Read the list of themes below and complete the instruction that follows.
The effects of power
Betrayal and friendship
Honor and integrity
Fate vs. free will
Choose one of the above universal themes and explain the ways that The Tragedy of Julius Caesar develops it.
Betrayal and friendship: Brutus and Caesar were friends, but Brutus betrayed him for the good of Rome.
Which relationship from The Tragedy of Julius Caesar does not explore the theme of betrayal?
Mark Antony and Caesar
After reading The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, why would a reader consider Cassius to be Brutus’ foil? Support your answer with specific examples of the contrast in their character traits.
Cassius would be consider Brutus’ foil because his traits of being a cunning and corrupt person, contrast Brutus who is honest and naive.
In act 5.3 of The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, Pindarus, a servant of Cassius, mistakenly informs his master that Brutus is dead. This information leads to Cassius’ suicide. Scholars question whether it was a mistake or intentional misinformation from Pindarus.
Which theme describes this scenario best?
After reading The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, why could the reader consider Mark Antony the antagonist of Brutus?
Mark Antony poses problems for and works against Brutus, who strives to live the Republic’s ideals.
Read the excerpts below from act 5.3 and act 5.5 of The Tragedy of Julius Caesar and answer the question that follows.
To PINDARUS upon learning of BRUTUS’ “death”
Guide thou the sword.
PINDARUS stabs him
Caesar, thou art revenged,
Even with the sword that killed thee.
Runs on his sword
Caesar, now be still.
I killed not thee with half so good a will.
Were Cassius’ and Brutus’ deaths the work of fate or free will? Explain the ways that their deaths address the theme of fate vs. free will.
Cassius’ and Brutus’ death was fate because either way they would have died by their own hand or by Octavius and Antony.
Based on your reading of The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, whom do you think is a tragic hero: Julius Caesar or Brutus? Support your answer by using the traits of the Tragic Hero archetype.
Brutus was a tragic hero because he was trying to do everything for the good of Rome, not for himself.
What is the difference between flat and round characters?
Flat characters are one-dimensional characters with less important story lines; round characters are multifaceted with story lines that are essential to the plot.
How is the soothsayer an archetype in The Tragedy of Julius Caesar?
The soothsayer represents a symbolic pattern, the Wise Old Man.
After reading The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, why could the reader consider Brutus the protagonist of the play?
Brutus’ story is the focus of the play.
Which trait does not describe Cassius?
Read the excerpt below from act 5.3 of The Tragedy of Julius Caesar and answer the question that follows.
Friends, I owe more tears
To this dead man than you shall see me pay.—
I shall find time, Cassius; I shall find time.
Which universal theme does this passage not address?
How are Caesar’s and Brutus’ tragic flaws different?
Caesar’s tragic flaw is his ambition; Brutus’ flaw is his idealism.
Which characters in The Tragedy of Julius Caesar fit the Tragic Hero archetype?
Julius Caesar and Brutus
Which archetype fits Brutus’ character in The Tragedy of Julius Caesar?
Which situation best exemplifies the theme of power in The Tragedy of Julius Caesar?
Mark Antony and Octavius’ argument regarding Lepidus’ suitability for the Second Triumvirate
Because The Tragedy of Julius Caesar deals with themes like power, ambition, friendship, death, and loss, its lesson are __________, relevant to society across the ages.
How does Brutus’ tragic flaw of idealism contribute to his downfall?
Brutus bases his decision to assassinate Caesar on what he believes is best for Rome. After killing Caesar, the Republic still falls apart, and Brutus eventually dies.
Why is Caesar considered a round character in The Tragedy of Julius Caesar?
Caesar is multifaceted: he is stubborn and proud, and the plebeians adore him, while the senators hate him. His story line is essential to the plot.
Who is not a flat character in The Tragedy of Julius Caesar?