Julius Caesar Act 4 Scene 3: ICSE Class 10 workbook answers

Julius Caesar Act 4 Scene 3
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Get notes, workbook solutions, summary, questions and answers, and pdf of the drama/play Julius Caesar (Act 4 Scene 3) by William Shakespeare, which is part of ICSE Class 10 English. However, the notes should only be treated as references, and changes should be made according to the needs of the students.


The scene takes place in Brutus’s tent in the rebel camp near Sardis. Brutus and Cassius, the leaders of the rebellion against Caesar, get into a heated argument. Cassius accuses Brutus of wrongly condemning one of Cassius’s friends, Lucius Pella, for taking bribes. Brutus in turn accuses Cassius of being corrupt himself, taking bribes, and selling public offices for personal gain.

Their quarrel quickly escalates, with Cassius feeling deeply insulted and threatening violence against Brutus if they were not longtime friends. Brutus brings up how Cassius previously denied sending him funds to pay his troops. Cassius says this denial must have been a messenger’s mistake, as he would never deny Brutus money. He asks why Brutus would think so ill of him.

Both men lash out in anger, with Brutus calling Cassius dishonourable and Cassius dramatically offering his heart for Brutus to stab Caesar as he stabbed Caesar. However, they soon realise how broken their friendship has become over misunderstandings. Repenting of their rash behaviour, they renew their bond, clasping hands.

Brutus then tells the grievous news that his wife Portia has died by suicide, swallowing fire out of grief over the rebellion’s troubles. Cassius is amazed at Brutus’s stoic acceptance of this blow. They are joined by officers Messala and Titinius, who report that their enemies Octavius and Antony are marching on them at Philippi with a massive force, having already executed scores of senators loyal to Brutus.

Brutus proposes marching out to meet the enemy at Philippi, though Cassius advises letting the enemy come to them. Brutus overrides Cassius, saying they must seize this crisis as an opportunity. Cassius acquiesces to avoid further conflict.

After the meeting, as Brutus reads alone, the ghost of the dead Caesar appears before him, warning ominously that they will meet again at the coming battle. This frightening supernatural visitation signals the tragic outcome that awaits the noble but flawed conspirators.

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Workbook answers

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Cassius accuses Brutus of having

a. accused Lucius Pella of taking bribes b. accused Pindarus of taking bribes c. plotted against Cassius’ life d. instigated the Sardians against Lucius Pella.

Answer: a. accused Lucius Pella of taking bribes

2. Brutus reminds Cassius of

a. the Ides of March b. the Feast of Lupercal c. the day Caesar suffered from an epileptic fit d. the day Caesar sank in the river Tiber

Answer: a. the Ides of March

3. While Cassius and Brutus are arguing

a. a poet enters b. Lucilius enters c. Antony and Octavius attack them d. Lucius enters with a taper

Answer: a. a poet enters

4. Brutus does not want to wait for the enemies to attack them because

a. he fears that the people between Sardis and Philippi may join their forces b. they might receive a fuller number up c. they may become refreshed with renewed energy d. he is impatient by nature

Answer: b. they might receive a fuller number up

5. Portia commits suicide by

a. swallowing burning coals b. swallowing poison c. hanging herself d. burning herself

Answer: a. swallowing burning coals

Context questions

BRUTUS- You wronged yourself to write in such a case
CASSIUS – In such a time as this it is not meet
That every offense should bear his commitment.

1. Where are Brutus and Cassius? What charge is levelled by Brutus against Cassius?

Answer: Brutus and Cassius are in Brutus’s tent. Brutus accuses Cassius of having an “itching palm”, implying corruption for taking bribes.

2. Why does Cassius feel that they should not argue in ‘such a time’?

Answer: Cassius feels they should not argue at such a critical time because unity is crucial for their survival and success against their enemies.

3. What did Brutus accuse Cassius of? How did Cassius react to this accusation?

Answer: Brutus accused Cassius of corruption and accepting bribes, to which Cassius reacted with disbelief and indignation, emphasizing their friendship and the importance of their cause over personal gain.

4. Explain the line: “It is not meet that every offense should bear his comment”.

Answer: The line means that it is not appropriate to scrutinize or criticize every minor offense during such critical and tumultuous times, suggesting a need for leniency and understanding among allies.

5. Brutus accuses Cassius of many wrongs. Was Brutus justified in doing so? Give reasons for your answer.

Answer: Brutus’s accusations were partially justified as they stemmed from a concern for integrity and the moral high ground in their cause. However, his approach might have been too harsh, ignoring the complexities of their situation and the need for pragmatic solutions in times of war.

BRUTUS – The name of Cassius honours this corruption
And chastisement doth therefore hide his head.
CASSIUS Chastisement.
BRUTUS Remember, the ____ of ____’, Remember.

1. What does Brutus remind Cassius of? Fill in the blanks of the lines in the extract.

Answer: Brutus reminds Cassius of “the Ides of March”. The correct lines are “Remember March; the ides of March remember.”

2. What do the words in the blanks signify? For what purpose did Julius Caesar bleed ‘for justice sake’?

Answer: The words “Ides of March” signify the day they assassinated Julius Caesar, marking it as a pivotal moment for their cause, intended for the sake of justice and the republic.

3. How does Brutus connect the act of murdering Caesar to corruption?

Answer: Brutus connects the act of murdering Caesar to corruption by arguing that their noble deed should not lead them to engage in corrupt practices like accepting bribes, as it would dishonor their cause.

4. How is Brutus wrong in his assessment? Was Brutus being fair to Cassius? Give reasons for your answer.

Answer: Brutus’s assessment is wrong because it oversimplifies complex situations and disregards the pragmatic aspects of their struggle. While aiming for moral high ground is noble, Brutus fails to acknowledge the necessity of resources and support in a rebellion. He was not being entirely fair to Cassius, not fully considering his perspective or the pressures they faced.

BRUTUS- Must I stand and crouch under your testy humour? By the gods, You shall digest the venom of your spleen, Though it do split you.

1. Explain the lines: “You shall digest the venom of your spleen/Though it do split you.”

Answer: The lines mean that Brutus is challenging Cassius to endure the consequences of his own anger and bitterness, even if it harms him.

2. How does Brutus taunt Cassius in the succeeding lines of the extract that Cassius tells Brutus in exasperation ‘Is it come to this’?

Answer: Brutus taunts Cassius by suggesting that Cassius should unleash his anger elsewhere, where it might be more appropriately directed, indicating that Brutus refuses to be intimidated or moved by Cassius’s temper.

3. Why does Cassius consider himself a better soldier than Brutus? Was he justified in the assessment of himself? Give reasons for your answer.

Answer: Cassius considers himself a better soldier due to his experience and ability to make pragmatic decisions in war. This self-assessment could be justified as it stems from his military experience and understanding of strategy, contrasting with Brutus’s idealism.

4. State any two derogatory remarks made by Brutus for Cassius. Was Brutus justified in doing so?

Answer: Two derogatory remarks include accusing Cassius of having an “itchingpalm” and suggesting Cassius is easily angered (“waspish”). Brutus’s justifications lie in his perception of Cassius’s actions as corrupt and detrimental to their cause, though his approach may lack empathy for Cassius’s situation.

5. What was the misunderstanding between Brutus and Cassius? How does Cassius justify himself to Brutus? What makes Cassius soften towards Brutus?

Answer: The misunderstanding revolves around Brutus’s accusation of Cassius accepting bribes and failing to financially support their military efforts. Cassius justifies himself by arguing the importance of unity and their shared cause, and he softens towards Brutus by showing vulnerability and reminding Brutus of their friendship and mutual sacrifices.

CASSIUS – There is my dagger,
And here my naked breast, within, a heart,
Dearer than Pluto’s mine, richer than gold,
If that thou be’st a Roman, take it forth,

1. What has made Cassius become so frustrated in anger? What were Cassius ‘ complaints against Brutus before this extract?

Answer: Cassius’s frustration stems from Brutus’s accusations of corruption and not supporting their cause financially. Cassius complains that Brutus unjustly condemned a friend and ignored Cassius’s pleas for leniency and support.

2. What does Cassius mean to say when he says his heart is “Dearer than Pluto’s mine”? Who is Pluto? Why does Cassius compare his heart to Pluto’s mine?

Answer: Cassius’s statement signifies the sincerity and value of his loyalty, comparing it to the wealth of the underworld, ruled by Pluto, the Roman god of the underworld. He uses this comparison to stress the depth and worth of his commitment to Brutus and their cause.

3. Why had Cassius, according to Brutus, denied giving gold to him? How did Cassius justify this accusation made to him by Brutus?

Answer: According to Brutus, Cassius denied sending him gold needed for the war effort, suggesting Cassius was hoarding wealth. Cassius justifies himself by highlighting the miscommunication and reaffirming his loyalty and willingness to support Brutus, even offering his own life as proof.

4. How does Brutus try to pacify Cassius and end the quarrel? How would you have ended the quarrel? Write your answer in two sentences.

Answer: Brutus attempts to pacify Cassius by acknowledging their mutual grief and the strains on their friendship, suggesting they should not let their disputes divide them. To end the quarrel, I would affirm the value of our friendship and mutual goals, proposing a focus on our common enemy rather than personal grievances.

5. Who enters the scene? Why has the person come here? How does Brutus react to the person’s intrusion?

Answer: A poet enters the scene, intending to reconcile Brutus and Cassius, believing that their quarrel could harm their cause. Brutus reacts dismissively to the poet’s intrusion, seeing it as inappropriate and unwelcome at such a tense moment.

BRUTUS- No more I pray you,
Messala, have here I received letters
That young Octavius and Mark Antony
Come down upon us with a mighty power,
Bending their expeditions towards Philippi.

1. Who does Brutus speak to in the first line of the extract? Why does he not want the person to speak of the topic anymore? What is the topic of conversation that is upsetting to Brutus?

Answer: Brutus speaks to Messala, asking him not to speak further about a particular topic because it involves the upsetting news of Portia’s death, which Brutus finds distressing.

2. Whose thought is Brutus trying to wave off? What philosophy of his is he trying to use in the extract?

Answer: Brutus is trying to wave off thoughts of grief and personal loss, using his Stoic philosophy to maintain focus on their military objectives and not be overwhelmed by personal emotions.

3. Who is Messala? What piece of information does Messala give after the extract?

Answer: Messala is a messenger and ally of Brutus and Cassius. After the extract, Messala brings news of the approaching army of Octavius and Mark Antony and reports on the execution of senators by their opponents.

4. How does Brutus plan to meet his enemy? What does Cassius advice Brutus contrary to his plan?

Answer: Brutus plans to take a proactive approach by marching to Philippi to confront Octavius and Mark Antony directly. Cassius advises against this, suggesting it would be wiser to let their enemies come to them, arguing that waiting would tire the enemy and conserve their own resources.

5. How did Cassius prove himself to be ‘a better soldier’ than Brutus in his advice?

Answer: Cassius proves himself to be a better soldier through his advice by advocating for a strategic approach that considers the logistics of warfare, such as conserving energy and resources, and using the terrain and timing to their advantage, displaying a deeper understanding of military strategy compared to Brutus’s more impulsive decision.

BRUTUS- There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune,
Omitted all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries

1. What instructions are being given before the extract and to whom?

Answer: Before the extract, Brutus and Cassius are discussing their military strategy, with Brutus giving instructions about the need to act decisively and quickly to Cassius and their allies, advocating for marching to Philippi to face their enemies.

2. Explain the lines: “There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.”

Answer: The lines mean that there are pivotal moments in life that, if seized, can lead to great success. These moments are like tides that, when caught at their peak, can carry one towards their desired destiny.

3. How does Brutus compare the voyage of life to the voyage at sea?

Answer: Brutus compares the voyage of life to the voyage at sea by suggesting that just as sailors must navigate tides to reach their destination successfully, individuals must seize opportunities at the right moment to achieve success in life.

4. Was Brutus justified in taking advantage of the ‘tide’ in his life? Give reasons for your answer.

Answer: Brutus was justified from his perspective, believing that taking decisive action during a crucial moment could lead to victory. His argument is based on the belief that fortune favors the bold and that indecision or delay could result in missed opportunities.

5. What does Brutus propose to do after the extract? Who does he call for and why?

Answer: After the extract, Brutus proposes that they immediately march to Philippi to confront their enemies head-on. He calls for his officers and messengers to organize their forces and communicate this plan, demonstrating his commitment to action and readiness to seize the moment.

BRUTUS-How ill this Taper burns!
Ha who comes here?
I think it I’d the weakness of mine eyes

That shapes this monstrous apparition

1. Describe the setting of the scene. What does Brutus see that makes his blood turn cold?

Answer: The setting is in Brutus’s tent at night, with a poorly burning taper illuminating the space. Brutus sees the apparition of Caesar’s ghost, which makes his blood turn cold due to its sudden and unexpected appearance.

2. What does the apparition tell Brutus? What effect does the apparition have on Brutus? How would you have felt had you been in place of Brutus?

Answer: The apparition tells Brutus that he will see him at Philippi, indicating a foreboding of Brutus’s impending doom. This sighting deeply unsettles Brutus, making him question his fate and the consequences of his actions. Had I been in Brutus’s place, I would have felt terrified and haunted by guilt and foreboding.

3. What is the significance of the words of the apparition in the play?

Answer: The words of the apparition signify the inescapable consequences of Brutus’s actions and the looming defeat and death that await him, symbolizing the idea that one cannot escape the repercussions of their deeds.4. The question of whether the apparition was real or a figment of Brutus’s imagination is open to interpretation. Given the stress and guilt Brutus was under, it could be seen as a manifestation of his conscience and fears. However, the dramatic effect suggests it could also serve as a supernatural warning of his doomed fate.

4. Was the apparition real or a figment of Brutus’ imagination? Give reasons to justify your answer.

Answer: Whether the apparition was real or a figment of Brutus’s imagination is open to interpretation and can be justified either way. It could be argued that the ghost was a manifestation of Brutus’s guilt and inner turmoil, a psychological projection of his conscience struggling with the moral weight of his deeds. Alternatively, the apparition could be viewed as a real supernatural occurrence, a common element in Shakespeare’s plays to signify important turning points or convey messages from the beyond. The ambiguity adds depth to the play, allowing for different interpretations of Brutus’s character and the themes of guilt, fate, and the supernatural.

5. When does the apparition appear to Brutus again? To whom did Brutus tell this to, later in the play?

Answer: The apparition does not specify when it will appear to Brutus again within this excerpt. However, it implies a foreboding encounter at the battle of Philippi. The text does not detail whom Brutus shares this experience with later, but it underlines his troubled state of mind and the ominous nature of the ghost’s message, hinting at the tragic events to unfold.

Extra/additional MCQs

1. Cassius accuses Brutus of having:

A. accused Lucius Pella of taking bribes B. accused Pindarus of taking bribes C. plotted against Cassius’s life D. instigated the Sardians against Lucius Pella

Answer: A. accused Lucius Pella of taking bribes

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15. The decision to march to Philippi is ultimately taken by:

A. Brutus alone B. Cassius C. a consensus among the leaders D. following the advice of a military strategist

Answer: A. Brutus alone

Extra/additional questions and answers

1. Why do Brutus and Cassius argue in Brutus’s tent?

Answer: Brutus and Cassius argue over accusations of wrongdoing and corruption. Brutus accuses Cassius of having an ‘itching palm’, suggesting Cassius has been accepting bribes, while Cassius feels wronged by Brutus’s judgmental stance.

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17. Examine Brutus’s leadership style as depicted in his decision to march to Philippi and its implications for his and Cassius’s forces.

Answer: Brutus’s decision to march to Philippi reflects his proactive and somewhat idealistic leadership style. By choosing to confront their enemies, Brutus aims to seize the initiative and capitalize on what he perceives as a strategic advantage. However, this decision also reveals a potential flaw in his judgment, as it disregards Cassius’s more cautious and arguably wiser counsel. This pivotal choice demonstrates Brutus’s confidence in his principles but also his susceptibility to miscalculation, affecting their military strategy and foreshadowing the challenges they will face in the battle.

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