The following questions will help you to prepare for your eventual test over “Julius Caesar”. While I will not be collecting this, it is on you to make sure that you are answering the questions as we go. Your test will be taken directly from this study guide. Act I 1) Judging from the events in Act I, the political mood and behavior of the Romans are best described how? 2) When we first see Brutus, he appears to be ________________________. 3) Which line from Act I foreshadows what will happen to Caesar? 4) “Truly, sir… I am but, as you would say, a cobbler” is an example of what literary device?
5) Cassius states, “Men at some time are masters of their fates: / The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings. ” Based on this, what can you infer about Cassius? 6) The crowd shouts three times for what? 7) Who are the most loyal supporters of Caesar in Act I? 8) At the end of Scene 2, what does Cassius plan? 9) In Scene 3, Shakespeare uses a violent storm and other unusual natural events to suggest something.
What is he suggesting? 10) In Scene 3, Cicero says to Casca, “this disturbed sky / Is not to walk in.
” Other than the weather, Cicero is referring to the fact that he __________________ 11) What is included in the exposition of Act I? 12) Who is the protagonist? 13) How would one best describe Cassius’ character? 14) What is the central conflict introduced in Act I? 15) Possible essay question from Act I: Dialogue not only reveals the play’s action and the characters’ motives but often shows various arguments or positions or an opinion or an event. In scene 3, lines 34-35, Cicero says of the storm, “But men may construe things after their fashion, / Clean from the purpose of the things themselves.
” How does this idea vary from Cassius’s attitude toward the storm? How else could the storm be interpreted? Be prepared to write your answer on a separate sheet of paper with at least two examples from the play to support your ideas. Act II 16) In his soliloquy, Brutus reveals his true feelings about whom? 17) As Act II progresses, Portia becomes more ___________________ 18) Cassius, as a foil, influences Brutus in what ways? 19) Caesar’s initial decision to stay at home rather than to go to the Senate is a response to what? 20) How is Caesar’s conflict regarding whether or not to go to the Senate resolved?
21) As Caesar decides whether or not to go to the Senate, he says, “Mark Antony shall say I am not well, / And for thy humor, I will stay at home. ” What does Caesar mean when he refers to humor? 22) Why does Caesar disregard the omens? 23) What is the point of Brutus’ comparison of Caesar to a newly hatched sparrow? 24) How would one characterize Decius when he arrives to take Caesar to the Senate? 25) An attempt to warn Caesar of the conspiracy occurs in the form of what? 26) Act II includes the rising action of the play, which is what? 27) Shakespeare builds suspense by having Calpurnia do what?
28) Possible essay question from Act II: In scene 1, lines 63-69, Brutus says, “Between the acting of a dreadful thing / And the first motion, all the interim is / Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream. / The genius and the mortal instruments / Are then in council, and the state of a man, / Like to a little kingdom, suffers then / The nature of an insurrection. ” How do these lines reflect both Brutus’ inner conflict and the overall conflict that builds in Act II? Be prepared to write your answer on a separate sheet of paper, using at least two examples from the play to support your ideas.
Act III 29) Who is the conspirator who first prevents Artemidorus from warning Caesar? 30) What are Caesar’s dying words and what do they express? 31) Immediately after Caesar’s death, Antony sends a servant to Brutus. Why? 32) Why does Brutus allow Antony to speak at Caesar’s funeral? 33) Among the conspirators, which one warns Brutus that Antony will scheme against them? 34) In Act III, what are the feelings that Antony speaks of? 35) How would one best describe the reaction of plebeians to the speeches by Brutus and Antony? 36) What is the difference between the two funeral orations?
37) Antony says to the assembled mob, “Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir you up / To such a sudden flood of mutiny. ” What is Antony trying to do by saying this? 38) When does the turning point of the play occur? 39) After the conspirators kill Caesar, they bathe their hands and swords in his blood. How does this foreshadow the end of the play? What do you think will happen? 40) When Cassius speaks in an aside to Brutus about whether or not Antony should speak at Caesar’s funeral, who can hear him? Who else is on stage with him? 41) Why is Antony’s speech not considered a soliloquy?
42) Possible Essay question from Act III: In Scene 2, Antony turns a shocked and confused crowd of mourners into an angry mob of rioters. On a separate sheet of paper, be prepared to write a paragraph that describes how this transformation occurs. Cite at least three ways by which Antony achieves this effect. Act IV 43) Who is involved in the planned military conflict of Act IV? 44) In his attitude toward Lepidus, how is Antony characterized? 45) What is Brutus’ main motivation? 46) What issue stands between Brutus and Cassius? 47) In his treatment of Cassius, how is Brutus characterized?
48) Who is the poet who appears in Brutus’ tent in Scene 3? 49) Cassius and Brutus argue over where they should do battle with the triumvirate’s troops. How is this conflict resolved? 50) “To get a better view of Caesar’s chariot as it travels down the road, Cassius first tries a mirror and then a telescope. ” What is the anachronism in the preceding sentence? 51) “Brutus was the last to raise his dagger and plunge it into Caesar’s cloak, narrowly missing the watch in his pocket. ” What is the anachronism in the preceding sentence? 52) What happens to Portia? 53) In the falling action of Act IV, what happens to the main characters?
54) Before the battle of Philippi, Brutus tells Cassius, “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. ” What does Brutus mean? 55) The appearance of Caesar’s ghost in Act IV is an example of what literary device? 56) What does Caesar’s ghost do? 57) Possible Essay question from Act IV: What function do you think the ghost of Julius Caesar serves at the end of Act IV? On a separate sheet of paper, be prepared to write a paragraph describing your interpretation of the ghost scene.
Use at least two examples from the play to support your ideas. Act V 58) How long does all of the action in Act V actually take? 59) Why does Shakespeare use minor characters to report on the battle’s progress? 60) In Scene 1, lines 46-47, Cassius says to Octavius, “This tongue had not offended so today, / If Cassius might have ruled. ” Cassius means that they would not be having their present conversation if only what had happened? 61) What incorrect conclusion does Pindarus come to about what is happening on the battlefield? 62) What is the consequence of Pindarus’ misreading of the battlefield?
63) What really happens on the battlefield? 64) What is ironic, or surprising, about Brutus’ suicide? 65) What do the arguments, battles, and deaths in the final act serve to accomplish for the story? 66) Which character most closely fits Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero? 67) When is the climax of this play? 68) What happens in the resolution of the play? 69) Possible Essay question from Act V: In Act I, Brutus tells Cassius that though he would hot have Caesar for a king, he still loves him. Throughout the play, characters express what seem to be contradictory feelings or act in apparent contradiction to their professed beliefs.
On a separate piece of paper, be prepared to write a paragraph in which you explore at least two examples of contradictory feelings or actions in Act V. Writing Application for the Unit The following is a rough draft of an essay comparing a scene in a film version of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing to the same scene in Shakespeare’s original play of the same name. The essay contains errors in development and organization. Some of the questions refer to underlined phrases or numbered sentences within the text. Read the essay and answer the following questions.
Much Ado About – What? (1) In his film adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, director Kenneth Branagh is very faithful to the script of the original play. (2) However, his narrative and film techniques, particularly in the crucial scene in which Benedick overhears other characters discussing Beatrice’s feelings for him (act 2, scene 3), alter the emphasis of the play. (3) To emphasize the comic and romantic elements of the play, Branagh cuts act 2, scene 2, a dark scene in which two characters conspire to spoil the marriage plans of Claudio and Hero.
(4) As a result, the scene in which Don Pedro and other characters stage a conversation about Beatrice’s love so that Benedick will hear it follows the scene in which Don Pedro develops his plan to match Benedick and Beatrice romantically. (5) This director’s decision emphasizes the relationship between Benedick and Beatrice, whose verbal fencing has already revealed their equality in intelligence and wit and their emotional connection. (6) Significantly, lines referring to the engagement and impending marriage of Claudio and Hero are deleted, further narrowing the focus to Benedick and Beatrice.
(7) Stage directions for the play do not tell where this scene is located, but Benedick says that he is in an orchard (2. 3. 4). (8) In the film, the scene is changed to a formal garden that includes a fountain and gravel walks lined by trees. (9) When the scene opens, Benedick is sitting in a folding canvas chair next to the fountain. (10) While delivering a soliloquy on the reasons he does not wish to marry, he sees Don Pedro and other characters approaching, takes his chair, and hides.
(11) Benedick is meant to overhear the conversation, and as he eavesdrops, his gestures and stage business with the chair reveal his changing thoughts about Beatrice and also emphasize comic elements in the scene. (12) Without such a prop, the filmmaker would need to switch the camera back and forth between Benedick in his hiding place and the actors at the fountain; he would also need to zoom in on the faces to reveal reactions. (13) When Don Pedro first mentions Beatrice’s love for Benedick, Benedick falls out of the chair. (14) For this bit of stage business, the camera need not zoom in on Benedick’s face to show his astonishment.
(15) To encourage Benedick’s growing attachment to Beatrice, Don Pedro sends Beatrice to fetch Benedick to dinner. (16) The stage direction simply says “Enter Beatrice. ” (17) In the film, Beatrice enters in an angry manner with a fierce look on her face. (18) The camera zooms in on her as she approaches and then gives viewers a close-up shot of her face. (19) It is clear to the viewer that this errand is distasteful to her; however, since Benedick now believes that she loves him, he says to himself, “I do spy some marks of love in her” (2.
3. 242-243), a line that always draws a laugh from viewers. (20) Branagh employs narrative and film techniques to emphasize some elements of the play, at the expense of other elements. (21) In particular, the elements of farce he adds to this scene place it – and the play – specifically in the genre of comedy. (22) Branagh’s embellishments are most clearly represented by the chair, which allows him as the actor to demonstrate Benedick’s changing feelings for Beatrice. 70) Which sentence would BEST provide an interesting opener for the essay?
a) Kenneth Branagh has made a few changes to Much Ado About Nothing. b) Sometimes filmmakers change plays so that the original play is barely recognizable. c) Who would think that a chair could do so much for a film? d) How often do you watch films based on stage plays? 71) What information should be added to sentence 1? 72) How could alter the emphasis of the play BEST be written to provide a clear thesis statement? 73) What supporting evidence would MOST appropriately follow sentence 5? 74) What is the BEST way to elaborate on sentence 6?
75) What should BEST be added to the end of sentence 10 to make the setting clear? 76) Which of the following sentences should be added after sentence 12? a) On a stage, all actors would be visible to the audience during the entire scene. b) The audience might be annoyed or confused by too many changes in camera angle and focus. c) The fountain serves another important purpose when the love-stricken Benedick dances through it. d) Use of the chair as a prop avoids the possibly confusing changes in camera direction. 77) How could you alter enters in an angry manner to add sensory details?
78) How could you write to emphasize some elements of the play, at the expense of other elements in order to restate the thesis? 79) Which of the following sentences provides the BEST closing thought for the essay? a) If you want to know what a play is really about, you should read the script. b) Plays must often be cut because the script is too long to keep an audience’s attention. c) Branagh is also well known for his performances as Shakespearean characters. d) Even a relatively small addition to a performance can significantly alter the tone of a play.
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