Julius Caesar: Act 1: Study Questions Flashcard Example #51011

The setting is in Rome on a street.
Julius Caesar – Act One – Scene One

What is the setting of the first scene?

To celebrate Caesar’s victory over Pompey.
Julius Caesar – Act One – Scene One

Why have the shopkeepers left work?

They are disgusted over the hypocrisy of the common people. The common people were just celebrating Pompey as their leader, not they celebrate Caesar’s victory over Pompey.
Julius Caesar – Act One – Scene One

What is Marullus and Flavius’s reaction to the citizens’ behavior? Why?

There is a division between the Romans; some favor Caesar, some fear him. It is the beginning of the Feast of Lupercal. Marullus and Flavius are not happy about Caesar’s victory. They want to tear down the decorations. None of the people know how to trust.
Julius Caesar – Act One – Scene One

What important information about the political and social atmosphere does Shakespeare provide us in the first scene?

The idea behind the festival of Lupercal is that a barren woman touched during the race would become fertile. Calpurnia can’t have children; Caesar needs an heir to the throne.
Julius Caesar – Act One – Scene Two

What does Caesar want Antony to do when he runs by Calpurnia? Why?

“Beware the Ides of March.” Caesar ignores the warning and dismisses the man as crazy.
Julius Caesar – Act One – Scene Two

What does the soothsayer tell Caesar? What is Caesar’s reaction?

Brutus has been concerned and preoccupied. He is worried about Caesar becoming dictator/king of Rome. Cassius takes this concern and exploits it to get Brutus to join the conspiracy.
Julius Caesar – Act One – Scene Two

How has Brutus been feeling lately? How does this open a door for Cassius?

Brutus is hesitant and wary and knows the plot is malicious; this foreshadows an unhappy ending for Brutus as it may end up badly for everyone involved.
Julius Caesar Act One – Scene Two

What is your reactions to Brutus’s lines: “Into what dangers would you lead me, Cassius,/that you would have me seek into myself/for that which is not in me?” What might this hesitation or caution foreshadow?

He loves Rome and the citizens of Rome.
Julius Caesar Act One – Scene Two

What does Brutus love (even more than his own life)?

Caesar dared Cassius to swim in the turbulent water during a storm; they both jumped in, but Caesar panicked and almost drowned in fear; Cassius saved Caesar from drowning. This shows that Caesar may not be as strong as he portrays, and that Cassius is a strong man who sees Caesar as a weak tyrant.
Julius Caesar Act One – Scene Two

Why does Cassius tell Brutus the story about Caesar swimming in the Tiber River? What does this reveal about Caesar? What does this reveal about Cassius?

Brutus hesitates and asks that he have some time to think about the conspiracy.
Julius Caesar Act One – Scene Two

Describe Brutus’s reactions to Cassius’s ideas.

Caesar says that Cassius has an evil look about him, and that he reads too much, observes too well, hates going to plays, dislikes music, doesn’t smile and when he does manage to sneak a smile, Caesar believes Cassius is thinking evil thoughts. Caesar does not fear Cassius, however, because Caesar feels that he is untouchable and fear is cowardly.
Julius Caesar Act One – Scene Two

Why does Caesar distrust Cassius? Why does Caesar not fear Cassius, however?

Caesar is deaf in his left ear.
Julius Caesar Act One – Scene Two

Why does Caesar tell Antony to “Come on his right side?”

Caesar puts on a show by having Antony offer him the crown with the hopes that all of the other commoners and nobles would be happy and let Caesar become king. Caesar did not realize that the crowd still wanted nothing to do with a dictator, so he switches his behavior to the “humble ruler who would never want to be king” routine by refusing the crown which excited the crowd so much that there enthusiasm caused Caesar to have an epileptic seizure.
Julius Caesar Act One – Scene Two

Explain why the crown was offered to Caesar three times. What is your reaction to this spectacle?

At first, the men believe it is all a part of Caesar’s “show,” but then it is speculated that Caesar has epilepsy, called the “falling sickness” at that time. Cassius makes a play on words (sarcasm) telling the men that they have the “falling sickness” because they are falling from their duty if they let Caesar become king.
Julius Caesar Act One – Scene Two

Why does Caesar faint? Why does Cassius say: “No, Caesar hath it now; but you, and I/ And honest Casca, we have the falling sickness?” To what is Cassius referring?

It is ironic because they are all speaking Greek at the time. Casca is trying to tell the men without coming out and telling them that Casca knows what is going on with the conspiracy. At this point in Rome, you have to be careful about what you say because you never know if the people are pro-Caesar or anti-Caesar.
Julius Caesar Act One – Scene Two

The phrase “It’s Greek to me” has become a common saying referring to something that is incomprehensible or meaningless. (Here it talks about the origin of the line.) Explain how Casca’s line is ironic.

Cassius doubts that Brutus will join the conspiracy without some prodding. Cassius knows that Brutus and Caesar have always been close, and if they do not get Brutus on their side, there could be trouble for the conspirators very soon.
Julius Caesar Act One – Scene Two

What doubts does Cassius reveal about Brutus in his soliloquy?

Cassius tells Cinna to drop the papers from the “citizens of Rome” in Brutus’s window. (Forged)
Cassius hopes Brutus will be convinced that the letters are from the citizens, and that Brutus will join the conspiracy.
Julius Caesar Act One – Scene Two

How does Cassius plan to convince Brutus that he is more noble and loved than Caesar?

The weather is dark, stormy, windy, and ominous. It makes the audience feel as if something very bad is about to happen. As the audience we know that Caesar’s days are numbered and wonder when Caesar will be assassinated.
Julius Caesar Act One – Scene Three

What is the weather like at the opening of this scene? How does this contribute to the mood? Why is the mood significant?

Cassius feels vulnerable and would easily die for his treason because he doesn’t know if Brutus will tell Caesar that there is a conspiracy out to kill Caesar. He is testing the gods to see if they believe that it is right to kill Caesar. If Cassius does not get struck by lightning, it is a message from the gods that the conspiracy is doing the correct thing.
Julius Caesar Act One – Scene Three

Why does Cassius say “I have exposed my naked chest to the thunder-bolt”? To what could Cassius be referring?

Casca knows the people love Brutus and will listen to him.
Julius Caesar Act One – Scene Three

Why is Casca eager to convince Brutus to join the conspiracy?

Cassius tells Cinna to drop the forged letters from the “citizens” in Brutus’s window. Cassius hopes Brutus will be convinced that the forged letters are from the “citizens”, and that Brutus will join the conspiracy.
Julius Caesar Act One – Scene Three

What directions does Cassius give Cinna? What does Cassius hope to accomplish with his task?

William Shakespeare
Who wrote Julius Caesar?
1564
date of Shakespeare’s birth
1616
date of Shakespeare’s death
the Globe
At which theater did Shakespeare primarily perform his plays?
Brutus and Julius Caesar
Who are the two tragic heroes in Julius Caesar?
How do you stop a tyrant?
The main question raised in the play Julius Caesar is “_____________________.”
The ends do not justify the means.
What is the main theme (moral) of Julius Caesar?
Machiavellian
The idea that the man of highest ambition and lowest deeds can be worshiped as a god is called the ____________ idea.
Brutus
Who is the most respectable man in the play?
Stoic
Brutus is a(n) _________.
Epicurean
Cassius is a(n) ________.
James Burbage
Who built the first public theater of the Elizabethan Age?
1576
When did James Burbage build the first public theater of the Elizabethan Age?
gallery
a narrow balcony in a theater overlooking the stage
yard
a dirt-floored theater area in a theater where the poorer customers watched the performances
tiring house
area that contained the actors’ dressing rooms, costume rooms, and prop rooms
balcony
area on the second story that contained seating for musicians and nobility
attic
included a storage area and a shelter to protect the stage
Rome
Julius Caesar takes place in ________.
Lupercal
Julius Caesar begins on the feast of the ______________.
Flavius and Marillus
Who are two tribunes in Act 1, Scene 1?
Yes
Did the commoners rejoice in Caesar’s return?
Calpurnia
Who is Julius Caesar’s wife?
Portia
Who is Brutus’ wife?
Ides of March
A soothsayer told Caesar to beware the ________________.
Caesar
Cassius wanted to kill _______________.
jealousy
Cassius’ motivation for conspiring against Caesar is ____________.
left
Caesar was deaf in his ________ ear. (left, right)
falling
Caesar had the __________ sickness.
a crown
What was Caesar offered on the Lupercal?
three
How many times was Caesar offered a crown?
Antony
Who offered the crown to Julius Caesar?
No
Did Caesar accept the crown offered to him?
Brutus
Cassius wanted to win __________ to his side.
letters
Cassius wrote several false _________ to Brutus.

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