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Shakespeare's Julius Caesar

Comprehension Questions

Act I, Scene I

1. The dramatic technique Shakespeare uses to start his play is suspense because of the
chaos that Shakespeare lead us towards in the beginning of the play. He tells us about
the upheaval between the unhappy plebeians and the rich, happy noblemen. Then,
Caesar decides to kill Marullus and Flavius for taking out the decorations on Caesar's
statute. which is foreshadowing the sadness of the senators and they will be done with
the dictator.

2. The significance of Marulus rebuke of the commaners is that Marullus is emotional
because he tries to drive the crowds from the streets, reminding them of their former
love for Pompey and how they once cheered him. It's significant because it shows his
bitterness and hatred towards Caesar's return.

3. The Second Commoner puns because he is suppose to is to annoy Flavius and
Marullus, who are not happy that Julius Caesar is coming back to Rome after defeating
Pompeys army. Unlike the common people, who love Julius, Marullus and Flavius try to
get them to leave. The cobbler pesters them with one pun after another.

4. Identify and explain the cobblers puns.When Marullus asks him what his trade is, the
cobbler says: A trade, sir, that, I hope, I may use with a safe conscience; which is,
indeed, sir, a mender of bad soles. Here, soles can be taken to mean the bottom of a
shoe or a soul. When Marullus presses him for a more direct answer, the cobbler says:
Nay, I beseech you, sir, be not out with me: yet, if you be out, sir, I can mend you. Here
mend can mean fix his shoes or fix whatevers bothering him. He also says: Truly, sir,
all that I live by is with the awl. He is punning on all and awl which sound the same
but arent. An awl is a shoe repair tool.I recover them. Recover can mean help them
(the bad shoes) recover from a problem or put a new cover on them.

5. The literary term illustrated by the quotation is Anaphora, the deliberate repetition of a
word or phrase at the beginning of verses, clauses, sentences, paragraphs.Julius
Caesar is criticizing the man on how he dresses because of how shocked he is and
wants to know what holiday it is.Then he continues on to dismiss him. William
Shakespeare used anaphora with Julius to make him sound meaner, as if he was
verbally attacking whoever he was talking to.

Act I, Scene II

6. The soothsayers warning to Caesar is to beware the ides of March first he ignores it,
then asks the man to come forward. This means that it is the day that Julius Caesar was
killed and in Shakespeare's play the death is foretold by a soothsayer (fortune teller) with
that line.

7. Brutus fears Caesar will be wanted as kind by the people and not him.

8. When Cassius and Caesar went swimming in the Tiber, Caesar couldnt cross the river
and Cassius had to help him. The point of this story shows that Caesar is a coward and
far from a god.

9. What Cassius says about fate, free will, and underlining is that he keeps referring to
Romans of the past and he wants to keep reminding Brutus of his ancestors who were
responsible for founding the republic. Lucius Junius Brutus was famous for expelling the
royal family, the Tarquins, out of the city in 509 B.C. and establishing the Roman
Republic, which Cassius suspects is now threatened by the domination of Julius Caesar
backed by his own army and supported by the lower classes of Roman citizens. Cassius
isnt liked and knows he needs someone with status and popularity like Caesars to
overthrow him.

10. The physical ailments of Caesar mentioned in Julius Caesar Act 1, Scene 2 are his short
stature and short temper.

Act I, Scene III

11. Conspirators planted papers on Brutus chair to make Brutus think that Rome was in
anguish under the repressive rule.

12. Casca has seen a slave with a burning left hand, a lion loose in the streets, an owl
hooting during the day, and blood rain. Casca interprets these strange happenings by
thinking that the senators are planning to make Caesar a king the next morning. Cassius
withdraws his dagger and threatens to die before letting Caesar achieve so much power.
Casca shakes hands with Cassius and they agree to work together to prevent Caesar
from seizing power. Shakespeare's audience would have thought that these were just
strange things happening for no reason.

13. The signs highlight Shakespeare's apparent problem with time sequences because they
are not summed up in chronological order.

14. Cassius blames himself and Brutus lack of will for letting Caesar rise to power. This is
significant because Cassius shows that he is not on Julius side. He thinks Brutus is a
better man than Julius will ever be.

15. The literary term Cassius used to describe Caesar as a wolf and a lion, and the Romans
as sheep, is a metaphor. The significance is that Caesar is not only feared by the
Romans, like sheep would herd together in the presence of a wolf, but he is also viewed
as a lion, which is a symbol of strength and wisdom as he is the emperor of Rome.

Act II, Scene I

1. Brutus believes that Caesar must be stopped from being a king because he thinks that
no single man deserves that much power. Brutus fear of what Caesar may become is
justified because Caesar was already a dictator. He already made the plans for future
Imperator, his nephew Augustus, whod destroy the Republic.

2. The exhalations by which Brutus reads the letter that Lucius delivers refers to meteors
flashing past in the sky. They are compared to the political chaos in Rome. Caesar is
soon assassinated and it is believed that after the death of great leaders, strange
warnings were foretold. The meteors appear as soon as Brutus reads the letters left by
Cassius which persuade him that the people in Rome want him to join the conspiracy
against Caesar and decides to murder him.

3. The strategical error Brutus and Cassius make when discussing Caesars death was that
Brutus suggested that they attack as soon as possible because theyre at their strongest
and Cassius, an experienced soldier, suggested that they wait and let the enemies come
to them so the enemies will be tired. They commit a blunder because Brutus is
inexperienced and wants to rush things when Cassius wants to take it easy and
disposeth of Julius properly.

4. The fact that Caesar is so easily swayed by flattery says that he is very vain.

Act II, Scene II

5. The significance of Calpurnias dream, as recounted by Caesar means that she has a
dream in which blood pours from a statue of his and the people of Rome wash their
hands in it. She also suspects that Caesar will die in her arms. Her dream is one of
many omens in Shakespeare's play, signs of future tragic events. Caesar's death is at
the hands of his own people. She warns Caesar not to go to the Senate, but he ignores
her warning and is murdered by Cassius, Brutus, and the rest of the conspirators.

6. The evidence that Calpurnia offers to support her assertion that Caesar should stay at
home is because she has seen his death happen in a dream. Calpurnia's prediction
comes true and Caesar is murdered by his own Senate.

Act II, Scene III

7. The purpose of this scene is to inform the readers that Artemidorus wrote Julius Caesar
a letter with the names of every conspirator that is against him.

8. The major theme that Artemidorus letter advances to is Betrayal.

Act II, Scene IV

9. Portia is distracted because she knows what Brutus is planning to do to Caesar and will
not inform him of it.

10. The soothsayers plan is to tell Portia that he will warn Caesar to look after himself. He
tells the soothsayer that many bad things can happen and she wishes to speak to him in
an isolated area.

Act III, Scene I

1. The significance about the way Caesar opens the senatorial session means that Caesar
is referring to the Senate as belonging to him. Julius indirectly states that he believes he
is above everyone else and has more power than the Senates who assist him.

2. Casca stabbed Julius Caesar first.

3. Hypophoria is used as a rhetorical device that is exemplified by Caesars famous, Et tu,
Brute? - Then fall, Caesar!

4. The significance of the simile: How like a deer stricken by many princes/Dost thou here
lie! signifies that Caesar is being compared to the deer which is being hunted by the
princes which are the conspirators.

5. The additional blunder Cassius and Brutus commit in agreeing to let Antony speak at
Caesars funeral is that Brutus lets Antony speak at Caesar's funeral. He does not listen
to Cassius so Brutus lets Antony speak. Brutus does not think Antony will have
influenced the crowd. Brutus leaves the scene after he delivers his speech about Caesar
at the funeral, allowing Antony to speak to the crowd without interruption or challenge.
There, Antony soon inspires them to turn against the conspirators.

Act III, Scene II

6. The reason Brutus gives for Caesars death is that Brutus loved rome more than he
loved Caesar and he would have made them all slaves.

7. The rhetorical devices Brutus employs in his speech is rationality because he levels with
people and repeats the word honor to gain their trust towards his motivations. He uses

parallel structure to compare the two possibilities. Brutus uses himself as an example of
friendship with Caesar, thinking it make him look more noble if he proves that he loved
Caesar best.

8. What is being foreshadowed by the ending of Brutus speech: With this I depart, that, as
I slew my best lover for the good of Rome, I have the same dagger for myself, when it
shall please my country to need my death is that Brutus is okay with killing himself if it
would be what is best for Rome. He had a reason to kill Caesar. Brutus is foreshadowing
his own suicide which happens when he stabs himself instead of being carried back to
Rome after he got defeated.

9. The speech Brutus says at the funeral seems like he is trying to persuade people that
Caesar had to die because he would have become a dictator and bring suffering to them
all. He tries making himself seem like a concerned citizen. Antony keeps telling the
crowd that Brutus and the conspirators are honorable men and answers Brutus
statement that Caesar was ambitious by telling the crowd of wealth that Caesar brought
to rome, Caesars sympathy for the poor, and how he refused to take the throne when
offered to him. He stops and cries while making the speech to make the crowd feel bad
for him. Antonys speech is more successful because he knows how to manipulate the
crowd into reading Caesars will. He mentions to the Plebeians that Caesar cared for
them and hints to them that they should become outraged, thus gaining their favor.

10. Antony employs anaphora in his speech when he says, "His legs bestrid the ocean; his
reard arm Crested the world; his voice was propertied As all the tuned spheres."

11. Lines 102-103 refer to the belief that, D. The judgement of the conspirators crime lies
with the beasts.

12. Although there is no stage direction, lines 104-105 above make it apparent that Antony,
A. brokenhearted by Caesars death.

13. At the end of his speech, Antony claims to lack ambition when referring to Brutus claims
about Caesar.

14. The reactions of the mob indicate that they want to kill Brutus and the other conspirators
after Antony shows the crowd Caesars body, and reveals the contents of his will which is
divided among the people of Rome.

Act III, Scene III

15. The dramatic significance of this short scene is that Cinna is traveling the streets and
gets caught by the mob. The mob confuse Cinna with the conspirator. He tells them they
have the wrong guy but the mob does not seem to care or even bother listen. They tear

him to pieces for his bad poetry and drag him offstage and list the names of the
conspirators whose houses theyre off to rob and burn.

Act IV, Scene I

1. Antony, Octavius and Lepidus are planning who will die, including family members, as
they merge their power. Whats suggested about their collective and individual
characters it that it shows how Antony becomes frivolous. Lepidus doesnt believe that
Antony could fall so far but Caesar does and think that Antony should be punished
because of his behavior.

2. Antony shows he is ruthless because he took part with the other two men in compiling a
list of people to be killed to avoid complications with enemies. He also will sacrifice his
nephew if Lepidus has his own brother killed. Antony and the others show greed in
planning Caesars will. Antony also believes that Lepidus is too weak to rule in Rome.
He plans to discard him of his power. Antony is insulting the man who has proven
himself in battle, and compares the other man to a horse that has to be trained.

3. Shakespeare is dramatizing the mayhem that follows Caesars assassination, as well as
the power in light of the emperors death.

Act IV, Scene II

4. What is suggested about Cassius character even before he appears in this scene is that
he is the initiator in the plot to murder Caesar.

5. Brutus requests that the conference be held inside because their armies may sense
antagonism between them if spoken out in an open area or anywhere else but a private

Act IV, Scene III

6. Brutus is outraged at official corruption because he thinks the people deserve a fair
ruler. It indicates that he cares about the plebeians.

7. Brutus and Cassius argue about Cassius taking bribed in Sardis and for not sending any
to Brutus for his army when he needed it. The tense of their argument is tense. The
significance of their argument is that brutus is angry because he doesnt think the people
deserve a bad ruler. This shows that he cares.

8. What Cassius means when he refers to Plutos mine is judge of the dead which is the
Roman god of the underworld. Cassius would be conveyed as the underworld and pluto
would be an accurate reference. Plutus mine would be overflowing with wealth because
he says his heart is more valuable than riches.

9. Portia killed herself by swallowing a burning coals because she is torn between
protecting Brutus and lying to Calpurnia and is driven to insanity by Brutus death.

10. The significance of the appearance of Caesars ghost is that Brutus finds himself
imagining the spirit because of his misdeeds or probably an evil spirit haunting him.The
appearance of the ghost clarifies the conflict of the play by scaring Brutus so he wakes
up all the men in his tent and sends them to Cassius with orders that he can depart
before him the next morning.

Act V, Scene I

1. What Antony means when he accuses Octavius of crossing him is that Antony tells
Octavius to lead his soldiers out on to the left side of the field and Octavius says he will
go right and that Antony should take left. Antony asks Octavius why he goes against him
and Octavius doesnt want Antony to tell him where he needs to go to fight.

2. Octavius is clearly implying by his response that he believes Antony was responsible for
the death of his father.

3. Whats significant about the way Antony addresses Octavius is that he tries his best to
control Octavius and his intentions but Octavius proves to be like his father and
eventually seizes power of the government.

4. The significance of the omen Cassius reports to have seen signifies that when the
soothsayer said the warning, Casca retells brutus and Cassius of the commotion with
Caesar. Antony offers Caesar a crown three times and refused it three times. The crowd
goes wild and causes Caesar to faint and foam from the mouth.

Act V, Scene II

5. Shakespeare includes this scene to inform you of that the battle has begun and it depicts
the two sides surge against each other. Brutus sends Messala to Cassius to report that
he thinks Octaviuss army is weak and will push forward to exploit it.

Act V, Scene III

6. Cassius died at the final battle as the forces of Brutus and Cassius go against the
triumvirate of Octavius, Antony and Lepidus, Brutus sees an opening on the side of
Octavius army and attacks. Although Brutus attacked well and with great force, the

attack was too early and left Cassius army enforced by Antonys. As his camp is set on
fire, they begin to walk towards him. Cassius then sends Titinius to check if the army is
Brutus or not. Messala tells Brutus that Titinius is being run down on horseback.
Cheering is heard and soon they discover Titinius is dead. Cassius dies because of the
grief he felt for sending Titinius out to check on the army. Cassius asks Messala to kill
him with the same blade he used to kill caesar.

7. The metaphor Titinius uses to lament Cassius death shows that he compares the
setting sun with the ending of the life of Cassius. as the red rays of the setting sun hide
behind the horizon to disappear into the night, Cassius has done the same. Like the sun,
sunk his red blood into earth, and passed into the night. Also, that Cassius is like the sun
of Rome, and it has set. As a day is over and the sun sets, the days of Cassius. his
friends, and army are over as well. There is no light to warm them, only clouds, dews,
and danger.

Act V, Scene IV

8. Lucilius impersonates Brutus to protect him from capture by Antonys troops.

9. Antony responds to the impersonation of Brutus by Lucilius by embracing Lucilius.

Act V, Scene V

10. The lines 36-38 most likely mean that Brutus, A, Will hold an honored place in history.

11. Brutus commits suicide because he wants to avoid being captured by Antony and
Octavius so he would not lose.

12. When Antony calls Brutus, the noblest Roman of them all, Antony is admitting that, B. I
and II above.

13. Antony and Octavius treat Brutus body by paying great honor and respect to Brutus and
calling him the greatest roman of them all. They did this because Antony knows Brutus
was a worthy citizen and a real man. Octavius orders the body to be taken back to
Brutus tent to be buried in the most honorable way.

14. The note that ends the play is that the men depart to celebrate their victory.

15. An event that I would identify as the climax of the play is when Cassius dies after the
battle because of the grief he felt when he sent Titinius to check on the army, and hears
cheering when he suddenly realizes that Titinius has been killed. Cassius orders
Messala to kill him using the blade he used to kill Caesar.