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Part A (worth half of the 15%)
Julius Caesar Short Answers TIME 1 hour and 40 minutes
Extract 1 Act 1, scene 2
And this man
Is now become a god, and Cassius is
A wretched creature and must bend his body
If Caesar carelessly but nod on him.
He had a fever when he was in Spain,
And when the fit was on him I did mark
How he did shake: 'tis true, this god did shake;
His coward lips did from their colour fly,
And that same eye whose bend doth awe the world
Did lose his luster. I did hear him groan,
Ay, and that tongue of his that bade the Romans
Mark him and write his speeches in their books,
Alas, it cried 'Give me some drink, Titinius,'
As a sick girl. Ye gods, it doth amaze me
A man of such a feeble temper should
So get the start of the majestic world
And bear the palm alone.
Shout. Flourish
Another general shout!
I do believe that these applauses are
For some new honours that are heaped on Caesar.
Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
Like a Colossus, and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs and peep about
To find ourselves dishonourable graves.
Men at some time are masters of their fates:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
Brutus and Caesar: what should be in that 'Caesar'?
Why should that name be sounded more than yours?
Question 1 (3 marks)
From this excerpt, what is Cassius’ perspective on Caesar? What emotions
dominate Cassius’ attitude to Caesar? Use one or two brief quotations from the
excerpt to illustrate your answer.
Extract 2 Act 2, scene 2
It must be by his death: and for my part,
I know no personal cause to spurn at him
But for the general. He would be crowned:
How that might change his nature, there's the question.
It is the bright day that brings forth the adder
And that craves wary walking. Crown him that,
And then I grant we put a sting in him
That at his will he may do danger with.
The abuse of greatness is when it disjoins
Remorse from power. And to speak truth of Caesar,
I have not known when his affections swayed
More than his reason. But 'tis a common proof
That lowliness is young ambition's ladder,
Whereto the climber-upward turns his face;
But when he once attains the upmost round
He then unto the ladder turns his back,
Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees
By which he did ascend. So Caesar may.
Then lest he may, prevent. And since the quarrel
Will bear no colour for the thing he is,
Fashion it thus: that what he is, augmented,
Would run to these and these extremities:
And therefore think him as a serpent's egg
(Which, hatch'd, would, as his kind, grow mischievous)
And kill him in the shell.
Question 2. Explain the image of the serpent’s egg at the end of this monologue.
(1 mark)
Question 3.
What is Brutus’ perspective on Caesar? How might his attitudes (and feelings)
differ from Cassius’? Use at least one brief quotation from this excerpt to support
your response. (2 marks)
Extract 3 Act 2, scene 2
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.
(Re-enter Servant)
What say the augurers?
They would not have you to stir forth today.
Plucking the entrails of an offering forth,
They could not find a heart within the beast.
The gods do this in shame of cowardice:
Caesar should be a beast without a heart,
If he should stay at home today for fear.
No, Caesar shall not. Danger knows full well
That Caesar is more dangerous than he.
We are two lions littered in one day,
And I the elder and more terrible.
And Caesar shall go forth.
Question 4. Identify where in the play this excerpt occurs? What is about to
happen? (1 mark)
Question 5. What perspective does this excerpt give us of the character of
Caesar? Use a brief quotation from this scene to support your response.
(2 marks)
Extract 4 Act 3, scene 2
Mark Antony:
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them,
The good is oft interréd with their bones.
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious.
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar answered it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest,
(For Brutus is an honourable man;
So are they all; all honourable men)
Come I to speak in Caesar's funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Brutus says he was ambitious
And Brutus is an honourable man.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome,
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept.
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious
And Brutus is an honourable man.
You all did see that on the Lupercal
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.
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love him once, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then to mourn for him?
O judgement! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason.... Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
And I must pause till it come back to me.
Question 6. (6 marks)
Explain how Antony uses language techniques to persuade the crowd towards
his perspective on Caesar. Why is this speech regarded as a great example of the
skills of public speaking?
Support your response with brief quotations from the extract . You will need to
analyse briefly the context, audience and purpose of the speech in your response.
Other Key Extracts from Julius Caesar with
Act 1, scene 2 lines 192 to214.
CAESAR: Let me have men about me that are fat,
Sleek-headed men and such as sleep a-nights.
Yond Cassius has a mean and hungry look,
He thinks too much: such men are dangerous.
ANTONY: Fear him not Caesar, he’s not dangerous,
He is a noble Roman and well given.
CAESAR: Would he were fatter! But I fear him not.
Yet if my name were liable to fear
I do not know the man I should avoid
So soon as that spare Cassius. He reads much,
He is a great observer, and he looks
Quite through the deeds of men. He loves no plays
As thou dost Antony, he hears no music;
Seldom he smiles, and smiles in such a sort
As if he mocked himself and scorned his spirit
That could be moved to smile at any thing.
Such men as he be never at heart’s ease
Whiles they behold a greater than themselves,
And therefore are they very dangerous.
I rather tell thee what is to be feared
Than what I fear: for always I am Caesar.
Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf,
And tell me truly what thou think’st of him.
(a) Identify two traits of Caesar’s character that can
be seen in this brief exchange.
(b) How is this interlude effective in developing our
sense of Caesar as a tragic hero – a great man
who through a single flaw in his nature brings
about his own downfall? How does Shakespeare
use irony in this extract?
Act 3, scene 1 line 55-80
CASSIUS: Pardon, Caesar! Caesar, pardon!
As low as to thy foot doth Cassius fall
To beg enfranchisement for Publius Cimber.
CAESAR: 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 all are fire, and everyone doth shine;
But there’s but one in all doth hold his place.
So in the world: tis furnished well with men,
And men are flesh and blood and apprehensive;
Yet in the number I do know but one
That unassailable holds on his rank,
Unshaken of motion, and that I am he
Let me a little show, even in this:
That I was constant Cimber should be banished,
And constant do remain to keep him so.
CINNA: O Caesar –
CAESAR: Hence, wilt thou lift Olympus?
DECIUS: Great Caesar!
CAEASR: Doth not Brutus bootless kneel –
CASCA: Speak hands for me!
They stab Caesar.
CAESAR: Et tu Brute? – then fall Caesar.
CINNA: Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead!
Explains how Shakespeare crafts both words and actions
at this point to shape our response to the murder of
Caesar. Use quotations to support your answer.
Act 3, scene 1, line 254 – 275
ANTONY: O pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth,
That I am meek and gentle with these butchers!
Thou are the ruins of the noblest man
That ever lived in the tide of times.
Woe to the hand that shed this costly blood!
Over thy wounds now do I prophesy –
Which like dumb mouths do ope their ruby lips
To beg the voice and utterance of my tongue –
A curse shall light upon the limbs of men:
Domestic fury and fierce civil strife
Shall cumber all the parts of Italy;
Blood and destruction shall be so in use
And dreadful objects so familiar
That mothers shall but smile when they behold
Their infants quartered with the hands of war,
All pity choked with custom of fell deeds;
And Caesar’s spirit, ranging for revenge,
With Ate by his side come hot from hell,
Shall in these confines with a monarch’s voice
Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war,
That this foul deed shall smell above the earth
With carrion men groaning for burial.
(a) From this speech what is estimate of Caesar? Quote
two lines to justify your answer.
(b)What does Antony prophesy will happen next?
(c) How does this speech give us a very different
perspective on what the conspirators have done?
Compare this speech with Cinna’s words
immediately after the murder of Caesar. Use
quotations in your response.
ACT 5, scene 5, line 67
ANTONY: This was the noblest Roman of them all:
All the conspirators, save only he,
Did that they did in envy of great Caesar.
He only, in a general honest thought
And common good to all, made one of the.
(a)How do these words shift your perspective on the
murder of Caesar and the nature of the conspiracy?
(b) Do you agree with Antony’s assessment of
Brutus? Does the rest of the play support
The latin words are taken from "De Vita Caesarum" (The Lives of the
Caesars), written by Suetonius in 110 AD. Here is the whole extract:
LXXXII. [44 B.C.] As he took his seat, the conspirators gathered about him
as if to pay their respects, and straightway Tillius Cimber, who had
assumed the lead, came nearer as though to ask something; and when
Caesar with a gesture put him off to another time, Cimber caught his toga
by both shoulders; then as Caesar cried, "Why, this is violence!" one of
the Cascas stabbed him from one side just below the throat. Caesar
caught Casca's arm and ran it through with his stylus, but as he tried to
leap to his feet, he was stopped by another wound. When he saw that he
was beset on every side by drawn daggers, he muffled his head in his
robe, and at the same time drew down its lap to his feet with his left
hand, in order to fall more decently, with the lower part of his body also
covered. And in this wise he was stabbed with three and twenty wounds,
uttering not a word, but merely a groan at the first stroke, though some
have written that when Marcus Brutus rushed at him, he said in Greek,
'You too, my child?" All the conspirators made off, and he lay there
lifeless for some time, until finally three common slaves put him on a
litter and carried him home, with one arm hanging down. And of so many
wounds none turned out to be mortal, in the opinion of the physician
Antistius, except the second one in the breast. The conspirators had
intended after slaying him to drag his body to the Tiber, confiscate his
property, and revoke his decrees; but they forebore through fear of
Marcus Antonius the consul, and Lepidus, the master of horse.
LXXXVIII. [44 B.C.] He died in the fifty-sixth year of his age, and was
numbered among the gods, not only by a formal decree, but also in the
conviction of the common people. For at the first of the games which his
heir Augustus gave in honor of his apotheosis, a comet shone for seven
successive days, rising about the eleventh hour [about an hour before
sunset] and was believed to be the soul of Caesar, who had been taken to
heaven; and this is why a star is set upon the crown of his head in his
statue. It was voted that the curia in which he was slain be walled up,
that the Ides of March be called the Day of Parricide, and that a meeting
of the senate should never be called on that day.
Gaius Julius Caesar (July 13, 100 BC - March 15, 44 BC) was a
Roman military and political leader whose conquest of
________________ extended the Roman world all the way to the
Oceanus Atlanticus and introduced Roman influence into modern
___________, an accomplishment whose direct consequences are
visible to this day. Caesar fought and won a civil war which left him
undisputed master of the Roman world, and began extensive
reforms of Roman society and government.
He became ____________________, and heavily centralized the
already faltering government of the weak ____________. His
dramatic assassination on the ________________ became the
catalyst of a second set of civil wars which became the twilight of
the Roman Republic and the dawn of the Roman _____________
under Caesar's grand-nephew and adopted son, Caesar
Augustus. Caesar's military campaigns are known in detail from
his own written Commentaries (Commentarii), and many details of
his life are recorded by later historiographers like Gaius Suetonius
Tranquillus, Mestrius Plutarch, and Lucius Cassius Dio.
Shakespeare’s play is based on North’s translation of the Roman
historian ________________________.
Caesar's conquest of Gaul was certainly the greatest military
triumph since the campaigns of Alexander the Great.
Despite his successes and the benefits they brought to Rome,
Caesar remained unpopular among his peers, especially with the
conservative faction, who always suspected him of wanting to
become king
The civil war
In 50 BC, the Senate, led by Pompey, ordered Caesar to return to
Rome and disband his army because his term as Proconsul had
finished. Moreover, the Senate forbade Caesar to stand for a
second consulship in absentia. Caesar knew that he would be
prosecuted and politically eliminated if he entered Rome without
the immunity enjoyed by a Consul or without the power of his
legions. So Caesar refused to act as ordered and crossed the
Rubicon river (the frontier with Italy) on January 10, 49 BC and civil
war broke out.
. Caesar pursued Pompey to Brundisium, hoping to patch up their
deal of ten years before. Pompey eluded him, however, and
Caesar made an astonishing 27-day route-march to Spain to
defeat Pompey's lieutenants in Spain. He then went back east, to
challenge Pompey in Greece where on July 10, 48 BC at
Dyrrhacium Caesar barely avoided a catastrophic defeat to
Pompey. He decisively defeated Pompey's numerically superior
army -- Pompey had nearly twice the number of infantry and
considerably more cavalry -- at Pharsalus in an exceedingly short
engagement in 48 BC.
Pompey fled to Egypt, where he was murdered by an officer of
King Ptolemy XIII. In Rome, Caesar was appointed dictator, with
Marcus Antonius as his master of the horse (magister equitum, or
chief lieutenant);
Caesar began extensive reforms of Roman society and
government. He tightly regulated the purchase of State-subsidized
grain and forbade those who could afford privately supplied grain
from purchasing from the grain dole.. He made plans for the
distribution of land to his veterans and for the establishment of
veteran colonies throughout the Roman world. In one of his most
wide-ranging reforms, Caesar ordered a complete overhaul of the
Roman calendar, establishing a 365-day year with a leap year
every fourth year (this Julian calendar was subsequently modified
by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 into the modern calendar); as a
result of this reform, the year 46 BC was in fact 445 days long to
bring the calendar into line.
Caesar returned to Rome, where he began to receive increasingly
grandiose honors from the Senate (Plutarch even records that he
at one point informed the Senate that he felt his honors were more
in need of reduction than augmentation, but withdrew this position
so as not to appear ungrateful). He was given the title Pater
Patriae ("Father of the Fatherland") and authorized to dress in
triumphal regalia at all times. He was appointed dictator a third
time, and then nominated for nine consecutive one-year terms as
dictator, effectually making him dictator for ten years;
In 44 BC, Caesar became consul a fifth time with
______________ as his colleague; he was soon appointed
perpetual dictator (dictator perpetuus) and began wearing the
knee-high red boots of the kings of Alba Longa, from whom the
Julii Caesares were descended. In February 44 BC, __________,
having just been appointed as flamen to Caesar, publicly offered
him a diadem, a white linen strip worn on the forehead which was
the Hellenic symbol of monarchy; Caesar refused the diadem, but
to this day there remains scholarly dispute about whether or not
Caesar intended to make himself King of Rome.
The Roman Senate traditionally met in the Curia Hostilia, but it had
been destroyed by fire years before. As a result, Caesar
summoned the Senate to meet in the Theatrum Pompeium (built
by Pompey) on the ______________ (March 15) 44 BC. As the
Senate convened, Caesar was attacked and stabbed to death by a
group of senators who called themselves the Liberators
(Liberatores); the Liberators justified their action on the grounds
that they were preserving the Republic from Caesar's alleged
monarchical ambitions. Among the assassins were Gaius
Trebonius, Decimus Junius Brutus, Marcus Junius Brutus, and
Gaius Cassius Longinus; Caesar had personally pardoned most of
his murderers or personally advanced their careers (Decimus
Brutus was a distant cousin of Caesar and named as one of his
testamentary heirs). Caesar sustained 23 stab wounds, which
ranged from superficial to mortal, and fell at the feet of a statue of
Pompey. His last words have been various reported as:
Kai su, teknon? (Gr., "And you, son?")
Tu quoque, Brute, fili mi! (Lat., "You too, Brutus, my son!")
_________________? (Lat., "And you, Brutus?")