Julius Caesar Act 5 Scene 2: ICSE Class 10 workbook answers

julius caesar act 5 scene 2
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Get notes, workbook solutions, summary, questions and answers, and pdf of the drama/play Julius Caesar (Act 5 Scene 2) 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 on the plains of Philippi, where the two armies led by Brutus and Cassius on one side, and Octavius and Antony on the other, are positioned for battle. Brutus hands Messala some written orders (“bills”) to deliver to the legions commanded by Cassius on the other wing of their army.

Brutus mistakenly perceives that Octavius’ forces lack enthusiasm and vigor. He orders an immediate attack, assuming this will easily overwhelm Octavius’ “cold” troops before Antony can reinforce them. This proves to be a major strategic error by Brutus.

The scene highlights Brutus’ overconfidence and impulsive decision to attack prematurely without proper assessment of the enemy’s strengths. His rashness and poor judgment of Octavius’ forces set the stage for his eventual defeat in the coming battle sequences.

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Workbook answers

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Brutus gives instructions to
a. Cato
b. Messala
c. Cassius
d. Antony
Answer: b. Messala

2. Brutus sees in Octavius’ wing
a. a cold demeanor
b. a zeal full of vigor
c. restlessness
d. looting and deceit
Answer: a. a cold demeanor

3. Brutus gives orders to attack
a. at once
b. slowly
c. from all sides
d. from the rear
Answer: a. at once

Context questions

BRUTUS- Ride, ride Messala, ride and give these bills
Unto the legions on the other side

1. Where does this scene take place? What is the meaning of ‘bills’? What is referred to ‘legions on the other side’?

Answer: This scene takes place on the plains of Philippi, a location alive with troop movements as the battle starts. ‘Bills’ refers to written messages or orders. ‘Legions on the other side’ refer to the sections of Brutus and Cassius’s army positioned on the opposite wing of the battlefield, under Cassius’s command.

2. What misconceptions does Brutus have about Octavius’ army?

Answer: Brutus misconceives Octavius’ army as showing a ‘cold demeanor,’ interpreting this as a lack of zeal and vigor, and mistakenly believes this indicates weakness or a diminished will to fight on Octavius’s part.

3. What mistake does Brutus make that leads to the doom of his army?

Answer: Brutus’s mistake is ordering his troops to attack too early. This impulsive decision, based on his misinterpretation of Octavius’ forces’ disposition, leads to the strategic disadvantage and eventual defeat of his army.

4. What traits in Brutus’ character is seen in this scene?

Answer: In this scene, Brutus’s traits of being too impulsive and headstrong are evident. He acts on a misjudgment of the enemy’s condition without sufficient caution, showcasing his rashness and lack of strategic patience.

5. How did this strategy of Brutus cause his end?

Answer: Brutus’s strategy, based on an incorrect assessment of the enemy and an impulsive order to attack, undermines his army’s position and contributes to its defeat. This tactical error precipitates the larger downfall of Brutus and the conspirators, moving him inexorably toward his tragic end.

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