JULIUS CAESAR OBJECTIVES
1. To teach the nature of tragedy and the tragic hero.
2. To show literary devices such as puns, metaphors, similes, and
alliteration used by Shakespeare.
3. To discuss the elements of plot structure and the themes brought out in the play.
4. To encourage a close study of the text to bring out aspects of Shakespeare's
literary genius in characterization, imagery, and dramatic effects.
5. To develop vocabulary.
Each student should be able to:
1. Define the tragic hero and be able to apply the definition to Brutus and Caesar.
2. List the characteristics of the Elizabethan theatre such as staging, audience,
special effects, and lack of actresses.
3. Relate what is known about Shakespeare's life including the dates of his birth
4. List important events in Caesar's career.
5. Identify the important characters and be able to recognize typical speeches of each (Brutus, Cassius, Antony, Casca, Caesar, Portia, Calpurnia).
6. Give examples of belief in the super natural as brought out in the play.
7. Recognize terms regarding plot structure and be able to match terms with
events of the play (exposition, rising action, climax or tuning point, falling
8. To cite aspects of Shakespeare's style which have led to his critical acclaim
(imagery, analysis or character, use of and parallel, universality of theme).
9. Define vocabulary words and the following literary terms: blank verse,
pun, metaphor, simile, anachronism, iambic pentameter, and alliteration.
10. State in his own words the theme of the play.
JULIUS CAESAR – The Tragedy
Definition: A Tragedy is an important and causally related series of events in the life of
a person of significance; such events culminating in an unhappy catastrophe; the whole treated with great dignity and seriousness.
Requirements of a Tragedy:
1. It would involve a man of high estate.
2. The play should present a reversal of fortune.
3. The hero should be of ordinary moral stature, a victim of a tragic flaw, who has
great conflicts, ethical and emotional.
4. There should be conflict of wills in opposing or related characters, both strong,
and the conflict so great that loss of the conflict leads to death.
5. There should be a character whose principles are so important, the flaws so great in him, or the obstinacies so hardened that he cannot stop what he is doing, even though he sees his death coming as a result.
6. There should remain at the end a feeling of waste, a loss of someone or something good.
7. The character, because of his action, should find himself in a new climate, a
new set of situations in which he becomes a misfit and is unable to cope with
8. There should be a wide discrepancy between appearance and reality, with
what appears to be the truth and what is the truth, between awareness of
what is going on and unawareness.
Characteristics of the Tragic Hero:
1. He is a good person, who, through some weakness of character or error of
judgments, unknowingly brings doom on himself (he has a tragic flaw which
is often a virtue carried to excess).
2. At some point during the action, the tragic hero must discover the truth of his
wrong choice or the catastrophe he has unwittingly brought about.
3. This choice was intended (by him) to produce results opposite to what actually happens.
4. This reversal of fortune and recognition of the truth must bring about a change
in him – most characteristically an understanding of his limitations as a man.
5. The hero must be more admirable in defeat than he was before. He must gain
in stature the way he meets catastrophe.
Julius Caesar Vocabulary
Define the following terms:
Some examples of this are:__________________________________________
5. Ides of March-____________________________________________________
1. The play is written in IAMBIC PENTAMETER.
(Example: "You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things!"
2. Define ‘Foot’____________________________________________________
Ex: "You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things!"
3. BLANK VERSE is:________________________________________________
4. PROSE is:______________________________________________________
5. PUN is:_________________________________________________________
Julius Caesar Study Guide
1. What are the events in Caesar's career immediately preceding the play's action?
2. Give the date of the assassination of Caesar.
Background on Shakespeare
1. Place and date of Shakespeare's birth:
2. Date of death:
3. Three types of plays he wrote:
Act I, sc i
1. What is a tribune?
2. Why do Flavius and Marrulus want the commoners to disperse, and why do they
remove garlands from Caesar's statues?
3. The following are lines from the opening scene. Briefly explain what the pun is.
“I am but, as you would say, a cobbler.”
“…all that I live by is with the awl.”
“…a mender of bad soles.”
”…a surgeon to old shoes: when they are in great danger, I recover them.”
“Why, sir, cobble you.”
Act I, sc ii
1. Why does Caesar ask Antony to touch Calpurnia during the race?
2. What are Cassius' feelings toward Caesar?
4. What does Cassius want Brutus to do?
5. Explain the quote “..yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look.”
6. Why does the crowd cheer during this scene?
7. What physical disabilities of Caesar are revealed?
8. What is Cassius' conclusion about Brutus?
Act I, sciii
1. When does this scene take place?
2. What strange omens are seen? (List all of them)
3. What is learned about the conspiracy against Caesar?
4. Name the conspirators.
Act II, sc i
1. What is the meaning of Brutus' speech?
2. Brutus says: “No, not an oath. If not the face of men,
The sufferace of our souls, the time’s abuse,
If these be motives weak, break off betimes”
Why doesn’t he want an oath?
3. Why is Cicero left out?
4. Tell why Antony will not be killed as well.
5. How does Decius plan to persuade Caesar to go to the capitol?
6. How does Portia show Brutus she can be trusted?
7. Does he tell her his secrets?
Act II, sc ii
1. What are the omens that frighten Calpurnia?
2. Is she successful in persuading Caesar not to go to the Senate?
3. Why does he change his mind?
Act II, sc iii
1. What is Artemidorus planning to do?
2. What does he know? How do you think he knows?
Act II, sc iv
1. What are Portia's feelings in the scene?
2. Why does she send the servant to the Capitol?
3. Why is the servant confused?
Act III, sc i
1. What two warnings does Caesar ignore?
2. Each conspirator has a specific task to perform in order to execute the slaying.
What is the task of the following?
3. How does Metellus Cimber get Caesar's attention?
4. What do we learn about Caesar's character from his dealings with Metellus Cimber?
5. What is significant about Caesar's saying "Et tu, Brute" immediately before he dies?
6. What happens immediately after Caesar is killed?
7. Is Antony honest when he speaks to the conspirators?
8. Who is coming to Rome? What advice does Antony give to this person?
Act III, scii
1. How are the plebians feeling?
2. Describe Brutus’ speech and what he is trying to accomplish:
3. Describe Antony’s speech and what he hopes to accomplish by this speech:
Act IV, sc i
1. What three men make up the new triumvirate?
2. What are they doing as the scene opens?
3. What attitudes do the triumvirs have towards each other?
4. Predict how these attitudes may interfere with their purpose:
Act IV, sc ii
1. Where does this scene take place?
2. What feelings exist between Brutus and Cassius?
Act IV, sc iii
1. What are the reasons behind the quarrel between Brutus and Cassius?
A. Brutus is mad at Cassius because
B. Cassius is mad at Brutus because
C. What is ironic about Brutus’ argument in this scene?
2. How does the quarrel end?
3. What happened to Portia?
4. Why does Cassius want to be on the defensive and wait to be attacked where they were camped?
5. What is Brutus' reason for wanting to take the offensive and march to Philippi?
6. Which strategy is decided upon? Why?
7. Why does Brutus have Varro and Claudius sleep in his tent?
8. What premonition does Brutus have in his tent? What warning does he receive?
Act V, sc i
1. Where does the action in this act occur? Of what importance is this to the action
of the play?
2. What lines imply that there will be results by the end of the day?
3. What are Cassius' thoughts of the future?
4. What does Brutus say he will do if he loses?
Act V, sc ii
1. What does Pindarus report to Cassius?
2. How does Cassius die?
3. What really happened to Titinius?
4. What is the meaning of Brutus' speech, "O Julius Caesar, Thou are mighty yet!"?
Act V, sc iii
1. What action in this scene shows you that Brutus' men respect and protect him?
Act V, sc iv
1. What action in this scene furthers the idea shown in scene iv?
2. What glory does Brutus speak of?
3. Explain the meaning of Brutus' final speech.
4. Explain Antony's final speech.
5. On what note or mood does the plan end?
Place the letter of the following words in the correct position on the inside of the plot graph below:
b. Rising Action
d. Falling Action
Place the number of the following statements in the order they occurred in the play:
1. Calpurnia has a bad dream about Caesar's future.
2. Cimber pleads with Caesar to pardon his brother from exile from Rome.
3. "Beware the Ides of March."
4. Brutus allows Antony to deliver Caesar's funeral speech.
5. Brutus tells Cassius that Portia is dead.
6. Strato holds Brutus' sword while Brutus runs on it.
7. Brutus and Cassius begin to quarrel.
8. Artemidorus waits for Caesar to give him a letter of warning.
9. A terrible storm full of bad omens and unusual happenings.
10. Casca is the first to stab Caesar.
11. Brutus and Cassius meet Antony and Octavious in Philippi.
12. Antony, Octavious and Lepidus establish the second triumvirate.
13. "Friends, Romans, and Countrymen, Lend me your ears..."
14. Antony offers Caesar the crown three times.
15. The conspirators meet at Brutus’ house.
16. Antony tells the commoners about Caesar's will.
17. Pindarus stabs Cassius and then runs away.
18. Caesar's ghost appears to Brutus for the first time at Sardis.
19. "This was the noblest Roman of them all."
20. Marullus and Flavius are put to silence.
21. Cassius throws messages of different handwriting through Brutus' windows.
22. Annual feast of the Lupercal.
23. Portia stabs herself in the thigh.
24. Trebonius leads Antony out of the senate.
25. Decius convinces Caesar to go to the senate.
Julius Caesar Quotations
1. "Good friends, sweet friends, let me not
stir you up to such a sudden flood of
2. "I never stood on ceremonies, yet now
they fright me."
3. "A friend should bear his friend's
infirmities, but (you) make mine greater
than they are."
4. "Cowards die many times before their
deaths; the valiant never taste of death
5. "Caesar, beware of Brutus; take heed of Cassius; come not near Casca; have an eye to Cinna."
6. "Caesar, now be still; I killed not thee
with half so good a will."
7. "...thou shalt see me at Philippi."
8. Who is this? "A slight unmeritable man,
meet to be sent on errands..."
9. "Into what dangers would you lead me,
that you would have me seek into myself for
that which is not in me?"
10. "Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry
look; he thinks too much; such men are
11. "He that cuts off 20 years of life cuts off
so many years of fearing death."
12. "I did send to you for you to pay my
legions, which you denied me."
13. "If I could pray to move, prayers would
move me; but I am constant as the
Who said it? To whom was it said?
14. "I think it is the weakness of mine
eyes that shapes this monstrous
15. "A curse shall light upon the limbs
of men; domestic fury and fierce
civil strife shall cumber all the
parts of Italy blood and destruction
shall be so in use..."
16. "Tis better than the enemy seek us:
so shall he waste his means; weary
his soldiers, doing himself offense;
whilst we, lying still, are full of rest,
defense, and nimbleness."
17. "Our legions are brimful, our cause is
ripe: the enemy increaseth every day;
we, at the height, are ready to decline."
18. "If he be so resolved,
I can o'ersway him;
Let me work;
For I can give his humor the true bent,
And I will bring him to the capitol."
19. "No, my...,
You have some sick offense within your
mind, Which, by the right and virtue of
my place, I ought to know of..."
20. "Is there no voice more worthy than my
own, to sound more sweetly in Caesar's
ear for the repealing of my banished
21. "I know no personal cause to spurn him,
but for the general (good)."
22. "Beware of the Ides of March."
23. "The fault is not in our stars but in
ourselves, that we are underlings."
24. "Speak no more...Give me a bowl of win,
in this I bury all unkindness."
25. "Your wisdom is consumed in