act 3 review questions

 1. By what means is the suspense increased as Caesar goes towards the Capitol?

As Caesar heads towards the Capitol the suspense increases because the audience is just waiting for the assassination to happen. It also is suspenseful because as they are all walking with Caesar to the Capitol knowing very well what they are going to do, and Caesar doesn’t suspect what is coming to him at all.. This was suspenseful because it leaves the audience wondering if someone is going to let something slip to make Caesar find out.

2. In the Popilius Lena incident how is Brutus made to appear in a better light than Cassius?

Brutus is made to appear in a better light, because Poplius knows that Brutus is in it for the common good so he wishes him good luck and hopes he succeeds, but says nothing to Cassius. This shows that he can tell that Cassius is in it for personal and selfish reasons.

3. “Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.” How is this statement applicable in the closing minutes of Caesar’s life?

This statement is applicable in the last minutes of Caesars life because he refers to himself as basically a god and being as constant as the north star. This is Caesars hubris.

4. How and why does Shakespeare make Caesar especially unappealing to us just before his assassination?

He makes Caesars speech the most unappealing to most likely show the audience more reason for him to be dead, and make us realize that the conspirators are doing the right thing. It also makes us not feel bad for him, when a person acts like this it doesn’t make the audience want to feel sad for them.

5. What words uttered by Brutus in the confusion after Caesar’s death best indicate the reason for his having joined the conspiracy?

During his funeral speech Brutus says: “Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more.” This is showing that he truly succeeding in killing Caesar for the common good. In this quote he is saying that he loved and valued Caesar but believed that he would ruin Rome so he had to make a sacrifice because he valued his country more.

6. What was the significance of the conspirators dipping their hands in Caesar’s blood?

The point of this was to make the act look more like a sacrifice, like Brutus intended it to be. The problem is that so many of the plebs will not understand this and if they do they will not respect it as much as many stoics would.

7. How does Shakespeare reveal new depths to Antony’s character in the assassination scene?

The new depths begin to be revealed when he so easily goes away with Trebonius ‘for donuts’. We thought that Antony caught on to what the conspirators were doing and would do something about it, but instead he just left. He appears to be clueless, or maybe even thankful that other people are killing Caesar for him so he doesn’t have to do it. The audience is then very surprised and second guessing everything they thought they knew about this character.

8. Upon what prophecy has the plot of the play been built down to the point where Caesar is killed? Around what new prophecy uttered in this scene is the second half of the play likely to be built?

It has been built around the prophecy that the soothsayer gives very early on telling Caesar to beware the ides of march, which turns out to be the day that he is killed. He gives this prophecy during the Feast of Lupercal and the ides of March are not too long after that.

9. Select at least two eulogistic remarks by Antony which reveals Caesar in a light distinctly different from that in which the conspirators viewed him. Do you think that public men of today are regarded with such a divergence of opinion as was Caesar?

1. Antony quotes that Caesar is noble. This is obviously showing Antony’s definition of noble is different from others. He says Brutus’ honor is bad compared to Caesars.
2. Antony tries to say that Caesar bringing slaves home shows how good he was. He does this in persuading the crowd to go against Brutus and the conspirators and make it seem as a murder.

10. Contrast the respective attitudes of Brutus and Cassius towards Antony in the latter part of Scene I. What evidence is there in the scene that Cassius’ attitude is justified?

The attitudes that these men have towards Antony would have changed by now, because his true colors are starting to show now that Caesar is no longer in the picture. Cassius’ attitude is definitely justified now, and I believe that Antony is going to be even worse than Cassius imagined.

11. What significance do you attach to the announcement at the end of the scene that Octavius is nearing Rome?

The announcement of Octavius nearing Rome is mainly there to create suspense and make the audience ask questions about what is going to happen when he gets there. It is also going to make Antony frightened because he quite obviously doesn’t want him there.

12. Write out (preferably blank verse) Cassius’ speech to the mob as you think he might have delivered it in the “other street.”

I think that Cassius would have echoed Brutus speech to be identical as he would have said it. But I think that he then left with Brutus and didn’t echo Antony’s speech. Brutus didn’t say that he could himself say a speech, so this is why he did that.

13. Write a precis of Brutus’ address to the crowd. What qualities are evident in Brutus’ speech that are lost in a precis?

Brutus’ funeral speech is very surprising to us since his speech does not follow the Shakespearean style. It looks raw, unfinished, broken, and improvised. It is expected from Brutus that he would have a very well thought out speech that would make everyone believe him completely even if they are only doing what they are all told. It should have been a powerful speech, but instead it was pathetic.

14. Why did Shakespeare have the crowd express approval at the end of Brutus’ speech?

He did this to show that the plebs are truly going to do anything that they are told to do. Brutus’ speech was extremely uninspiring so this just shows us that no matter what he would have said they would have had the same reaction.

15. Trace the stages by which Antony in his speech gradually turned the mob against the conspirators.

1. Antony questioned the plebs on why they attended the parade. The only answer given was because they were told too. If they will always do what they are told, why shouldn’t they listen to Antony’s plan of revenge

2. Even though Brutus said a few minutes ago that the assassination was a sacrifice, he also refused the crown. Antony is now standing before them saying that the death of Caesar was a murderous act and war should strike out against the conspirators. The commoners know nothing else, but to do as they are told. Since Antony understands this he will use it to his advantage and get them on his side.

3. Lastly, Mark Antony tells the plebs that he has Caesar’s will. Us, as the audience, wonder if this could be true, but in a few short lines we justify that it is not. The clueless commoners stay intrigued in the rest of his speech just so they can find out what it is Caesar has in his ‘fake’ will.

16. What are some of the devices – other than that of argument itself – by which Antony influenced his listeners?

The device that is used to influence the listeners is the copy of Caesars will that he just happens to have, which I believe to be fake.

17. “The behavior of the mob in this scene of the speeches links naturally with its behavior in Act I, Scene I.” Discuss.

Their behavior relates back to their behavior in act one because it is just one again showing us that they are influenced extremely easily, and that they will do what they are told. Shakespeare almost makes it seem like the plebs truly can not make decisions on their own, and that they would be extremely lost without someone telling them what to do.

18. “The dramatic crisis is that point in a play where the rising action ceases and the falling action begins.” Where in Scene I or Scene 2 of Act 3 would you say the dramatic crisis occurs? Why do modern plays have this point much later than the mechanical center of the play?

The dramatic crisis was Antony’s speech while he was by himself on stage. It showed us his true colors. I believe modern plays have this point happen much later because they are saving it till the end of the play where it will be the last dramatic part instead of just moving on with the play.

19. What dramatic purposes are served by the third scene of Act 3?

We are seen the influences on Antony’s speech. We also see the commoners are very easily able to change there decision depending on what is better for there work days and that is it. They act one and are influence by one another decisions. I believe they just change there answer to the one whoever talking to them because they don’t have a say in anything and are scared to voice their opinions.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email