Julius Caesar ACT II Study Guide Questions
1. Through the analogy of a ladder, how does Brutus explain what happens when someone gains power? 2. To what does Brutus compare Caesar? Why does Brutus feel that he must kill Caesar immediately? 3. What day is it? Why is this significant?
4. Brutus explains that he has not been able to sleep. How does he explain what happens to a man’s conscience between the “acting of a dreadful thing / And the first motion”? 5. How are Cassius and Brutus related?
6. Why does Brutus insist that the men do not need an oath?
7. Why do the men want Cicero on their side at first? Why do they change their minds? 8. Who does Cassius want to murder in addition to Caesar?
9. What is Brutus’s response to this idea?
10. How does Decius plan to get Caesar to come to the Capitol? 11. What has Portia noticed about Brutus’s recent behavior? 12. What reasons does Portia give to insist that Brutus reveal his feelings to her? 13. What does Portia do to prove her strength to Brutus? What is your reaction to this act? BONUS: An anachronism is when an author unknowingly or purposefully inserts something from a different period of time into his or her writing. Shakespeare uses an anachronism in this scene. See if you can find it. Why do you think Shakespeare might have used this anachronism?
1. Why has Calpurnia been unable to sleep? About what omens does Calpurnia tell Caesar? 2. Why does Caesar insist on leaving the house?
3. On what evidence do the priests (“augerers”) recommend that Caesar not leave the house? 4. How does Decius convince Caesar to leave?
5. Caesar instructs his men to keep close to him. What is the irony?
1. Artemidorus reads from a letter at the beginning of this scene. Who wrote the letter and what does Artemidorus plan to do with it?
1. What is ironic about Portia’s statement: “How hard it is for women to keep a secret”? (Hint: think about her speeches in Scene One.)...
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