Act I, Scene 1: Questions and Answers
1. How does Shakespeare use humor in the opening scene?
His characters pun, or play with word meanings. They use words that sound alike but have different meanings.
2. A pun is a play on words, two words that sound alike but have different meanings.
Find two examples of puns in the opening lines of the scene.?
The word “cobbler” has two meanings, shoemaker and bungler. A “mender of bad soles” is a reference to
shoemaker. This is a play on the word “souls.” An awl is a leather punch. It is used with the word “all.”
Recover means to repair, as in repair shoes. Recover also means to get better as from an illness.
3. How does Shakespeare show the political conflict in Rome?
He does this by opening the play with a confrontation between the tribunes and the citizens, two opposing
forces in Rome.
4. What is the reason the cobbler tells Flavius and Marullus he is leading the people through the street?
The cobbler wants them to wear out their shoes so he will get more work.
5. What is the real reason the people are out in the street?
They are out to see Caesar and rejoice in his triumph.
6. What about Pompey is revealed in this scene?
Pompey was once loved and respected by the people of Rome.
7. What information is given about Caesar?
People sometimes play games with words. People may also recite or memorise lists of words, for example when trying to learn the words of another language or to remember technical terms. And they may occasionally leaf through a dictionary looking at words more or less randomly. These are legitimate activities, enjoyable or useful as they may be. But they are not typical uses of words. Typically, ...
Caesar was responsible for Pompey’s death.
8. How does the scene show the fickleness of the crowd?
Flavius and Marullus are able to change the mind of the crowd with their words and convince them to
9. Shakespeare often uses comparisons (metaphor and simile) and figurative language. What is the
comparison Flavius makes in the final lines of the scene?
He compares Caesar to a bird. Driving the crowd from the street will be like plucking feathers from a
bird’s wing so it can not fly high.
10. What are the intentions of Flavius and Marullus as the scene ends?
They plan to go through the streets and pull down any banners that honor Caesar.
Act I, Scene 2: Questions and Answers
1. How is Caesar’s power indicated in the scene?
When he tells Antony to touch Calphurnia in the race, Antony says, “When Caesar says ‘Do this,’ it is
2. What was the soothsayer’s warning?
The Soothsayer warns, “Beware of the ides of March.”
3. What reason does Brutus give Cassius for his coolness towards him?
Brutus says that he has some private matters on his mind that are troubling him.
4. What two stories does Brutus tell about Caesar?
Caesar challenged Cassius to a swimming race, and Cassius had to save his life. He also saw Caesar with
the fever in Spain, crying like “a sick girl.”
5. What does Cassius compare Caesar to in lines 142–45?
5. He compares Caesar to a giant statue, under whose legs Romans must walk.
6. What reasons does Caesar give Antony that Cassius is dangerous?
He is too thin. He is lean and hungry for power. He doesn’t sleep. He reads. He is an observer. He doesn’t
smile or go to plays or listen to music. He thinks too much.
7. Why does Casca say Caesar fell?
7. Casca says that the bad breath of the crowd knocked Caesar down.
8. What does Brutus mean when he says Caesar has the “falling sickness”?
8. Caesar suffers from epilepsy.
9. What does Cassius mean when he says, “But you, and I / And honest Casca, we have the falling sickness”?
(266–67) >> >>. Cassius means that Romans are falling down before Caesar’s power.
10. How does Cassius plan to trick Brutus into joining the plot against Caesar?
This year in English, we have studied many different characters. We have studied the works from Ancient Greece, England, about King Arthur, and of Oedipus, just to name a few. One type of character we have studied throughout this year is the tragic hero. This character starts high, and falls low due to a tragic flaw. Throughout historical liturature, a person can find these tragic heros. In the ...
Cassius plans to forge letters and leave them where Brutus will find them. The letters will convince Brutus
that public sentiment is against Caesar.
Act I, Scene 3: Questions and Answers
1. Why does Casca have his sword drawn?
He passed a lion walking in the streets of the Capitol.
2. What two “supernatural” events does Casca describe to Cicero?
A slave with his hands on fire was not burned. Men on fire were walking through the streets.
3. What unusual “natural” event does he tell about?
An owl, the bird of night, sat hooting in the marketplace at midday.
4. Why does Casca think these unusual things are happening?
The gods are either at war or are trying to destroy the world.
5. What information about Caesar is revealed in their conversation?
He is going to the Capitol in the morning on the ides of March.
6. How is Cassius’ conduct in the storm different from Casca’s?
He is unafraid because he is an honest man. He even dares the lightning to strike him.
7. How does Cassius interpret all that is happening in Rome?
He says the gods are warning Romans against Caesar.
8. What news does Cinna bring to Cassius?
The other conspirators are assembled at Pompey’s Porch and they are awaiting Cassius.
9. Why does Casca think it is important for Brutus to join with them in the plot against Caesar?
Public opinion of Brutus is favorable, and he will make the killing of Caesar seem like a noble act.
10. How does Cassius plan to put extra pressure on Brutus at the end of Act I?
He and Casca and the others plan to go to his house and press him to join them.
Act II, Scene 1: Questions and Answers
1. What reason does Brutus give in his soliloquy for killing Caesar?
1. Brutus justifies killing Caesar for the good of Rome, fearing that he may abuse his power.
2. What do the letters addressed to Brutus say?
2. The letters urge him to “speak, strike and redress,” to act against Caesar.
3. Why can’t Lucius identify the men with Cassius?
3. The men have their hats pulled down and their cloaks pulled up so their faces are hidden.
Everyone is his own person, and he is entitled to his own opinion and judgment of subject in a society. It is difficult sometimes to determine who is the tragic hero of a story without reasons and proof. In William Shakespeare play The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, there were two characters to choose from that were fit of being the tragic hero. They are Marcus Brutus and Julius Caesar. According to ...
4. Why does Brutus oppose the idea of swearing an oath?
4. Brutus feels their cause is good enough to bind them together, and if it is not, they might as well go home
and wait for death to take them.
5. Why does Brutus object to Cicero joining the conspiracy?
5. He says Cicero will never follow what someone else began.
6. Why does Brutus oppose killing Mark Antony?
6. Their cause would seem too bloody, and they would be considered murderers. He thinks Antony is not
7. How does Decius plan to get Caesar to the Capitol?
7. He says he will use flattery.
8. What advice does Brutus give the conspirators as they leave his house?
8. He tells them to look fresh and hide their plans by smiling so their appearances won’t give them away.
9. Why does Portia think she is strong enough to share in Brutus’ plans?
9. Portia is the daughter of Cato and the wife of Brutus, and she gave herself a voluntary wound in the thigh without crying out.
10. How does Caius Ligarius prove his high regard for Brutus?
10. Ligarius agrees to do whatever Brutus needs him to do without knowing what it may be, even though he is
Act II, Scene 2: Questions and Answers
1. Why is Caesar concerned when the scene begins?
1. A storm is raging and Calphurnia had a dream that Caesar was murdered.
2. What is Calphurnia’s request of Caesar?
2. She wants him to stay at home. Calphurnia is afraid for his safety because of the unusual events that are
going on and because of her dream.
3. What is Caesar’s response to Calphurnia’s concern he might be killed?
3. Caesar’s response is, “Cowards die many times before their deaths; / The valiant never taste of death but
4. What was the result of the sacrifice performed by the augurers?
4. The augurers could not find a heart in the beast they sacrificed and they want Caesar to stay at home.
5. What reasons does Caesar give Decius for staying home?
5. Caesar tells Decius that he is staying home because Calphurnia wants him to.
6. What was Calphurnia’s dream?
A Translation of Act 3, Scene 1 in Julius Caesar Caesar. The ides of March have arrived. Soothsayer. Yes, Caesar, but not left. Artemidorus. Hail, Caesar! Read this document. Decius. Trebonius would like you to read over This his humble request when you have time. Artemidorus. O Caesar, read mine first, because mine's a request That is more personally important to you. Read it, great Caesar! ...
6. Calphurnia dreamed a statue of Caesar was spouting blood and Romans were washing their hands in it.
7. How does Decius use flattery to get Caesar to change his mind?
7. Decius interprets Calphurnia’s dream in a favorable way. He tells Caesar that people will think Caesar is a
coward if he doesn’t go to the Senate House. He says the senate may change their minds about giving Caesar
8. How does Decius interpret Calphurnia’s dream?
8. Caesar is the lifeblood of Rome, and Romans, bathing in his blood, derive strength from him.
9. What does Trebonius say when Caesar tells him to stay by?
9. He says, in an aside, that he will stay so close that Caesar’s friends will wish Trebonius had been further
10. What is the irony in Caesar’s last lines in the scene?
10. He regards the conspirators as friends, having no idea they plan to kill him within the hour.
Act II, Scenes 3 and 4: Questions and Answers
1. How does Shakespeare add the element of suspense in these two short scenes?
1. He provides Caesar with two possibilities of saving his life: through Artemidorus’ letter or the soothsayer.
2. What is Artemidorus’ warning?
2. Artemidorus warns Caesar to be on his guard if he is not immortal.
3. What does Artemidorus mean when he says, “Security gives way to conspiracy”? (Sc. 3, 7–8)
3. He means that overconfidence on Caesar’s part opens the way to conspiracy and death.
4. How does he plan to give Caesar his letter?
4. He will wait on the street as a suitor looking for some political favor and present the letter to Caesar when
5. Why doesn’t Lucius carry out Portia’s request?
5. Portia does not make her intentions clear.
6. What does Portia mean in her aside, “O constancy, be strong upon my side; / Set a huge mountain ‘tween
my heart and tongue. / I have a man’s mind but a woman’s might. / How hard it is for women to keep
counsel!” (Sc. 4, 7–10)?
6. She is afraid she will not be able to keep Brutus’ plans a secret because she is a “weak” woman.
7. What does she tell Lucius to do?
7. Portia tells Lucius to bring back word as to how Brutus looks, what Caesar does, and which suitors present
The personalities of Brutus and Cassius differ significantly, which causes them to have a corrupt relationship. Brutus is an honest, truthful man. He is also shown to be naïve when he allows Antony to speak at Caesar’s funeral. He has a passion for the prosperity of Rome, and believes that Caesar will not be a fit ruler. He debates joining the conspiracy, but doesn’t want to murder Caesar. Cassius ...
themselves to Caesar.
8. What does the soothsayer tell Portia he plans to do?
8. He will go down the street and speak to Caesar when he comes by and try to warn him about the possible
9. What is Portia’s wish for Brutus?
9. She hopes the heavens will help him in his enterprise.
10. How does Portia try to cover up being overheard by Lucius?
10. She tells him Brutus has a suit (a request) that Caesar will not grant him.
Act III, Scene 1: Questions and Answers
1. Why does Caesar not read Artemidorus’ letter?
1. He says because it is personal business it can wait. He puts affairs of state before personal matters.
2. Why does Cassius think their assassination plan has been discovered?
2. Popilius Lena wishes him good luck in their enterprise and then he goes and talks to Caesar.
3. Why does Caesar get angry at Metellus?
3. He thinks Metellus is trying to flatter him into changing his mind. Caesar says he cannot be swayed.
4. What does Brutus tell the frightened senators after Caesar’s assassination?
4. He says no harm is intended toward anyone else and they shouldn’t be afraid.
5. How does Calphurnia’s dream come true?
5. Brutus tells the conspirators to bathe their hands and swords in Caesar’s blood to mark them as the men
who killed Caesar and gave their country freedom.
6. What does Antony want from the conspirators?
6. First he says he wants to die by Caesar if they intend to kill him. Then when he realizes he will be allowed
to live, he wants to know why Caesar was killed and to speak at Caesar’s funeral.
7. What restrictions does Brutus place on Antony when he allows him to speak at the funeral?
7. Antony may not blame the conspirators for killing Caesar, though he may say good things about Caesar. He
must say he speaks by their permission. He must speak from the same place as Brutus after Brutus has first
addressed the crowd.
8. What does Antony predict in his soliloquy?
8. He predicts a bloody civil war, with dead bodies waiting for burial, and revenge for Caesar’s death.
... his time has come because of Caesar's ghost warnings. When Antony and Octavius found the body of Brutus, Antony said .".. All the conspirators, save ... the conspiracy, ignoring Cassius' advice to not let Antony speak at the funeral and going against the advice to kill Antony are all honorable ...
9. What information does the messenger bring to Antony?
9. Octavius, summoned by Caesar, has arrived outside of Rome.
10. What are Antony’s intentions as the scene ends?
10. He plans to stir up the crowd and then send word to Octavius if it is safe for him to enter Rome.
Act III, Scenes 2 and 3: Questions and Answers
1. How does Brutus justify the killing of Caesar to the people of Rome?
1. Caesar was ambitious and Brutus says he killed him because he loved Rome more than Caesar.
2. What is the crowd’s reaction to Brutus’ speech?
2. They want to erect statues in his honor and make him king.
3. What two reasons does Antony give to prove Caesar wasn’t ambitious?
3. Caesar was too sensitive and cried when he saw the poor crying. “Ambition should be made of sterner
stuff.” (Sc. 2, 101) Also, Caesar refused the crown three times when Antony offered it to him on the feast of
4. How does Antony use irony in his funeral speech?
4. He uses the words “honorable men” repeatedly, twisting the meaning so the crowd understands that he
means the exact opposite.
5. What is the pun Antony uses in line 114 of Scene 3?
5. He uses the phrase “brutish beasts,” a pun on Brutus’ name and his bestial behavior in killing Caesar.
6. How does Antony use Caesar’s cloak to manipulate the crowd?
6. He points out the rips in the cloak and describes where each of the conspirators stabbed Caesar, even
though he wasn’t there to witness the event.
7. How does Antony say that Caesar died?
7. He says that Caesar died of a broken heart when he was stabbed by Brutus who was Caesar’s angel (best
8. What is the news that the messenger brings to Antony at the end of the scene?
8. Octavius is outside of Rome, and Brutus and Cassius have fled the city.
9. Why is Cinna out on the streets?
9. He is on his way to Caesar’s funeral, driven out of doors by some unknown force.
10. What is the excuse the mob uses to kill Cinna?
10. They kill him for writing bad poetry.
Act IV, Scene 1: Questions and Answers
1. Why are Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus together in the scene?
1. They are making a list of people to be killed in order to tighten their control in Rome.
2. How does Shakespeare show their callousness?
2. Lepidus agrees to have his brother placed on the list if Antony agrees to condemn his own nephew.
3. Why does Antony send Lepidus to Caesar’s house?
3. He sends him for Caesar’s will. They plan to reduce what Caesar left to the Roman citizens.
4. What is Antony’s true opinion of Lepidus?
4. He thinks Lepidus is fit to be sent on errands, but not fit to be one of the three most powerful men in the
5. Why did Antony pick Lepidus as one of the new leaders of Rome?
5. Antony needs Lepidus to gain favorable public opinion.
6. What does Antony compare Lepidus to?
6. He compares him to a mule that carries a load from one place to another and then is turned loose to graze.
He also compares him to his horse.
7. What is Octavius’ assessment of Lepidus?
7. Octavius says Lepidus is an experienced and brave soldier.
8. What is Antony’s response to Octavius?
8. Antony says his horse is also a brave soldier, who must be taught to fight, run, and stop, and be ruled by
Antony, as must Lepidus.
9. What news does Antony tell Octavius about Brutus and Cassius?
9. They are raising an army in Greece and preparing for war.
10. Why does Octavius agree with Antony’s plan to go after Cassius and Brutus?
10. He says they are surrounded by many enemies in Rome and those who pretend to be their friends are not.
Act IV, Scenes 2 and 3: Questions and Answers
1. Why is Brutus concerned about Lucilius’ account of his meeting with Cassius?
1. It reaffirms Brutus’ feelings that Cassius’ friendship seems to be cooling down.
2. Why does Brutus tell Cassius to come into his tent?
2. He doesn’t want their troops to see them fighting.
3. Why is Cassius angry with Brutus?
3. Brutus disregarded letters Cassius wrote in defense of Lucius Pella, who was accused of taking bribes.
4. Why is Brutus angry with Cassius?
4. Brutus sent to Cassius for money to pay his soldiers and his request was denied.
5. Why does Brutus say he is not afraid of Cassius’ threats?
5. Brutus says he is so honest that Cassius’ threats mean nothing and pass him by like the idle wind.
6. What is the advice given to Cassius and Brutus by the poet?
6. He tells them to “Love and be friends as two such men should be.” (Sc. 3, 150)
7. What is the news from Rome?
7. Between 70 and 100 senators, including Cicero, have been killed by Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus. Portia
committed suicide by swallowing fire.
8. What are Brutus’ and Cassius’ battle plans?
8. Brutus wants to march their armies from Sardis to Philippi and meet the enemy there. Cassius wants to
remain where they are and have the enemy come to them.
9. What reasons does Brutus give for his plan?
9. He says the Sardians are not friendly. Their armies are at peak strength, and if they delay they will weaken.
He says the opportunity to act is at hand, and if they do not take it, they will miss their chance for success.
10. What does the ghost of Caesar tell Brutus?
10. The ghost says it is Brutus’ evil spirit, and that it will see Brutus again at Philippi.
Act V, Scene 1: Questions and Answers
1. What does Octavius report to Antony in the opening lines of the scene?
1. The enemy is preparing to attack before Antony and Octavius are ready.
2. What is the cause of the disagreement between Antony and Octavius?
2. Antony tells Octavius to fight on the left side of the field, but Octavius says no.
3. How does Antony insult Cassius and Brutus?
3. He calls them villains and flatterers.
4. What is Cassius’ response to Antony’s insult?
4. Cassius tells Brutus he should have listened to him and killed Antony when they killed Caesar.
5. Why is Cassius reluctant to fight the battle?
5. From the signs and omens he is sure they will lose.
6. What are the omens he has observed?
6. The eagles that were perched on their battle flags flew away and were replaced by ravens, crows, and kites,
birds that feed on dead bodies.
7. Why would it be ironic if Cassius dies in the battle?
7. It is his birthday.
8. What is Brutus’ attitude concerning suicide?
8. He condemned his father-in-law, Cato, for killing himself rather than live under Caesar. He thinks it
cowardly and vile to commit suicide in fear of what may happen in the future.
9. What is Brutus’ response when Cassius asks if he is “contented to be led in triumph / Thorough the streets
of Rome?” (119–20) >>
9. Brutus says he will never go back to Rome as a prisoner.
10. Why is Brutus anxious for the battle to begin?
10. Win or lose, he wants to end the work that began on the ides of March.
Act V, Scenes 2 and 3: Questions and Answers
1. What order does Brutus give Messala in the battle?
1. Brutus tells him to ride and order his army to attack Octavius’ flank (wing).
2. How does Cassius try to prevent the retreat?
2. He killed his own ensign (flag carrier) when the soldier retreated, causing Cassius’ troops to follow the
3. What news does Pindarus bring the retreating Cassius?
3. Antony’s troops are in Cassius’ tents.
4. Why does Cassius ask Pindarus to describe Titinius’ ride instead of doing so himself?
4. He says that he has bad eyesight.
5. What does Pindarus describe?
5. Titinius is surrounded. He is taken and the soldiers shout for joy at his capture.
6. What request does Cassius make of Pindarus?
6. He asks Pindarus to kill him in exchange for his freedom.
7. What is ironic about the way Cassius dies?
7. He is killed on his birthday by the same sword that killed Caesar.
8. What is the message Titinius has for Cassius?
8. Brutus has won his battle, and he brings a wreath of victory to present to Cassius.
9. How does Titinius show his high regard for Cassius?
9. He kills himself with Cassius’ sword.
10. Why does Brutus plan to send Cassius’ body to Thasos for burial?
10. He doesn’t want his army to become depressed because of Cassius’ death as they plan for the final battle.
Act V, Scenes 4 and 5: Questions and Answers
1. What happens to young Cato?
1. He is killed in the battle.
2. How does Lucilius try to confuse the enemy troops?
2. Lucilius tells his capturers that he is Brutus.
3. What does Lucilius request of the two soldiers?
3. He offers them money and asks them to kill him.
4. What does Antony do when he recognizes Lucilius?
4. He tells his men to treat Lucilius well and keep him safe because he wants him as a friend.
5. Why does Brutus say he wants to commit suicide?
5. He uses the metaphor of a pit. His enemies have forced them to the edge and it is more noble to jump in
than be pushed in.
6. What is the one thing Brutus says he is happy about before he dies?
6. Brutus is happy that in all his life his friends have been truthful and honest with him. The irony is that he
was tricked by Cassius into joining the conspiracy against Caesar.
7. How does Brutus die?
7. Strato holds his sword and Brutus runs onto it, stabbing himself.
8. How does Strato answer Messala’s inquiry about Brutus?
8. He tells him that Brutus is safe from bondage (captivity), and that he was not conquered by his enemy.
Brutus only conquered himself.
9. How does Octavius restore order to Rome after the battle?
9. He gives amnesty to those who fought on the side of Brutus, and he invites them into his army.
10. How does Antony regard Brutus at the end of the play?
10. He calls him a noble Roman who did what he thought was right. He was the only one who acted against
Caesar for unselfish reasons, the common good.