Julius Caesar

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1.Several individuals tried to warn Caesar. List three of them and explain Shakespeare's purpose in the warnings.

•The soothsayer warns Caesar to "Beware the Ides of March!" Caesar calls him a fool. Calpurnia warns Caesar about a dream she had. Willing at first to heed the warning, Caesar scorns her for making him look like a coward. Artemidorus writes Caesar a letter, which Caesar refuses to read before he gets to the Capitol. •Shakespeare shows the reader, through these warnings, that Caesar thinks highly of himself and has already turned his back on those who brought him success, just as Brutus predicts. Caesar's physical deafness, his inability to hear, correlates with Caesar's inability to listen.

2.Brutus is considered the most important member of the conspiracy, yet his mistakes doom it. List two mistakes Brutus makes and explain the effect his mistakes have on the attempted coup.

•Brutus argues in favor of sparing Marc Antony, claiming that killing Antony would make them appear as butchers. After Caesar is assassinated, Brutus allows Antony to speak at Caesar's funeral. Bad idea.

1.How does Marc Antony's image change throughout the play?

•Antony is looked upon as an irresponsible kid who likes to attend plays and go out at night. He was Caesar's loyal assistant. That Antony loved Caesar there is no doubt. There is, however, ample evidence that Antony was the "sleek-headed man" of whom Caesar warns in Act I. His oration at Caesar's funeral was more than an attempt to avenge Caesar's death. It was a power grab. Antony speaks of Caesar's will. During the civil war that follows, he changes the will. Antony ruthlessly orders the murder of hundreds of citizens.

2.What does Shakespeare's portrayal of the commoners imply?

•As the play opens, commoners are celebrating in the streets of Rome until Flavius and Marullus shame them into returning to their homes. Flavius points out that the crowds did the same exact thing...
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