Julius Caesar


Discussion Questions

Study Questions

1. Although Julius Caesar only has a few scenes in the play, the way his character is developed in these scenes is critical to understanding why Brutus agrees to assassinate him. What specific evidence of Caesar’s arrogance and ambition does Shakespeare provide within the first three acts of the play?

2. Antony’s speech at Caesar’s funeral is one of the most famous speeches in the history of English drama. What specific literary and rhetorical devices make this speech so memorable?

3. Antony says of Brutus at the end of the play that “All the conspirators save only he/Did that they did in envy of great Caesar.”(V.v.68-69) Briefly, explain in your own words what Antony means by this. What specific evidence in the play demonstrates that Brutus was motivated by a genuine sense of duty to the Roman people?

Essay Topics

1. The only two female characters in the play, Portia and Calpurnia, have their major scenes back to back. Examine these scenes closely, looking for the parallels between them. Using specific examples, compare and contrast the relationship between Portia and Brutus with the relationship between Caesar and Calpurnia?

2. Julius Caesar, in addition to being a tragedy, is also an exciting political drama. In the world of the play, who are the most successful politicians? The least successful? What qualities do the most successful politicians possess? The least successful? Choose one character representing each extreme and write an essay comparing and contrasting them.

3. Of all the relationships in the play, the one between Brutus and Cassius is the most fully developed. Using specific examples, write an essay describing their relationship and how it evolves from the beginning to the end of the play.

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Essays About Julius Caesar