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Study Guides 101
Acts IV and V Study Guide (Julius Caesar)

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Julius Caesar

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Vocabulary

1.        proscription banishment.

2.        provender animal food.

3.        perils dangers.

4.        wrangle quarrel.

5.        mirth spirited, fun, and gaiety; laughter.

6.        waspish irritable, disagreeable.

7.        durst dare.

8.        drachma a unit of weight; a silver coin.

9.        covetous envious; jealous.

10.     infirmities weaknesses.

11.     apparition ghostly figure; phantom.

12.     parley meeting to talk over or settle something; conference.

13.     reveller one who has noisy, boisterous

14.     ensign a flag or banner.

15.     legions army of 3000 to 6000 men.

16.     avenge to take revenge.

17.     providence divine care, interest, or guidance.

18.     presaged foreshadowed; an omen.

19.     disconsolate full of sadness; terribly sad.

20.     misconstrued misinterpreted, misunderstood.

21.     engendered to be the cause or source of, produced.

22.     consorted associated, kept company with, escorted.

23.     covert hidden.

24.     choleric hot-tempered.

25.     testy irritable.

26.     taper candle.

27.     vexed angered.

28.     insupportable unbearable.

29.     chastisement punishment.

30.     cur mongrel, contemptible person.

31.     demeanor bearing or behavior.

32.     perceive understand.

33.     tarry wait.

34.     suffice satisfy.

35.     presage foreshadow.

36.     peevish fretful.

37.     apt suitable.

38.     garland wreath.

Comprehension/Notes

Act IV, Scene I

-          The avengers are deciding who will live and who shall die.

-          They are so ruthless that they are going to kill brothers and nephews.

-          Antony tells Lepidus that they will try to cut off some of the people off the will, so that he will get some more money for himself.

-          The avengers killed anyone who might remotely be a threat to them.

-          Antony feels that Lepidus should be used only as an errand boy.

-          Lepidus doesnt deserve to share in the power.

-          Antony feels that Lepidus is insignificant and a nothing.

-          Antony tells Octavius that he is older than him, and that he has had more experience.

-          Antony feels that Lepidus is worthy of doing only the heavy work, and that if anything goes wrong during their plans, Lepidus will be the scapegoat.

-          Antony compares Lepidus to a donkey.

-          Octavius thinks that Lepidus is an old and valiant solder.

-          Antony scorns Octavius, saying that his horse is as well, and he compares Lepidus to a horse.

-          Antony says that Lepidus is but a follower, and that Antony has to tell him what to do; Lepidus cannot think on his own.

-          Barren-spirited means empty-headed.

-          Lepidus is just property.

-          Brutus and Cassius are raising up an army.

-          Antony says that he and Octavius need to get an army, too, and that they need to make plans. The army should be made up of their best friends.

-          Octavius says that they need to be careful because their friends may be enemies in disguise.

Act IV, Scene II

-          Lucilius and Titinius are both Brutuss and Cassiuss friends.

-          Lucius is Brutuss servant.

-          Pindarus is Cassiuss servant.

-          Brutus wishes that Cassius could take back what he did, but he is sure that Cassius will tell him why he did it. At this point, the reader still does not know what Cassius did.

-          A hot friend cooling means a good friend, and all of a sudden, youre not such great friends anymore.

-          Brutus called Cassius a hot friend cooling, because they were drifting apart.

-          Brutus told Lucilius that he was forced to be polite to Cassius now, but not because he wanted to.

-          Brutus asks why the gods are judging him, because he has not wronged his enemies, much less his good friend Cassius.

-          Brutus says that if theyre squabbling, the armies may see this and view them as apart, and they may begin to feel uneasy. He suggests that they speak in the tent.

Act IV, Scene III

-          This scene takes place in Brutuss tent.

-          Lucius Pella took bribes from the Sardians. He was a friend of Cassiuss.

-          Cassius wrote letters supporting Lucius.

-          Brutus says that Cassius shouldnt have written the letters, because in other words, Cassius was saying that it was okay to take bribes.

-          Cassius feels that Brutus should not be worrying about this.

-          Brutus accuses Cassius of taking bribes himself, and that Cassius would be paid gold to put undeservers in higher ranks.

-          Cassius says that if he didnt love Brutus, Brutus would have been killed.

-          L. 19-20: Brutus says that they killed Caesar for his ambition and for the good of Rome. Now, if Cassius continues to be ambitious, he may be killed for his ambition.

-          Brutus is extremely na´ve. He thought that everyone had killed Caesar for justice. He is so honorable that he does not see the dishonor in killing Caesar for another reason.

-          Brutus asks why they would contaminate themselves by taking bribes, and that he would rather be a dog than a Roman doing such deeds.

-          Cassius says that he is older and abler than Brutus.

-          Cassius tells Brutus to take care of his health, or he may kill Brutus.

-          Brutus tells Cassius that his captives may tremble, but that he will not.

-          Brutus says that he will laugh when Cassius is testy.

-          Cassius is backing down.

-          Brutus says that Cassius should be ashamed of his deeds. He also says that he is very honorable.

-          Brutus is also angry because he asked Cassius for gold for his legions, which Cassius denied.

-          Cassius blamed the messenger for Brutus not getting the money, but Cassius had denied it.

-          Cassius says that friends should put up with their friends weaknesses, but that Brutus is making Cassiuss fault look bigger.

-          Cassius admits that he had denied the gold that Brutus had requested.

-          Cassius says that when Brutus hated Caesar, he still loved Caesar more than Cassius.

-          Cassius asks Brutus to kill him, offering his dagger.

-          Brutus says that he would take Cassiuss temper as just a bad mood.

-          Brutus and Cassius shake hands and make up.

-          Cassius blames his mood on his mother.

-          The poet is supposed to break the tension between Brutus and Cassius.

-          The poet thinks that he is going to break the tension, but the two have already forgiven each other.

-          The significance of Brutus and Cassiuss fight is that the conspiracy is slowly but surely breaking apart, and it shows the downfall of the conspiracy.

-          Messala was another army general.

-          Brutus was sick of many griefs; his wife had committed suicide.

-          Cassius was very aggravated by Portias death because Portia was his sister.

-          Portia had killed herself because she had missed Brutus terribly, and she did not want to see Brutus killed by the triumvirate.

-          Messala had also received letters that Octavius and Antony had raised an army and taken them to Philippi.

-          The triumvirate had killed a hundred senators, Cicero being one. This was ironic, because Cicero had nothing to do with the conspiracy at all.

-          Portia killing herself is significant because the conspiracy is breaking up.

-          Brutus suggests marching to Philippi with their army to meet the triumvirate.

-          Cassius feels that it is unwise to bring their army to Philippi because the other army will be tired and exhausted, and Brutuss army would be rested and nimble.

-          Brutus feels that it is wise to march to Philippi because the towns along the way will side with Antony. Brutuss armies had taken their livestock, so they are angry. Antonys armies would be huge.

-          Brutus also says that they legions are brimful, and that they have a noble cause. Their enemy will gain more men daily. On the other hand, their army is at a height and ready to decline.

-          L. 249-255: Brutus says that there is a time when there is an opportunity to seize, and that if they dont take it now, theyll regret it later.

-          Cassius gave in to Brutuss reasons, which were:

o          Between Philippi and Sardis, there were several armies that would join Antony.

o         Their armies are at a brimful.

o         They have the right motive; their cause is ripe.

o         The enemy is increasing daily.

o         Their army is a high, and ready to decline.

o         Seize the moment; seize the day.

-          Brutus is very stressed, and he doesnt want to be alone. He is totally distraught, and he sees that everything is falling apart. He is guilty for Caesars death, he just had a fight with Cassius, his wife is dead, and he has to march to Philippi tomorrow.

-          Brutus has become forgetful and absent-minded; he forgot where he put his book.

-          When Cinna the poet dreamt that he dined with Caesar, it foreshadowed his death. Now that the ghost said that he and Brutus would meet at Philippi, it foreshadows that Brutus will die at Philippi.

-          Brutus envied the fact that Lucius could sleep, because he could not sleep.

-          Brutus is becoming undone and is going crazy. He asks his servants if they heard anything, trying to convince himself that he was only imagining the entire thing.

Act V, Scene I

-          Octavius says that they had hoped that the conspirators would come to meet them. Antony had not thought that it would happen, because it would be stupid to do so.

-          Antony says that he knows their secrets.

-          Antony calls the conspirators cowards.

-          Antony orders Octavius to go to the left side of the field, but Octavius wants to go to the right. This foreshadows that the two will later fight for power.

-          L. 29-71: This is the War of the Words. The conspirators and avengers fight with metaphors.

-          Antony called Brutus a hypocrite, because he yelled, Long live, hail Caesar! but then killed him.

-          Cassius says that Brutus was kissing up to Caesar and killed him, just as Antony kissed up to the conspirators after the assassination.

-          Antony said that the conspirators kissed up to Caesar, and then killed him.

-          Cassius tells Brutus that they would not have been in this predicament if they had listened to Cassius and killed Antony.

-          Octavius is the peevish schoolboy.

-          Antony is the masker and the reveler.

-          Octavius tells the conspirators to fight when they have the guts to.

-          The significance of Cassiuss birthday is that he was born and will die on this day.

-          Cassius felt that he had come full circle on his life; he lived and died on his birthday.

-          Cassius had become superstitious.

-          Cassius said that two eagles came from Sardis and went to Brutuss ensign. They ate from the soldiers hands. The two eagles left, and in their place came scavengers, and the scavengers watched over Cassius and Brutus.

-          The scavengers portrayed death and danger.

-          A canopy most fatal signified a black cloud of death.

-          The portentous things were as follows:

o         It was Cassiuss birthday.

o         The eagles followed the conspirators from Sardis to Philippi, and they ate from the hands of the soldiers.

o         The eagles left, and the scavengers came and watched over them, like a black cloud of death.

-          Antony and Octavius were the two mighty eagles.

-          Cassius is ready to die today.

-          Cassius says that if the gods will allow, they will not die today, but of old age.

-          Cassius says to think of the worst thing that could happen, which would be humiliation.

-          If Cassius and Brutus lose the battle, Cassius will commit suicide.

-          Brutus thinks that suicide is cowardly and vile, because you end the pain instead of letting yourself die of natural causes or because of something you did.

-          Cassius changed Brutus mind quickly. Brutus says he would rather kill himself than be paraded in the streets of Rome.

-          If Brutus and Cassius meet again, it means that they have won, so they will smile. However, if they lose this battle, their farewell was well made.

Act V, Scene II

-          Brutus gives the legions orders to fight.

Act V, Scene III

-          Pindarus says that Cassius should run, because Antony is in their tents.

-          Titinius says that Brutus called the alarm too early.

-          Cassius thought that the cause was lost because Brutus had ordered the legions too early, and he had lost against Octaviuss legions.

-          Cassius sees his tents on fire and becomes afraid.

-          Titinius is another general, and he is Cassiuss best friend.

-          Cassius sends Titinius to see if the troops above are his troops or Antonys troops.

-          Pindarus acts as Cassiuss vision.

-          Cassius says that he has turned full circle, and that he will die today.

-          Pindarus thinks that he sees Antonys troops surrounding and dismounting Titinius from his horse. Afterwards, he thought that he heard Antonys troops yelling in joy.

-          Pindarus has misconstrued it. Brutus had won the battle against Octavius. He came off his horse, and his legions cheered him for his deed. However, in the distance, that could not be seen.

-          Cassius asks Pindarus to aid him to kill himself.

-          Cassius says that Caesar has helped to avenge his own death.

-          L. 50-51: Cassius is using the same sword to kill himself that he killed Caesar with. This is ironic, because Caesar is turning the sword against Cassius. Caesar is more powerful dead than he was alive.

-          Pindarus says that he was free, but that he would rather not be. This shows that he loved Cassius.

-          Pindarus runs away, and he is never seen again.

-          Cassius had felt that all hope was gone because he thought that Titinius had been taken, and he had lost his battle against Antony.

-          Titinius, when he sees the body of Cassius, says that Cassius had probably mistrusted his success, so he had committed suicide.

-          Titinius says that Rome is set, and Cassius is set, and that all hope is gone. This foreshadows that he will kill himself, which he does.

-          Messala tells Titinius to search for Pindarus, and Messala goes to tell Brutus what happened, although this news will not be welcomed happily.

-          Titinius understands that Cassius misconstrued everything.

-          Titinius commits suicide on Cassiuss sword. This is also ironic, because Caesar is coming and killing Cassius and Titinius, avenging his own death.

-          L. 105-108: Brutus says that Caesar is turning the conspirators swords on themselves, and that he is killing them, avenging his death.

-          L. 110-111: Brutus calls Cassius the last of the Romans, because he still believes that Cassius killed Caesar because of his love for Rome. This shows his naivety, and the fact that he never really got it.

-          Brutus tries to win back what Cassius has lost. He also says that he doesnt have the time to mourn over Cassius.

Act V, Scene IV

-          A proxy is a substitute.

-          Lucilius is the best friend of Brutus and Cassius. He wants to act as Brutus, and then have Antony kill him so Brutus can run away.

-          Lucilius pretends to be Brutus. He offers the soldiers money to kill him, but they do not.

-          Antony keeps Lucilius and treats him well. He wants to befriend Lucilius, because he will help later in uniting Rome. He respects Lucilius because he would have sacrificed his life for Brutus.

Act V, Scene V

-          Clitus says that Statilius gave a signal, but did not come back. He was either dead or taken by Antonys legions.

-          Brutus asks Clitus to assist him in his suicide, but Clitus declines.

-          Brutus also asks Dardanus to hold his sword for him, but Dardanus declines as well.

-          Brutus asks Volumnius to kill him, but Volumnius also declines.

-          Brutus says that Caesars ghost met him again, and that his time has come.

-          Brutus says that it is more honorable to kill himself than to let the enemy kill him.

-          Brutus says that in all of his life, all of his friends and fellow Romans had been loyal to him, so loyal that they would not assist him in his suicide.

-          Brutus says that his life has almost ended.

-          L. 56-57: Brutus tells Caesar to rest in peace, and that he didnt really want to kill Caesar, but he loved Rome more. He also tells him that he killed Caesar with half a will than he killed himself. He is feeling very guilty over the death of Caesar.

-          L. 74-81: Antony gives a mini oration over Brutus, saying how he was the noblest Roman of them all. Antony says that of all of the conspirators, Brutus was the only one with a true motive; the others were all jealous of Caesars power. He killed Caesar only for the general good for Rome. He was a real man.

-          Octavius got the last word. This foreshadows that he will win the battle over power, which he does. In all arguments, the person with the last word has won.

Questions

Act IV, Scene I and II

1.        Who are the avengers of the murder of Caesar? The avengers of the murder of Caesar are the second triumvirate.

2.        Where do they meet? The avengers meet at Antonys house.

3.        What are they doing? The avengers are discussing whom they need to eliminate to prevent rebellions, and who will live.

4.        What does Antony intend to do with Lepidus? Antony intended to kick Lepidus out and rule Rome with Octavius, and take his power away. He wants the power for himself.

5.        Where does Scene 2 take place? Scene 2 takes place in a camp near Sardis, near Brutuss tent.

6.        What are the relations of Brutus and Cassius? Brutus and Cassius are still great friends, but Cassius is beginning to worry about their safety.

Act IV, Scene II

1.        Why was Lepidus in the triumvirate? Lepidus was in the triumvirate because he was a famous and great army general. However, Antony wanted to use Lepidus as an errand boy and a scapegoat.

2.        Which of Antonys traits are seen here? Antonys ruthlessness, cruelty, and hunger of power are seen here.

3.        Are Antony and Octavian fitted to work together? How do you know? Antony and Octavian are not fitted to work together. Antony felt that Lepidus wasnt strong enough, but Octavian thought that Lepidus was a valiant soldier. They were both power-hungry.

4.        What does Antony propose to do? Antony proposes to make an army of their best friends.

5.        What is the effect on the triumvirate of the possession of power? The effect on the triumvirate of the possession of power was their killing anyone who could remotely be an obstacle, including their family. They were extremely greedy.

6.        What were the traits of the triumvirate? The triumvirate was ruthless, angry, and cruel. They became greedy (they took money from Caesars will).

7.        How does Antony contrast to the Antony in Act III? Antony contrasts from the Antony in Act III in that Antony is now more ruthless and bloodthirsty. He sounds a lot more serious in this act. In Act III, he was avenging for Caesar, but now, he wants some power for himself.

8.        What great idea does Brutus bring up? Brutus tells Cassius to go into the tent to argue, because if the soldiers had seen them fighting, they might have become uneasy and disloyal to their generals.

9.        What is the significance in the discord of the conspiracy? The significance in the discord of the conspiracy is that they are starting to become less powerful, a like a hot friend cooling. It shows the downfall of the conspiracy.

10.     What do we learn from the dialogue between Lucilius and Brutus? From the dialogue between Lucilius and Brutus, we learn that Brutus and Cassius are hot friends cooling.

Act IV, Scene III

1.        Interpret the quote, Remember March, the ides of March remember./Did not great Julius bleed for justice sake? Brutus said, Remember March; the ides of March He meant that he killed Caesar for his ambition, and if Cassius continued to take bribes and be ambitious, he would suffer the same fate. It also shows Brutuss extreme naivety; he still doesnt get the fact that he was the only honorable one.

2.        What is the dramatic effect of the poets entrance and advice? The dramatic effect of the poets entrance and advice is that the conspiracy is falling apart, and it shows the downfall of the conspiracy. It was to break the tension.

3.        When the poet leaves, what sad news does Brutus tell Cassius? When the poet leaves, Brutus tells Cassius that Portia has committed suicide.

4.        What is the dramatic function of Messala? What is the irony revealed by him? The dramatic function of Messala is that he brings the news that Portia is dead, and that a hundred senators had been killed, including Cicero. The irony revealed by him is that Cicero had no relation whatsoever to the conspiracy, but he had been killed anyways. It was situation irony.

5.        What information does Messala give? Messala gives the information that Portia is dead, and that Antony has killed a hundred senators.

6.        Why was the second allusion made to Portias death? The second allusion was made to Portias death because Shakespeare wanted to reinforce the downfall of the conspiracy. Portia was worried about Brutus, and she did not want to see her husband die.

7.        What reasons did Brutus give in favor of marching to Philippi? Brutus was in favor of fighting at Philippi, and he gave the following reasons; Brutuss army had taken livestock from towns along the way, so the townspeople would join Antonys army, Brutuss army was at a brimful, their motive was ripe, the enemy was increasing daily, their army was a at a high and ready to decline, and they should seize the moment and seize the opportunity.

8.        What reasons did Cassius give urging against going to Philippi? Cassius urged against going to Philippi by saying that Antonys army would be exhausted, while theirs would be rested and ready to attack.

9.        What decision was reached? The decision reached was that they would march to Philippi. This was a mistake because the two of them would later die at Philippi.

10.     Why does Cassius agree to the march? Cassius agreed to the march because he loved Brutus. He was distraught because of his sisters death.

11.     What was the significance of Caesars ghost? The significance of Caesars ghost was that Brutus would die at Philippi. Cinna the poet had dreamt that he had dined with Caesar, and he had died minutes later. Caesars ghost said that they would meet at Philippi, which foreshadows Brutuss death at Philippi. It also showed Brutuss guilt over Caesars death.

12.     What attributes of Brutus are seen in this scene? The attributes of Brutus seen in this scene are his anger, sorrow, stress, disgust, honor, naivety, bad strategy, tiredness, wornness, guilt, and fear.

Act IV, Scene III

1.        What charge does Brutus bring against Cassius? Brutus accuses Cassius of writing a letter supporting his guilty friend Lucius Pella, denying Brutuss request for money, and taking bribes.

2.        What warning does Brutus give Cassius? Brutus warns Cassius that he will kill him if Cassius continues to take bribes.

3.        How does Caesar reply? Cassius tells Brutus not to persecute him. He denies these actions first, and then admits them later.

4.        How does Cassius feel toward Brutus? Cassius is mean, angry, sarcastic, and then nice and sympathetic towards Brutus. He loves Brutus, but he is angry.

5.     How is the quarrel between Cassius and Brutus significant in the scene? The quarrel showed that the conspiracy was falling apart and failing, and it wasnt as unified. It foreshadows the retribution of the avengers.

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