Caesar Act II Study Guide
1. taper (n) a candle
2. spurn (v) to reject
3. base (adj) lowly, unrefined
4. augmented (adj) grown larger
5. insurrection (n) a rebellion
6. visage (n) face
7. affability (n) friendliness
8. redress (n) repayment or retaliation
9. constancy (n) faithfulness
10. imminent (adj) about to happen
1. What is the
setting of Act II, Scene 1? (date, time, place)
Before dawn on March
15, Brutus’ orchard
2. What reasons does
Brutus have for thinking that Caesar should be killed even though Caesar has
not done anything wrong yet?
He could be like a
serpent’s egg – don’t let it hatch or it will be deadly. He also says that with new power, Caesar may
forget where he came from and abandon his old friends and values
3. What letter does
Lucius bring to Brutus? What does it
It is the letter that
Cassius wrote; it is very vague, but tells Brutus to stand up and right a wrong
4. How are Cassius
and Brutus related?
Cassius is married to
5. Why is it
suggested that Cicero
be asked to join the conspiracy?
He will want to be in
6. Why does Brutus
say that the conspirators should not
kill Antony? (2
He is like Caesar’s
limb – when they cut off the head, the limb is useless
Also, the conspirators
need to restrain themselves so they do not look like murderers
7. Why does Portia
suspect that something is wrong with Brutus?
He hasn’t been eating
or sleeping, and when she asks what’s wrong, Brutus doesn’t say anything.
8. What reason does
Brutus give Portia for his strange behavior?
He says that he’s been
9. Portia tries to
convince Brutus to tell her his secret. How does she try to convince him?
She stabs herself in
the thigh. She says that if she could
bear that pain, then she can keep a secret.
10. Who comes to see
Brutus at the end of scene 1? Why does
Brutus want to talk to him?
Caius Ligarius comes;
Brutus wants to get him to join the conspiracy.
11. In scene 2, who
else has had trouble sleeping? Why?
Caesar has; Calpurnia
was crying out in her sleep
12. What does
Calpurnia want to convince Caesar to do? What are her reasons?
She wants him to stay
home. She says that the gods are sending
signs through her dreams and through the storm that it is dangerous for Caesar
to be out.
13. Who arrives at
Caesar’s house? Why is he there?
Decius comes to
convince Caesar to go to the capitol (through flattery)
14. What is
Calpurnia’s dream? How does Decius
She dreamt that Caesar’s
statue spouted blood like a fountain. Decius says that it’s a sign that Caesar will provide lifeblood for Rome.
15. Identify an
instance of dramatic irony at the end of scene 2.
Caesar talks to the
conspirators like friends, but we know that they are about to kill him.
Decius flatters Caesar
– we know that it was all a trick, but Caesar fell for it
16. In scene 3, what
does Artemidorus’ letter say?
It warns Caesar about
17. Whom does Portia
meet in scene 4? What is he doing?
The Soothsayer; he is
going to warn Caesar
18. What task does
Portia give to Lucius at the end of Scene 4?
She tells him to check
in on Brutus and see if he is well. She
also wants him to report what people seem to be crowding around Caesar.
Identify who said each of the following quotes. Also make sure you know what the speaker is
“In the early stages of ambition, that humility is a ladder,
on which the climber mounts with his face turned upward.
Once he gets to the top rung, however,
He turns his back to the ladder.”
Brutus talking about
why Caesar is dangerous
“O let us have him, because his silvery hair
will win us everyone’s good opinion
and buy men’s speeches to praise our deeds.”
A conspirator talking
and why he would be a good addition to the conspiracy
is only a limb of Caesar.”
Brutus saying why Antony should not be
“We shall be called purgers, and not murderers.”
The same as above
“I have made strong proof of my constancy,
Giving myself a voluntary wound
Here in the thigh.”
Portia saying why she
can be trusted
“I am not sick any longer if Brutus has
some action worthy of the name of honor.”
Ligarius saying that
he will join the conspiracy
“What do you mean to do, Caesar? Are you thinking of going out?
I won’t allow you to stir from the house today.”
“Adjourn the Senate to another time
when Caesar’s wife has better dreams.”
Decius trying to
appeal to Caesar’s pride
“Beware of Brutus; take heed of
Cassius; come not near Casca; have an eye to Cinna…”
“How weak a thing the heart of woman is!”