Thursday, May 1, 2008

Julius Caesar - Act IV Scene II Q&A

(For students studying Julius Caesar in Indian schools.Questions from ICSE Workbook by Xavier Pinto published by Morning Star)

i.)Who was Pindarus? Name his master. What message does he convey to Brutus?
Pindarus was a servant. His master was Cassius. The message that he wished to convey to Brutus was that his master Cassius wanted to meet Brutus to convey to him of his dissatisfaction of some of the decisions Brutus.

ii.)Render the following lines in your own words:
“in his own change, or by ill officers,
hath given me some worthy cause to wish,
things done, undone".

The rending of the above lines in my own words is as under :
Brutus tells the servant of Cassius - Pindarus – that his master Cassius – had done things which he should not be done. Brutus says that Cassius had done these things either becasue his attitude towards Brutus had changed or because he was given some incorrect advice by his subordinate officers.

iii.)Give two reasons to explain why the master of Pindarus did some
things or did not do other things?
According to Brutus the master of Pindarus – Cassius – did not do some things or did not do other things for the following reasons :
a)That his attitude towards Brutus had changed, that is he was now
less friendly towards Brutus.
b)That his subordinate officers had misled him into doing or not
not doing things.

iv.)What does Pindarus say about his master to Brutus after the extract?
How did the master receive Lucilius?
Pindarus tells Brutus that that his master would have a satisfactory explanation for all this actions.He tells that after his master Cassius had explained the reasons for his actions – Cassius would gain the complete respect of Brutus once again. Lucilius tell Brutus that that Cassius received him with courteously and with respect. However, Lucilius told Brutus that he felt that the reception that he
got from Cassius did not have the normal warmth and friendship which Cassius normally gave a messenger of Brutus.

v.)Where does this scene take place? Why are Brutus and Cassius here?
This scene takes place at Sardis. Sardis is the place where the armies of Brutus and Anthony meet. Brutus and Cassius are here so that they could regroup their armies in Sardis. Also,Brutus and Cassius were there to reconcile some difference
that had arisen between them.


i.)Who has just described whom? What is meant by, “ A hot friend cooling”?
Brutus has just described his friend Cassius. By saying “A hot friend cooling” Brutus means that the great friendship that he had with Cassius is now showing signs of coming to an end. He says that strained politeness is an indication of the
cooling of relationships.

ii.)When love begins to decline what happens? What is said in the extract about sincere friendship.
When love being to decline in a friendship a strained politeness comes into the relationship. When the relationship becomes strained then men, make a show about doing anything for a friend. However, when it comes to living upto the promises they back off. Their behaviour is like horses which appear to be spirited and brave but are unable to respond to the spur.

iii.)Explain, how men who are insincere in their friendship may be compared to a kind of horse.
Men who are insincere in their friendship may be compared to a kind of horse. This is because some kinds of horse appear to be high sprited, brave and trot with their heads held high. But these same horses are not able to respond to the spur – when really required.

iv)Whom is Brutus referring to as an insincere friend? What has happened to their friendship now?
Brutus is referring to Cassius as an insincere friend. The friendship between Cassius and Brutus is strained because according to Brutus Cassius did things that he was not supposed to do. Brutus did not pardon a friend of Cassius – who was punished on charges of corruption. As a result the friendship between Cassius and Brutus is strained.

v.)Compare the relationship between Brutus and Cassius to that between Anthony and Octavius.
The relationship between Brutus and Octavius was that of friendship. Both were equal in the relationship and was a long standing friendship. The friendship between Brutus was very strong. It was so strong that Cassius was able to confide in Brutus about the plot to kill Caesar. His friendship was strong enough for Cassius to request Brutus join the plot to kill Caesar. However,later this friendship became strained because Brutus came to know of the corruption that Cassius had indulged in.

The relationship between that of Anthony and Octavius was that of convenience. Both Anthony and Octavius had to get together in order to gain control over Rome – which otherwise Brutus would control.Anthony was much older to Octavius and was the dominant in this relationship. He wanted to control Rome but needed the help of
Octavius who was the nephew of Julius Ceasear. From the way Anthony told Octavius that Lepidius should be used done away with once their objective was achieved shows that Anthony did not care for the opinion of Octavius as he said that he was older and more experienced than Octavius.


i.)Which sober form of Brutus is referred to by Cassius? What are the
wrongs? How does the sober form hide the wrongs?
The quiet and dignified behaviour of Brutus is the sober form of Brutus which is referred to by Cassius. The wrongs that Cassius refers to are the actions taken by Brutus to remove corrupt practices and punish those who are guilty of corruption. The sober form hides the wrongs because according to Cassius no one can , from the calm demeanor of Brutus, make out that he is capable of wrong doings.

ii.)What precautions does Brutus suggest to take in the situation in which
Brutus and Cassius are?
The precaution that Brutus suggest is that he says that their respective
armies should not see them argue and disagree. According to Brutus
if they saw them arguing the armies would be demoralized. In order for
their arguments to be in private Brutus and Cassius tell their armies to
move a little away. They decide to move inside a tent to continue their
debate. They tell the guard outside the tent not to let anyone in.

iii.)Which two armies are referred to? Why should they perceive nothing but love?
The armies of Brutus and Cassius which have assembled in Sardis are referred to here. They should perceive nothing but love because if they saw their leaders fighting – they would get demoralized.

iv.) What is meant by “enlarge your griefs,/and I will give you an audience.
These words are spoken by Brutus and addressed to Cassius when Cassius tell Brutus that he was treated unfairly by Brutus. Brutus means that he wanted to hear a more detailed explanation from Cassius on the reasons for the friction in the relationship between. He wanted the armies to move a little away and for them to move into the tent so that he could understand the grievance that Cassius had, in a more detailed manner.

v.)After this extract Cassius and Brutus give instructions to Pindarus and Lucius. What instructions does each of them give?
Cassius instructs Pindarus to tell the commander of this army to move a little away from the tent of Brutus. Brutus also instructs Lucius to inform the commander of his army to move the army away from his tent. He also asks Lucius to see that no one enters the tent when Cassius and Brutus are under discussions.

vi.)How does this scene indicate a lack of unity among the conspirators?
Cassius's charge against Brutus that he was wronged by Brutus shows a crack in the unity between the two. The fact that they had to ask their armies move away from them so that they could not be overheard and the posting of a guard outside Brutus’s tent so that no one would enter the tent and overhear their conversation shows that there was a lack of unity between the two.

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