Get notes, workbook solutions, summary, questions and answers, and pdf of the drama/play Julius Caesar (Act 1 Scene 3) by William Shakespeare which is part of ICSE Class 9 English. However, the notes should only be treated for references and changes should be made according to the needs of the students.
A month after their previous meeting, Casca encounters Cicero on a tumultuous night in Rome, where a violent storm is unfolding. Holding an unsheathed sword, a visibly shaken Casca shares his distress with Cicero. He tells the senator about eerie events he has witnessed: a slave with hands ablaze yet unharmed, a lion roaming near the Capitol, and owls screeching in the daytime marketplace. Casca believes these events are apocalyptic signs from the gods. Cicero, skeptical, brushes off Casca’s concerns and departs.
Shortly after, Cassius appears on the scene. He interprets the storm as an ominous warning, specifically against the growing power of Caesar. Seizing the opportunity, he persuades the already anxious Casca to become part of a conspiracy to overthrow Caesar. Cassius reveals that other esteemed citizens are already involved in this perilous but ‘noble’ endeavour and instructs Casca to meet him later at Pompey’s porch.
Soon after, Cinna arrives with a task: to plant anonymous letters in places where Brutus will find them, nudging him to join the conspiracy. He pledges to meet the others later at the designated rendezvous point. Cassius informs Casca that they’re close to gaining Brutus’s support, which pleases Casca. He knows that having Brutus on their side will lend moral authority to their plot, as Brutus is highly respected by the Roman populace.
Multiple Choice Questions
1. The first person Casca meets on the stormy night is
Answer: b. Cicero
2. The common slave held up his flaming
Answer: a. left hand
3. The bird of night hooted and shrieked in the
Answer: c. upon the market place
4. Casca was terrified to see a heap of
Answer: b. a hundred ghastly women
5. Casca feared that the Senate intended
Answer: a. to crown Caesar
CASSIUS -Now know you, Casca, I have moved already
Some certain of the noblest-minded Romans
To undergo with me an enterprise
Of honourable – dangerous consequence ;
1. What assurance has Casca just given Cassius that he can be trusted?
Answer: Casca has assured Cassius that he can be trusted by holding Cassius’s hand and pledging his full support to Cassius in seeking redress for the many grievances facing Rome. This physical act of hand-holding signifies Casca committing himself to Cassius and the conspiracy.
2. How does Casca prove true to his word when the conspirators are about to kill Caesar later on?
Answer: When the conspirators attack Caesar, Casca proves true to his word to Cassius by being the first to stab Caesar. Despite Caesar’s cries of protest, Casca deals the first blow, showing he is fully committed to the conspiracy as he promised Cassius earlier.
3. Who in particular is the ‘noblest-minded Romans’? Write two sentences about them.
Answer: The ‘noblest-minded Romans’ refer particularly to two respected senators – Brutus and Decius Brutus. Brutus is known as a man of exceptionally high principles and ideals, and is greatly respected by the people of Rome for his noble character. They see him as a role model. Decius Brutus is also a well-regarded senator who is seen as honorable.
4. Explain what is this ‘enterprise’. Why is it ‘honourable-dangerous’ consequence?
Answer: The ‘enterprise’ refers to the secret conspiracy Cassius is organizing to assassinate Julius Caesar. Cassius sees Caesar as dangerously ambitious and a threat to Rome’s republican values. The conspiracy aims to remove Caesar from power. It is ‘honorable-dangerous’ because it is very risky, but is ultimately aimed at restoring power to the Roman Senate and people, away from potential tyranny. So it has an honorable intent behind the danger.
Now could I, Casca, name to thee a man
Most like this dreadful night,
That thunders, lightens, opens graves, and roars
As doth the lion in the Capitol,
1. Who is the speaker? Which man is the speaker hinting at?
Answer: Cassius, one of the conspirators against Caesar, is the speaker here. He is hinting at and referring to Julius Caesar through his words.
2. How does Cassius blame the Romans for their submissive attitude?
Answer: Cassius blames the Roman people for ignorantly and weakly allowing Caesar to gain immense power and become an authoritarian, tyrannical figure in Rome. Cassius accuses the Romans of simply submitting to Caesar’s growing power and ambition without any resistance.
3. How does Cassius compare the men to themselves?
Answer: Cassius draws a comparison between the men of the present Rome to the men of Rome’s past – their ancestors. He says Romans today have the physical strength and abilities of their forefathers, but lack their courageous spirit and principles. They let themselves be ‘governed by their mother’s spirits’, meaning they are weak and submissive.
4. In what way has this man grown ‘ prodigious’ and ‘ fearful ‘ like these strange eruptions?
Answer: Caesar has grown in power, ambition and dominance to become as fearfully prodigious and ominous as the strange supernatural happenings taking place in the storm. Just as the storm is disruptive and threatening, Caesar has become a threatening force through his unchecked growth.
5. How does Cassius use the storm to obtain a commitment from Casca? What is the commitment?
Answer: Cassius uses the storm, which terrifies Casca, to portray Caesar as a similarly terrifying and dangerous threat that has arisen and must be dealt with. He obtains a clear verbal commitment from Casca to join the conspiracy to remove Caesar from power.
CASSIUS – I know where I will wear this dagger then; Cassius
from bondage will deliver Cassius: Therein, ye
gods, you make the weak most strong; Therein, ye
gods, you tyrants do defeat:
1. What were Cassius fears that make him say that he would kill himself?
Answer: Cassius feared that Caesar would become an absolute tyrant, seizing complete authoritarian power in Rome. He was afraid this would lead to the loss of freedom and republican liberties. Cassius would rather die than lose his freedom and live oppressed under a tyrant.
2. Explain ‘Cassius from bondage will deliver Cassius’.
Answer: ‘Cassius from bondage will deliver Cassius’ means that if Caesar successfully becomes a tyrant, Cassius would rather commit suicide and kill himself than live in bondage and servitude under Caesar’s rule. Death would be preferable to losing his freedom.
3. How have the gods made the weak strong and defeated tyrants?
Answer: The gods have figuratively made the weak (like Cassius and Casca) strong by inspiring them to stand up against Caesar’s tyranny through the conspiracy. The tyrant Caesar will be defeated by the combined strength of the conspirators rising up against him in the name of republican liberties.
4. How has Cassius boosted the courage of Casca a little earlier?
Answer: Earlier, when Casca expressed fear at the storm, Cassius boosted his courage by walking unafraid through the stormy night and boldly telling Casca that true Romans should not let such sights frighten them. This display of courage motivated Casca.
5. How has Cassius portrayed himself to be a lover of freedom and a true Republican?
Answer: By declaring that he would rather die than live under tyranny, Cassius portrays himself as a devoted lover of freedom and the Roman republican system who is unwilling to be oppressed by any potential Caesar tyranny. This shows his republican ideals.
CASSIUS And why should Caesar be a tyrant then?
Poor man! I know he would not be a wolf,
But that he sees the Romans are but sheep:
He were no lion, were not Romans hinds
1. How are the Romans to be blamed for Caesar becoming a tyrant?
Answer: According to Cassius, the Roman people themselves are to blame for Caesar gaining so much power as to become a tyrannical figure. Cassius accuses the Romans of weakness and servility, saying they submitted to Caesar’s growing power and treated him like a glorious hero even as he expanded his authority. Their sheep-like submissiveness allowed his rise.
2. How does Cassius show the weaknesses of the Romans after the extract to raise Caesar to his glory?
Answer: After this extract, Cassius goes on to describe how the Romans have allowed themselves to be awed by Caesar, praising him and empowering him even as he adopted king-like authority. The people have become pathetically subservient, like ‘sheep’ and ‘hinds’ mindlessly following Caesar’s lead, which has only fed his ambition further.
3. How does Cassius draw Casca into the conspiracy by playing on the latter’s emotions?
Answer: Cassius draws Casca into the conspiracy by portraying Caesar as a ‘wolf’ intent on preying on the weak, submissive Romans. He plays on Casca’s republican emotions and principles, causing Casca to see Caesar as a threat to freedom that must be eliminated.
4. How does Casca assure Cassius of his support?
Answer: Casca directly assures Cassius of his support, saying he is no ‘fieering tell-tale’ or coward, and will fully match Cassius in working to oppose Caesar’s ambition, proving he can be trusted.
5. How does Cassius instill a sense of encouragement in Casca in joining the conspiracy? Who are the people waiting for them in Pompey’s porch?
Answer: By speaking of honorable Romans who await them, Cassius provides a strong encouragement to Casca to join the conspiracy by making him feel part of a meaningful, principled cause that has the backing of respected senators. The people waiting in Pompey’s porch are the other assembled conspirators.
CASSIUS-Am I not stay’d for? tell me.
CINNA – Yes, you are. O Cassius, if you could
But win the noble Brutus to our party
1. What does Cassius give Cinna after the extract? What task does Cassius assign to Cinna?
Answer: After this extract, Cassius gives Cinna letters to covertly leave in places where Brutus will find and read them. The letters are intended to help convince Brutus that he must join the conspiracy against Caesar for the good of Rome. This is part of Cassius’ effort to win over Brutus.
2. Where is Cinna to go after completing the task? How is Cassius confident about Brutus joining the conspiracy?
Answer: After carrying out his task of planting the letters, Cinna is to go wait with the other conspirators in Pompey’s Porch. Cassius feels confident that by the end of the night, through the letters and their direct persuasion, Brutus will fully join their conspiracy against Caesar.
3. Why is Casca also keen on Brutus joining the conspiracy?
Answer: Casca is also extremely keen to have Brutus join the conspiracy because Brutus is known as an honorable man of high principles. His reputation would lend legitimacy to their cause and make it appear more like a virtuous, principled endeavor.
4. What does Cassius hope for at the end of the scene? Who has Cassius been able to influence so far? What is their common aim?
Answer: By the end of the scene, Cassius hopes to have fully won over the respected Brutus to their conspiracy cause. So far, he has managed to influence Casca and Cinna to join the conspiracy against Julius Caesar. Their common aim is to remove Caesar from power in order to preserve the Roman Republic and prevent potential tyranny under Caesar.
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