LONG ANSWER QUESTIONS
Q1. Brutus’ character is a conflict between his notions of honour and friendship of Caesar. Discuss how he resolves this conflict and why he is unsuccessful.
Ans : Brutus has great Republican zeal, noble idealism and he is a great moralist. He is a champion of public liberty and freedom. It is this love for liberty that urges him to join the conspirators for the murder of Caesar. He is an idealist and a dreamer of the bright future of Rome. Being honourable, he fails to see the dishonourable nature of Casius and others. Even Antony calls him the noblest of souls. But he is not at all practical. He gets misled by the conniving nature of the conspirators and sides Cassius in killing Caesar. He sacrifices his love and friendship for the sake of Rome. So he is equally responsible for this tragedy.
Q2. “Caesar’s dead body could accomplish what Caesar could not do in his life time.” Discuss the strategic importance of Caesar’s dead body and how it is exploited to the maximum.
Ans : Mark Antony takes full advantage of Caesar’s dead body and exploits this situation to the hilt. Caesar’s dead body emotionally grieves the Romans, his stabs cause them pain. Antony points out the wounds and this physical evidence turns the tide. The Romans psychologically start siding with Antony and change their stand. During his lifetime, Caesar had few enemies and critics but all them become emotional to see his dead body. So Antony exploits this to the maximum. Seeing Caesar’s blood, the mob gets ready to mutiny.
Q3. Now let it work. Mischief, thou art afoot, Take thou what course thou wilt!’ Who says the above lines? How does he succeed in instigating the people of Rome against the conspirators?
Antony in his speech presents Caesar as “a paragon of virtue and patriotism.” Discuss the glowing tributes he paid to Caesar in his funeral speech. [C.B.S.E. 2012 (T-2)]
Ans : Antony is his speech, highlights the positive qualities of Julius Caesar. Caesar was a great warrior, a formidable General who brought captives to Rome and filled its coffers. He was valiant and fearless. Moreover, he was not ambitious, as projected by the conspirators. He had thrice refused the crown when he was offered. Caesar’s heart bled for the welfare of Rome and he had Roman interests on top of any other consideration. He had also bequeathed all his property, money, walks, chambers and orchards for the people of Rome. He was a champion of Roman liberty and wanted to make Rome a very powerful nation. Hearing all this, mob feel emotionally supportive of Antony and he was able to provoke them to rise against Brutus and others.
Q5. What are the contents of Caesar’s will? What effects do these exert on the attitude of the Romans?
Ans : Antony shows Caesar’s will gradually by increasing the suspense and by asking the conspirators to circle around it. First he shows his unwillingness to reveal it, which makes the Romans very excited. They are pleasantly surprised to discover that Caesar has left all his riches and belongings to them. All his walks, gardens, chambers, orchards for the use of local Romans. This makes all the Romans very emotional and they feel that Caesar has been wronged and rise to mutiny. The mob is basically fickle-minded. Firstly, they are swayed by the emotions of Brutus and support him. Later they feel emotionally supportive of Antony and get provoked to rise against Brutus and others.
Q6. Discuss the character of Caesar in the light of the following :
(a) As a husband
(b) As a statesman
(c) As a friend
(a) Caesar is a concerned husband and gives due regard to Calpurnia’s fears by refusing to go to the senate. He is thoughtful of her considerations and does believe that she has only his true interests at heart.
(b) Caesar is an able general, very valiant and bent upon the welfare of Rome. He has waged wars, brought many captives and filled the coffers of Rome. He is conceited but not unmindful of the liberty of local people. He had refused to become the Emperor of Rome, thrice.
(c) Caesar was a true friend of Antony and Brutus. He was very loyal and was most hurt to see that even his dear friend Brutus had stabbed him. Antony respects Caesar and his love is proved by his tribute offered to Caesar on his funeral.
Q7. Caesar had done a lot of good things for the people of Rome. Yet he got nothing but death. Do you think his end was justified? Explain. [C.B.S.E. 2012 (T-2)]
Ans : Caesar was a great diplomat and a zealous Republican. He is ambitious, dominant and often aggressive and rude. He is also haughty, boastful and arrogant. He calls men like Decius Brutus ‘curs’ and calls the senators ‘grey beards’. He succumbs to flattery and that proves to be his undoing. Though he has the welfare of Rome at his heart but he comes across as very arrogant who would never change himself for anything and anyone. He is insulting to many and this infuriates people like Decius Brutus. However, his murder is not justified in any way because he was a true Roman and a benefactor of the common people.
Q8. Why did Calpurnia try to prevent Caesar from going to the senate house? Did she succeed in her mission? Why/Why not? [C.B.S.E. 2012 (T-2)]
Ans : Caesar is a fearless valiant and believes that the fixed hour of death cannot be averted. When Caesar is adamant about going to the Senate, Calpurnia dissuades him pleading that she has seen a terrifying dream in which Caesar is murdered, his statute is gushing blood and many smiling Ramans are bathing their hands in his blood. She also sees a dead man walking about. She feels that the dream was premonition of the evil that was going to befall Caesar.
So she forbids him to go to the senate. But she doesn’t succeed in her attempt because Decius Brutus cleverly interprets it positively. He says that the vision of Romans bathing in Caesar’s blood signifies that Caesar’s spirit or influence will touch many lives, and are indicates reverence and dedication for Caesar on part of the Romans. Caesar comes under the flatery of Brutus and refuses the requests of Calpurnia and leaves for the Senate.