Class 10 Literature Reader

Julius Caesar

Exercise Questions

Question 1: How do the heavens ‘blaze forth’ the death of Julius Caesar?

Answer: In this statement, Calpurnia tries to paraphrase and age old belief that when an important person dies even the heavens mourn on the death. Meteors fall and comets blaze through the sky as if mourning the demise of the great person.

Question 2: What does Calpurnia try to convince Caesar of?

Answer: Calpurnia is trying to stop Caesar from going to attend the Senate and remain in the house.

Answer the following question:

Question 3: Why does Calpurnia say Caesar’s ‘wisdom is consumed in confidence? What does she mean?

Answer: Calpurnia means to say that Caesar is unable to comprehend the bad omens because of his overconfidence and is not paying attention to her warnings.

Question 4: What does Calpurnia dream about Caesar? How does Decius Brutus interpret the dream?

Answer: Calpurnia dreams that Caesar’s statue is spouting blood like a fountain and lusty Romans are pleased to bathe in the blood of Caesar. Decius Brutus interprets the dream to depict a positive picture. He says that the blood from the statue is reinvigorating the Romans. He tells Caesar that great men always strive to act in a way which could prove to be a source of sustenance for their subjects.

Question 5: What are the arguments put forward by Decius Brutus to convince Caesar to go to the Capitol?

Answer: Decius Brutus tries to make a positive interpretation of the dream and then he also raises a doubt that the Senate may change its mind on the decision to crown Caesar.

Question 6: Why is Decius more successful than Calpurnia in persuading Caesar?

Answer: Calpurnia is not telling what Caesar would like to hear. On the other hand, Decius frames his statements to the liking of Caesar. Brave men often commit the blunder of becoming overconfident and by doing so they ignore certain warnings.

Question 7: What is the petition put before Caesar by the conspirators? How does Caesar respond to it?

Answer: They want Publius Cimber to be forgiven and his banishment to be revoked. Caesar straightaway refuses this demand.

Question 8: Who says Et tu Brute? When are these words spoken? Why?

Answer: Brutus is a close friend of Caesar and is a highly respected person for his sense of justice. Hence, when Brutus also begins stabbing, Caesar utters in his astonishment, “Et tu Brute”. This means ‘you too Brutus’; when loosely translated into English.

Question 9: In the moments following Caesar’s death what do the conspirators proclaim to justify Caesar’s death?

Answer: After the death of Caesar, the conspirators try to justify the event by claiming that it was necessary to liberate the people of Rome from imminent slavery at the hands of Caesar.

Question 10: Seeing the body of Caesar, Antony is overcome by grief. What does he say about Caesar?

Answer: Seeing the body of Caesar, Antony says that all the conquests, glories and triumph of Caesar had sadly come to such a lowly end. He is shaken by the fact that even a great person; like Caesar could meet such an inglorious end.

Question 11: Whom does Antony call “the choice and master spirits of this age”? Why?

Answer: He is referring to Caesar because he is fully convinced about the power and respect commanded by Caesar.

Question 12: How do Brutus and Cassius respond to Antony’s speech?

Answer: Brutus and Cassius try to explain the reason behind carrying out such a dastardly act. They want to make friendship with Antony and they also assure him due share in power.

Question 13: Why does Cassius object to allowing Antony to speak at Caesar’s funeral? How does Brutus overcome this objection?

Answer: Cassius is apprehensive that Antony may create a rebellion among people by speaking in his funeral. Brutus says that he would speak before Antony does and would give valid reason for killing Caesar. Moreover, he also says that he would tell people that Antony is speaking only after his permission.

Question 14: What are the conditions imposed by the conspirators before allowing Antony to speak at Caesar’s funeral?

Answer: The conspirators allow Antony the freedom to speak all the good things about Caesar. But Antony is not allowed to say a single negative thing about the conspirators.

Question 15: When he is left alone with the body of Caesar what does Antony call Brutus and others?

Answer: When Antony is left alone with the body of Caesar, he begins with the statement that he is speaking with Brutus’ permission. He also says that Brutus and his associates killed Caesar because of his ambition and it was indeed ambition then the assassination was a just act.

Question 16: What predictions does Antony make regarding the future events in Rome?

Answer: Antony predicts a civil war in Rome. He predicts that all the people would have to suffer domestic and civil war. He predicts that the spirit of Caesar would roam the town alongwith he goddess of revenge and it would bring catastrophe in Rome.

Question 17: What reasons does Brutus give for murdering Caesar?

Answer: Brutus argues that Caesar was becoming ambitious and may have turned into a dictator. Hence, it was necessary to kill Caesar.

Question 18: Who says, “Let him be Caesar”? What light does this throw on the speaker?

Answer: A citizen makes this statement. The citizen seems to be convinced by the logic which was given by Brutus. The person portrays the herd mentality in which everyone is swayed by sudden changes in event and especially by powerful speech by a powerful public figure.

Question 19: Why is Antony’s speech more effective?

Answer: Antony begins with many examples of the past deeds of Caesar to convince the people that contrary to what was claimed, ambition was never on Caesar’s mind. He then engages the audience by showing various wounds on Caesar’s body and dramatizes the situation. Finally, he utilizes the will to great effect to sway the public sentiment against the conspirators. These instances make Antony’s speech more effective.

Question 20: At the end of the scene what is the fate of Brutus and Cassius?

Answer: Brutus and Cassius are defeated and they finally commit suicide.