Saturday, July 19, 2008

Julius Caesar Act V, Scene V

Brutus and The Ghost of Julius Caesar

(Julius Caesar Act V,Scene V from the Julius Caesar workbook by Xavier Pinto published by Morning Star.Suitable for students of class X of ICSE schools)

I(i) Who is Voluminius? Why does Brutus show intimacy to him. What favor does Brutus expect from him?
Voluminius is an associate of Brutus and also his friend from his school days. Brutus shows intimacy toward him as he needs the assistance of Voluminius to kill himself.

I(ii) The ghost of Caesar appeared to Brutus twice. What did the ghost tell Brutus in Sardis? What does it indicate here in Philippi?
The Ghost told Brutus in Sardis that it would meet Brutus again in Philippi. In Philippi the ghost indicated to Brutus that his end was near. The ghost of Julius Caesar ensured that Brutus killed himself with the name of Julius Caesar on his lips. Even when dying Brutus says that the was killing himself more willingly than he killed Julius Caesar.

I(iii) Name two of Brutus’s friends who have already refused to kill him.What does Voluminius say for not agreeing to carry out Brutus’ wish?
The two of Brutus’s friends who refused to kill Brutus are Voluminius, Clitus and Dardanius. Voluninius refuses to kill Brutus because he says that it is not the right thing for a friend to do.

I(iv) Give the meaning of “ Thou seest the world, Voluminius, how it goes,our enemies have beat us to the pit.
When Brutus says this he means that they have been defeated by their enemies. He tells Voluminous that when you are beaten by your enemies it is better to kill yourself than to be killed by your enemies. He says this in order to prepare Voluminous to help Brutus kill himself before he is captured.

I(v) Briefly state the misfortunes enumerated by Brutus to Volumnious
Brutus told Volumnious that he had seen the ghost of Caesar the previous evening. To Brutus this was a clear indication that his end was near. He also tell Volumnious that that his enemies were pushing him to his grave and it was better to kill oneself that be killed by your enemies.

II(i) Where and when is Brutus speaking?
Brutus is in one part of the battlefield at Philippi when he says this. He speak this when he has madeup his mind to end his life.He says all this as his final parting words for his friends before he kills himself.

II(ii) What recent events have prompted Brutus to say “ I found no man but he was true to me”.
During the period of conflict with Mark Anthony and Octavius Caesar Brutus realized that all his close associates were loyal to him inspite of facing death. Titinius gladly went over to the enemy camp to check who the soldiers were who were burning the tents. He did this in the face of great danger to himself. Young Cato faced certain death by going into battle. Lucilius impersonated himself as Brutus go buy some time for Brutus to escape. Not even one member of his forces betrayed him in any way. This prompted him to say that “I found no man but he was true to me”.

II(iii) Who finally serves Brutus before Octavius and Mark Anthony arrive on the scene.
Before Octavius and Mark Anthony arrive on the scene, Brutus is served by Strato. Strato helps Brutus to kill himself.

II(iv) Do the speeches of Anthony and Octavius which end the play prove Brutus’ words to be true as quoted in the last three lines of the above passage.
The speeches of Anthony and Octavius have words of praise for Brutus. They acknowledged that Brutus killed Caesar only for the betterment of the people of Rome. In their speech they convey their intention of giving Brutus honour and respect in his funeral ceremonies. This proves Brutus’ last words to be true that even in death he would have more glory than Octavius and Mark Anthony would have after victory.

III(i) When does Anthony speak these words? Who was the noblest Roman of them all? Which people are included in the word “all”.
Anthony speaks these words immediately after coming to know that Brutus had committed suicide. Brutus was the noblest Roman of them all. The word “all” includes Mark Anthony and Octavius Caesar.

III(ii) Give the meaning of:
*He only, in the general honest thought,
And common good to all, made one of them.
Anthony say this. He says this to convey that Brutus killed Julius Caesar only because he truly believed that Julius Caesar was not good for the people or Rome. Only with common good in mind did Brutus take the extreme step of conspiring to kill Julius Caesar.

III(iii) By referring to the Elizabethan way of thinking, state in what way was the noblest Roman a perfect human being.
The noblest Roman was a perfect human being because he preferred to kill himself than be captured. Brutus was also a perfect human being because he took on a powerful adversaries like Julius Caesar, Mark Anthony and others in the interests of the people of Rome.

III(iv) What does Octavius order with regard to the funeral of the noblest Roman? Does he deserve such a burial? Give a reason to justify your answer.
Octavius orders a funeral for Brutus which would give him a burial with respect and honour. Octavius also ordered a burial with full military honours. Brutus deserves such a burial because he took on the might of Julius Caesar and his allies in order for the common good of the people of Rome. Brutus had the interest of the people of Rome uppermost in his mind – rather than his own self interest because of which he had to undergo a lot of discomfort. Due to this, he deserves a honourable burial.

III(v) Briefly state how the play propagates the idea that disloyalty and conspiracy do not succeed.
The play propagates the idea that disloyalty and conspiracy do no succeed. Brutus and his fellow conspirators killed Julius Caesar in order to save the people of Rome from tyranny. However, inspite of their good intentions their conspiracy does not work and that the conspiracy is defeated. This propagates the idea the disloyalty and conspiracy does not always succeed.

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