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The Tragedy of Julius Caesar: Act I Questions
1. Explain why the working men are celebrating in the first scene. Why does Marallus reproach them? The working men in the first scene are rejoicing because Julius Caesar has triumphed over the defeat of Pompey. Marallus reproaches the joyous crowd because they have done the same thing when Pompey was triumphant. He criticizes the people because they act only with what is trendy without views or opinions on life.
2. What is the setting of Scene 2? What warning does the soothsayer give Caesar, and what is Caesar's response? Scene 2 takes place in a public area with a mob chanting "Hail, Caesar!" As Caesar and his servants enter, the crowd makes way for them. Antony is dressed for the race held on the Feast of Lupercal, which this year also celebrates Caesar's latest victory. Caesar is richly dressed. The soothsayer warns Caesar of a specific holiday, March 15 to be exact. Caesar prejudges the man as a dreamer, and leaves him.
3. Explain what Cassius wants to convince Brutus of in Scene 2. Cassius is trying to persuade Brutus that if he sees how people truly see him, then he would know that they are more willing to have him as king than Caesar.
4. Why does Caesar, in Scene 2, think Cassius is dangerous? What qualities disturb him? Caesar thinks that Cassius is dangerous because he thinks too much. Cassius reads a lot, observes greatly, and looks at the deeds of men carefully. He doesn't like plays, hears no music, seldom smiles, and when he does, in a manner which he mocks himself.
5. Describe what happens when Caesar is offered the crown, according to Casca in Scene 2. When Antony offers Caesar the crown, he refuses it. Again Antony offers, but again Caesar refuses. Yet again, for the third time, Caesar is offered the crown, and yet again, Caesar refuses, but would have happily accepted it.
6. Caesar stands astride the world as a powerful ruler, yet he suffers many personal weaknesses. Various characters tell us what these are, and they say that a man who is as human as anyone else should not act like a god and rule the world. What exactly are Caesar's infirmities and weaknesses? One of Caesar's weaknesses is his inability to hear in one of his ears, and his falling-sickness (epilepsy).
7. At the end of Scene 2, how does Cassius say he will pursue his plan to involve Brutus in the conspiracy against Caesar? Cassius will get Brutus' attention by placing a letter where he will be able to see it, and by throwing something at his window.
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Ancient Rome, 1st millennium BC, Roman Republic, Cultural depictions of Julius Caesar, Julius Caesar, First Triumvirate, Cleopatra, Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger, Gaius Cassius Longinus, Pompey, Triumph, Kalends of February
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