Thursday, May 14, 2009

Julius Caesar Reading Discussion Questions

Shakespeare's Julius Caesar Study Guide
Discussion Questions

Directions: After reading each act out loud in class, the following questions will be discussed/answered in small groups in class. Each student must write the answers to the following questions in complete sentences on a separate sheet of paper. All answers should be numbered and headed with the proper act and scene numbers! Most responses will require several sentences in order to be answered completely. Be sure to rephrase the question in your answer.

Act I, Scene 1

1. What is the situation at the beginning of the play?
2. Identify Flavius and Marullus. What are they doing?
3. What is Lupercal?

Act I, Scene 2

4. What warning is given to Caesar? By whom? How does he react?
5. What are the two incidents Cassius tells to Brutus? What is his purpose in telling them?
6. What kind of person does Brutus seem to be? Cassius?
7. What is Caesar's opinion of Antony? of Cassius?
8. What is the report given by Casca?
9. How does Cassius feel about his talk with Brutus?

Act I, Scene 3
10. What is the effect of the storm? It's purpose?11. How does Cassius say he can escape tyranny?12. What is the next step in convincing Brutus?

Act II, Scene 1

1. Explain Brutus' speech that begins: “It must be by his death…”
2. Why do the conspirators want Cicero and then leave him out?
3. Why won't Brutus take an oath?
4. Why does he oppose the assassination of Antony?
5. How has Caesar changed?6. What are some of Portia's characteristics?

Act II, Scene 2

7. Describe the night.
8. What has Caesar decided to do when Decius comes? What reason does he give?
9. Why does he change his mind?
10. What are the two interpretations of the dream?

Act III, Scene 1

1. What was each of the following characters to do at the capitol: Trebonious, Cimber, Casca, Brutus?
2. How do the conspirators react to the assassination?
3. How can you prove the dream was fulfilled?
4. What prophecy is made?
5. What message does Antony's servant bring?
6. What does Antony ask of the conspirators if they plan to kill him?
7. Of what do they assure him?
8. Who doubts the wisdom of answering Antony's request?
9. Summarize Antony’s soliloquy.

Act III, Scene 2

10. How does Brutus justify Caesar's murder when he speaks to the people?
11. How is the point proven to the people?
12. How does Antony arouse the people to mutiny?
13. How does Antony show he understands the people better than Brutus?
14. What three examples does Antony give to prove that Caesar was not ambitious?
15. What are the provisions of Caesar's will?
16. Who is prepared to take control of the government of Rome now?

Act IV, Scene 1

1. What is the Second Triumvirate? Who composes it?
2. What is the new triumvirate planning to do?

Act IV, Scene 2

3. Where are Brutus and Cassius?

Act IV, Scene 3

4. Who quarrels? Why?
5. What does Brutus think of himself?
6. Why does Cassius say he is aweary of the world?
7. What alibi does Cassius use?
8. What news do we hear of Portia? What is Brutus' reaction?
9. Give the arguments pro and con for marching to Philippi. Why does Cassius think the army should be held at Sardis? Why does Brutus think they should march?
10. Why does Caesar's ghost appear to Brutus? What does it say to Brutus?

Act V, Scene 1

1. Where does the scene take place?
2. What do Brutus and Cassius do?

Act V, Scene 3

3. How does Cassius die?
4. How does Pindarus earn his freedom?
5. What happens to Titinius?

Act V, Scene 4

6. How does Brutus die?
7. What do Antony and Octavius say about Brutus?
8. Who wins and becomes ruler of Rome?