Julius Caesar Study Questions
p. 222, #15; p. 225, # 9; p. 229, #6; p. 238 #4 a-d, g,
15. On his arrival at the Senate, Caesar has 30 lines (Act III Scene 1, lines 35-48; 58-73) to speak before
Casca strikes his first blow. Find examples in those lines of:
a. his pomposity-
“But I am constant as the northern star”
He compares himself to the stars, this shows he is pompous because he feels like he can not be moved or persuaded because
he is right.
b. his vanity-
“Know, Caesar doth not wrong, nor without cause
Will he be satisfied.”
He comments that his choices are usually right and his word is superior, showing us his vanity.
c. his arrogance-
“These couchings and these lowly courtesies
Might fire the blood of ordinary men,
And turn pre-ordinance and first decree”
This is a sign of Caesar’s arrogance because he finds the common people, who made him popular among people,
lowly and below him.
d. his affection
“I could be well moved, if I were as you”
He tells Brutus how noble and trusting he is and praises for that quality, which shows his affection towards Brutus.
e. his pride
“So in the world; 'tis furnish'd well with men,
And men are flesh and blood, and apprehensive;
Yet in the number I do know but one
That unassailable holds on his rank,
Unshaked of motion: and that I am he”
This shows he is proud and proves he had pride because he puts himself above all other men.
9. In his address to the mob in the forum (Act III Scene 2, lines 12-44), Brutus speaks in prose, not
blank verse. His words have been described as “a lecture”.
a. Show from the speech that Brutus knows he enjoys the respect of Roman citizens.
o Romans, countrymen, and lovers! hear me for my
cause, and be silent, that you may hear: believe me
for mine honour, and have respect to mine honour, that
you may believe: censure me in your wisdom, and
awake your senses, that you may the better judge.
b. Show that he believes the crowd is capable of making rational and just decisions.
o Show that he believes the crowd is capable of making rational and just decisions.--Not that I loved Caesar less,
but that I lovedRome more. Had you rather Caesar were living anddie all slaves, than that Caesar were dead, to liveall free
men? As Caesar loved me, I weep for him;in this quote he is showing that the crowd can make rational decisions because he
sakes the crowed if they want to be living and die all slaves with Caesar living or rather him be dead and live a free man.
c. Show that his speech is based on an appeal to reason and logic.
o Had you rather Caesar were living and
die all slaves, than that Caesar were dead, to live
all free men?
d. Show that he is proud of his patriotism and his republicanism.
o As Caesar loved me, I weep for him;
as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was
valiant, I honour him: but, as he was ambitious, I
e. Show that he wishes to act magnanimously. Comment on the wisdom of his approach and assumptions. Do you think
it is reasonable to describe him as politically na´ve?
o If any, speak; for him have I offended.
Who is here so rude that would not be a Roman? If
any, speak; for him have I offended. Who is here so
vile that will not love his country? If any, speak;
for him have I offended. I pause for a reply
6. In Act II Scene I, in which Cassius wins over Brutus to the conspiracy, show evidence of
a. his tact
o Yes, every man of them, and no man here
But honours you; and every one doth wish
You had but that opinion of yourself
Which every noble Roman bears of you.
This is Trebonius.
b. his ability to strike the right note when making his approach.
o But it is doubtful yet,
Whether Caesar will come forth to-day, or no;
For he is superstitious grown of late,
Quite from the main opinion he held once
Of fantasy, of dreams and ceremonies:
It may be, these apparent prodigies,
The unaccustom'd terror of this night,
And the persuasion of his augurers,
May hold him from the Capitol to-day
c. His willingness to take a second place when it suits him.
o The morning comes upon 's: we'll leave you, Brutus.
And, friends, disperse yourselves; but all remember
What you have said, and show yourselves true Romans
4. Antony shows a masterly control over the fickle nature of the common people.
a. Before Antony ascends to the Public Chair to make his oration, which remark typifies the commoners’
o He tells them that he is there to burry Caesar and he isn’t there to praise him so they will listen
to what he has to say.
b. Whereas Brutus’s speech appealed to the intellect, Antony’s is emotional. He ends his opening
remarks by choking back tears. How do the people react?
o They think that he is saying the speech from his heart, and that he means what he is saying. So they come to believe
him and think that he is right
c. Marullus says of the commoners, “You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things”
(Act I Scene I, line 36). Antony says, “You are not wood, you are not stones, but men” (Act III Scene
I, line 140). Explain why Antony’s oratorical approach shows a greater understanding of crowd psychology.
o It shows the approach better because it shows that they have feelings too, and that they are worthy of respect.
d. Why does Antony mention the will to the crowd , but decline at first to read it?
o He mentions it to them to show how Caesar actually cared about his citizens, but then declines to read it because
he has respect for the man and will not go through his things.
g. The commoners forget the will till Antony reminds them of it (line 236). What does this tell us of their powers
o This tells us that their powers of concentration are very low and can be molded like clay. If you keep telling
them things they will have forgotten of the first thing you told them. They are un-intelligent.