Act I Julius Caesar

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How does Shakespeare make the common people appear to be less than noble?

He yells at them and interrogates the people. Marullus and Flavius question the Cobbler as to why he is not working. "What, know you not, Being mechanical, you ought not walk. Upon a labouring day without the sign. Of your profession?" Page 7

What are the people doing that angers Marullus and Flavius?

They are going out to celebrate Caesar's victory over his rival Pompey.

What actions do Marullus and Flavius take to correct the situation?

They decide to go out and break up the crowds..("These growing feathers plucked from Caesar's wing. Will make him fly an ordinary pitch.") They hope if they can take the energy out of the crowds, they can regulate Caesar's power.

Why does Caesar want Calphurnia to stand in Antony's path during the race in honor of the feast of Lupercal?

Roman superstition says that the touch of a Roman Runner will cure bareness, so Calphernia would be able to have a child

What is Antony's response to Caesar's instructions? What does this suggest about their relationship?

Antony replies that "whatever Caesar says, then it must be done." This suggests they are very tight with each other.

What is Caesar's reaction to the Soothsayer's warning?

Af first he ignores it, then asks the man to come forward. In the end, he dismisses the Soothsayer's warning "to beware the ides of March."

What complaint does Cassius make about Brutus's behavior towards him? How does Brutus answer the complaint?

Cassius says that Brutus has not been himself lately. Brutus replies that he has been plagued with conflicting thoughts, but he assures Cassius that he will not let his thoughts interfere witht their friendship.

Cassius's story attacks what aspects of Caesar's makeup? What is this attack supposed to say to Brutus?

His physical stength and stamina to be king (story 1: Cassius had save Caesar from drowning in a race across a river, Story 2: Caesar had a fever in Spain and suffered a seizure.) These stories are to portray Caesar as weak person who should not be head of the most powerful country in the world. He tells Brutus that he should take action and he would be just as powerful as Caesar

What does Cassius mean by the following statement "Brutus will starta spirit as soon as 'Caesar'" (147)

"Cast spells with them, and Brutus will call up a ghost as well as Caesar." (It means that Brutus is just as good as Caesar.)

How does Brutus respond to Cassius's attack on Caesar?

Brutus affirms that he would rather that Caesar not assume the position. Brutus adds that he loves Caesar but that he also loves honor, and that he loves honor even more than he fears death. He says he will consider Cassius's words.

What astute observation does Caesar make about Cassius?

That he looks like a man that thinks too much, and men who think too much are dangerous.

What faults does Caesar see in Cassius's nature?

Caesar says, "Cassius reads too much and finds no enjoyment in plays or music—such men are never at ease while someone greater than themselves holds the reins of power."

What does Caesar mean by the following statement? "I rather tell thee what is to be feared, Than what I fear; for always I am Caesar."

If people are afraid of what Caesar tells them to be afraid of, then they will always need Caesar's protection. If Caesar tells them that he is afraid, they will see him as weak.

What does this statement show about Caesar's nature?

That he likes power and does not want people to see what he is really made of.

What story does Casca relate to Brutus and Cassius? What does Casca tell us by the personal remarks he adds to the story?

That Caesar was offered the crown three times by Antony, but he refused. He also fell into a "fit" possibly a seizure. The seizure did not affect the crowds opinion of Caesar - they still loved him. He also said that Cicero spoke, but it was "all Greek to him." WHAT THE PERSONAL REMARKS MEAN:

How did the people react to Caesar's fit? What does this tell you about their feelings for Caesar?

The people did not stop cheering for Caesar. They truly loved him and wanted him to be their leader.

What information does Casca give about Marullus and Flavius?

He also said Flavius and Murellus were not given their positions as Civil Servants because they were seen taking down decorations from Caesar's statues.

At the end of the scene, what plans does Cassius make to sway Brutus to come to his cause?

He decides to forge letters from Roman citizens declaring their support for Brutus and their fear of Caesar's ascent to power; he will throw them into Brutus's house that evening.

What wonderous things has Casca seen on this night?

The weather is terrible. He sees a man with his hands on fire, but his flesh was not burning. He sees a lion at the capital. Many people are walking around on fire and an owl is seen during the day.

What reason does Cassius give for the terrible storm?

he believes that the gods are using these signs to warn the Romans about a "monstrous state," meaning both an abnormal state of affairs and an atrocious government Cassius compares the night to Caesar himself, who

like this dreadful night,
. . . thunders, lightens, opens graves, and roars
As doth the lion in the Capitol. (I.iii.72-74

What important news does Casca give Cassius about the Senate's plan?

The Senators plan to make Caesar king the following day.

What does Cassius mean by the following statement: "He were no lion, were not Romans hinds." (106)

Without the support of the Roman people and army, Caesar would be nothing.

What instructions does Cassius give Cinna that help sway Brutus to their cause?

He gives him the letters he has forged to put on Brutus's seat in the Senate, through his windows, and on his statutes, so that Brutus will read them and think the people support him.

What reason deos Casca give for wanting Brutus to join their cause?

Casca comments that the noble Brutus's participation in their plot will bring worthiness to their schemes, for "he sits high in all the people's hearts, / And that which would appear offence in us / His countenance, like richest alchemy, / Will change to virtue and to worthiness" (I.iii.157-60).

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