Value Based Questions and Answers of Julius Caesar
Qu. 1- Bring out the theme of rhetoric- versus power in ‘Julius Caesar’.
Answer- Under the guise of a gesture of friendship, Antony actually marks the conspirators for vengeance. In the Forum, Brutus speaks to the crowd and appeals to its love of liberty in order to justify the killing of Caesar. He also makes ample reference to the honor in which he is generally esteemed so as to validate further his explanation of the deed. Antony likewise wins the crowd’s favor, using persuasive rhetoric to whip the masses into a frenzy so great that they don’t even realize the fickleness of their favour. The value that can be derived from this incident is the relationship between rhetoric and power. Words serve to move hearts and minds, as Antony cleverly convinces the conspirators of his desire to side with them: ‘Let each man render me with his bloody hand’.
Qu. 2- What are the qualities of the leaders as portrayed in ‘Julius Caesar’?
Answer- In fact, Caesar, Cassius, Antony and even Brutus lose touch with the tradition, glory, integrity, and stoicism of their past. As you read the play, note the way that Cassius use the memory of that glorious past to persuade men to become conspirators, and the way the actions of the conspirators do not return Rome to its golden age. Shakespeare uses the political upheaval to examine the value of leadership qualities. Concentrating on the responsibilities of the ruling class, he looked at what could happen if that class no longer had a unified vision and lost sight of what it meant to be Roman.
Qu. 3- Why does Brutus join the conspirators? Is it simply a matter of saving Rome from Caesar’s supposed tyranny, or does Brutus have something else to gain?
Answer- When it seems evident to the conspirators in Shakespeare’s play that Julius Caesar is headed for absolute power, he becomes a threat to the ideals and values of the Roman Republic. They assassinate Caesar before he can be crowned king. The irony is that Caesar’s death results in civil war. However, the Romans, looking for a hero to idolise, do not understand why Caesar was killed. Brutus speaks to the crowd about his reasons for killing Caesar and the fact that he killed his friend ‘Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more’, and having given his reasons prepares to depart, the crowd cheers Brutus’s apparent kindness, declaring that Brutus should be Caesar. The value that can be derived from this incident is that when two factions with questionable motives grab for power, chaos ensues and the Republic is never the same again.
Qu. 4- Friendship Vs Deception is an important theme of ‘Julius Caesar’. Comment.
Answer- Friendship can be defined as a unique blend of affection, loyalty, love, respect and trust between two individuals. There are many friendships that exist in ‘Julius Caesar’ in particular—Caesar and Mark Antony, Caesar and Brutus, Decius and Caesar, and Brutus and Cassius.
There was a close friendship between Mark Antony and Caesar, so when he was killed, Antony wanted revenge. He deceived Brutus and the other conspirators by saying, ‘Friend I am with you all, and love you all’ to manipulate Brutus and to put his doubts at ease and seek permission to speak at Caesar’s funeral. Brutus agreed and Antony spoke to the people and used his words to manipulate the plebeians to revolt against the conspirators.
An example of deception in the play was the friendship between Decius and Caesar. Decius went to Caesar’s house on the fateful day and used Caesar’s love and trust for him to manipulate him to come to the Senate. Another friendship is that between Brutus and Cassius. Cassius loves Brutus and gives in to him against his better judgment. The trusting Brutus underestimates how dangerous Antony can be and allows him to speak at Caesar’s funeral, Cassius pulls him aside and said, ‘You know not what you do. Do not consent that Antony speak in Caesar’s funeral.’Brutus overrides him leading to their downfall. Another friendship was that between Caesar and Brutus. Even though they were friends, Brutus betrayed him by being part of the conspiracy and stabbing him in the end. When he stabbed Caesar, Caesar gave up his struggle saying, ‘et to Brutus?’ before he fell to the floor and died. Throughout this play, the value that can be derived is that friendship is a very delicate and sometimes a manipulative relationship.
Answer the following questions in short- (30- 40 words)
- What commotion is noticed by Calpumia? What is suggestive of her?
- Highlight two most important qualities of Caesar’s character and substantiate them from the text.
- How foolish do your fears seem now, Calpurnia? ‘Bring out the irony behind Caesar’s statement.
- What does Caesar mean when he says “Cowards die many times before their death, the valiant never taste of death but once”?
- How does Decius persuade Caesar to go to the senate in spite of Calpurnia’s best efforts to dissuade him?
- Why does Cassius object to Antony’s speaking to the Roman Mob? How do his fears come true?
- Explain why Antony calls Caesar ‘a bleeding piece of earth’?
- What were the contents of Caesar’s will? Why did Antony elaborate upon them?
- How does Brutus justify the assassination of Caesar?
- How was Antony able to provoke the Roman mob through his speech?
- Antony disproves the conspirators’ claim about Caesar’s ambition with three examples. What are they?