Get notes, workbook solutions, summary, questions and answers, and pdf of the drama/play Julius Caesar (Act 2 Scene 4) 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.
In the tense atmosphere of Brutus’ home on the Ides of March, Portia is awash with anxiety. She struggles to articulate the task she has for Lucius, her servant. Finally, she tells him to go to the Senate and check on Brutus, to see if he appears well. As she sends him on this errand, she becomes alarmed, believing she hears a distant noise emanating from the Capitol. Lucius, however, hears nothing.
Just then, a soothsayer interrupts their conversation. Desperate for any information, Portia inquires if he has been to the Capitol, and whether Caesar is there. The soothsayer reveals that he has his own private favor to seek from Caesar, intensifying Portia’s fears. As she finds out that the soothsayer is ignorant of the plot against Caesar, she is overtaken by a mixture of relief and concern, her emotions so turbulent that she nearly collapses.
Cognizant of Lucius’ watchful eye, she hastily composes herself. Feigning an explanation for her emotional state, she tells Lucius that Brutus has sent a written petition to Caesar that might not be favorably received. She asks him to pass along her best wishes to Brutus and to come back to her as soon as he can.
Multiple Choice Questions
1. Portia is
Answer: a) in Brutus’ use
2. Portia sends Lucius
Answer: c) on an errand to the Senate House
3. Lucius and Portia are interrupted by the
Answer: b) soothsayer
4. Portia is worried
Answer: a) whether Caesar has gone to the Capitol or not
5. Portia’s prayer to the heavens is to
Answer: c) speed up the enterprise of killing Caesar
LUCIUS – Madam, what should I do?
Run to the Capitol, and nothing else?
And so return to you, and nothing else?
PORTIA – Yes, bring me word, boy, if thy lord look well,
For he went sickly forth: and take good note
What Caesar doth, what suitors press to him.
Hark, boy! what noise is that?
LUCIUS – I hear none, madam.
PORTIA- Prithee, listen well;
I heard a bustling rumour, like a fray,
And the wind brings it from the Capitol.
1. Where are Portia and Lucius? Who is Lucius? Why is he confused?
Answer: Portia and Lucius are both currently in Brutus’ house. Lucius is a servant in Brutus’ household. He is confused because Portia is being vague about the exact errand she wants him to run to the Capitol, and she seems anxious.
2. Why is Portia so tensed?
Answer: Portia is extremely tense and anxious because today is the day the conspiracy will be carried out and Caesar will be assassinated. As Brutus’ wife, she is worried for him.
3. Just before the extract, what had she uttered about ‘a man’s mind’ and ‘a woman’s body’?
Answer: Just before this extract, Portia had said “I have a man’s mind, but a woman’s might” – meaning she has the intellect and understanding of a man, but the physical and emotional weakness stereotypical of a woman.
4. Why is Portia worried about Brutus? How has Brutus added to her anxiety?
Answer: She is worried for Brutus’ safety as he is one of the conspirators who will assassinate Caesar. His sickness and secrecy about the plot have made her even more anxious.
5. What other instructions were given to Lucius?
Answer: She also instructs Lucius to observe what Caesar does, note who his suitors are, and report back to her on all of this.
PORTIA – Thou hast some suit to Caesar, hast thou not?
Soothsayer-That I have, lady
1. Where does Portia meet the soothsayer? What are Portia ‘s fears regarding the soothsayer?
Answer: Portia meets the soothsayer randomly on the street near Brutus’ house, as he is on his way to the Capitol. She fears that he knows about the conspiracy and is going to the Capitol to warn Caesar about it.
2. What is the importance of the soothsayer? Why is this day significant?
Answer: The soothsayer is important because earlier he had foretold that Caesar would face calamity on the Ides of March – which is this very day. So the date is significant.
3. What does the soothsayer want to tell Caesar? Why does he wish to get for himself a ‘place more void’?
Answer: He wants to warn Caesar to “befriend himself”, meaning to take care of his own safety. He wants a more empty place away from crowds to directly warn Caesar about the danger.
4. What is meant by the ‘throng’? What are the ‘throng’ about to witness? How is Portia’s character portrayed in the scene?
Answer: The “throng” refers to the large crowds of senators, officials and common people following Caesar towards the Capitol. They are about to witness Caesar’s planned assassination. Portia is shown to be worried, anxious, tense, and emotional throughout this scene.
Get notes of other boards, classes, and subjects