Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
Terms in this set (105)
What is a Shakespearian Tragedy?
A play that tells of a reversal of fortune, from good to bad, experienced by a man or a woman, usually of noble birth
Define tragic hero
a person usually born of noble birth, who suffers a catastrophe, in which is brought about by a tragic flaw
Define tragic flaw
a characteristic that brings about his/her downfall, such as pride
Define internal conflict
involves a character in conflict with himself/herself
Sometimes based on a Shakespearian Tragedy
Define blank verse
a poetic form characterized by unrhymed lines in iambic pentameter
the conversations between characters
a long speech in which a character, usually alone on stage, speaks to himself or herself, unheard by any other character
long speech by one character that is heard by other characters
A remark a character makes, usually to the audience, that is not heard by the other characters on stage
Why have the carpenter and cobbler stayed home from work?
They are in the streets to welcome Caesar for his victory in battle
Why do Marullus and Flavius think their reasoning is ironic?
because not long ago they came to praise Pompey --- the current man that Caesar has defeated in battle
Why do Marullus and Flavius want the streets cleared?
because they don't want Caesar to have a big ego - "pluck the growing feathers from Caesar's wing"
Why have Marullus and Flavius set out to the Capitol at the conclusion of scene I?
To remove any crowns placed on the statues of Caesar
Why does Caesar direct Calphurnia to be touched by Antonius?what does this tell us about Caesar?
Because he believes that his touch can take away her sterile curse, this tells us that Caesar is very superstitious
What is a soothsayer? What warning does he give to Caesar?
A soothsayer is a fortune teller. He warns him to "beware the ides of March" - March 15th
What type of conflict is Brutus struggling with in scene II?
Internal conflict because he doesn't wish to take part in the celebration of Caesar
How does Cassius take advantage of Brutus' struggle?
He tells Brutus that he is respected as a leader and people would follow him
What information does Brutus unknowingly reveal to Cassius once he hears the trumpets sound?
Cassius knows that Brutus doesn't want Caesar to be king
Why is Cassius so against Caesar being king?
Cassius states that Caesar is no better than him, Brutus, or any other man
What is fate? How does Cassius rebuke this belief?
Fate - things happen because they are meant to happen --- Cassius feels that fate can't be what men rely on --- if they want something they have the power to make it happen
Why doesn't Brutus want to be a leader?
because of all the responsibility that it entails --- happy with democracy/republic
What information does Caesar reveal to Antony regarding Cassius?
He is wary of Cassius because he thinks to much, he doesn't trust him
What information does Casca give Brutus involving the offering of the crown?
Caesar was offered the crown three times by Antony and he rejected, the cheering they heard was the displeasure of the crowd because they want him to be king
What happened after Caesar's third refusal?
What is Caesar's infirmity? Why do the other members of the senate want to keep it a secret?
He is epilepsy. the other Senators try to cover it up because they don't want the people to see the leader appear weak
What information is revealed regarding Marullus and Flavius?
They have been "silenced" - forbidden to take part in public affairs for removing the decorations off Caesar statues
Explain the plan that Cassius has demised in an attempt to get Brutus on his side?
Cassius has planned to forge notes and anonymously deliver them to Brutus --- the notes will praise Brutus and talk negatively of Caesar's ambition
What is the setting in scene III? How may this be connected to the character action?
Setting - a street in Rome/ terrible storm
The storm connects to the character action of betrayal and violence
What rumor does Casca reveal to Cassius? How does Cassius respond?
tomorrow all the senators will name Caesar king --- Cassius warns that he will take violent action if this is true --- suicicde
What is Cinna's main concern involving the conspirators?
His main concern is whether they can get Brutus to join the party - he feels they are stronger with him
What chore does Cinna perform for Cassius?
He sends Cinna to deliver the forged notes to Brutus' house
Where does Cassius and Casca go at the conclusion of scene III? How is this an example of dramatic irony?
plan on being at Brutus' house to see his reaction to the letters --- dramatic irony --- the audience knows that Cassius sent the letters
In Brutus' soliloquy, which is the two reasons he feels he should join the conspirators to kill Caesar?
He is worried Caesar may change his way if made king and he thinks Caesar may abuse his power and look down on others
What does Brutus mean when he suggest "crushing the serpents egg"
kill Caesar before he has a chance to become evil
Who is Lucius?
What two important pieces of information does Lucius give to Brutus in scene I?
He found a sealed letter by the window and tomorrow is the ides of March
Who feels that the conspirators should swear an oath?
Why does Brutus disagree?
Because it makes them appear weak and untrustworthy of each other
Why does Mettellus want Cicero to join the conspirators? Why does Brutus disagree?
Mettellus agrees because he is older and respected --- Brutus disagrees because he is older he will not follow --- he will want to lead
Why does Cassius suggest that they kill both Caesar and Mark Antony?
Because they are so close
What two reasons does Brutus give for not killing Mark Antony?
It will make the conspirators seem too violent
Mark Antony will have no power without Caesar dead
Who is responsible for getting Caesar to the Capitol the next day? How?
Decius, he plans on using flattery
What two reasons does Portia feel Brutus must tell her what is bothering him?
- she is his wife and should know his secrets to help resolve them
- she views them as equals in the marriage
How does Calphurnia connect the weather to Caesar's fate?
She feels the weather is a sign of bad things to come because the gods wouldn't change the weather for a regular person - however Caesar is "special"
What happened in Calphurnia's dream?
blood sprayed out of the Capitol (foreshadowing)
What does Caesar plan to do?
he plans on staying home telling the senators he is sick
What is Decius' interpretation of the dream?
He interprets the dream as positive
How does Decius get Caesar to go to the captiol?
He mocks Caesar --- he is staying home because his wife advised
Explain the irony in Caesar requesting his friends to stay close that day?
Because his friends are the ones to be feared
Who is Artemidorus? What is he planning to do?
He is a teacher and he has written a letter explaining the assassination plan to Caesar and plans to warn him that day by giving him the letter at the Capitol
What errand has Portia given to Lucius?
to go to the Capitol and spy on Brutus because she is still worried about his behavior
What does the soothsayer tell Portia?
he is waiting to talk to Caesar before he enters the Capitol --- he needs to warn him
Why is Portia mad at herself?
for not questioning Brutus more
How does Caesar respond to the soothsayer's warning and Artemidorus' letter at the beginning of act III?
Caesar boasts to the Soothsayer that the ides of March have come and he is safe. he declines Artemidorus' letter because it is of a personal nature and Decius' is business
How do Brutus and Cassius display a role reversal prior to the assassination?
Because Cassius is the one who seems nervous instead of Brutus and Brutus is calm instead of Cassius
What does Mettellus request of Caesar?
To repel the banishment of his brother
What is Caesar's response?
He is "constant as the Norhtern Star"
How does it make Caesar both a good and bad leader that he refuses to change his mind?
Good: a leader should be willing to listen to the requests of his people, and stick to his word
Bad: he will look weak if he goes back on his word
Who is the first and last person to stab Caesar?
Casca is first and Brutus is last
Why does brutus' betrayal hurt the most?
Because they were close friends
What does Trebonius reveal?
that Mark Antony fled to his house
What does Brutus advise the conspirators to do after the assassination? What other event is connected to this from earlier in the play?
He advises the conspirators to bathe their arms in Caesar's blood and smear it on their swords and go through the streets screaming "Peace, freedom, and liberty." This act is directly connected to Calphurnia's dream when she feared Caesar would die
What did the message say from Antony to Brutus?
He loved and honored Caesar, but he feared him.
He loves and honors Brutus
He will not love Caesar dead --- loyalty is to Brutus
What request does Antony make of Brutus when he enters the Capitol?
if they have a plan to kill him to do it now and to give a speech at Caesar's funeral
What are the conflicting views that Brutus and Cassius discuss in the aside in scene I?
Cassius disagrees because he feels the people of Rome will be moved by what he says. Brutus assures Cassius it will be fine because he (Brutus) will speak first and Brutus will review Antony's speech before he presents it
What rules does Brutus give Antony regarding his speech?
He must not blame the conspirators for the murder but praise him
Cannot praise Caesar
He must only speak after Brutus' speech
What are the two topics discussed in Antony's soliloquy?
He is pretending to be friends with the conspirators
He predicts a civil war in Rome to avenge Caeasar's death
Who is Octavius Caeser? What plans does Antony have for him?
JC's nephew - Antony advises him not come to Rome until the funeral speech
How is Brutus' monologue spoken? Why? How is Antony's monologue spoken? Why?
Brutus: prose, doesn't want to show emotion
Antony: verse, wants to convey emotion
What is the main idea of Brutus' monologue?
he admits he loved Caesar but loved Rome more and he felt the people of Rome would've been slaves to Caesar had he lived
What technique of persuasion and imagery does Antony use in his monologue?
Persuasion: Antony claims to agree that Caesar was ambitious, but he contradicts himself and gives examples of ways that he wasn't. Imagery: He cries and says "my heart is in the coffin with Caesar."
What examples did Antony give that should Caesar wasn't ambitious?
- Caesar refused to take ransom ($) when he brought captives home from Rome
- Caesar refused the crown 3 times when it was offered to him
What does Antony have that causes the crowd to turn on Brutus? Explain.
He has JC's will that he claims Brutus and Cassius told them not to read --- the plebeians wish to hear the will because they are his heirs so they turn on Brutus in order to hear it
What does Antony tell Plebeians to gather around? Why?
He orders the plebeians to gather around Caesar's body --- he wants them to see the violent way in which he was killed (persuasion technique)
The plebeians have turned on all the conspirators once they see the _____.
What did Caesar will to the plebeians?
Land and money
What do the plebeians plan on burning?
Caesar's body - as a sign of respect
The conspirators houses - revenge
What does Octavius Caesar observe upon his arrival in Rome?
Brutus and Cassius running out of Rome --- they are afraid
How is Cinna the Poet's dream a foreshadowing technique? Explain.
Cinna dreamed that he had in which he had dinner with Caeasar --- foreshadowing technique --- because Caesar is dead, he will die
What happens to Cinna the Poet? Why?
He is killed by the plebeians because they think he is Cinna, the conspirator
Which characters make up the triumvirate of Rome?
Lepidus, Antony, and Octavius
How does Antony feel about Lepidus?
He thinks Lepidus is not fit to share power with them
How does Lepidus serve the role of the "scapegoat?"
He makes the decision of which Romans should he killed, and if the plebeians disagree, they will blame him
Why do Antony and Octavius find it necessary to gain more support at the Capitol?
Because Brutus and Cassius are gaining support outside of Rome
What does Brutus discuss with the soldiers at the beginning of scene II?
His growing frustration with Cassius
What is the topic of Brutus and Cassius' argument at the beginning of scene III?
Taking bribes in return for support outside of Rome
What happened to Portia?
She committed suicide
What have Octavius and Antony done to many senators in Rome?
They ordered a mass execution
What were the two next moves that Brutus and Cassius were considering?
To wait for Antony and Octavius or to move their army
What choice did they make?
They moved the army
Who visits Brutus at the end of act iv? Why?
Caesar's ghost visits him in a dream to warn him of bad things to come
How does Cassius display superstition in scene i?
He states that the flight of birds on the battlefield signifies a bad omen?
What mistake does Brutus make in scene II?
Brutus gives orders to charge early because he felt like Octavius is showing weakness
What is Cassius' fate? Why is this ironic?
He requests that one of his own soldiers stabs him and he dies. It is ironic that Cassius always threatened suicide and in the end, he couldn't draw the sword on himself
What is Brutus' fate?
He kills himself to avoid being taken prisoner by Antony
Who discovers Brutus' body?
What decision does Antony make at the conclusion of act v? Why?
He decides to have a proper burial for Brutus because he was the only conspirator that did not kill Caesar out of self interest
Who said this: "If you don't want something, are you willing to do something to prevent it.?
Who said this: "crushing the serpent's egg"
Who said this: "Why would I bow down to him?"
Who said this: "they murder Caesar"
Who said this: "speak hands for me"
Who said this: "Et tu Brute?"
Who said this: "ambition's debt has been paid"
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