Shakespeare's Julius Caesar Comprehension Questions
Comprehension Questions Packet. Every Act and Scene. Some questions you need may not be there since it was originally an...
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 Pompey’s 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 cobbler’s 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 whatever’s 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 aren’t. 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 soothsayer’s 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 couldn’t 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 isn’t liked and knows he needs someone with status and popularity like Caesar’s 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, who’d 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 they’re 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 Calpurnia’s 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 soothsayer’s 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 Caesar’s 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 Caesar’s 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 Caesar’s 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. Antony’s speech is more successful because he knows how to manipulate the crowd into reading Caesar’s 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 rear’d 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 Caesar’s 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 they’re 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. What’s suggested about their collective and individual characters it that it shows how Antony becomes frivolous. Lepidus doesn’t 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 Caesar’s 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 Caesar’s assassination, as well as the power in light of the emperor’s 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 place.
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 doesn’t think the people deserve a bad ruler. This shows that he cares.
8. What Cassius means when he refers to “Pluto’s 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 Caesar’s 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 doesn’t 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. What’s 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 Octavius’s 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 Antony’s. 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 Antony’s 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.