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Question 1 Question: Why does Calpurnia tell Caesar not to stir out of the house?

Answer: Calpurnia has seen many unnatural things happen. Her own "inner self" has frightened her that something horrible was going to take place. She has a dream in which she sees Caesar's statue pouring forth blood and Romans dipping their hands into it, so she advises Caesar to remain indoors. Question 2 Question: What horrible things did the watchman see in the streets? Answer: The watchman had seen a lioness whelping in the sheets, graves opening and giving out the dead, fiery warriors had been seen fighting in the clouds and blood drizzling upon the capitol. Ghosts shrieked and squealed in the streets. Question 3 Question: How does Caesar react to Calpurnias" fears" in the beginning? Answer: Caesar remains unruffled at what Calpurnia states about the unnatural things. He says that anything whose end is purposed by the mighty Gods can't be avoided. Question 4 Question: What are Caesars views about men and death?

Question: What did Calpurnia dream of Caesar which makes the fear for him?
Answer: Calpurnia dreamed of Caesar's stature which like a fountain had a hundred spouts. Pure blood ran from them and lusty Romans came smiling and dipped their hands into these. Calpurnia saw this dream and regarded it as inauspicious and ominous and requested Caesar not to go out of the house.

Question 6 Back to Top Question: What interpretation did Brutus give of Calpurnia's dream about Caesar? Answer: Brutus said that Caesar's statue spouting blood in which many Romans bathed their hands signifies that Rome shall be great. Metaphorically, it stands for Caesar's "spirit" and signifies that it will serve as colours to a coat of arms an object of reverence; mementoes and a bridge of service. Question 7 Back to Top Question: Why does Calpurnia say Caesar's "wisdom" is consumed in confidence? What does she mean by it? Answer: Calpurnia says that Caesar's wisdom is overshadowed by over-confidence. He is wise no doubt, but he should not be over-confident about that whatever he sees to be always right and auspicious for him. Question 8 Back to Top

Question: What are the arguments put forward by Decuis Brutus to convince Caesar to go to the Capitol?

Answer: Brutus gives a positive interpretation to Calpurnia's dream of Caesar. He says that the dream signifies that Caesar will be so great that all will seek him in great honour. Secondly, if Caesar does not go to the senate that day, the senators may change thei mind about offering the crown to him. Question 9 Back to Top Question: Why is Decius Brutus more successful than Calpurnia in persuading Caesar to go to the senate house? Answer: Decius Brutus is a close and honourable friend of Caesar. He is known for his uprightness, honesty and integrity. So whatever Brutus says is believed wholeheartedly by Caesar to be true and appropriate. Besides Brutus uses the right argument when he says that the senate may not offer Caesar the crown if he didnt go that day. It works very well, as Caesar believes this to be true.

Question 10 Back to Top Question: Why does Cimber crouch so low before Caesar and how does Caesar react to it? Answer: As per the plans of the Conspirators, Metellus Cimber crouches very low before Caesar to repeal the order of banishing his brother from Rome. Cimber bends so low that Caesar looks at it as "fawning" (flattering) and that it reminds him of a low bred dog and if Cimber continues to do so, he will treat him like a low bred dog by kicking him out of his way. Caesar says that he is like the Northern star fixed and permanent and constant. Once he has made a decision and moreover the right one, he was not going to change it or repeal the order. Question 11 Back to Top Question: Who says "Et tu Brute" ? When are these words spoken? Why?

Answer: Brutus is a very close and a sincere confidante of Caesar. He along with some of the others conspire to kill Caesar. When Brutus stabs Caesar, Caesar is shocked out of his wits and says "Et tu Brute" meaning you too Brutus? Caesar cannot face the fact that Brutus has also joined hands with the others to conspire to kill him. Question 12 Back to Top Question: In the moments following Caesar's death, what do the conspirators proclaim to justify Caesar's death?

Answer: The conspirators proclaim "liberty, freedom and enfranchisement" in the moments following Caesar's murder for the sake of democracy; freedom and glory of the country. They all justify Brutus reason for killing Caesar - that he had grown too "ambitious" and it was not good for Rome or its people. Question 13 Back to Top
Question: How does Antony react on seeing Caesar's dead body? Answer: Antony is overwhelmed with grief on seeing Caesar's dead body. He exclaims that inspite of Caesars' conquests, glories, triumphs and spoils, he lies so "low". He offers to be killed and lie by Caesar's side whom he calls the choice and master spirits of this age and "most noble". Question 14 Back to Top Question: How do Brutus and Cassius respond to Antony's speech when he sees Caesar's body and speaks?

Answer: Brutus asks Antony not to beg for his own death because they had killed Caesar with a purpose. They are not Antony's enemies. He offers his arms of friendship to Antony and proclaims him to be their friend. Cassius says that with Antony by their side he shall be strong like the others and Antony's words shall carry as much weight as anybody else's in the distribution of the new offices and honours.

Question 15 Back to Top Question: On what condition does Anthony offer his "friendship" to Brutus and Cassius?

Answer: Antony tells Cassius that he is willing to go along with them and be their friend. But he needs to know the reason why they killed Caesar and how he was, as they say, dangerous to the country. He also wants to be allowed to speak about Caesar at his funeral. Question 16 Back to Top
Question: Why does Cassius object to allowing Antony to speak at Caesar's funeral? How does Brutus overcome this objection? Answer: Cassius fears that in speaking at Caesar's funeral Antony may move the people against them. Brutus over rules this objection stating that he himself would speak first and give the reasons for Caesar's death. Antony could speak after him and shall not blame them for Caesar's death. Also he will tell the people that he has been allowed to speak about Caesar with their permission. He should speak only after Brutus has spoken and also from the same pulpit. Question 17 Back to Top Question: What are the conditions imposed upon Antony by the conspirators before allowing him to speak at Caesar's funeral? Answer: The conspirators agree to allow Antony to speak, but Brutus would speak first, giving reasons for killing Caesas. Antony could speak only after Brutus had finished speaking and he must tell the people that he had been given permission to speak by them. He would speak in the same pulpit where (from) Brutus will speak from. Finally, Antony must not blame them for Caesar's death in his funeral speech. Question 18 Back to Top Question: When Antony is alone with Caesar's body, how does he address it and what does he call the conspirators?

Answer: Antony begs pardon that he is meek and gentle with the butchers, meaning the killers of Caesar. He calls Caesar "bleeding piece of earth" , and " the ruins of the noblest man that ever lived in the tide of times" . He curses the hand that shed the costly blood of Caesar. He calls the conspirators "butchers". Question 19 Back to Top
Question: What predictions does Antony make regarding the future events in Rome? Answer: Antony predicts that "domestic fury" and "fierce civil strife" shall spread in Italy. Blood and destruction shall rage the country. Mothers shall go mad and smile when they see their children slaughtered. The earth shall be covered with dead bodies lying for burial. Caesar's spirit shall roam about for revenge and his spirit will be accompanied by Ate, the goddess of strife, who would come in hot haste from hell. Question 20 Back to Top Question: What reasons does Brutus give for murdering Caesar? Answer: Brutus says that he loved Caesar, but loved Rome more. If Caesar had lived, he would have made all the Romans slaves because he was "ambitious". Would the people of Rome have liked that? They killed Caesar, so that the people of Rome could be free. Brutus puts Caesar in poor light saying that Caesar was ambitious and that he did it for the good of his country and his countrymen.

Question 21 Back to Top

Question: Who says "let him be Caesar" ? What light does this throw on the speaker?
Answer: "Let him be Caesar" is spoken by the third citizen representing the mob. The mob is fickle-minded and this fickleness is seen in the fact that the mob hails Brutus now without thinking rationally. Question 22 Back to Top Question: How effective is Antony's speech at Caesar's funeral?

Answer: Antony as we can see, is a master manipulator, in his funeral speech. He appeals to the sentiments of the mob. He first sides with his conspirators, but as he proceeds he proves to the mob that Caesar was not ambitious. He gave all his possessions to the people of Rome as he had written in his will. This incites the mob and they want to chase the conspirators to kill them. Question 23 Back to Top
Question: Why does Antony say that he doesnt want to read Caesar's will before the mob? Answer: Antony says so only to rouse the mob against the conspirators. He says so because if they come to know that Caesar has given them his every thing they will beg a hair or nail of Caesar for memory, as a relic, because Caesar was so great. They would like to kiss his wounds and dip their handkerchiefs in his sacred blood as a rich legacy for their children. Question 24 Back to Top Question: How does Antony prove that Caesar was never ambitious? Answer: Antony says that on the lupercal he presented Caesar the kingly crown thrice. But Caesar refused it. Caesar offered his orchards and private properties to the Romans for their use and pleasure and seventy-five silver coins to each and every countrymen. If he had been "ambitious" he wouldn't have done all these things. Question 25 Back to Top Question: At the end of the scene, what is the fate of Brutus and Cassius? Answer: Antony had successfully instigated the mob to mutiny against and rage the houses of the conspirators. They set the benches and windows on fire. They burnt Caesar's body in the holy place and with the brands and torches set fire to the traitors houses. Question 26 Back to Top

Question: After reading Julius Caesar what conclusions do you draw about the Roman mob of the day? Answer: Fickle The most outstanding trait of the mob is its fickleness. A clever person can lead it as he likes. So when Brutus speaks the mob adores him. They want him to be Caesar. They want to crown and honour him in every possible way, but as Antony has spoken, the same mob cries for revenge and wants to kill Brutus and his companions. Foolish and emotional Roman mob is made of foolish people who are sentimental and incapable of judging a situation or a person properly. The description of the way Caesar was killed brings tears to their eyes. Greedy Antony knows that the common Romans are greedy. Caesar has left seventy five silver coins for each Roman and the mob immediately cries "Noble Caesar" . Violent The mob is violent. They always seem ready to attack those they don't like. They call for burning of Brutus's house and killing all the conspirators.

Question: Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow.

Calpurnia Caesar, I never stood on ceremonies, Yet now they fright me. There is one within, Besides the things that we have heard and seen, Recounts most horrid sights seen by the watch.
a) When does Calpurnia speak these lines. b) What is "One million" and "without" that has frightened her the most? c) How does Caesar react to these premonitions? Answer: a) Calpurnia speaks these lines to Caesar before he gets ready to go to the Senate house. b) Calpurnia has seen a horrible dream about Caesar's statue spouting pure blood and the Romans bathing their hands into it. Then the watchman has seen unnatural things occurring outside. These two are internal and external things. c) Caesar states that nothing can be avoided and the end is purposed by the Gods. He doesnt give much importance to these premonitions.

Question 28 Back to Top Question: Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow. Caesar Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once. Of all the wonders that I yet have heard. It seems to me most strange that men should fear; Seeing that death, a necessary end, Will come when it will come. a) When does Caesar speak these lines? b) What is most strange for Caesar? c) How does Calpurnia react to Caesar's attitude to her premonition?

Answer: a) Caesar speaks these lines to Calpurnia when she pleads before him not to go to the senate house as she has seen a horrible dream about him. b) A strange thing for Caesar is that men fear death when they know it is inevitable and it shall come when it comes.

c) Calpurnia reacts stating that Caesars "wisdom is confused with confidence. "She continues to plead with him not to leave the house. Question 29 Back to Top Question: Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow. Your statue spouting blood in many pipes, In which so many smiling Romans bathed, Signifies that from you great Rome shall suck Reviving blood, and that great men shall press For tinctures, stain, relics and cognizance. a) Who speaks these lines and to whom? b) What is Brutu's interpretation of Calpurneas dream? c) Is the speaks giving the right meaning? Why?

Answer: a) Decius Brutus speaks these lines to Julius Caesar b) Brutus interpretes Calpurnias dream of Caesar in his favour, saying that the blood spouted by Caesar's statue signifies that Caesar's honour shall increase. His blood will serve as colour added to a coat of arms; be an object of reverence, mementoes and a badge of service. c) Decius Brutus misinterprets Calpurnias dreams of Caesar for his own advantage. He has conspired with others to murder Caesar that day in the senate house. He knows that Caesar is credulous so he deliberately gives Calpurnia's dream a different interpretation to serve his own motive

Question 30 Back to Top Question: Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow. For your part, To you our swords have leaden points, Mark Antony: Our arms, in strength of malice, and our hearts Of brothers' temper, do receive you in With all kind love, good thoughts and reverence. a) Who is speaking these lines and to whom? b) How do the murderers of Caesar receive Mark Antony? c) How do the conspirators think mark Antony will be helpful in friendship?

Answer: a) Brutus is speaking these lines to Anthony after the murder of Caesar. b) The murderers of Caesar receive Mark Antony as a friend with kind love and good thoughts and respect.

c) The conspirators think that Antony will strengthen their voices in disposing of new dignities as Cassius states. Question 31 Back to Top Question: Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow. Antony That's all I seek: And am moreover suitor that I may Produce his body to the market-place; And in the pulpit, as becomes a friend, Speak in the order of his funeral. a) What does Antony seek? b) Why does Antony want to produce Caesar's body at the market place? c) How does Cassius react to Antony's request?

Answer: a) Antony seeks to know why the conspirators murdered Caesar and how/what made him an ambitious man. b) Antony wants to produce Caesars dead body at the market place to turn the tables against the conspirators and bring the mob against the murderers of Caesar. c) Cassius doesn't want Antony to speak at Caesar's funeral because he has apprehensions that Antony may move the Roman people against them.

Julius Caesar Summary Julius Caesar is the story of a man's personal dilemma over moral action, set against a backdrop of political drama. Julius Caesar, an able general and a conqueror, returns to Rome amidst immense popularity after defeating the sons of Pompey. The people celebrate his victorious return and he is offered the crown by Mark Anthony which he refuses. Jealous of Caesar's growing power and afraid he may one day become a dictator, Cassius instigates, a conspiracy to murder Caesar. He realizes that to gain legitimacy in the eyes of the Romans, he must win over the noble Brutus to his side, for Brutus is the most trusted and respected in Rome. Brutus, the idealist joins the conspiracy, feeling everyone is driven by motives as honourable as his own. Ironically, Caesar is murdered at the foot of Pompey's statue. The present extract is from the five Act play. It dramatizes how Caesar is murdered, and how his close friend Mark Anthony cleverly turns the mob against his conspirators. At the same time, different characters are laid bare in their moral uprightness in the backdrop of political and personal compulsions. The fickle nature of the mob is also beautifully revealed. The setting is in Caesar's house. Caesar says that there is great turmoil in the sky and on earth. Calpurnia who is Caesar's wife had cried out in her sleep, asking for help, on seeing him murdered. She enters and asks her husband not to go to the senate house. Calpurnia says that the guard had seen many unnatural occurances of horrifying dimensions. All of these were ominous and indicated that a tragedy would befall Caesar if he went out of the house. But Caesar said that only cowards die many times before their death. The valiant die only once. He finds it strange that people fear death when they see it as a necessary end. He agrees not to go but Brutus interpretation of the dream turns Caesar to overrule Calpurnia's fears. Caesar say that Calpurnia saw in a dream his statue "like a fountain with a hundred spouts" and running blood in which Romans bathed their hands. But Brutus twisted the interpretation saying that it indicated that from Caesar, Rome shall be great and his blood would serve as colours added to a coat of arms, as an object of reverence, mementos etc. Brutus also says that the Roman senators wanted to offer mighty Caesar the crown. If he doesnt go that day, they may change their minds. This proves very effective on Caesar's credulous mind, and he at once gets ready to go. Before the capitol, as per the plan of the conspirators, Metellus Cimber bows low before Caesar, pleading and fawning before him for recalling his brothers, who had been banished from Rome by a decree. But Caesar said that he is constant like the Northern Star and shall not repeal the decree. At this, the conspirators stab Caesar one by one. Brutus, too, stabs Caesar at which Casesar exclaims. Et, tu, Brute. Then Caesar dies.

Anthony enters and seeing Caesar lying dead says how Caesar with his conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils has shrunk to a "little measure". He addresses Brutus, Cassius and others and requests them to kill him too because he finds it a suitable place and time to lie by Caesar. But Brutus says that their hearts are pitiful and they receive him with all kind love, good thoughts and reverence. He perceives the situation mentally and begs to be excused by Caesar's dead body for "making his peace with his foes". Cassius asks Anthony whether they should treat him as their friend or foe. At this, Anthony states that he is their friend but they must give him reasons why Caesar was "dangerous" and why they killed him, he also says that he would like to produce Caesar's body at the market place and speak at his funeral, Brutus says that he will be told the reason. Cassius, however, fears that Anthony might move the people's hearts against them. Brutus says then, that Anthony shall not blame them for Caesar's death and he will speak only after Brutus has spoken and with his permission. Anthony is now alone with Caesar's dead body. He calls it the "bleeding price of earth" and calls the conspirators "butchers". Looking at Caesar, he calls him the ruins of noblest man that ever lived. He predicts that Caesar's murder will trigger a spate of calamities in the whole of Italy. "Domestic fury", "fierce civil strife" shall rage in horrible proportions. Blood and destruction will now be common. Mothers shall see their infants killed before their own eyes. Caesar's spirit shall come out hot from hell and wander in the streets to take revenge. In the market place, Brutus is in the pulpit and addresses the mob. He tells the mob that they killed Caesar because he had become ambitious and posed a threat to the country and all the countrymen would have become his slaves. Hearing this explanation, the mob approves the conspirators action in murdering Caesar. They hail Brutus and chant "Let him be Caesar". Brutus then tells the mob to listen to Antony who was going to speak with his permission; and requests the mob to be silent and stay on till Anthony has finished speaking. Anthony then addresses the mob in a very diplomatic manner. He says that he has not come to praise Caesar, but to bury him, for the evil that men do, lives after them and the good is interred with their bones. He says that Caesar was ambitious and he has rightly answered for it in his death. But in the next breath he explodes this by stating that Ceasar brought many prisoners home to Rome and their ransoms helped to fill the state treasury. If Brutus says that Caesar was ambitious, then ambition should be made of sterner stuff. He says sarcastically and repeatedly that Brutus is an "honourable" man. Caesar was offered the crown, thrice, but thrice he did refuse. Was this ambition? He says that they once loved Caesar, but asks what held them back from mourning for him now?

The mob sees reason in Anthony's speech and remarks. Anthony further states that if he stirs their hearts to mutiny and rage, they would do Brutus and Cassius wrong, but both Brutus and Cassius are honourable men. He has found Caesar's will in his cupboard. He doesnt want to read it, because if he does so, they would dip their napkins in his sacred blood. They could ask for Caesar's hair to keep it as a relic. The mob is now aroused. It demands that Anthony read Caesar's will. Antony asks the mob to make a circle around Caesar's dead body, they are very impatient to hear what Caesar had written in his will. Antony confesses that by reading Caesar's will, he will be doing a great injustice to his murderers, who are so called honorable men. He rouses the mob's emotion and impatience by pointing out to the holes made by the conspirators on Caesars body. The cloak that Caesar was wearing was the same one that he had worn when he won victory over Nervie. In that same cloak were now holes made by the dagger thrust by Cassius and Brutus to stab Caesar. Brutus was very dear to Caesar. So much blood rushed out of Caesar when Brutus stabbed him, showing how unkind Brutus was to him. Caesar never would have expected Brutus to do what he did as Brutus was Caesar's well-loved friend. Was it not ingratitude? It must have broken Caesar's heart. It was a great fall for Caesar; very shocking indeed. Antony goes on to state that he is not as good a orator as Brutus, but he is a plain and blunt man, who loved his friend Caesar very dearly. He speakes only the truth, unlike Brutus who was good at prejudiced speeches. By now, the mob is totally moved, full of anger and see through Brutus and the conspirators wrongful act, they want to riot and burn down the house of Brutus. They now want to pursue the conspirators and want to kill them; but before that they want to know what is in Caesar's will. Anthony reads the will. Caesar has left all his private houses, his newly-planted orchards for all his countrymen to enjoy and their future generations to come. He has also given to every Roman seventy-five silver coins. All his properties now belong to the Romans and they can use them for their pleasure. Can Rome have had another man like Caesar, Antony asks the mob. Now the mob is fully charged, full of anger and passion and they rise in mutiny against the conspirators. They carry torches of fire in their hands, pull down everything around them to make the torches. Finally, Anthony remarks that he has instigated the mutiny, now let the mob take any course they like.

Act 1
1) Why are the tribunes Flavius and Marullus so upset at the opening of the play? The tribunes are angry that the working class citizens of Rome gather to celebrate Caesars victory, while forgetting Pompey, the Roman hero (and a part of the First Triumvirate that ruled Rome) who was killed in battle alongside Caesar. Their hostility toward Caesar serves to introduce the deep political divide that will become the central issue of the play. 2) What holiday are the Roman masses celebrating at the time of Caesar's return? Caesar's triumph coincides with the feast of Lupercal, which was celebrated on February 15th. The festivities were in honor of Lupercus, the god of nature (Pan in Greek mythology). 3) Describe Caesar's encounter with the soothsayer. As Caesar passes through the crowd the soothsayer cries out to him, warning him to "beware the ides of March." Caesar dismisses the soothsayer as a dreamer and continues on. Caesars encounter with the soothsayer foreshadows his assassination in the senate in 3.1. Note that in the ancient Roman calendar the "ides" was the fifteenth day of March, May, July, and October, and the thirteenth day of the other months. Gaius Julius Caesar was assassinated on March 15, 44 BC. 4) What is most significant about the meeting between Cassius and Brutus in 1.2.? Cassius presents his best argument to convince Brutus, his close friend and brother-in-law, to conspire with him to assassinate Caesar. Brutus reveals he has concerns about the state of the Republic, but will not commit outright to join with Cassius. 5) How does Cassius trick Brutus into joining the conspirators? Cassius fabricates a petition, pretending it is from the angry citizens demanding Caesar's removal, and he throws it in Brutus's window. The welfare of Rome drives Brutus, and Cassius knows Brutus will give the people what they desire. Act 2 1) How does Portia prove she is worthy to hear the plans of her husband, Brutus? Portia cuts herself in the thigh and suffers the pain of both the wound and the infection it causes in silence. Her show of bravery and self-control convinces Brutus she is "stronger than her sex" (2.1.296) and he agrees to confide in her, only to be interrupted before he has a chance. 2) After an ominous dream, Calpurnia begs Caesar to stay away from the senate and, at first, he agrees. What changes his mind? Decius, a conspirator whose role it is to guarantee Caesar is in the Capitol that day, favorably interprets Calpurnia's dream and then chides Caesar for yielding to his wife's whims. Decius adds that the senate is planning again to offer Caesar a crown, and Caesar gives in to vanity. He leaves Calpurnia and accompanies Decius to the Capitol. Act 3 1) What is the significance of Caesar's dying words, "Et tu, Brute? Then fall, Caesar!"? The conspirators gather around Caesar and he sees his trusted friend Brutus among them. Stunned that Brutus is among his assassins, Caesar cries out, "and you too, Brutus?" This famous line is important because it sets Brutus apart from the other conspirators. There is no doubt that Brutus's self-serving and ambitious accomplices have committed an indefensible act, but with Caesar's final utterance we recognize that the self-sacrificing and noble Brutus has perpetrated the same heinous crime his motivation is rendered immaterial. For this moment, Brutus the idealist becomes Brutus the murderer. 2) Who turns the people of Rome against Brutus? After Brutus addresses the Plebeians, successfully assuring them that Caesar's murder was necessary to preserve their freedoms (3.2.13-37), Antony delivers his cleverly crafted speech in defense of Caesar. While making sure not to condemn Brutus and the conspirators, he argues that Caesar had no plan to turn Rome into a dictatorship. He reminds the crowd that Caesar was offered a "kingly crown" (3.2.102) three times and refused each time. 3) Describe the encounter between Brutus and Caesar's ghost. Cassius retires for the evening and Brutus calls two of his servants, Claudio and Varro, to stay with him through the night. The boys quickly fall asleep and Brutus starts to read. With the flicker of the candle Brutus's eyes are distracted upward, to see the ghost of Caesar standing beside him. The ghost tells Brutus that they will meet again at Philippi and vanishes. Act 5 1) Cassius asks Brutus what he plans to do if they should lose the battle. What is Brutus's response? Brutus says that, since he finds the act of suicide cowardly and vile (5.1.104), he will have little choice but to be patient and yield to whatever fate dictates (5.1.106-08). He adds that he will never return to Rome as a prisoner. That Brutus nevertheless dies by his own hand at the end of the play adds to his tragedy. 2) How does Cassius die? Cassius knows that he too will soon be captured by Antony and Octavius, and will certainly be dragged through the streets of Rome in chains. He orders Pindarus to hold his sword while he impales his chest on the blade. 3) Explain the significance of Antony's final speech, beginning with the line, "This was the noblest Roman of them all" (5.5.68). Antony's speech serves to restore Brutus to the position of tragic hero. Antony can see in Brutus the morality he does not himself possess - the capability to act selflessly for the common good. Brutus's pride and political naivety have led to his destruction, but his ideals are etched into the memory of his enemies.

1. I could be well moved if I were as you. If I could pray to move, prayers would move me. But I am constant as the Northern Star, Of whose true fixed and resting quality There is no fellow in the firmament. The skies are painted with unnumbered sparks; They are all fire, and every one doth shine; But theres but one in all doth hold his place. (III.i.5865) Explanation for Quotation 1 >> These lines come from Caesars speech in Act III, scene i, just before his assassination. The conspirators have come to Caesar in the Senate under the pretense of pleading for amnesty for Metelluss banished brother, Publius Cimber. Caesar replies that he will adhere to his word and not change his earlier decision. Comparing himself to the North Star, Caesar boasts of his constancy, his commitment to the law, and his refusal to waver under any persuasion. This comparison implies more than steadfastness, however: the North Star is the star by which sailors have navigated since ancient times, the star that guides them in their voyages, just as Caesar leads the Roman people. So, too, is the North Star unique in its fixedness; as the only star that never changes its position in the sky, it has no fello w in the firmament. Thus, Caesar also implies that he is peerless among Romans. Caesar declares that he alone remains unassailable among men, and his strictness in Publius Cimbers case illustrates this virtue. As it comes mere moments before the murder, the speech adds much irony to the scene: having just boasted that he is unassailable, Caesar is shortly assailed and killed. In announcing his constancy, Caesar claims permanency, immortality even. The assassins quickly prove Caesar mortal, however. But as the later events of the play reveal, Caesars influence and eternality are undeniable. His ghost seems to live on to avenge the murder: Brutus and Cassius directly attribute much of their misfortune to Caesars workings from beyond the grave; so, too, does the name Caesar undergo metamorphosis from an individual mans name to the title of an institutionthe empiric rule of Romeby the end of the play. In these more important ways, Caesars lofty estimation of himself proves true.

2. He was my friend, faithful and just to me. But Brutus says he was ambitious, And Brutus is an honourable man. ... When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept. ... Yet Brutus says he was ambitious, And Brutus is an honourable man. ... I thrice presented him a kingly crown, Which he did thrice refuse. Was this ambition? Yet Brutus says he was ambitious, And sure he is an honourable man. (III.ii.8296) Explanation for Quotation 2 >> Antony speaks these lines in his funeral oration for Caesar in Act III, scene ii. He has asked Brutuss permission to make th e speech, and Brutus foolishly allows him the privilege, believing that the boost in image that he and the conspirators will receive for this act of apparent magnanimity will outweigh any damage that Antonys words might do. Unfortunately for the conspirators, Antonys speech is a rhetorical tour de force, undermining the conspirators even while it appears deferential to them. This clever strategy recalls the previous scene (III.i), in which Antony shook hands with each of the murderers in turn, thus smearing Caesars blood among all of them; while appearing to make a gesture of reconcili ation, he silently marked them all as guilty. In both the handshake and the speech, Antony damns the murderers while appearing to pay respect, showing his consummate skill as a politician and rhetorician. The speech draws much of its power from repetition. Each time Antony cites Brutuss claim that Caesar was ambitious, the cl aim loses force and credibility. Similarly, each time Antony declares how honourable a man Brutus is, the phrase accrues an increasingly sarcastic tone until, by the end of the speech, its meaning has been completely inverted. The speech wins over the crowd and turns public opinion against the conspirators; when Antony reads Caesars will aloud a few moments later, the dead Caesars words join with Antonys in rousing the masses agains t the injustice of the assassination.

3. [My horse] is a creature that I teach to fight, To wind, to stop, to run directly on, His corporal motion governed by my spirit; And in some taste is Lepidus but so. He must be taught, and trained, and bid go forth A barren-spirited fellow, one that feeds On objects, arts, and imitations, Which, out of use and staled by other men, Begin his fashion. Do not talk of him But as a property. (IV.i.3140) Explanation for Quotation 3 >> In this passage from Act IV, scene i, in which Antony and Octavius (with Lepidus, who has just left the room) are making plans to retake Rome, the audience gains insight into Antonys cynicism regarding human nature: while he respects certain men, he considers Lepidus a m ere tool, or property, whose value lies in what other men may do with him and not in his individual human dignity. Comparing Lepidus to his horse, Antony says that the general can be trained to fight, turn, stop, or run straight he is a mere body subject to the will of another. The quote raises questions about what qualities make for an effective or valuable military man, politician, and ally. Antony remarks that Lepidus feeds / On objects, arts, and imitations, / Which, out of use and staled by other men, / Begin his fashion. By this critici sm he means that Lepidus centers his life on insubstantial things, prizing what other men have long since discarded as stale or devoid of flavor and interest; that is, Lepidus lacks his own will and convictions. While Lepiduss weak sense of selfhood means that he can easily be used as a tool by other men, it also means that he can be counted on to be obedient and loyal. Lepidus is thus absorbed into the threesome (with Antony and Octavius) that rules Rome after Caesars death, ultimately coming into power and political prestige with little effort or sacrifice. In Julius Caesar, men such as Brutus and Caesar are punished in the mortal realm for their inflexible commitment to specific ideals. Though Antony criticizes Lepidus, perhaps Shakespeare is subtly suggesting that a man such as Lepidus, barren-spirited and seemingly lacking in ambition, will be as satisfied in the political realm as his more directed counterpar ts.

4. We at the height are ready to decline. There is a tide in the affairs of men Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life Is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, And we must take the current when it serves, Or lose our ventures. (IV.ii.269276) Explanation for Quotation 4 >> Brutus speaks these words in Act IV, scene ii in order to convince Cassius that it is time to begin the battle against Octavius and Antony. He speaks figuratively of a tide in the lives of human beings: if one takes advantage of the high tide, one may float out to sea and travel far; if one misses this chance, the voyage that ones life comprises will remain forever confined to the shallows, and one will never experience anything more glorious than the mundane events in this narrow little bay. Brutus reproaches Cassius that if they do not take the current now, when the time is right, they will lose their ventures, or opportunities. The passage elegantly formulates a complex conception of the interplay between fate and free will in human life. Throughout the play, the reader must frequently contemplate the forces of fate versus free will and ponder whether characters might be able to prevent tragedy if they could only understand and heed the many omens that they encounter. This musing brings up further questions, such as whether one can achieve success through virtue, ambition, courage, and commitment or whether one is simply fated to succeed or fail, with no ability to affect this destiny. Here, Brutus conceives of life as influenced by both fate and free will: human beings must be shrewd enough to recognize when fate offers them an opportunity and bold enough to take advantage of it. Thus, Brutus believes, does man achieve a delicate and valuable balance between fate and free will. This philosophy seems wise; it contains a certain beauty as well, suggesting that while we do not have total control over our lives, we do have a responsibility to take what few measures we can to live nobly and honorably. The only problem, as the play illustrates over and over again, is that it is not always so easy to recognize these nudges of fate, be they opportunities or warnings. The characters repeated failures to interpret signs correctly and to adapt themselves to events as they unfold form the basis for most of the tragedy that occurs in the play.

Caesar: "Cowards die many times before their deaths, The valiant never taste of death but once." Julius Caesar (II, ii, 32-37)Caesar's wife, Calpurnia, has had dreams in which her husband was murdered. At Caesar's request, the priests have sacrificed an animal which, upon being cut open, was discovered to have no heart. And so they sent word to Caesar that he should stay home on this fateful day, the ides of March, which the Soothsayer had already warned him about earlier in the play. Caesar muses, ""What can be avoided /Whose end is purposed by the mighty gods?" In other words, if the gods are predicting that he is going to die, then how will he get around it? He goes on to encourage his wife with the now-famous lines, finding it strange that men fear death so much, when death is inevitable in every man's life. He has been a strong and brave man, and has not wasted precious hours of his life anticipating tragedy.