Julius Caesar, Act I Scene 1

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1 LESSON ONE Julius Caesar, Act I Scene 1 STUDY GUIDE FOR ACT I SCENE 1 As you read, answer the following questions in your own words. 1. Which characters speak in blank verse 2. Which characters do not speak in blank verse 3. What inference can you make based on this? Why do you think Shakespeare does this? 4. What attitude do Flavius and Murellus have toward commoners such as the carpenter and the cobbler? 5. Why is Murellus so angry with the commoners? Act I, scene 1 1

2 LESSON ONE Julius Caesar, Act I Scenes 2-3 STUDY GUIDE FOR ACT I SCENES 2-3 As you read, answer the following questions in your own words. Act I, scene 2 1. How would you describe the relationship between Caesar and Antony based on Antony s comment in lines 9-10? 2. Reread line 18. How does Shakespeare maintain the rhythm of blank verse during dialogue? 3. Beware the ides of March is a famous line. What does the term ides mean? 4. What does Caesar s behavior toward the soothsayer suggest about his character? Act I, scenes 2-3 1

3 5. What do Brutus s words in lines suggest about his personality? 6. What does Cassius reveal about his feelings in line 60? 7. How would you describe Cassius s attitude toward Brutus? Why might Cassius behave in this manner? 8. What is Cassius s attitude toward the idea that Caesar is a god? 9. Review lines How many of these lines are in regular iambic pentameter, and how many vary the pattern? 10. What angers Cassius about Caesar s leadership? Explain. Act I, scenes 2-3 2

4 11. To what extent has Cassius succeeded in winning Brutus over to his side? Explain. 12. Why does Caesar think that Cassius is to be avoided? 13. What difference do you notice between Casca s way of speaking and that of Caesar I this scene? 14. Why do you think Caesar refuses the crown? 15. What does Casca mean by his remark in line 271? What is his attitude toward the people in the crowd? 16. What does the punishment of Murellus and Flavius indicate about Caesar and his rule? Act I, scenes 2-3 3

5 17. What aspect of Cassius s character becomes clear in line 307? What are his true feelings about Brutus? 18. In what way are lines not blank verse? Why might Shakespeare have written them this way? Act I, scene 3 1. What connection might there be between the unnatural events described by Casca and the events of previous scenes? How might Caesar s rule be a betrayal? 2. On page 46 of your No Fear Shakespeare, Cassius says, Casca, by your voice. The five syllables in this line make up the end of a line of blank verse. Which syllables make up the beginning of the line? 3. Why might Cassius not want to name Caesar directly in line 80? Act I, scenes 2-3 4

6 4. What bargain has been made? How are Cassius and Casca now bound by loyalty and by betrayal (line 120)? 5. Why is it so important for the conspirators to have Brutus on their side? Act I, scenes 2-3 5

7 LESSON ONE Julius Caesar, Act II Scene 1 STUDY GUIDE FOR ACT II SCENE 1 As you read, answer the following questions in your own words. 1. What type of speech begins at line 10? How do you know? 2. What prediction is Brutus making in lines 25-27? 3. What does the audience know about the origin of the notes that Brutus refers to in lines 49-50? 4. To whom does Brutus ally himself? Why? How does this connect to a larger theme in the play? Act II, scene 1 1

8 5. What does Brutus mean in distinguishing between purgers and murderers (line 180)? What do you think of this distinction? 6. What do lines suggest about the type of loyalty Caesar expects from his fellow Romans? 7. What effect is thinking about the conspiracy having on Brutus (lines )? 8. In lines , is Portia correct? How does this relate to a theme of the play? 9. To whom does Brutus make his remark in lines ? 10. How has the motif of the sick man reappeared throughout this scene? What impact has this had on the plot and on the theme? Act II, scene 1 2

9 LESSON ONE Julius Caesar, Act II Scenes 2-4 STUDY GUIDE FOR ACT I SCENES 2-4 As you read, take note of the omens discussed in the previous section of this unit. Also, answer the following questions in your own words. Act II, scene 2 1. In line 25, Calphurnia refers to images she has seen. What are they and how do they relate to a motif? 2. What motif appears in lines 44-47? How does this impact the plot and theme 3. Does Decius seem sincere to you (lines 58-59)? 4. What does Decius s response in lines suggest about how the conspirators will behave as the plot unfolds? Act II, scenes 2-4 1

10 5. Does Caesar seem easily persuaded (lines )? How does this relate to a theme of the play? 6. What attitude toward the plot to murder Caesar does Brutus reveal in lines ? Act II, scene 3 1. At the beginning of this scene, Artemidorus says, security gives way to conspiracy. How well does this line articulate one theme of the play? Act II, scene 4 2. What does Portia ask Lucius to do? Act II, scenes 2-4 2

11 LESSON TWO Julius Caesar, Act III Scene 1 STUDY GUIDE FOR ACT III SCENE 1 As you read, answer the following questions in your own words. 1. From Caesar s remark in line 8, what can you infer about Caesar s character? 2. What might happen if the plotters are discovered (lines 16-17)? 3. In lines 42-43, what does Caesar mean when he says that Metellus s compliments are base spaniel fawning)? 4. In your opinion, why is Cassius acting this way (lines 56-57)? Act III, scene 1 1

12 5. In lines 60-62, what is Caesar suggesting by comparing himself to the North Star? 6. What do Caesar s dying words reveal? 7. What does Brutus s remark in lines suggest about how Brutus is feeling about his betrayal? 8. What position does Mark Antony take with regard to the killing of Caesar? Do you think this will be important to the plot? (lines ) 9. What does Mark Antony mean when he says he would not find himself so apt to die if he lived a thousand years? What type of figurative language is this? (lines ) 10. In lines , Why is Brutus so eager to reassure Antony? Act III, scene 1 2

13 11. To what things does Antony compare Caesar in lines ? How do these comparisons characterize Caesar s death? 12. What is Cassius s object to Antony s speaking at Caesar s funeral (lines )? 13. At the beginning of Antony s soliloquy (lines ) what do the words reveal about Antony s true feelings regarding the conspirators? 14. How does the figurative language Antony uses in lines relate to the play s historical and cultural setting? Act III, scene 1 3

14 LESSON TWO Julius Caesar, Act III Scenes 2-3 STUDY GUIDE FOR ACT III SCENES 2-3 As you read, answer the following questions in your own words. Act II, scene 2 1. At the beginning of the scene, what are the plebeians demanding? Is this important to the plot? 2. In lines 29-31, what is Brutus implying? Is this a valid conclusion? 3. How do the people react to Brutus s speech? 4. Why do you think Shakespeare has the crowd react in this way? 5. What can you infer from the fourth plebeian s remark in line 66? Act III, scenes 2-3 1

15 6. What does Antony mean in line 72: I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him? 7. What phrase does Antony repeat throughout the first part of his speech (lines )? Why? 8. Look at lines In what way is this an example of figurative language? What mood, or feeling, does Antony s language help to create? 9. Why do the plebeians call Antony noble? 10. In lines , why does Antony flatter the plebeians? 11. Why do you think Antony delays in reading the will? Act III, scenes 2-3 2

16 12. Where in lines does Antony use personification? How does this help to create sympathy for Caesar? 13. In line 212, Antony emphasizes that he is not trying to turn the people against Brutus and the conspirators. Is he sincere? 14. Antony claims not to be a good orator. Do you agree? Why do you think he says this? 15. What does Antony s remark in line 256 reveal about his character? 16. How would you characterize the tension at the end of this scene? What has Antony accomplished with his speech? Act II, scene 3 1. How does the crowd treat Cinna the poet? Why does the crowd behave this way? Act III, scenes 2-3 3

17 LESSON TWO Julius Caesar, Act IV Scene 1 STUDY GUIDE FOR ACT IV SCENE 1 As you read, answer the following questions in your own words. 1. What does Antony s statement in line 8 suggest about his character? 2. What does Octavius s statement in lines indicate about the difference between Octavius and Antony? 3. Having read Octavius s last lines in the scene, who do you predict will be victorious: the conspirators or the triumvirate? Why? Act IV, scene 1 1

18 LESSON TWO Julius Caesar, Act IV scenes 2-3 STUDY GUIDE FOR ACT IV SCENES 2-3 As you read, answer the following questions in your own words. Act IV, scene 2 1. In lines 19-21, what attitude toward Cassius is Brutus expressing? 2. Before Cassius enters (line 30), what do you predict will happen when Brutus and Cassius meet? 3. What contrast between Cassius and Brutus is suggest by lines 42-43? 4. Before Cassius enters (line 30), what do you predict will happen when Brutus and Cassius meet? Act IV, scenes 2-3 1

19 Act IV, scene 3 1. What point does Brutus make in lines 18-28? 2. In line 71, what distinction does Brutus make between himself and Cassius? 3. What different ideas about loyalty and friendship do Cassius and Brutus express in lines 90-92? 4. How might the poet be a foil to Brutus and Cassius (lines )? 5. How would you characterize Portia s loyalty to Brutus? 6. Compared to Cassius, how does Brutus react to Portia s death? Act IV, scenes 2-3 2

20 7. Considering this news, what do you predict might happen? 8. How would you characterize Portia s loyalty to Brutus? 9. Compared to Cassius, how does Brutus react to Portia s death? 10. Considering this news, what do you predict might happen? 11. Describe Cassius s battle plans. 12. Describe Brutus s battle plans. Act IV, scenes 2-3 3

21 13. Which of the battle plans do you think will ultimately be proven correct? Why? 14. What does Cassius s comment in lines tell you about his character. 15. How would you describe Brutus s state of mind when Cassius leaves? 16. What does the ghost s visit suggest to you? What do you think will happen at Philippi? Act IV, scenes 2-3 4

22 LESSON TWO Julius Caesar, Act V STUDY GUIDE FOR ACT V As you read, answer the following questions in your own words. Act V, scene 1 1. In line 20, What quality or qualities does Octavius display? 2. What flaws does Antony accuse Brutus and Cassius of having? 3. What earlier error on Brutus s part does Cassius allude to in lines 46-47? 4. What is Cassius s judgment of Antony in line 62? Do you agree? Act V 1

23 5. What beliefs concerning honor does Brutus reflect in lines ? 6. How would you characterize Brutus s good-bye to Cassius at the end of the scene? Act V, scene 3 1. At the beginning of the scene, who betrays Cassius, and what does he do about it? 2. From the reports of Titinius and Pindarus, what does Cassius believe is happening? 3. In your opinion, what do lines indicate about Cassius s character? Act V 2

24 4. What Roman ideas about loyalty and destiny are suggested in lines 45-46? 5. What do you learn about Cassius s character from the reactions of Messala and Titinius to his death? 6. In lines 94-96, why do you think Brutus invokes the name of Julius Caesar? 7. What admirable qualities does Brutus display in this scene? Act V, scene 4 1. What does Lucilius s action say about the character traits of Roman army officers? 2. What character traits does Antony display in his response to Lucilius s actions? Act V 3

25 3. What does Clitus think of Brutus? 4. What request does Antony make of his generals? How do they respond? 5. What can you infer from Brutus final words (lines 50-51)? 6. In Antony s final speech (lines 68-75), what does he say makes Brutus different from the other conspirators? 7. What does Octavius say should be done with Brutus? Why do you think he does this? Act V 4

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