Act I Study Questions

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1 Act I Study Questions Scene i 1. What is the setting? (time, place, atmosphere) * Rome; excitement about Caesar s return 2. Why are the commoners not working? How do they feel about Caesar? *carpenter/cobbler stopped working to honor him for a day because they like him 3. Why do Flavius and Murellus get angry with the commoners? What do they instruct them to do? *They are angry because they liked Pompey, are mad that Caesar killed him, and are mad that the commoners took a day off to celebrate Caesar. They demand the commoners take down the decorations (on the statues) and get back to work. 4. What do they do to Caesar s statues? *They disrobe/undecorated the statues. Scene ii 5. How does Marc Antony feel about Caesar? Use a quote from this scene to support your answer. *He loves Caesar and does whatever he says/requests. [ When Caesar says, Do this, it is performed. Also, not to mention that later Antony offers Caesar the crown!] 6. What is a soothsayer? What does the soothsayer tell Caesar? *He predicts the future. Tells him to beware March 15 th (the Ides of March). 7. What does ides mean? *the 15 th of March, May, July, and October; a festive day dedicated to the god Mars 8. When cheering is heard, what does Brutus think is going on inside the arena? How does he feel about this? *He thinks the people have crowned Caesar as king. However, he doesn t want Caesar to be king even though he loves him. 9. Brutus says For let the gods so speed me as I love/ The name of honor more than I fear death. Explain this quote in your own words and what it shows about what Brutus values in life. *He wants the gods/fate to assist him in doing whatever is best for Rome he has their best interest in mind.

2 10. Why does Cassius tell Brutus the swimming story? *To convince Brutus that they are both stronger and more deserving of the throne. [Caesar is WEAK! He can t handle the throne!] 11. How does Cassius feel about Caesar? Why? *They re the same! Why would Caesar be the famous one? Brutus should reign over the kingdom, not Caesar! 12. Why was the crowd cheering three times in the arena? *Because Caesar was offered the crown (and refused it) three times. 13. What happens to Caesar after the third cheer from the crowd? What sickness does he have? How does this affect his ego? *Caesar faints after the third cheer. His sickness is epilepsy. He wanted to know if he had said or done anything wrong. 14. What happens to Murellus and Flavius because of their behavior in scene i? *They were punished for pulling the scarves/decorations off of the statues of Caesar. 15. What does Cassius plan to do to convince Brutus to join his conspiracy? *He plans to throw rocks with messages in different handwriting through Brutus s windows to convince him that all of the townspeople agree that Caesar must not be king. Scene iii 16. What are 2 reasons that Casca gives for why it is storming? * Either there are wars in heaven, or else the world, too insolent toward the gods, provokes them to send destruction. 17. Name 3 things that Casca lists as omens when he is speaking to Cicero. *a lion strutting by, men on fire, a shrieking owl 18. What reason does Cassius give for the storm? *instruments of fear and warning (foreshadows things to come) 19. What do the senators plan to do to Caesar at the capitol? *establish Caesar as king 20. Name 5 people that are part of the conspiracy to kill Caesar. *Cassius, Brutus, Cinna, Casca, Metellus, Trebonius, Decius Overall

3 21. What is Cassius s attitude about fate vs. free will? Does he believe in allowing fate to take its course? Why or why not? Use examples to supports your answer. *He feels like they (men) can control their fate and that they should step in for the good of the townspeople (and the beliefs put in place by their ancestors). For this reason, he says he will kill himself if Caesar is crowned king. 22. What kind of leadership qualities seem to be valued by Cassius and Brutus? (use their conversation in scene ii to help you.) *physical strength and health Scene i Act II Study Questions 1. What is Brutus thinking about at the beginning of Act II? *Whether or not he should/should not help bring Caesar down (kill his good friend!). 2. What does Lucius find when he looks at the calendar? Why is this important to Brutus and Caesar? What ideas about fate does this support? *Lucius reports that tomorrow is the 15 th of March (the Ides of March). It is important because this was the warning the soothsayer gave Caesar (suggesting that something bad was going to happen). Brutus takes it as a sign to help him decide what he will do; he s also influenced by the letters that suddenly appear and thinks every sign is pointing him into the direction of killing Caesar for the good of the people. 3. Why do the conspirators want Cicero to join them? Who or what influences their final decision about including him? *Casca, Cinna, and Metellus discuss Cicero; they say he is mature and will make the people look favorably upon them. However, Brutus says to leave him out because he will not join up with something that has already been created by other men. (Cassius agrees with Brutust perhaps more to help coerce Brutus to joining them as well.) 4. How will Decius make sure that Caesar comes to the capitol? *He will convince him by flattering him (even though Caesar says he hates flatterers). 5. Why is Portia upset with Brutus? What has she done to prove her strength to him?

4 *She is upset because he will not tell her what is wrong with him (and who he was meeting with in the orchard). She is strong because she comes from a noble family and married a noble man. Scene ii 6. What strange events of the night does Calpurnia report to Caesar? *lioness giving birth in the streets; graves cracked open and thrust forward the dead 7. Explain the following quote by Calpurnia: When beggars die, there are no comets seen;/ The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes. *When people of power die, everyone notices. [She is trying to convince Caesar to not go to the Capital.] 8. How does Decius persuade Caesar to go to the capitol? *He says that Calphurnia s dreams were misunderstood; these are all good dreams. He tells Caesar that the Senate has decided to give him a crown. Scene iii 9. Who is Artemidorus and what does he plan to do at the capitol? *He acts as Caesar s friend, and he is going to try to warn him about what the others are planning to do to him [in other words, he knows Cassius s plan to kill Caesar]. Scene iv 10. Why is Portia so nervous and upset? *She is worried about Brutus because she knows what he is about to do [kill Caesar]. 11. What does she send Lucius to do? *She sends Lucius to speak well of her to Brutus and tell him that she is happy. Overall 12. Why is Brutus against the conspirators swearing in an oath? What does this say about his character? *He does not think they need to go overboard [i.e. kill Antony]. He thinks they should stay focused on Caesar and be precise with their actions versus being butchers. This shows that Brutus cares and is truly doing what he thinks is best [whereas Cassius just wants to kill for power].

5 13. How does Caesar s response to Calpurnia s fears support Brutus s and Cassius s worries about Caesar? *His response shows how cocky he can be and self-centered which is the main reason the others have a problem with him [he wants sole power over everyone/everything]. 14. In every disagreement between Cassius and Brutus, who seems to come out on top? What does this say about the character of both Brutus and Cassius? *Cassius ends up getting what he wants each time [even if he does give into Brutus s viewpoint to get him on his team]. This shows that Cassius is manipulative and bossy. 15. What is the purpose of the storm? Why is it so important to the play? *The storm is foreboding and shows that times are changing. 16. List 3 leadership qualities that you see in Brutus. *He listens, he thinks carefully, and he acts for the good of Rome. 17. List 3 leadership qualities that you see in Cassius. *He knows how to get people on his team, he gives in/compromises [if it means he will get what he wants], and he likes to be in power. Scene i Act III Study Questions 1. Why does Caesar tell Artemidorus that he will read his letter last? *He says that anything having to do with him he will read last. (selfless?) 2. Who stabs Caesar first? *Casca 3. What does Caesar say to Brutus when he is stabbed? * Et tu, Brute? (then he dies) 4. How do the people react to the news of Caesar s death? *They re scared and run in the streets as though it s Dooms Day. 5. Brutus wants to walk the streets crying out what phrase? * Peace, freedom, and liberty! 6. Where did Caesar fall? Why is this considered situational irony? At the base of Pompey s statue; Caesar had just defeated Pompey s Army. 7. What promise does Brutus tell the servant to relay to Antony?

6 *He tells Anthony to come see Brutus, so he can explain everything, and he promises not to harm him. 8. What does Antony challenge does Mark Antony give to the conspirators after seeing Caesar s dead body? *He says, If you have a grudge against me, go ahead and kill me now. And prove to me that Caesar was dangerous. 9. What favor does Antony ask of the conspirators? (besides giving reasons for Caesar s murder) *He wants to speak at the funeral for Caesar, and he wants Caesar s body. 10. What restrictions does Brutus set? *He can speak about the good qualities of Caesar, but cannot blame Brutus or Cassius. 11. Who is coming to Rome to meet with Antony? *Octavius (Caesar s adopted son/heir) Scene ii 12. According to Brutus s speech to the commoners, what reasons does he give for Caesar s death? *It s not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more. Caesar was valiant, but we would have all died as slaves. 13. What is the mood of the crowd as Brutus finishes his speech? *They see Brutus as a hero and want to crown him king. 14. What does Brutus offer at the end of his speech? *He asks them to leave him alone and listen to Antony s speech. 15. How does the crowd react to Antony s speech? *They feel bad for Antony and say he is the noblest in the country! They want Antony to read Caesar s will. They they say they ll avenge Caesar s death because he left the people money, gardens, and orchards in his will. Scene iii 16. What happens to Cinna the Poet? Why? *Cinna had a dream that he was dining with Caesar. Then, he s attacked by the Plebeian.

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