of Caesar's assassination.
26. For what information does Brutus want Lucius to look at a calendar? What is
the significance of what Lucius finds?
Brutus asks Lucius to see when the Ides of March takes place. In the public
square (Act 1, Scene ii) the Soothsayer tells Caesar to beware of the Ides of
March and the date has passed uneventful because Caesar lives.
27. Why do the conspirators want Cicero to join them?
The conspirators think Cicero will bring respectability to their actions.
28. Why does Brutus reject Cicero? What is Cassius's reaction and what does this
show about his and Brutus's relationship?
Brutus does not want to mention their plans to Cicero because he will not follow
plans other men have started. Cassius accepts Brutus's decision on Cicero's
involvement. Brutus takes control of the conspiracy plan.
29. What do the conspirators plan to do the next day?
They plan to assassinate Caesar.
30. How does Decius say he will make sure that Caesar will come to the Capitol?
Decius will bring Caesar to the capital by flattering him and putting him in a
good mood so that he is likely to go to the capital with Decius.
31. What has Portia done to show Brutus that she is worthy of knowing his secrets?
She appeals to his sense of honor while showing a self-inflicted scar in her thigh,
which is a symbol of her loyalty to Brutus.
Act II, Scene ii Page 4
32. What strange and horrible things does Calphurnia report to Caesar that have
been seen that night?
Calpurnia insists that earlier that night dead men walked, ghosts wandered the
city, a lioness gave birth in the street, and lightening shattered the skies.
33. What does Calphurnia mean by the following statement?

"When beggars die, there are no comets seen;/The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of
princes." (30-31)

Caesar says plans of Gods cannot change and that signs apply to the world in
general, not to him personally. So Calpurnia says that the heavens proclaim the
death of great men (princes), therefore, the omens must have to do with him.

34. How does Decius convince Caesar to go to the Capitol?


First Decius makes a positive interpretation of Calpurnia's dream and tells Caesar
the Senate has decided to give him a crown.
Act II, Scene iii
35. What is Artemidorus's plan?
As Caesar proceeds to the Capitol, Artemidorus plans to hand to Caesar the letter
he has written to warn him of the conspirators.
Act II, Scene iv
36. Why is Portia so nervous and upset? On what errand does she send Lucius?
Since Brutus did not tell Portia of his plans, Portia is extremely excited,
struggling to maintain her self-control and imagining noises that seem to be
coming from the capitol. She sends Lucius to give greetings to Brutus and tell
him that she is in good spirits, then report back to her.
Act III, Scene i
37. In regard to Artemidorus's request, how does Caesar's nobility doom him?
Caesar refuses Artemidorus's pleas to speak with him regarding the conspiracy
saying that he gives last priority to his nearest, most personal concerns.
38. What is Metellus Cimber's petition to Caesar? What is Caesar's response and
why does he give this response?
Metellus approaches Caesar to ask that his brother, Publius Cimber, who was
banished from Rome, be allowed to return. Caesar refuses to pardon Metellus's
banished brother because banishment was by lawful decree. Caesar believes he
is not only strong, but that he can do no wrong among mortal man because he is
truly a god.
39. What does Brutus instruct the conspirators to do before they go before the
public? Why does he instruct them to do this?
Brutus tells them to bathe their hands in Caesar's blood, then walk to the
marketplace with their bloodied swords to proclaim peace, freedom, and liberty.
Page 5
40. What request does Antony's servant bring to Brutus? What is Brutus's response?
Antony asks Brutus to promise a safe passage for him to visit the capitol and an
explanation of why Caesar was assassinated. Brutus promises both a safe
passage and a satisfactory explanation.
41. Why does Cassius object to letting Antony speak at Caesar's funeral? What
reassurance does Brutus give him?
Cassius tells Brutus that Antony will turn the people against them if he is allowed
to speak. Brutus says he will speak before Antony to calm the people with
convincing reasons for their act.
42. What promise does Antony give Brutus about his funeral speech?
Antony will speak second at the funeral and promises not to blame the
conspirators.
43. After being left alone with Caesar's body, what does Antony promise to do?
Antony asks for forgiveness from Caesar for befriending his murderers, expresses
deep hatred, his desire for revenge and intentions to create political chaos
throughout Italy.
Act III, Scene ii
44. What reason does Brutus give for murdering Caesar? What is the crowd's
reaction?
Brutus explained Caesar was great but ambitious and that was the reason for
Caesar's murder. Further, Brutus feared that Romans would live as slaves under
Caesar's leadership. When Brutus asked if anyone disagreed, no one responded.
45. What final mistake does Brutus make in letting Antony speak?
Brutus allowed Antony to speak last.
46. Why does Antony read Caesar's will to the people?
The content of the will calls for all people to get a share of Caesar's wealth,
among other benefits, and this further moves the people to the point of rioting,
creating political chaos.
47. At the end of the scene, what are the fates of Brutus and Cassius?
Brutus and Caesar are driven from Rome.
Act III, Scene iii
48. What is the significance of this scene?
Antony has turned the emotional crowd into an angry mob bend on destruction
confimring Antony's prediction of revenge for Caesar's death.
Act IV, Scene i
49. What ae Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus doing at the opening of the scene?
They are planning how to maintain power after Antony has gained control.
50. Why do they want Caesar's will? What is ironic about this?
By reviewing the will, Antony can save money by redirecting funds that were
originally to be divided among the people. This money is for armies to fight
Brutus and Cassius.
Page 6
51. What is Antony's plan for Lepidus? What is his reason?
Antony plans to train and use Lepidus as he would a horse. He believes Lepidus
can be trained because he is not intelligent enough to think on his own..
Act IV, Scene ii
52. What does Brutus tell Lucilius about dying love?
Brutus tells Lucilius that when a friend starts to get tired of you, he treats you in a
phony manner, whereas a loyal friend would never act phony.
53. What practical instructions does Brutus give Cassius about their disagreement?
What is unusual about this?
Brutus tells Cassius that they know each other well and they can voice any
grievances quietly, but not in the presence of their armies.
Act IV, Scene iii
54. What wrong does Cassius say Brutus has done him?
Brutus condemned Lucius Pella for taking bribes even though Cassius sent letters
to explain.
55. In response, what does Brutus condemn Cassius for doing?
Cassius has been filling important positions with the highest bidders rather than
filling the positions with the most capable and noble men available.
56. What does Cassius threaten to do if Brutus continues to "urge" him?
Cassius tells Brutus he will kill him.
57. According to Brutus, how has Cassius wronged him? What is ironic about
Brutus's accusation?
Cassius has raised money to support their armies using methods that go against
Brutus's sense of honesty.
58. To prove that he has been wronged, what does Cassius tell Brutus to do to Him?
Cassius gives Brutus his dagger to kill him.
59. What is the real reason for Brutus's ill temper? Give all of the details.
Brutus is disturbed because he fears the conspiracy has become corrupt, perhaps
more corrupt than Caesar who they were to replace and Portia was dead.
60. Messala brings what ill news of the triumvirate's actions in Rome?
Octavius and Mark have armies that put death a hundred senators, including
Cicero and that Portia is dead.
61. What reasons does Cassius give for not going directly to Philippi?
Their forces would remain, while the enemy would tire.
62. What reasons does Brutus give for going directly to Philippi? Who prevails?
The people along the route to Philippi are loyal to the conspirators only because
they were forced to be. When the enemy takes the route to Philippi they will
likely side with the enemy to add to their numbers. Cassius goes along with
Brutus.
Page 7
63. What happens to make Brutus speed up his plans to go to Philippi?
Out of guilt Brutus sees the ghost of Caesar who says they will meet in Philippi
which is the armies of Octavius and Mark Antony who replace Caesar and are
much more evil than Caesar.
Act V, Scene i
64. What hope of Octavius and Antony is answered? What does this say about
Brutus?
At Philippi, the armies of Brutus and Cassius are nearby. The armies of Octavius
and Mark Antony are there, too, and expect Brutus and and Cassius to challenge
them before their armies advance. Brutus and Cassius are filled with doubt and
uncertainty so they approach to talk and Brutus asks for conciliation.
65. What does Cassius mean by the following statement?

"Flatterers! Now, Brutus, thank yourself;/This tongue had not offended so today;/If Cassius
might have rules."(45-47)

Cassius remarks to Brutus that he has only himself to thank because Antony
would not be offending them if he had listened to Cassius earlier regarding when
to attack.
66. What ominous sign has Cassius seen that causes him to fear the coming battle?
Cassius saw two eagles on the front flags earlier eating from soldiers hands.
Now he sees ravens, crows and kites overhead as if they were prey.
67. What does Brutus say he will do if they lose the battle? Why is he reluctant to do
this?
Brutus says he would rather die than go to Rome as a defeated prisoner. He
intends to fight before killing himself because any other way would be cowardly.
Act V, Scene ii
68. What horrible mistake does Cassius make? What is the outcome of this mistake?
Cassius receives a report from Pindarius that unknown soldiers shouting for joy
surround Titanius and Cassius takes this to be his best friend's capture. Cassius
gives Pindarius his sword and asks Pindarius to kill him.
69. What is Titinius's reaction to Cassius's actions?
Titinius mourns over Cassius's body and is miserable that a man he admired died
over such a mistake. Titinius stabs himself and dies.
70. What is Brutus's response to Cassius's and Titinius's actions?
Brutus cries that Caesar reaps revenge upon his murderers from his grave. He
bids Cassius and Titinius farewell, calling Cassius the "last of the Romans".
Page 8

Act V, Scene iii


71. What role does Lucilius take upon himself? What was Antony's response to his
masquerade?
Lucilius in an effort to give Brutus time to regroup or flee impersonate Brutus
when he is captured. He tells Antony that Brutus is alive and will never be taken
prisoner. Antony realizes the value of having loyal followers and orders Lucilius
be protected.
Act V, Scene iv
72. What request does Brutus make of Clitus? What is his reponse?
Brutus asks Clitus to kill him. He refuses.
73. What does Brutus ask Volumnius to do? Whatt reasons does he give? What is
Volumnius's response?
Brutus tells Volumnius that he saw Caesar's ghost again, argues that they are
cornered by the enemy, and it is time to die. He asks Volumnius to hold his
sword while he runs into it. Volumnius disagrees with Brutus's reasoning and
refuses because a friend does not perform such acts.
74. What does Strato do for Brutus? What does Strato ask Brutus to do first? Why?
All in the name of honor, Strato asks to hold Brutus's hand and holds Brutus's
sword saying farewell before Brutus runs onto the sword killing himself.
75. What overture of peace does Octavius make to Brutus's men?
Octavius offers to take into service all who followed Brutus.
76. How do Antony and Octavius honor Brutus?
Antony delivers an oration over Brutus's body beginning, "This was the noblest
Roman of them all...". because Brutus only did what he thought was good for the
public and never for personal reasons. Octavius promises an appropriate funeral
for Brutus.