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Julius Caesar (Act III Scene 2)

Questions on Shakespeare’s - Julius Caesar (Act III Scene 2)

JULIUS CAESAR

(From Act III Scene 2)

 

Note: Questions & Answers are also included.

Introduction

The play opens with Julius Caesar’s victorious return to Romeafter defeating the sons of Pompey. While people rejoice, there is a group which fears that all these victories would get into Caesar’shead and he would cease to be democratic. Cassius, Brutus andothers plot to kill Caesar. A soothsayer (astrologer) warns Caesar about the “ides of March”. Calphurnia, Caesar’s wife, forbids him from going to the Senate House as she has had bad dreams. Decius Brutus, one of the conspirators, convinces Caesar to come to the Senate House.

At the Senate House, the conspirators surround Caesar. Casca is the first to stab him. Caesar is shocked when he sees his friend Marcus Brutus with a sword. With an anguished cry of Et tu, Brute? (You too Brutus) he dies.

Mark Antony, Caesar’s trusted friend, meets the murderers and requests them to allow him to take Caesar’s body to the market place. Marcus Brutus agrees, but warns Antony not to blame them in his funeral speech.

In Act III Scene 2, Brutus justifies the murder of Caesar. But Mark Antony, with his eloquence, wins the public over to his side.The result is that a riot breaks out and people are moved to a frenzy to avenge the murder of Caesar. Cassius and Brutus flee Rome, and Mark Antony, Octavius Caesar and Amelius Lepidus become the ‘triumvirs’. At the battle of Philippi, the forces of Cassius and Marcus Brutus are defeated, and true to his word, Brutus kills himself with his sword.

Note: This extract is known for the funeral orations of Brutus and Mark Antony.

Brutus: Be patient till the last.

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. If there be any in this

assembly, any dear friend of Caesar’s, to him I say that

Brutus’ love to Caesar was no less than his. If, then, that

friend demand why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my

answer,—not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved 10

Rome more. Had you rather Caesar were living, and die

all slaves, than that Caesar were dead, to live all free men?

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 slew him. There is tears for his

love; joy for his fortune; honour for his valour; and death

for his ambition. Who is here so base that would be a

bondman? 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.

Citizens:  None, Brutus, none.

Brutus:  Then none have I offended. I have done no

more to Caesar than you shall do to Brutus.

……………………………………………………………

Enter ANTONY and others, with CAESAR’S body

Here comes his body, mourned by Mark Antony, who,

though he had no hand in his death, shall receive the benefit

of his dying, a place in the commonwealth; as which of

you shall not? 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.

……………………………………………………………

Antony: Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me

your ears; I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.

The evil that men do lives after them;

The good is oft interred with their bones;

So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus

Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:

If it were so, it was a grievous fault;

And grievously hath Caesar answer’d it.

Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest,—

For Brutus is an honourable man;

So are they all; all honourable men,—

Come I to speak in Caesar’s funeral.

He was my friend, faithful and just to me:

But Brutus says he was ambitious;

And Brutus is an honourable man.

He hath brought many captives home to Rome,

Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:

Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?

When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:

Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:

Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;

And Brutus is an honourable man.

You all did see that on the Lupercal

I thrice presented him a kingly crown,

Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?

Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;

And, sure, he is an honourable man.

I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,

But here I am to speak what I do know.

You all did love him once,—not without cause:

What cause withholds you, then, to mourn for him?

O judg’ment! Thou art fled to brutish beasts,

And men have lost their reason!—Bear with me;

My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,

And I must pause till it come back to me.

First Citizen: Methinks there is much reason in his sayings.

Second Citizen: If thou consider rightly of the matter, Caesar has had great wrong.

Third Citizen: Has he, masters?

I fear there will a worse come in his place.

Fourth Citizen: Mark’d ye his words? He would not take the crown;

Therefore ’tis certain he was not ambitious.

First Citizen: If it be found so, some will dear abide it.

Second Citizen: Poor soul! his eyes are red as fire with weeping.

Third Citizen: There’s not a nobler man in Rome than Antony.

Fourth Citizen: Now mark him, he begins again to speak.

Antony: But yesterday the word of Caesar might

Have stood against the world: now lies he there,

And none so poor to do him reverence.

O masters, if I were dispos’d to stir

Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage,

I should do Brutus wrong and Cassius wrong,

Who, you all know, are honourable men:

I will not do them wrong; I rather choose

To wrong the dead, to wrong myself, and you,

Than I will wrong such honourable men.

But here’s a parchment with the seal of Caesar;

I found it in his closet,—’tis his will:

Let but the commons hear this testament,—

Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read,—

And they would go and kiss dead Caesar’s wounds,

And dip their napkins in his sacred blood;

Yea, beg a hair of him for memory,

And, dying, mention it within their wills,

Bequeathing it as a rich legacy

Unto their issue.

…………………………………………………………..

Antony: If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.

You all do know this mantle: I remember

The first time ever Caesar put it on;

’Twas on a summer’s evening, in his tent,

That day he overcame the Nervii :—

Look, in this place ran Cassius’ dagger through:

See what a rent the envious Casca made:

Through this the well-beloved Brutus stabb’d;

And, as he pluck’d his cursed steel away,

Mark how the blood of Caesar follow’d it,

As rushing out of doors, to be resolv’d

If Brutus so unkindly knock’d, or no;

For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar’s angel:

Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar lov’d him!

This was the most unkindest cut of all;

For when the noble Caesar saw him stab,

In gratitude, more strong than traitors’ arms,

Quite vanquished him: then burst his mighty heart;

And, in his mantle muffling up his face,

Even at the base of Pompey’s statue,

Which all the while ran blood, great Caesar fell.

O, what a fall was there, my countrymen!

…………………………………………………………..

Antony: Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir you up

To such a sudden flood of mutiny:

…………………………………………………………..

I am no orator, as Brutus is;

But, as you know me all, a plain blunt man,

That love my friend; and that they know full well

That gave me public leave to speak of him:

For I have neither wit, not words, nor worth,

Action, nor utterance, nor the power of speech,

To stir men’s blood: I only speak right on;

I tell you that which you yourselves do know;

Show you sweet Caesar’s wounds, poor poor dumb mouths,

And bid them speak for me: but were I Brutus,

And Brutus Antony, there were an Antony

Would ruffle up your spirits, and put a tongue

In every wound of Caesar, that should move

The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny.

Questions and Answers

 

  1. Who does Julius Caesar defeated when he returned to Rome?

Ans: Sons of Pompey

 

  1. Who plotted to kill Caesar?

Ans: Cassius, Brutus and others.

 

  1. The Soothsayer warns Caesar about?

Ans: Ides of March – The plot to kill Caesar.

 

  1. Who convince Caesar to come to senate, before he was killed?

Ans:  Decius Brutus

 

  1. Who first stabbed Caesar?

Ans: Casca

 

  1. Caesar was shocked on seeing what?

Ans: Marcus Brutus with a sword, waiting to kill him.

 

  1. What does Caesar said on seeing Brutus with a sword?

Ans: “Et tu, Brute” – Yoo too Brutus…

 

  1. Brutus asks the countrymen to behave like whome?

Ans: Judges – To judge the murder of Caesar.

 

  1. What does Brutus says about his love towards Caesar?

Ans: Brutus is more dearer to Caesar, than anyone in Rome.

 

  1. Brutus loves Caesar or Rome more?

Ans: Rome more than Caesar.

 

  1. According to Brutus, what will happen if Caesar was alive?

Ans: Brutus says, Caesar will make all Romans his slaves.

 

  1. What is the reason said by Brutus to justify his killing?

Ans: Caesar was ambitious.

 

  1. What Brutus says about his own life, if he act ambitious?

Ans: He will kill himself.

 

  1. What Antony says when he enters with Caesar’s body?

Ans: He came to bury Caesar, not to praise him.

 

  1. What Antony says about Brutus?

Ans: Honorable man.

 

  1. What Caesar did to Rome when he won wars?

Ans: He brought Captives (prisoners) and filled the treasury with money.

 

  1. How Caesar acted when the poor were worried?

Ans: Caesar too worried. He was not strict.

 

  1. What is Lupercal?

Ans: An ancient fertility festival in honor of Pan, the god of sepherds.

 

  1. What Antony gave to Caesar in Lupercal?

Ans: He gave the thrown three times.

 

  1. Did Caesar accepted the thrown given by Antony?

Ans: No

 

  1. What Antony was really trying to say about Caesar, by telling his past life?

Ans: He says so to prove that Caesar was not ambitious.

 

  1. What Antony mean on saying that “Brutus is Honorable man”?

Ans: He conveys the crowd that, Brutus is not a Honorable man.

 

  1. What is the reaction of citizens on hearing Anton’s speech?

Ans: They accepted Antony’s sayings.

 

  1. What Antony shows to crowd?

Ans: The will of Caesar. It has a seal on it.

 

  1. What Antony says about Caesar’s will?

Ans: If citizens read it, then they will kiss Caesar’s wounds and cover the wounds with their kerchiefs.

 

  1. Was Antony present in the place when Caesar was killed? How he says about the situation of Caesar’s killing to the crowd?

Ans: No. But Antony says about the killing on his own imagination.

 

  1. According to Antony, which is most unkindest cut of all?

Ans: The stab by Brutus, whom Caesar thought his best friend.

 

  1. What did Caesar did when he saw Brutus will sword to kill him?

Ans: He did not resist. Instead he covered his face with his mantle.

 

  1. What Antony says about his speech finally?

Ans: He is not great orator as Brutus is.

 

  1. Finally what was the reaction of citizens of Rome?

They raised in mutiny against those who killed Caesar.

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