Class 10 English Julius Caesar Summary and Important Questions

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Summary

Julius Caesar is the story of a man's personal dilemma over moral action, set against a backdrop of strained political drama. Julius Caesar, an able general and a conqueror, returns to Rome amidst immense popularity after defeating the sons of Pompey. The people celebrate his victorious return and he is offered the crown by Mark Antony which he refuses. Jealous of Caesar's growing power and afraid he may one day become a dictator, Cassius instigates a conspiracy to murder Caesar. He realizes that in order to gain legitimacy in the eyes of the Romans, he must win over the noble Brutus to his side for Brutus is the most trusted and respected man in Rome. Brutus, the idealist, joins the conspiracy feeling everyone is driven by motives as honourable as his own. Ironically, Caesar is murdered at the foot of Pompey's statue.
 
Q.1 Answer the following questions by ticking the correct options.

(a) When Caesar says "Nor heaven nor earth have been at peace to night' he sounds.............
(i) worried
(ii) angry
(iii) joyous
(iv) frightened
 
(b) Caesar's reference to the senators as 'graybeards' shows his...............
(i) confidence
(ii) cowardice
(iii) arrogance
(iv) ambition
 
(c) Decius Brutus changes Caesar's mind about going to the Senate by appealing to his.............
(i) ambition
(ii) vanity
(iii) greed
(iv) generosity
 
(d) The offer that Cassius makes to Antony after Caesar's assassination is that.............
(i) the conspirators would like to be friends with him
(ii) he may take Caesar's body to the pulpit and speak to the crows praising Caesar for his achievements
(iii) his recommendations will be as strong as that of the conspirators while distributing the powers and benefits to friends.
(iv) he may join the conspiracy against Caesar
 
(e) Cassius tries to stop Brutus from letting Antony speak at Caesar's funeral as he.............
(i) knows the Roman mob loves Caesar and Antony
(ii) knows Brutus is not a good orator
(iii) knows they should not have killed Caesar
(iv) knows Antony is a good orator who can sway the mob
 
(f) What prophecy does Antony make over Caesar's dead body?
(i) Romans will see Caesar's ghost roaming on the streets
(ii) Rome will experience fierce civil war in which many people will die
(iii) Rome-will be ruled by Ate
(iv) Roman women will smile at the death of Caesar
 
(g) After listening to Brutus speech, the Third Citizen says 'Let him be Caesar'. This clearly shows he..............
(i) has not understood Brutus' reason for killing Caesar
(ii) loved Caesar more than he loves Brutus
(iii) loves Brutus more than he loved Caesar
(iv) thinks Brutus killed Caesar to assume power
 
(h) When Antony calls the conspirators 'honourable men' his tone is................
(i) admiring
(ii) flattering
(iii) angry
(iv) mocking
 
(i) Antony's reference to Caesar's conquest of the Nervii is to..................
(i) remind the mob of Caesar's greatness as a warrior
(ii) make the mob feel afraid of being attacked by the war-like race
(iii) make the crowd weep for Caesar who died at war
(iv) stop and collect his emotions as he is feeling very upset
 
(j) Antony's remark Mischief, thou art afoot, Take thou what course thou wilt! shows him to be...................
(i) a ruthless manipulator
(ii) an honourable man
(iii) a loyal friend
(iv) a tactful man
 
Ans. (a) i, (b) i, (c) i, (d) i, (e) iv, (f) ii, (g) iii, (h) ii, (i) i (j) i

Q.2 Answer the following questions briefly.

(a) How do the heavens 'blaze forth' the death of Julius Caesar?
Ans. It is believed that when kings or princes die, a bright star plucks from the sky and shoots and falls later. It leaves a blazing light behind it. So when Caesar was murdered, a star blazed forth in the sky.
 
(b) What does Calpurnia try to convince Caesar of?
Ans. Calpurnia tries to convince Caesar that what she has seen in her dream means a danger to his life. So he must not go to the senate-house. He must not leave home. Caesar doesn't listen to her fear and is murdered.
 
(c) Why does Calpurnia say Caesar's wisdom is consumed in confidence? What does she mean?
Ans. Calpurnia means by this that Caesar's wisdom takes the form of confidence. Due to that he confuses wisdom with confidence. This over-confidence become the cause of his murder.
 
(d) What does Calpurnia dream about Caesar? How does Decius Brutus interpret the dream?
Ans. Calpurnia dreamt that Caesar's statue had a hundred spouts and pure blood ran from them. Many strong Romans came smiling. They bathed their hands into it. She meant this as an ill-omen. So she asked Caesar not to go to the senate-house that day. But Brutus interpreted the dream saying that the Roman's bathing their hands means that Caesar's blood was his 'spirit of influence', It would be treated as great thing. It shall serve as colours added to a coat of arms, an object of reverence, mementos and a badge of service.
 
(e) What are the arguments put forward by Decius Brutus to convince Caesar to go to the Capital?
Ans. First Brutus convinces Caesar that his blood will be used as a great thing of reverence by the Romans. They will revere it as souvenirs, coats of arm, etc. Secondly, if Caesar doesn't go, the senators mind may change and the may not offer him the crown.
 
(f) Why is Decius more successful than Calpurnia in persuading Caesar?
Ans. Calpurnia only kneels before Caesar and implores him to cancel his visit to the Senate. She talks about bad omens and her frightening dream. She gives no solid argument for his staying at home. But Decius Brutus has got the carrot of a crown to bait and persuade Caesar to change his mind. He is therefore more successful than Calpurnia.
 
(g) What is the petition put before Caesar by the conspirators? How does Caesar respond to it?
Ans. The conspirators put a petition before Caesar to recall Publius Cimber home as he has banished him. They request him to review his earlier decision. But Caesar says that he is firm like a Pole Star. His heart cannot be softened by browing and stopping activities. He in high above such petty things and if metellus Cimber persists in his servile activities, he would spurn him, away like a street dog.
 
(h) Who says "Et tu Brute"? When are these words spoken? Why?
Ans. The words "Et tu Brute" are spoken by Caesar before the conspirators when Cassius stabs Caesar and the other conspirators and Brutus. Caesar has been stabbed in the Senate House and his friend Brutus too stabs him. Finding Brutus a distrusting man. Caesar speaks these words as Caesar has not expected such treacherous act from him. As Caesar tries to defend himself when Brutus stabs him. His heart is broken. He cries out 'Et tu Brute'.
 
(i) In the moments following Caesar's death what do the conspirators proclaim to justify Caesar's death?
Ans. The conspirators proclaim to justify Caesar had become too ambitious to be a danger to Rome as a country. In other words, he had started becoming more and more powerful. In that case he was likely to harm the country for his ambitions. Brutus says that they killed Caesar for the love of Rome. If they had not killed him he would have made all the country a slave and all the countrymen as bondsmen.
 
(j) Seeing the body of Caesar, Antony is overcome by brief. What does he say about Caesar?
Ans. He says about Caesar many things of praise. He recollects his conquests, glories, triumphs and spoils. He calls him 'mighty' and wonders how 'low' he lies in his death. He calls him so great that he has shrunk to a little piece of ground. He pays his warm homage in calling him a 'bleeding piece of earth' and 'the ruins of the noblest man'. He also calls him so great that he has shrunk to a little piece of ground. He pays him warm homage in calling him a 'bleeding piece of earth' and 'the ruins of the noblest man'. He also calls him 'the choice and master spirits of this age' that ever lived.
 
(k) Whom does Antony call 'the choice and master spirits of this age'? Why?
Ans. Antony call Caesar as 'the choice and master spirits of this age' because no human being matched him in any way. He was simply unparalleled in every human aspect.
 
(l) How do Brutus and Cassius respond to Antony's speech?
Ans. Brutus and Cassius respond to the speech of Antony in different moods. Cassius takes Brutus aside and asks him not to consent that Antony should speak in his funeral. His word will move the audience. At this Brutus tells that it will be his turn to address the public in the first instance showing the reasons of Caesar's death. He (Antony) will speak with their due permission.
 
(m) Why does Cassius object to allowing Antony to speak at Caesar's funeral? How does Brutus overcome this objection?
Ans. Cassius does not think it proper that Antony should speak at Caesar's funeral because his words may melt and change the mind of the audience. But Brutus tells that Antony will be allowed to say only through their permission and request the speech will be first delivered by Brutus who will give the reasons of Caesar's death.
 
(n) What are the conditions imposed by the conspirators before allowing Antony to speak at Caesar's funeral?
Ans. The conspirators laid down certain conditions on Antony before he could speak at Caesar's funeral. In the first place, Antony will not blame them in his speech. He has to speak all good things that he supposes to think about Caesar. He will speak after Brutus has finished his speech from the pulpit.
 
(o) When he is left alone with the body of Caesar what does Anthony call Brutus and the others?
Ans. Antony seeks forgiveness of Caesar for his being friendly with the cruel murderers. He prays to God to punish the wrong-doers who have killed the noblest and the greatest of all men. The wounds of Caesar are like the speechless open mounts of Caesar, pleading with him to speak on their behalf. The entire country will plunge into civil war, bloodshed and destruction. The ghost of Caesar shall seek revenge and let loose all the forces of destruction.
 
(p) What prediction does Antony make regarding the future events in Rome?
Ans. Antony predicts that the whole of their country will witness a civil war, bloody and destructive. Foul deeds will be so common that all feelings of compassion will vanish from the hearts of men. The ghost of Caesar shall roam about to take revenge and punish the enemies. The earth will be polluted by the evil smell of rotting bodies.
 
(q) What reasons does Brutus give for murdering Caesar?
Ans. Brutus give various reasons for murdering Caesar. First of all, he says that Caesar was ambitious.He would have made everyone as his bondman if he had lived. He loved Caesar, no doubt, but he loved Rome more. So Brutus states that they killed Caesar more for the sake of Rome, his country and not for any personal reasons.
 
(r) Who says, "Let him be Caesar"? What light does this throw on the speaker?
Ans. The third citizen speaks the above words while Brutus has finished his speech justifying the reasons for Caesar's death. Brutus too has proclaimed that they can slay him if he becomes ambitious like Caesar. He has the same dagger for himself when it shall please his country to need his death. This shows that the citizens were fully satisfied and there was all praise for Brutus. They praise Brutus and show their sympathy for the act.
 
(s) Why is Antony's speech more effective?
Ans. Antony's speech is more effective because he appeals to the basic sentiments of the common people, i.e., the mob. He very cleverly directs his speech towards Caesar's greatness as a human being. He in that way, arouses their basic instinct of revenge against the conspirators. He does so by stating from his will that Caesar has left his everything to them. And the conspirators call him 'ambitious'.
 
(t) At the end of the scene what is the fate of Brutus and Cassius?
Ans. By his skillful oratory Antony has aroused the anger and hatred of the mob against Brutus, Cassius and other conspirators. The mob plans to torch their houses with the burning sticks of wood from Caesar's pyre. Pursues by such a hostile, furious and blood thirsty mob, Brutus and Cassius have no option but to run away from Rome to save their lives. Their fate is sealed. As they leave Rome, another Caesar - Octavius Caesar arrives in Rome to join Antony and have revenge on the conspirators.
 
Read th extracts given below and answer the questions that follow:
 
Q.1 CESAR        Cowards die many times before their deaths;
                        The valiant never taste of death but once.
                        Of all the wonders that I yet have heard.
                        It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
                        Seeing that death, a necessary end,
                        Will come when it will come.
 
(a) Whom is Caesar speaking to? Why does he say these words?
Ans. Caesar is speaking to Calpurnia. She wants him to stay at home as she feels his life is in danger.
 
(b) What fears has the listener expressed?
Ans. She fears his death is imminent.
 
(c) What is the basis for the fears expressed?
Ans. Her dream; unusual sights seen. the previous night.
 
Q.2 But here's a parchment with the seal of Caesar;
I found it in his closet, 'tis his will:
Let but the commons hear this testament
Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read-
And they would go and kiss dead Caesar's wounds
 
(a) Who speaks these words? Where is the speaker at this moment?
Ans. Mark Antony spoke these words. In a pulpit in Rome speaking at Caesar's funeral.
 
(b) What are the contents of Caesar's will that he is referring to?
Ans. To every Roman cltizen Caesar left seventy-five drachmas. Moreover, he willed all his walks, his private gardens and newly planted orchards on the banks of the Tiber to the Romans for their pleasure so that they may walk there and enjoy themselves.
 
(c) Why does the speaker read Caesar's will to the citizens?
Ans. To appeal to their greed; to sway them.
 
(d) What is the reaction of the listeners to the reading of the will?
Ans. As desired by Antony, they turn against the conspirators.
 
Q.3 CAESAR Nor heaven nor earth have been at peace to-night:
                   Thrice hath Calpurnia in her sleep cried out,
                  'Help, hoi they murder Caesar!'
 
(a) Explain: 'Nor heaven nor earth have been at peace to-night.'
Ans. There has been a terrible storm at night and the skies have been raging all night. Calpurnia, too, has had a disturbed sleep at night. Three times at night she cried out that Caesar was being murdered.
 
(b) What did Calpurnia dream of?
Ans. Calpurnia dreamt of the murder of Caesar. She saw Caesar's statue run with blood like a fountain, while many smiling Romans bathed thelr hands in the blood.
 
(c) In what mood does Calpurnia speak to Caesar about the events of the night?
Ans. She is frightened by the unnatural occurrences the night before and very anxious about Caesar's safety. She feels these portents and omens signify that a major calamity will befall Caesar as these unnatural sights indlcate the death of a great leader.
 
 
Q.4 CAESAR Nor heaven nor earth have been at peace to-night:
                  Thrice hath Calpurnia in her sleep cried out,
                  Help, hoi they murder Caesar!'
 
(a) What has happened at night to make Calpurnia feel that Caesar is in danger?
Ans. She is frightened by the unnatural occurrences the night before. She has dreamt of Caesar's murder and his statue running blood at a hundred places. Moreover, the night watchman has seen strange sights. She feels these occurrences are unnatural and predict a dire calamity.
 
(b) What does she want Caesar to do?
Ans. She wants him to stay at home and not go to the senate.
 
(c) What decision does Caesar take? Why?
Ans. Caesar decides to go out because according to him things which threaten him have never had the courage to look him in his face. They vanish as soon as they see him because of his power.
 
Q.5  CALPURNIA   Caesar, I never stood on ceremonies,
                           Yet now they fright me. There is one within,
                          Besides the things that we have heard and seen,
                          Recounts most horrid sights seen by the watch.
 
(a) Narrate any two 'sights seen by the watchman.
Ans. Graves opened and yielded the dead, ghosts wandered the city, a lioness gave birth in the street, and lightning shattered the skies. Warriors, in proper battle formation, fought in the skies and their blood fell on the Capitol.
 
(b) What does this tell you about Calpurnia's character?
Ans. She is superstitious and believes in omens and predictions.
 
(c) What is Caesar's attitude towards the happenings of the night? What does this tell you about his character?
Ans. Caesar dismisses the events of the night as natural occurrences. He does not believe that they are predictions of a dire calamity. He is not superstitious.
 
Q.6 CALPURNIA        Caesar, I never stood on ceremonies,
                               Yet now they fright me. There is one within,
                               Besides the things that we have heard and seen,
                               Recounts most horrid sights seen by the watch.
 
(a) Explain, 'I never stood on ceremonies'.
Ans. I did not believe in omens and portents.
 
(b) Mention any two sights seen by the watch.
Ans. A lioness whelping in the streets; graves opening and dead bodies lying around; warriors fighting upon the clouds, and their blood falling on the Capitol; horses neighing in fear, dying men groaning, ghosts shrieking about the streets. (any two)
 
(c) How does Calpurnia's attitude towards the strange occurrences of the night differ from Caesar's?
Ans. While Calpurnia is frightened by the strange occurrences of the night and sees them as omens foretelling grave danger to Caesar, Caesar is not afraid and regards them as natural happenings.
 
Q.7 CALPURNIA                 Alas, my lord,
                                       Your wisdom is consumed in confidence.
                                       Do not go forth to-day: call it my fear
                                       That keeps you in the house, and not your own.
                                       Let me, upon my knee, prevail in this.
CAESAR                           Mark Antony shall say I am not well,
                                      And, for thy humour, I will stay at home.
 
(a) Where are Calpurnia and Caesar at this moment?
Ans. At Caesar's house.
 
(b) Why does Calpurnia say, 'Your wisdom is consumed in confidence'? When does she say this?
Ans. Caesar is overconfident about his own abilities and therefore he disregards his personal safety. Despite her entreaties Caesar is determined to go to the senate.
 
(c) What is Caesar's reaction to Calpurnia's fears? What does he decide?
Ans. Caesar decides to stay at home for Calpurnia's sake and decides to send a message with Antony to the senate saying that he is not well.
 
Q.8 CAESAR      And you are come in very happy time,
                       To bear my greeting to the senators
                       And tell them that I will not come to-day:
CALPURNIA      Say he is sick.
CAESAR           Shall Caesar send a lie?
                      Have I in conquest stretch'd mine arm so far,
                      To be afraid to tell greybeards the truth?
 
(a) Where are the speakers? Who has come to meet Caesar?
Ans. At Caesar's house. Decius Brutus has come to meet Caesar.
 
(b) What message does Caesar wish to send? To whom?
Ans. Caesar wishes to send a message to the senators saying he will not come to the senate.
 
(c) Who are the 'greybeards'? Why is Caesar not afraid of them?
Ans. Caesar contemptuously calls the senators old men or greybeards. He is not afraid of them because he is a mighty conqueror.
 
Q.9 DECIUS BRUTUS          Most mighty Caesar, let me know some cause,
                                        Lest I be laugh'd at when I tell them so.
   CAESAR                         Calpurnia here, my wife, stays me at home:
                                       She dreamt to-night she saw my statue,
                                       Which, like a fountain with an hundred spouts,
                                       Did run pure blood: and many lusty Romans
                                       Came smiling, and did bathe their hands in it:
 
(a) What did Calpurnia dream?
Ans. Calpurnia dreamt of the murder of Caesar. She saw Caesar's statue run with blood like a fountain, while many smiling Romans bathed their hands in the blood.
 
(b) How did she interpret her dream?
Ans. She interpreted her dream to mean that Caesar was in danger.
 
(c) How did Decius interpret the dream?
Ans. Caesar's statue gushing blood in many places and Romans bathing hands in it signified that Rome would draw reviving blood from Caesar. Great men would come to obtain tinctures, relics, and other tokens of remembrance from him. Caesar would prove to be a source of inspiration for Rome and his achievements would be the source of renewed vitality for the country.
 
Q.10 DECIUS BRUTUS      I have, when you have heard what I can say:
                                      And know it now: the senate have concluded
                                      To give this day a crown to mighty Caesar.
                                      If you shall send them word you will not come,
                                      Their minds may change.
    CAESAR                      How foolish do your fears seem now, Calpurnia!
                                      I am ashamed I did yield to them.
 
(a) What argument does Decius give to convince Caesar to go to the senate?
Ans. He tells Caesar thaf the senate have declded to offer a crown to him that day, and if he does not attend the meeting of the senate, they may change their minds.
 
(b) How does Caesar react to Decius's words?
Ans. Caesar dismisses Calpurnia's fears as being foolish and gets ready to go to the senate.
 
(c) Mention two qualities of Caesar shown by his action.
Ans. Caesar is ambitious; he disregards personal safety; he is not a good judge of character.
 

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