CBSE Class 10, English Literature Reader (Communicative)
JULIUS CAESAR (English Drama) by William Shakespeare
Class X, English - CBSE Guide and NCERT Solutions of Chapter Exercise Questions
(Published in a series of posts)
For previous exercise questions visit:
Question.6 (h): Who says “Et tu Brute”? When are these spoken? Why?
Solution: The words “Et tu Brute” are spoken by Caesar before the conspirators when Cassius stabs Caesar with the other conspirators and Brutus. Caesar has been stabbed in the Senate House and his friend Brutus to 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’, which mean, “even you, Brutus.”
Question.6 (i): In the moments following Caesar’s death what do the conspirators proclaim to justify Caesar’s death?
Solution: In the moments following Caesar’s death, the conspirators proclaim that with the death of Caesar, tyranny has ended in Rome. They shout various slogans like ‘Peace, Liberty, freedom, and Enfranchisement’. Therefore, the conspirators tried to justify Caesar’s death as an end to tyranny and the beginning of liberty and freedom for the Romans.
Question.6 (j): Seeing the body of Caesar, Antony is overcome by grief. What does he say about Caesar?
Solution: Antony says that it is an extremely sorrowful sight to see the mighty Caesar lying on the ground in such an abject condition. His glories, victories, and gains in war have disillusioned him. He bids him farewell with a sorrowful heart. He says he is totally ignorant of their intentions. He himself is ready to die at their hands. His life is not half as valuable as Caesar’s and he will think himself to be fortunate if he is killed by them by the very swords with which they have killed Caesar. But Antony was shrewd enough not to react infront of the conspirators. Though his heart was burning with a desire to ruin the conspirators and avenge his friend’s death, outwardly he offered a hand of conciliation to them. He cleverly awaited for the right moment to show his loyalty to Caesar.
Question.6 (k): Whom does Antony call ‘the choice and master spirits of this age’? Why?
Solution: Antony calls the conspirators as ‘the choice and master spirits of this age’. He calls them with these remarks since they have killed the mighty Caesar and the leader of the Roman Empire who has brought glories and victories in the war to Rome.
Question.6 (l): How do Brutus and Cassius respond to Antony’s speech?
Solution: 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 words will 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.
Question.6 (m): Why does Cassius object to allowing Antony to speak at Caesar’s funeral? How does Brutus overcome this objection?
Solution: Cassius does not think it proper that Antony should speak at Caesar’s funeral because his words may appeal to the sentiments and change the mind of the audience. But Brutus tells that Antony will be allowed to say only through their permission and the speech will be first delivered by Brutus who will give the reasons of Caesar’s death.
Question.6 (n): What are the conditions imposed by the conspirators before allowing Antony to speak at Caesar’s funeral?
Solution: 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 with permission of the conspirators and only after Brutus has finished his speech from the same pulpit.
Question.6 (o): When he is left alone with the body of Caesar, what does Antony call Brutus and the others?
Solution: When Antony is left alone with the Corpse of Caesar, he gives vent to his griefs. He prays that Caesar will pardon Antony if he has been meek and gentle with his murderers. “Thou lie there,” says Antony, “the remains of the most illustrious man the world has ever known.” He curses the men who shed Caesar’s valuable blood. The gaping wounds look like rosy lips beseeching Antony to speak.
Question.6 (p): What prediction does Antony make regarding the future events in Rome?
Solution: Antony makes a dreadful prediction. He says that for their sin in murdering Caesar a curse will fall upon the Romans who will suffer from various terrible happenings. The country will plunge into a furious civil war, in which bloodshed and destruction will be frequent. Mothers shall smile to see their near and dear ones cut to pieces before their eyes. Cruel deeds will be committed very frequently. The soul of Caesar will roam about in search of vengeance.
Question.6 (q): What reasons does Brutus give for murdering Caesar?
Solution: Addressing the citizens, Brutus tells them that he killed Caesar because the latter had grown ambitious and wanted to become the king of Rome. Although he had intimate friendship with Caesar, he had to kill him for the good of Rome. He asserts that his love for Rome was far greater than his regard and love for Caesar.
He did not like that the citizens of Rome should live in a state of slavery under Caesar. He killed Caesar so that all of them should live in perfect freedom from tyranny and oppression.
Brutus tells the citizens that no freedom-loving man can disapprove of the murder of Caesar. Every true Roman should be happy that a tyrant has been killed. Every genuine patriot should support the murder of Caesar, who would have crushed the freedom of people. Thus, the murder of Caesar was no crime. Only people with a slavish mentality and devoid of any sense of honour would feel angry at the murder of Caesar.
Question.6 (r): Who says, “Let him be Caesar”? What light does this throw on the speaker?
Solution: It is Third Citizen who says, “Let him be Caesar.” He means to say that they should him in place of Caesar. This is the typical reaction of the mob, which has no mind, but is swayed by emotions. That is why; they talk of carrying noble Brutus to his home in a triumphal procession. Another suggests that they should erect a statue in his honour. Then the Third Citizen suggests making him ‘Caesar’. What an irony! The people are trying to make Brutus what he has been fighting against. This also shows the ignorance of the masses about the reason for Caesar’s assassination. They fail to understand their leader Brutus and just want a leader.
Question.6 (s): Why is Antony’s speech more effective?
Solution: Brutus appealed to the reason. His arguments were logical and rational. He blamed Caesar, cited reasons for killing Caesar as over-ambitious.
However, Antony made a direct appeal to the emotions of the people. He refutes the charge against Caesar that he was too ambitious. To justify this he reminded the people of the glories and wealth that were brought to the Roman Empire by Caesar. He also told that Caesar had refused the crown thrice. Finally, Antony arouses their greed by referring to a will, which would show that Caesar was the best friend of the people. He flatters the crowd, uses oratorical devices during the speech, and successfully steered the sentiments of the crowd in favour of Caesar and against the conspirators.
While Brutus talked like an idealist and patriot, Antony talked like a thorough politician and his speech was highly diplomatic and more effective.
Question.6 (t): At the end of the scene what is the fate of Brutus and Cassius?
Solution: 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. Pursued by such a hostile, furious and bloodthirsty mob, Brutus and Cassius have no option but to run away to save their lives. Their fate is sealed. As they leave Rome, Octavius Caesar the nephew of Julius Caesar arrives in Rome to join Antony and have revenge on the Conspirators. Ultimately, Brutus and Cassius commit suicide.
Question.10: Read the extracts given below and answer the questions that follow:
1. 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?
b. What fears has the listener expressed?
c. What is the basis for the fears expressed?
Solution 10.1.(a): Caesar is speaking to his wife Calpurnia. She is afraid that her husband’s life might be in danger and so, prays to her husband not to go. Caesar pays no heed to her requests. Being a brave soldier, Caesar believes that cowards experience the torments of death many times before they actually die. Contrary to this, brave men die only once.
Solution 10.1.(b): Calpurnia had a horrible dream during the night in which she had seen Caesar’s statue having a hundred spouts emitting blood from them. Many vigorous Romans were bathing their hands in it. Calpurnia expressed her fears that the ominous signs might foretell that Caesar’s life is in danger.
Solution 10.1.(c): The fears are based on some unnatural happenings that have taken place in that stormy night. During which she too had an ominous dream. A lioness has given birth to her young ones in the streets. Ghosts have come out of their graves. There have been fierce fights in the sky and blood has showered down on the Capitol. Horses started neighing and dying men groaned. She regards them as ill omens.
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?
b. What are the contents of Caesar’s will that he is referring to?
c. Why does the speaker read Caesar’s will to the citizens?
d. What is the reaction of the listeners to the reading of the will?
Solution 10.2.(a): Antony speaks these words to the common people of Rome. He is in a pulpit in the forum i.e., the market place. It is the same place from where Brutus had addressed the mob.
Solution 10.2.(b): Caesar has left seventy-five drachmas (about three pounds) each to every citizen of Rome. Besides this, Caesar has left for them and their descendents all his pleasure grounds, his gardens, his summerhouses, and his newly planted fruit gardens on this side of the river Tiber.
Solution 10.2.(c): Antony read this will to the citizens to arouse the feelings of greed of the people, sympathy for Caesar and hatred against the conspirators. By reading the will, he tries to depict Caesar as a great ruler of Rome. Antony wants to conceive the citizens that they are the descendents of Caesar, who has provided for each one of them in his will.
Solution 10.2.(d): The listeners react on expected lines. They become furious against the conspirators whom they now call traitors. After hearing, the will the listeners call Caesar as noble and vow to take revenge against his murderers. They pursue Brutus, Cassius and other murderers of Caesar. They plan to kill them and burn their houses.
· For previous exercise questions visit: Class 10, Julius Caesar - NCERT Solutions of CBSE English Literature Reader Communicative
· Solutions of CBSE Sample Questions, MCQs and CBSE Notes for lesson (Drama) Julius Caesar (to be published)