i.) Who are Flavius and Marullus? Where are they? What are they doing there?Why?
Favius and Marullus are tribunes. They are on the streets of Rome. They were on the streets of Rome questioning citizens about why they were roaming on the streets of Rome without the tools of their profession. They were questioning Romans on why they were on the streets in a festive mood. The tribunes were questioning the citizens of Rome because they did not want the citizens to celebrate the victory of Julius Caesar over Pompey. The tribunes believed that if the citizens celebrated the victory of Julius Caesar then Caesar would assume absolute power by becoming king.
ii.) Who are the idle creatures? Why are they called so? What makes the speaker to ask if it a holiday?
Citizens of Rome on the streets celebrating the victory of Julius Caesar are called “the idle creatures”. They are called idle creatures since it did not appear that they were out of their homes on work. The speaker asks them if it was a holiday since the citizens of Rome were out on the streets without the tools of their profession.
iii) Give the meaning of the following :
a) Being mechanical : Workmen who use manual tools for their profession. Like a carpenter uses a leather apron and a rule.
b) A labouring day : A working day.
c) Sign of your profession : A tool pertaining to your line of work.
d) Pick out from the extract and example of a “sign” of a profession.
An example of a “sign” of a profession from the extract is a “rule”.
iv.) Whom does Marullus address in the last line of the extract? What reply does he get? How does he react to the reply?
Marullus addresses the second citizen, who is a cobbler, in the last line of the extract. The second citizen replies that he is a mender of bad soles i.e a cobbler. Marullus does not understand him well and is angry that the second citizen did not give him a clear reply.
v.) What military event has just been concluded? What ingratitude are the common people accused of in this scene.
The military event which was just over was the battle between Julius Caesar and Pompey. In this battle, Julius Caesar defeated Pompey. The common people are being accused of ingratitude towards Pompey. Marullus accuses the common people of ingratitude towards Pompey because they were celebrating the defeat of Pompey by Julius Caesar. Marullus reminds them that they had in the past cheered Pompey but now they were celebrating his defeat.
vi.) Giving an example each, show how Flavius and Marullus are men in authority. Who among them, do you think, exercises greater authority.Why?
We can say that Flavius and Marullus are men in authority because they question they people of Rome why they are on the streets of Rome without the tools of their trade. Flavius question each citizen on their profession and why they were on the street without the tools of their profession. Marullus chides the people for celebrating the victory of Julius Caesar over Pompey. Flavius exercises greater authority because he directs Marullus to remove all decorations, from the statue of Caesar, which they people may have put on to celebrate the victory of Caesar.
i.) What is meant by trade? Of which trade is the second citizen.
“Trade” means the profession of a person. The trade of the second citizen is that of a cobbler.
ii.) Why does the citizen think that he “may use” the trade with a safe conscience?
The second citizen thinks that he may use the trade with a safe conscience because he is a “mender of bad soles”.
iii.) What is meant by “naughty knave”? What does this expression tell us about the attitude of the Romans toward artisans? Give two more examples of such expressions from the scene.
The meaning of “naughty knave” is worthless rascal. This expression tells us that Romans did not treat artisans like cobblers with respect. “Thou saucy fellow” and “you idle creatures” are two more examples of such expressions from the scene.
iv.) Give the double meaning intended in the following expression:
…. be not out with me: yet, if you be out, sir, I can mend you.
The double meaning in the cobblers statement is that he could mend Marullus’s shoes or even calm him down if he became very upset with the cobbler.
v.) Give two character traits, each with an example, of the common people in the scene.
The first character trait of people was that they did not answer questions, put to them, directly. For example when Marullus asked the second citizen about his trade the second citizen replied that “he was a mender of bad soles”. Mender of bad soles could mean that he was a cobbler or he was a person who corrected bad behaviour among people. The second trait of the common people of Rome was that the took a day for every occasion. In this case they took a day off to celebrate the victory of Julius Caesar over Pompey.
i.) Who speaks these lines? To whom are these words addressed? What type of rejoicing is referred to in the extract?
Marullus speaks these lines. These words are addressed to the citizens of Rome. He is referring to the rejoicing of people celebrating the victory of Julius Caesar over Pompey.
ii.) Who is “he” referred to in the first line of the extract? What message does the speaker want to convey to his listeners through these questions?
“He” in the first line of the extract refers to Julius Caesar. The message that Marullus wants to convey to the citizens of Rome through these questions was that it was not worth celebrating the victory of Julius Caesar over Pompey.
iii.) What is the conquest referred to in the first line of the extract? Why has the conqueror not bought any territory to Rome by his conquest.
“Conquest” in the extract refers to the victory of Julius Caesar over Pompey. The conqueror i.e. Julius Caesar had not brought any territory to Rome by his conquest since the defeated only a fellow Roman. Also, Pompey was Julius Caesar’s son-in-law.
What tributaries follow him to Rome, To grace in captive bonds his chariot wheels?
Marullus asks the citizens of Rome whether Julius Caesar had captured a king or acquired territory through this conquest. He asks the citizens of Rome whether Julius Caesar had acquired wealth for Rome through this conquest. He tells the citizens of Rome that they were being incorrect in celebrating this victory of Julius Caesar.
v.) Which custom in Rome is referred to in question (iv) above?
The custom of dragging dead prisoners, chained to the wheels of the chariot, through the streets of Rome is referred to in question (iv) above.
vi.) What does the speaker think of his listeners according to the extract?
The speaker thinks of his listeners as rascals because they betrayed Pompey. According to him Julius Caesar did not bring glory to Rome, through this victory, as he only defeated a fellow Roman not a foreign ruler.
i.) Whose chariot was seen? When?
Pompey’s chariot was seen when Pompey came home victorious from various battles.
ii.) What is meant by “ an universal shout”? State in your own words what happened as a consequence of the shout?
Universal shout means the joyous screams of the people of Rome welcoming Pompey to Rome after his victories. The consequence of the shout was that the shout echoed off the banks of the river Tiber and the river trembled under its banks. This is only an indication of how joyously people welcomed Pompey back from his victorious battles.
iii.) What is meant by Pompey’s blood? Who now comes in Triumph?
Pompey’s blood means the victory of Julius Caesar over Pompey and the death of Pompey. Julius Caesar now come in triumph to Rome after defeating Pompey.
iv.) How do the people now prepare for the triumphal entry of the person?
People of Rome now prepare for the triumphal entry of the person by :
a) Dressing in their best attire.
b) By strewing flowers on the path of Julius Caesar chariot.
c) By declaring a holiday for themselves for celebrating the victory of Julius Caesar.
v.) At an earlier occasion how did the same people react on seeing a great ruler pass the streets of Rome?
At an earlier occasion the people of Rome reacted joyously on seeing Pompey pass victoriously through the streets of Rome. Men, women and children gathered in large number to welcome Pompey. They shouted joyously in unison as his chariot went through the streets of Rome. Their joyous shouting shook the banks of the river Tiber and the river trembled under its banks.
vi.) What does the speaker want to achieve by his speech given in the extract?
The speaker does not want the people of Rome to celebrate the victory of Julius Caesar over Pompey. He is worried that the celebration of this victory will make Julius Caesar the absolute ruler of Rome and a tyrant. He therefore reminds the people of Rome that this victory of Julius Caesar was over a fellow Roman and was therefore not deserving a celebration.
i.)”May we do so? – What was Marullus supposed to do?
Flavius instructs Marullus to remove all the decorations and bunting from the statues of Julius Caesar. These are decorations that the people of Rome have put on the statues to celebrate the victory of Julius Caesar. Marullus was a little doubtful and therefore checks with Falvius whether this was allowed.
ii.) What was the feast of Lupercal? How was the feast normally celebrated?
The feast of Lupercal was held in the honour of God Lupercus, a patron of sheep and shephards. Lupercus was also considered as a god of fertility of earth. The festival of Lupercal was normally celebrated by placing decorations all over the city. It was also celebrate with a “run”. It was believed that if a man touched an infertile woman during the “run” she would be able to conceive.
iii.) What is meant by trophies? Why does Flavius say that no images should be hung on Caesars trophies?
Trophies are the statues of Julius Caesar all over Rome. Flavius says that no images (decorative items) should be hung on Caesars trophies as he did not want a mood of celebration after the victory of Caesar over Pompey. He therefore instructs Marullus to remove these images from the trophies.
iv.) Who are the vulgar? Why should they be driven away?
The “vulgar” are the people of Rome who are celebrating the victory of Julius Caesar over Pompey. Flavius wants them to be driven away from the streets of Rome because he does not want the victory of Julius Caesar to be celebrated.
v.) (a) With reference to the last four lines of the extract, state in your own words what Flavius says to indicate that Caesar should be checked.
Flavius says that Caesar should be reigned in. He says that that popularity of Caesar should not be allowed to increase. If the popularity of Caesar increased then he would become a dictator and would enslave the people of Rome.
(b)To what extent, according to you, is the apprehension justified.
According to me the apprehension is justified because Caesar had no hesitation in killing his fellow citizens and son-in-law, Pompey. If he could kill his own then there is no reason to believe that he would not enslave the people of Rome once the became the absolute ruler of Rome.
vi.) How does the scene (from which the above extract is taken) reflect the changing fortunes of men in power and how does it indicate the behavior of the common people in Rome.
The fortunes of men in power is continuously changing. Earlier, it was Pompey who was the darling of the people of Rome. The people of Rome cheered and celebrated the victories of Pompey earlier. Now, the same people who are celebrating the death of Pompey. The behavior of the people of Rome, towards the men in power is fickle and ever changing. Pompey who was their hero was now the villain whose defeat the people of Rome were now celebrating.