Sunday, May 25, 2008

Julius Caesar - Act I, Scene III

Questions from Julius Caesar Workbook for ICSE Schools, India by Xavier Pinto published by Morning Star.If you need a clarification from me,just post a comment below.I will respond as soon as possible.)

I.

Casca

i.)Where is Casca at this time? In what state has he come there?To whom is he speaking?
Casca is on the streets of Rome,at this time, meeting a group of conspirators to overthrow Caesar.Casca has come there in a very agitated state of mind.He is unnerved and frightened by the storm an other very ominous signs. he is speaking to Cicero at this point of time.

ii.)Give the meaning of the following :
a) all the sway of earth/Shakes like a thing unfirm?
b) To ambitious ocean swell and rage and foam,
To be exalted with the threat'ning clouds.
These lines describe the fury of nature when earthquakes make the ground tremble and giant waves lash the shores.Waves in the ocean are so high that it appears to touch the clouds.

iii.)What are the " scolding winds"? What did they do?
Scolding winds are are high velocity storms destroying everything in its way.Scolding winds tore apart very strong oak trees.

iv.)What did Casca see which he had never seen in his life earlier?
Casa said that he had never seen such terrible lightning and thunderbolts.

v.)What does he conclude, immediately after the extract, about the calamities?
He concludes, immediately after the extracts, that either that there was a civil war in heaven or the gods were very upset with the people of Rome.

vi.)What is the next day supposed to be? Why will it be a fatal day? Who had warned about that day?
The next day, Caesar was supposed to visit the Capitol. It would be a fatal day as there was a plot to kill Caesar. The soothsayer had warned Caesar about this day.

II.

i.) Narrate in your own words the " wonderful" sight seen by Casca as given in the extract?
Casca saw a slave's left-hand on fire but it did not burn his arm. At the Capitol he came across a Lion which stared at him but did not attack him. He also saw a group of women who were pale with fear having seen men walk on fire.He also heard owls shrieking during the day.

ii.)Besides the sight referred to in (i) above describe three unnatural sights that Casca narrates after this extract.
The three unnatural things are:
- owls shreiking during the day.
- the lion that did not attack him.
- women who saw some men walking on fire.

iii.) What does Casca believe about the unnatural events?
Casca believes that these unnatural events warn the country about an unpleasant future.

Cicero

iv.) In what way is Casca's belief a contrast to the one expressed by Cicero about these events?
Casca believes that the events warn the country of an unpleasant future.However,Cicero believes that men interpret events to suit themselves.He believes that the events point out to good tidings for Romans.

v.)What impact do these strange things have on Caesar,as well as on the audience?
These strange and ominous events frightens the audience.They believe some calamity is about to befall the people of Rome.These strange events have no impact on Caesar even though he has been warned of his assasination by the soothsayer.

III.

i.)What were a group of people planning on the following day, which makes Cassius say that he would "wear this dagger again"? How does Cassius try to prevent that plan from being put into operation?
A group of people were planning to proclaim Caesar as king on the following day. Cassius tries to prevent that plan by saying that Romans had become very weak and tolerant to tyranny and they were willing to accept injustice of all kinds. He tried to prevent the plan to crown Caesar by saying that he would rather kill himself than see Caesar as king.

ii.)Why does Cassius say earlier that the Romans now do not have manly courage?
Cassius said that Romans do not have manly courage because they were not able to oppose the oppression of Caesar and were behaving like sheep and small straws (straws can be easily be blown away easily even in mild wind and can also be set to fire very easily).

iii.)Give the meaning of :" Cassius from bondage will deliver Cassius".
This statement means that Cassius would commit suicide if Caesar became king.

iv.)What does Cassius say about the " strength of the spirit" in the extract.
Cassius says that by giving humans the ability to take his own life God has given him the option to escape any oppression at any time.

v.)How does Cassius show in the extract that he is a zealous lover of freedom and democracy?
Cassius shows, in the extract, that he is a zealeous lover of freedom by saying that he would rather kill himself that becoming oppressed by Caesar.

IV.

i.) Who is referred to as a "poor man"? On what condition he would not have been a Wolf or a Lion?
Caesar is being reffered to as a "poor man". If the people of Rome had been more assertive of their rights and had behaved like men, Caesar would not have been a Wolf or a Lion.

ii.)Explain how the sentence " those that ... weak straws" refers to Ceasar.In what way is Caesar "vile" in the eyes of Cassius.
The sentence "those that..." refers to Caesar since according to the author Romans had become as docile as dry straw which could be used to light a fire very easily.This means that that Romans were so weak willed that Caesar could control them as easily as dry straw set to fire.Caesar is "vile" in the eyes of Cassius since Caesar does not treat the citizens of Rome fairly.

iii.)Does Cassius blame Caesar or Rome? Give three reasons given by him for the greatness of Caesar at this time.
Cassius blames Rome for all the troubles that are being faced by the citizens of Rome. According to Cassius the reasons for Caesars greatness were:
- Romans behaved live sheep giving Caesar the ability to a Wolf.
- Romans behaved like Deer making Caesar look like Lion.
- Romans behaved like twigs giving Caesar the ability to put it on fire.

iv.)What does Casca extend to Cassius as sign of fellowship. What does he say, he is willing to do?
Casca offers a handshake as a sign of fellowship.He says he is willing to be a part of a group to fight the injustice meted out by Caesar and be deeply involved in the group.

v.)What appointment must Cassius and Casca keep later that night?Where will these friends meet? What will be the purpose of their meeting?
Cassius and Casca had to meet Brutus, later that night, at his home. These friends will meet at Pompey theatre. The purpose of the meeting would be to decide how to kill Julius Caesar.

V.

i.)Where are Cinna and Cassius at this juncture? What else was with them?
Cinna and Cassius are on the streets of Rome at this juncture.Casca was also with them.

ii.) Why does Cinna say " I am glad on't?" Why was he here?
Cinna says that "I am glad on't' since he heard that Casca had joined the group. Cinna was there because he was searching for Cassius.

iii.)Earlier in this scene,which other person describes the "fearful night"?Mention two "strange sights" this person had seen earlier in this scene.
Earlier in this scene Cinna had also described the fearful night.The two fearful and strange sights Cinna had seen were:
- a hundred women who were shaken with fear after having seen men walk on fire.
- owls hooting and shrieking during broad daylight.

iv.) Explain "stay'd for". Point out clearly why Cassius asked the question: "Am i not stay'd for?
"Stay'd for" mens waited for. Cassius asks this question since he was meeting others at Pompey's theater and he wanted to know if others were waiting for him there.

v.Why was Cinna eager for Brutus to join the party? What does Cassius have in mind when he says " be you content"? What does he now instruct Cinna to do in connection with Brutus?
Cinna was eager that Brutus join their party since if Brutus joined the party,their objective would become respectable.When Cassius says "be you content", he means that Brutus is likely to join the party. He instructs Cinna to do the following:
- place a letter on the Praetors (Magistrates) chair.
- throw a letter through his ( Praetors)window.
- stick a paper, with wax, on the statue of Brutus's ancestors.

3 comments:

Arinze Onyishi said...

What are two reasons why Cinna refers to the night as 'fearful'?

Arinze Onyishi said...

Give two reasons why Cinna refers to the night as 'fearful'.

Bharat R Ram said...

Q. Give two reasons why Cinna refers to the night as fearful?

A.The Soothsayer had predicted that Caesar would be killed during the Ides of March or the 15th of March. The night before the 15th of March was a terrible night. People saw and reported unnatural happenings on this night - the night before it was predicted that Caesar would be killed.

It appeared as if the earth was shaking and swaying like a flimsy thing. People had witnessed terrible storms in the past when the angry winds would split old oak trees swell the ocean in rage, and foam, as if it wanted to reach the storm clouds. But never before that night had they experienced a storm that dropped fire. It appeared that either there was war in heaven, or else the world was provoking the Gods to send them destruction.

People saw a common slave hold up his left hand, which flamed and burned like twenty torches together. And yet, his hand was immune to the fire and didn’t get burned. There were lions on the streets which looked at and strutted past people without bothering to attack. There were women huddled together in fear and who swore they saw men on fire walk up and down the streets.


People heard a night owl sat hooting and shrieking in the marketplace at noon. They saw gliding ghosts, birds and animals which abandoned their natural behavior, old men, fools, and children make predictions and all sorts of things that was not natural and which had become monstrosities. It appeared that the heaven were acting this way to serve as frightening warnings of an unnatural state to come. These extraordinary events spooked people on the eve of the Ides of March.

Cinna too witnesses some of these terrifying and unnatural events and therefore referred to the night as fearful.