Study Guide for “The Tragedy of Julius Caesar” by William Shakespeare
The following questions will help you to prepare for your eventual test over “Julius Caesar”. While I will not be collecting this, it is on you to make sure that you are answering the questions as we go. Your test will be taken directly from this study guide.
1) Judging from the events in Act I, the political mood and behavior of the Romans are best described how? 2) When we first see Brutus, he appears to be ________________________. 3) Which line from Act I foreshadows what will happen to Caesar? 4) “Truly, sir… I am but, as you would say, a cobbler” is an example of what literary device? 5) Cassius states, “Men at some time are masters of their fates: / The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings.” Based on this, what can you infer about Cassius? 6) The crowd shouts three times for what?
7) Who are the most loyal supporters of Caesar in Act I?
8) At the end of Scene 2, what does Cassius plan?
9) In Scene 3, Shakespeare uses a violent storm and other unusual natural events to suggest something. What is he suggesting? 10) In Scene 3, Cicero says to Casca, “this disturbed sky / Is not to walk in.” Other than the weather, Cicero is referring to the fact that he __________________ 11) What is included in the exposition of Act I?
12) Who is the protagonist?
13) How would one best describe Cassius’ character?
14) What is the central conflict introduced in Act I?
15) Possible essay question from Act I: Dialogue not only reveals the play’s action and the characters’ motives but often shows various arguments or positions or an opinion or an event. In scene 3, lines 34-35, Cicero says of the storm, “But men may construe things after their fashion, / Clean from the purpose of the things themselves.” How does this idea vary from Cassius’s attitude toward the storm? How else could the storm be interpreted? Be prepared to write your answer on a separate sheet of paper with at least two examples from the play to support your ideas.
16) In his soliloquy, Brutus reveals his true feelings about whom? 17) As Act II progresses, Portia becomes more ___________________ 18) Cassius, as a foil, influences Brutus in what ways?
19) Caesar’s initial decision to stay at home rather than to go to the Senate is a response to what? 20) How is Caesar’s conflict regarding whether or not to go to the Senate resolved? 21) As Caesar decides whether or not to go to the Senate, he says, “Mark Antony shall say I am not well, / And for thy humor, I will stay at home.” What does Caesar mean when he refers to humor? 22) Why does Caesar disregard the omens?
23) What is the point of Brutus’ comparison of Caesar to a newly hatched sparrow? 24) How would one characterize Decius when he arrives to take Caesar to the Senate? 25) An attempt to warn Caesar of the conspiracy occurs in the form of what? 26) Act II includes the rising action of the play, which is what? 27) Shakespeare builds suspense by having Calpurnia do what? 28) Possible essay question from Act II: In scene 1, lines 63-69, Brutus says, “Between the acting of a dreadful thing / And the first motion, all the interim is / Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream. / The genius and the mortal instruments / Are then in council, and the state of a man, / Like to a little kingdom, suffers then / The nature of an insurrection.” How do these lines reflect both Brutus’ inner conflict and the overall conflict that builds in Act II? Be prepared to write your answer on a separate sheet of paper, using at least two examples from the play to support your ideas.
29) Who is the conspirator who first prevents Artemidorus from warning Caesar? 30) What are Caesar’s dying words and what do they express? 31) Immediately after Caesar’s death, Antony sends a servant to Brutus. Why? 32) Why does Brutus allow Antony to speak at Caesar’s funeral? 33) Among the...
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