Why did Calpurnia request Caesar not to go to the Senate House? Calpurnia, Caesar’s wife had evil dreams hinting an imminent death of Caesar. She discussed it with an interpreter of dreams and was told to be careful about Caesar’s life and therefore requested Caesar to stay home.
What was the watchman’s dream? The watchman had a dream that pointed to Caesar’s death. He saw a lioness giving birth to its cubs in the street while two armies fought on clouds. Blood rained down from the clouds. Graves opened and ghosts came out and ran through the city.
What was Calpurnia’s dream? What did it mean? Calpurnia saw in her dream a statue of Caesar in the city centre. From it rained blood as if water from a fountain. She saw great men of the world washing their hands in that blood, smiling. She feared that someone was keen about killing Caesar and that there was a conspiracy to kill him and that many people would be happy with Caesar’s death.
How did Caesar try to dispel Calpurnia’s fears? Caesar appeared to have taken no serious care of Calpurnia’s fears and doubts. He said that her dream had no direct indication to his death. Moreover, he claimed that he was a brave man and that the brave don’t fear death at all. Caesar went on explaining that the dream can point to the death of someone else if at all it meant anything.
What was Decius Brutus' mission? How did he accomplish it? Decius Brutus was sent by Cassius to bring Julius Caesar out of his house to be murdered. But when Decius reached Caesar’s home he was shocked to hear that Caesar was not going to come due to a dream Calpurnia had. The very smart Decius made Caesar narrate the dream and exclaimed that the dream had been misinterpreted. Then Decius interpreted the same dream in his most crafty way and presented it as a good omen to Caesar. He said the lost glory and life of Rome could be restored only by Caesar. Decius went another degree ahead and lured Caesar’s desire to be crowned as the emperor of Rome saying someone else would be crowned as emperor if Caesar didn't go to the Senate House.
Discuss the blunders committed by Marcus Brutus? Among all his blunders, the biggest one committed by the simpleton Brutus is that he believed Cassius. Following that he indulged in a series of foolish and thoughtless acts. Giving Antony permission to speak at Caesar's funeral against Cassius' opposition was the first. He was overconfident that Antony would not stir the minds of the mob better than him. As with the vile Cassius, Brutus blindly believed Antony too. Again, Brutus left the market-place leaving Antony to speak. Moreover Brutus believed that Caesar was an ambitious man.
Why did Cassius want Brutus stand with him to assassinate Caesar? Cassius grew jealous of Caesar’s mounting popularity and the possibility of becoming the new emperor of Rome. He wanted to assassinate Caesar for his good more than for Rome’s. But he was very much sure of the consequence of killing Caesar who was the beloved of the whole of Rome especially of Brutus. So Cassius targeted to Brutus and wanted him to join the conspiracy for two reasons: one to use him as the sharpest weapon to assassinate Caesar and the other to easily convince the mob. Cassius was right in his planning. When Caesar was first attacked by Casca, Caesar drew out his sword to fight back the conspirators but soon went weak at the sight of his beloved Brutus drawing his sword to stab him. Brutus, with the help of his great popularity and name rather than his oratory skills, convinced the mob when it demanded an explanation for killing Caesar. Thus, Cassius used Brutus as a shield and played the master conspirator.
How did Brutus convince the Roman mob of the importance of assassinating Caesar? Brutus had great confidence in his oratorical powers. He was very emotional at the time of his speech explaining why Caesar had to be killed for Rome. His was a short speech with questions whose answers were very simple. Brutus said that his love for Caesar was always the same but killed him because his love for Rome and Romans was greater than that. He told them that Caesar was very ambitious and it was very necessary to kill Caesar to provide a free existence for all Romans. Brutus also reminded that what he did to Caesar was what every Roman was supposed to do to him if he had behaved like Caesar. Brutus talked to the fragile sentiments of the fickle minded Romans and achieved a temporary victory over their minds.
Antony’s speech has stood out ever since it was made and will stand out for ever. Why is Mark Antony’s speech so extraordinary? Antony’s speech stands a masterpiece of oratory. He was a magician who played tricks with words. He stirred the minds of thousands of Romans with measured use of highly flammable words and expressions. He made a war against the most dangerous enemies with an army of fickle minded people. Antony had no firm stand to make his speech nor was he half as important as Brutus was. He had to speak to the crowd after it was spoken to by Brutus. He was not allowed to blame any conspirator. Yet Antony dropped a rain of shell on the conscience of the Romans and won their support and stirred their minds against the conspirators. Antony’s success was the success of his speech. He began his speech in such a manner that his hearers and his enemies thought that he too was with Brutus and Cassius.
But the Antonian style was different; he was a good actor, a good psychologist and the greatest orator. He confused the people with credible facts. He made them feel guilty by reminding how great Caesar was and how much they used to love them. He made them cry showing the wounded mantle that Caesar had worn when he was stabbed. He made them mourn for Caesar by revealing the content of the will Caesar had made for them. He fumed their minds with revenge against the conspirators who had killed their great Caesar who had given them money and land. While doing all this, Antony kept on praising.
Comment on Antony’s ironical praising of the conspirators. OR Why did Antony repeatedly call the conspirators 'honorable people' in his speech? Antony’s speech was all set to stir and instigate unsteady minds of the Roman public who had believed that it was good that Caesar died. Revenge in his mind, Antony stood to speak good about Caesar but he was not allowed to blame the conspirators in any case. So, to blame the conspirators and to bring out their evil conspiracy, Antony praised Caesar on one side and disqualified his glories because the honorable Cassius and Brutus had told Caesar was ambitious. This ironical presentation slowly confused the mob and the public began to doubt if Brutus’ claims were right or if Caesar were really ambitious. This doubt gradually gave way to their realization that Caesar was a great man and the Brutus and Cassius committed unforgivable crimes to Caesar and the Romans.
Do you think Antony did for Caesar as much as what a good friend does? OR Antony’s speech was a tribute to his friendship with Caesar; explain. Both Antony and Brutus were Caesar’s true friends. But somewhere on the way Brutus committed his greatest crime by believing the envious Cassius that Caesar was ambitious and that he had to be assassinated for the good of Rome. But Antony was a loyal friend of Caesar and he proved that by avenging Caesar’s death through his instigating speech even though it was quite risky for his life.
Why did Antony refuse to read the will? In fact Antony wanted the mob to make him read the will rather than he did it himself. He intensified their interest and curiosity in the will yet pretended to be unwilling to read it. Even though Antony didn’t read the will he gave the mob an indirect hint regarding the content of the will that contained benefits for all Romans. He wanted them feel guilty of supporting the conspirators for killing Caesar who had made a will so good for them.
Which qualities in Julius Caesar do you find in him fit for a good ruler? 6 marks Hints : Was not ambitious - Declined the crown - Had sympathy for the poor - Filled the public treasury - Made a great will - Was concerned about subjects
How did Antony play his 'safe manipulation tricks' during his speech? 6 marks He used words and expressions with great care - Blamed them, criticized them and yet pretended that he didn't want any harm befall the conspirators - Told the mob of the will but said that he should not read it for fear of the mob fury against the conspirators - Asked the mob to stand around the dead body of Caesar (He was creating a safe ring for himself) - While the mob burnt with revenge for the murderers of Caesar, he advised them not to revolt.
Comment on Antony's use of irony in his speech that had unequal powers of convincing the Roman mob. 6 marks Hints : Used the term 'honorable people' to describe the conspirators after praising Caesar - Brought out the great services that Caesar did for Rome and then said that he was ambitious on the grounds that the conspirators told so and that they were honorable. - Said that he didn't want them know the truth regarding the will because the conspirators would be in trouble - Admitted that he was no orator or had no oratory skills even after having made the most powerful speech in history -
Circumstances were not in favor of Mark Antony when he began his speech. How? 6 marks Hints - Brutus had already convinced the mob - Brutus had asked Antony not to blame him or Cassius - Brutus had asked Antony to talk only after he had ended the speech - Antony had to speak at the same pulpit where Brutus spoke to the mob - Antony had to praise the conspirators - Antony was not as respected as was Brutus.
"Romans, countrymen, and lovers! hear me for my cause,
And be silent, that you may hear: believe me for mine honor,
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."
What was Brutus' cause? Brutus' cause was to explain to the mob why he and his friends rose against Caesar and killed him. To tell the country that Caesar was growing in power and that he could have become a tyrannous dictator like Pompey whom he himself had killed.
How did Brutus make use of his honorable status to face the mob?
What effect was Brutus expecting upon the mob by asking the people to censure him in their own wisdom and by being their own judges? By asking the people to censure him in their own wisdom and by being their own judges, Brutus expected that the mob, during his speech and even after that, would not seek other people's suggestions and opinions and thereby he could avoid any sort of aggression on their side against him and against the rest of the conspirators. He was playing with a Roman's self respect.
"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 Rome more."
Whom in the crowd did Brutus equal himself? Brutus equaled himself to those in the mob who loved Caesar as he did.
How was Brutus' love for Caesar equal to that of anyone else? Brutus said that his love for Caesar was equal to those who loved Caesar.
Why did Brutus kill Caesar? Brutus, in his own words, killed Caesar because he saw that Caesar had become a threat to Rome and Romans by becoming a tyrannous monarch. It was because Brutus loved Romans more than Caesar that he killed Caesar.
How does this statement strengthen Brutus' position and justifies his assassinating Caesar? By declaring that he killed Caesar for the good of Rome, Brutus ascertained his loyalty and undying patriotism to Romans and kept the people confused and undecided whether they should avenge Caesar's death or not.
What was the impact of Brutus declaring, "Not that I loved Caesar less, But that I loved Rome more?" on the mob?
"Had you rather Caesar were living and die all slaves,
Than that Caesar were dead, to live all free men?
How did Caesar's being alive threaten the Romans? If Caesar were alive, as Brutus explained to the mob, all the Romans would have been forced to live as slaves.
How did Brutus ensure freedom for the Romans?
As Caesar loved me, I weep for him;
As he was fortunate, I rejoice at it;
As he was valiant, I honor 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.
Why did Brutus enumerate Caesar's love, fortune and valor before mentioning his ambition? Brutus wanted to convince the mob that it was because Caesar became so ambitious that he had to kill him but to convince the mob in a more effective way, he chose to enumerate Caesar's good qualities. By doing so, he believed that the mob would be happy to hear that Brutus had always loved, respected and rejoiced whenever Caesar deserved.
In what sense was Caesar fortunate and valiant?
How does Brutus justify his assassinating Caesar?
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.
Bondman means a slave. How could Caesar's being alive have kept the Romans bondmen?
Why was Brutus so much sure that his questions could find only conforming answers?
Why did Brutus pause for a reply? What reply had he expected?
Then none have I offended.
I have done no more to Caesar than you shall do to Brutus.
The question of his death is enrolled in the Capitol;
His glory not extenuated, wherein he was worthy,
Nor his offences enforced, for which he suffered death.
"I have done no more to Caesar than you shall do to Brutus." How does Brutus prove to be a model Roman? How did his listeners receive this code of conduct?
What is the question of Caesar's death? What was the purpose of enrolling Caesar's Question of Death?
From Brutus' own words, do you think if there was a transparency in preparing Caesar's Question of Death? Give instances.
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.
By declaring Mark Antony innocent, Brutus dug the ground under his own feet. How?
What is a place in the Commonwealth?
What does Brutus mean by the benefits of Caesar's death?
"Bring him with triumph home unto his house."
"Give him a statue with his ancestors."
"Let him be Caesar."
"Caesar's better parts shall be crown'd in Brutus."
"We'll bring him to his house With shouts and clamours."
What was the effect of Brutus' speech on the mob?
Whose statue were the people intending to make? What for?
Explain "Caesar's better parts shall be crown'd in Brutus."
Good countrymen, let me depart alone,
And, for my sake, stay here with Antony:
Do grace to Caesar's corpse, and grace his speech
Tending to Caesar's glories; which Mark Antony,
By our permission, is allow'd to make.
I do entreat you, not a man depart, save I alone, till Antony have spoke.
How did Brutus persuade the crowd to stay to listen to Antony's speech?
How did Brutus make sure that Antony was not in any place to offend him and the rest of the conspirators?
The unexpected beginning - Antony began his speech in a well planned manner. He gave the impression that he too was on the conspirator's side only to keep the mob good listeners till he was in a position to start criticizing them.
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.
What is remarkable about the beginning of Antony's speech?
What happens to a man's virtuous deeds after his death? How are his evil deeds different?
How did Caesar answer for his 'evil deeds?'
Does Antony agree with Brutus that Caesar was Ambitious? How does he express this?
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest
For Brutus is an honorable 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 honorable man.
Why does Antony repeatedly remind the people that Brutus and the rest of the conspirators were honorable?
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 honorable man.
How did Caesar bring a lot of ransom wealth to Rome? What did he do with that wealth?
What best describes Caesar's love for the nation?
"Ambition should be made of sterner stuff." Why, then, was Caesar not sterner?
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 honorable man.
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
What is Lupercal? What did Antony offer Caesar on that day?
Why did Caesar refuse Antony's offering the crown?
How would Antony have disproved Brutus? Why did Antony say that he didn't intend to disprove Brutus?
You all did love him once, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him?
O judgment! 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.
Why does Antony blame the people for not mourning for the dead Caesar?
How did Judgement flee to brutish beasts? Who are the brutish beasts here?
Which men, as per Antony, have lost their reason? How?
Why did Antony say that he was emotionally carried away?
Methinks there is much reason in his sayings.
If thou consider rightly of the matter, Caesar has had great wrong.
Has he, masters? I fear there will a worse come in his place.
Mark'd ye his words? He would not take the crown;
Therefore 'tis certain he was not ambitious.
What great wrong has Caesar had from the Romans?
How does the mob sentiments change at this point?
If it be found so, some will dear abide it.
Poor soul! His eyes are red as fire with weeping.
There's not a nobler man in Rome than Antony.
Now mark him, he begins again to speak.
Discus the effect of Antony's act of pausing his speech for a while?
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 disposed to stir,
Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage,
I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong,
Who, you all know, are honorable men:
I will not do them wrong; I rather choose
To wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you,
Than I will wrong such honorable men.
How does Antony present Caesar's death as a great fall from a great height?
Explain, "and none so poor to do him reverence."
How does Antony convey to the mob that there was a need to rise to mutiny?
Why does Antony choose to "wrong" the dead and the public and himself? What other alternative did he have?
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.
Why did Antony refuse to read the will?
What reactions did Antony say that he expected from the mob on hearing the will?