Julius Caesar Study Questions and Answers
Study these questions and answers to help you prepare for an upcoming quiz or test. This covers some of the most important material from the play, and is bound to be on a test.
Several individuals tried to warn Caesar. List three of them and explain Shakespeare’s purpose in the warnings.
- The soothsayer warns Caesar to “Beware the Ides of March!” Caesar calls him a fool. Calpurnia warns Caesar about a dream she had. Willing at first to heed the warning, Caesar scorns her for making him look like a coward. Artemidorus writes Caesar a letter, which Caesar refuses to read before he gets to the Capitol.
- Shakespeare shows the reader, through these warnings, that Caesar thinks highly of himself and has already turned his back on those who brought him success, just as Brutus predicts. Caesar’s physical deafness, his inability to hear, correlates with Caesar’s inability to listen.
Brutus is considered the most important member of the conspiracy, yet his mistakes doom it. List two mistakes Brutus makes and explain the effect his mistakes have on the attempted coup.
- Brutus argues in favor of sparing Marc Antony, claiming that killing Antony would make them appear as butchers. After Caesar is assassinated, Brutus allows Antony to speak at Caesar’s funeral. Bad idea.
How does Marc Antony’s image change throughout the play?
- Antony is looked upon as an irresponsible kid who likes to attend plays and go out at night. He was Caesar’s loyal assistant. That Antony loved Caesar there is no doubt. There is, however, ample evidence that Antony was the “sleek-headed man” of whom Caesar warns in Act I. His oration at Caesar’s funeral was more than an attempt to avenge Caesar’s death. It was a power grab. Antony speaks of Caesar’s will. During the civil war that follows, he changes the will. Antony ruthlessly orders the murder of hundreds of citizens.
What does Shakespeare’s portrayal of the commoners imply?
- As the play opens, commoners are celebrating in the streets of Rome until Flavius and Marullus shame them into returning to their homes. Flavius points out that the crowds did the same exact thing for Pompey, showing the reader how fickle the commoners were. Brutus speaks first at Caesar’s funeral and by the end, the crowd wishes to kill anyone who would speak against him. After Antony’s speech, the crowd wants to kill Brutus along with the remaining conspirators. This stupidity reaches extreme heights as the mob kills Cinna the poet simply for having the same name as one of the conspirators.
Antony calls Brutus’ stab wound on Caesar, “the most unkindest cut of all.” What does that mean?
- The ultimate insult to Caesar was the betrayal by his friend, Brutus. Criticism from enemies is expected. From friends, it is devastating.
How does Antony keep his promise to Brutus and Cassius?
- Antony promises Brutus he will say nothing ill of the conspirators, so he resorts to irony, calling Brutus and Cassius “honorable men” while exposing the deceitfulness of their acts.
Why does Antony call Brutus the noblest Roman?
- Antony recognizes that Brutus did what he did out of his love for Rome, whereas the other conspirators acted out of jealousy.
This post is part of the series: Julius Caesar Study Guide
Make yourself look smarter than you really are with this Julius Caesar study guide.
- Summary of Julius Caesar
- Julius Caesar Study Guide & Character Analysis
- Famous Quotes from Julius Caesar
- Figurative Language in Julius Caesar
- Julius Caesar Study Questions and Answers