ICSE Julius Caesar Workbook Answer : Act 2 Scene 1

Welcome to our blog post dedicated to dissecting Act 2, Scene 1 of William Shakespeare’s timeless masterpiece, Julius Caesar. As avid learners and educators, we understand the importance of grasping the nuances of Shakespearean literature, and that’s why we’ve curated this comprehensive guide specifically tailored to the ICSE curriculum.

In this blog, we’ll delve into the depths of Act 2, Scene 1, utilizing the meticulously crafted workbook provided by Morning Star publishers. Our aim is to not only provide you with multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and long-form answers but also to empower you with a deeper understanding of the themes, characters, and language intricacies within this iconic play.

It’s important to note that while we offer structured responses based on the workbook, we encourage students to use this resource as a foundation for their own exploration. Shakespeare’s works are renowned for their richness and versatility, allowing ample room for interpretation and analysis. Therefore, feel free to adapt and modify our insights to suit your individual learning style and requirements.

So, whether you’re a student looking to ace your exams or a literature enthusiast eager to unravel the mysteries of Julius Caesar, join us on this enlightening journey through Act 2, Scene 1. Let’s embark on an adventure where words transcend time, and the legacy of Shakespeare continues to captivate minds across generations.

Table of Contents

Workbook Summary :

So far we have been out in the streets and public places of Rome. Now we enter a man’s home. Brutus is alone in his garden in the middle of the night , unable to sleep and calling his servant to bring him a taper so that he can read in his study. Then Brutus gives way to his troubled thoughts. Brutus expresses an extreme horror of the idea of kingship; he has no personal grudge against Caesar but feels that Caesar’s death will be for the general good of Rome.

Lucius comes back with one of the anonymous letters (written, as we know by Cassius), which he has found on the windowsill of Brutus’ study. By the light of the meteors, Brutus reads the message urging him to save Rome. He promises to take action.

The conspirators, led by Cassius and Casca, enter, and Brutus welcomes them, While Cassius and his host engage in whispered conversation, Casca, Cinnna, Decius, Metellus Cimber, and Trebonius are occupied in trivial talk about compass directions. Cassius has suggested that they take a mutual oath of faithfulness but Brutus does not agree: it is enough for him that they are true Romans and that their cause is just. Cassius then brings up the question of inviting the aged Cicero to join the plot, but Brutus reminds them that Cicero is most irresolute and will never follow any policy consistently to the end. Cassius feels, too, that Mark Antony, “so well beloved of Caesar,” should not be allowed to outlive the Dictator. Once again, Brutus overrides him: Antony will be quite powerless,he assures them, once Caesar is dead, and they must not appear as bloody butcher before the citizens. Besides, Antony is not to be taken seriously since he devotes his life to sports, to wildness, and much company.’ Again Brutus has his way to the future ruin of their fortunes.

The clock strikes three. Cassius asks what would happen if Caesar is frightened by the signs and portents and refuses to come to the Senate meeting. Decius says that he can make Caesar to come by flattering him. Then they agree to meet at eight in the morning to escort Caesar to the Capitol. The conspirators, except Brutus, leave.

Brutus is joined by Portia. Brutus asks Portia why she is up so early. She throws the question back at him and complains that he has been behaving unnaturally for some days.

julius caesar icse

Workbook MCQs :

1. Why is Brutus having sleepless nights?
(a) Because of the stormy weather outside.
(b) Because of his inner turmoil.
(c) He is suffering from insomnia.
(d) Because of his fear of being a co-conspirator against Caesar.

Answer :-(b) Because of his inner turmoil.

2. Which of the following is NOT true about Brutus’ feelings for Caesar?
(a) He loves Caesar.
(b) Caesar’s death will be for the good of Rome.
(c) He has a personal grudge against Caesar.
(d) He fears the people would choose Caesar as their king.

Answer :- (c) He has a personal grudge against Caesar.

3. Brutus does not agree with Cassius on the issue of taking mutual oath becauce he considers
(a) they are true Romans fighting for a just cause.
(b) they are true Romans fighting for an unjust cause.
(c) it is below their dignity to take an oath,
(d) it is an attempt to take their test.

Answer :- (a) they are true Romans fighting for a just cause.

4. Why does Brutus not want Cicero to join the group of conspirators?
(a) Cicero is Caesar’s trustworthy
(b) Cicero is known for shifting loyalties
(c) Cicero is indecisive
(d) Cicero is irresolute

Answer :-(d) Cicero is irresolute.

5. Why is Brutus against killing Antony after the murder of Caesar?
(a) Antony will be powerless after Caesar’s death
(b) Antony devoted his life to sports and wildness
(c) They must not appear as butchers to the people.
(d) Al of the above.

Answer :-(d) All of the above.

6. How does Decius Brutus say he would persuade Caesar to come to the Senate?
(a) By flattery
(b) By deceit
(c) By persuasion
(d) By showing fear

Answer :-(a) By flattery.

7. According to Cassius, what could prevent Caesar from coming to the Senate?
(a) The signs and portents given by the storm
(b) The warning given by the Soothsayer
(c) The report given by his loyal friends
(d) All of the above

Answer :- (a) The signs and portents given by the storm

8. What is Portia’s complaint against Brutus?
(a) He has been ignoring her
(b) He has been talking to strangers
(c) He has been behaving unnaturally
(d) He has been sleepwalking

Answer :-(c) He has been behaving unnaturally.

9. With whom does Portia compare herself?
(a) Her uncle, Brutus
(b) Her legendary mother
(c) Her father, Cato
(d) None of the above

Answer :- (c) Her father, Cato

10. Portia pleads with Brutus to share his secret with her claiming which of the following?
(a) Equal rights of wifehood
(b) Being his childhood friend
(c) Being his well-wisher
(d) Being his close confidant

Answer :-(a) Equal rights of wifehood.

11. What does ‘darkness’ signify in this scene?
(a) Fear in Brutus’ mind
(b) Suspicion in Brutus’ mind
(c) Confusion in Brutus’ mind
(d) Calmness in Brutus’ mind

Answer :- (c) Confusion in Brutus’ mind

12. Which literary device is used in this scene to reveal Brutus’ confused state of mind ?
(a) Anaphora
(b) Soliloquy
(c) Personification
(d) Irony

Answer :-(b) Soliloquy.

13. Which argument does Brutus give to convince himself to join the conspirators against Caesar?
(a) Once crowned, Caesar would get them killed
(b) Once crowned, Caesar would cause end of Rome
(c) Once crowned, Caesar would become uncontrollable
(d) None of the above.

Answer :- (c) Once crowned, Caesar would become uncontrollable

14. Brutus uses which of the following phrases for Caesar?
(a) Butcher of butchers
(b) Slayer of Rome
(c) Devil’s soul
(d) Serpent’s egg

Answer :-(d) Serpent’s egg.

15. Brutus justifies his act of joining the conspirators to assassinate Caesar by defining it as
(a) moral and necessary
(b) spiritual and purifying
(c) cleansing and moralising
(d) worldly-wise and needful

Answer :- (b) spiritual and purifying

16. Which of the following acts of Brutus, after joining the conspirators, does NOT indicate his dictatorial behaviour?
(a) Vetoes the inclusion of Cicero
(b) Objects to the killing of Antony
(c) Accedes to the plan of brutally murdering Caesar
(d) Agrees to killing Antony.

Answer :- (c) Accedes to the plan of brutally murdering Caesar

17. While pleading with Brutus, Portia appeals to which of his traits?
(a) His sense of honour
(b) His sense of pride
(c) His sense of friendship
(d) His sense of loyalty

Answer :-(a) His sense of honour.

18. Why do the conspirators want to win over Brutus to their side?
(a) His integrity and personal reputation in Rome
(b) His method of planning and executing.
(c) His sharp knowledge of Republicanism
(d) His love for Caesar

Answer :-(a) His integrity and personal reputation in Rome.

19. Which characteristic trait of Caesar does Decius Brutus’ character reveal in this scene?
(a) Patriotism
(b) Loyal friend
(c) Betrayal of friendship
(d) Irritable vanity

Answer :- (d) Irritable vanity

20. In his mind how does Brutus justify killing Caesar?
(a) Spiritual and Purifying
(b) A necessary evil
(c) Vanquishing Rome’s foe
(d) Both (a) and (b)

Answer :- (a) Spiritual and Purifying

Workbook Questions :

Question No: 1

I will, my lord.

Brutus                                                             (Exit)
It must be by his death: and, for my part,
I know no personal cause to spurn at him,
But for the general. He would be crown’d:
How that might change his nature, there’s the question:
It is the bright day that brings forth the adder;
And that craves wary walking.

(i) Where does this scene take place? Who is Lucius? What has he been asked to do?

Answer :- This scene takes place in Brutus’s house. Lucius is Brutus’s servant, and he has been asked to carry out a task by Brutus.

(iI) In what mood is Brutus? What does it refer to? Whose death is suggested?
Answer :- Brutus is in a contemplative mood, considering a significant decision. The suggestion of death refers to the assassination of Julius Caesar.

(III) Who has convinced Brutus to take such a step? What is the motive of Brutus for taking such a decision as expressed in the extract? What does it reveal about Brutus?

Answer :- Cassius has convinced Brutus to take the step of assassinating Caesar. The motive of Brutus for taking such a decision, as expressed in the extract, is his concern for the well-being of Rome rather than any personal animosity towards Caesar. This reveals Brutus’s sense of duty and patriotism.

(iV) What danger does Brutus foresee if the person is crowned as a king? How is this danger expressed by referring to the “bright day” and the “adder”?

answer:- Brutus foresees the danger of Caesar becoming a tyrant if he is crowned as king. The danger is expressed metaphorically by comparing Caesar’s rise to power to the appearance of an adder on a bright day, symbolizing the sudden and unexpected threat posed by a seemingly harmless situation.

(v) What are your feelings for Brutus at this juncture? Give two reasons to justify your feelings.

Answer:- At this juncture, one may feel a sense of respect for Brutus due to his dedication to the welfare of Rome and his willingness to act against Caesar for the greater good. Additionally, one might also feel a sense of foreboding or concern about the consequences of Brutus’s decision and the path he has chosen to take.

Question No: 2

So Caesar may;
Then, lest he may, prevent. And, since the quarrel
Will bear no colour for the thing he is,
Fashion it thus; that what he is, augmented,
Would run to these and these extremities;
And therefore think him as a serpent’s egg,
Which, hatch’d, would, as his kind, grow mischicvous,
And kill him in the shell.

(i) “So Caesar may.” What may Caesar do? Your answer must refer to the metaphor of the ladder, used by Brutus in his speech. How does Brutus intend to prevent Caesar from doing so?

Answer :- In the metaphor of the ladder, Caesar ascending to power is implied. Brutus intends to prevent Caesar from ascending to even greater power, possibly as a king, by taking preemptive action, which he believes is necessary for the good of Rome.

(iI) Give the meaning: “And, since the Quarrel/ Will bear no colour for the thing he is/ Fashion it thus.”
Answer :- The phrase “And, since the quarrel/ Will bear no colour for the thing he is/ Fashion it thus” means that since the reasons for opposing Caesar cannot be justified based on his current actions or character, they must be fashioned or tailored in a way that presents Caesar as a potential threat if he gains more power.

(iII) What is meant by “augmented”? How can Caesar be augmented? How had there already been an attempt to augment him?

Answer :- “Augmented” means increased or enlarged. Caesar could be augmented by gaining more power or authority, which would lead to extreme consequences, as indicated by Brutus. There had already been an attempt to augment Caesar through proposals to crown him as king.

(iV) To whom isa “serpent’s egg” compared? What does Brutus want to communicate by using comparison of a “serpent’s egg’?

answer:-  The “serpent’s egg” is compared to Caesar. Brutus wants to communicate that Caesar, if allowed to reach his full potential or gain more power, would become dangerous and harmful, just like a serpent that grows mischievous once hatched.

(v) What price would Brutus pay later by preventing a “serpent’s egg” from being hatched?

Answer:- By preventing a “serpent’s egg” from being hatched, Brutus would potentially save Rome from the harm that Caesar could cause if he were allowed to gain more power. However, the price Brutus would pay later could be the guilt and moral turmoil of having to assassinate someone he once considered a friend, as well as the chaos and personal consequences that would follow the assassination.

Question No: 3

Tis good. Go to the gate; somebody knocks.
[Exit Lucius]
Since Cassius first did whet me against Caesar,
I have not slept.
Between the acting of a dreadful thing
And the first motion, all the interim is
Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream:
The genius and the mortal instruments
Are then in council; and the state of man,
Like to a little kingdom, suffers then
The nature of an insurrection..

(i) To what does Brutus reply, “Tis good.” Who is knocking at the gate? Why has he come?

Answer :- Brutus replies “Tis good” to the news of someone knocking at the gate. Lucius is the one knocking, and he has come to inform Brutus of the arrival of visitors.

(iI) What is the impact of Cassius earlier discussion on Brutus?
Answer :- The impact of Cassius’s earlier discussion on Brutus is significant. It has kept him awake and restless, showing that he is deeply affected by the ideas and arguments put forth by Cassius against Caesar. 

(III) In what type of mental frame is Brutus? Why does he compare his mental condition to a nightmare or a horrid dream?

Answer :- Brutus is in a disturbed mental state, unable to sleep due to his conflicted thoughts about the impending action against Caesar. He compares this mental turmoil to a nightmare or a horrid dream to illustrate the intensity of his inner struggle.

(IV) Give the meaning of:

answer:- (a) “All the interim is like a phantasma” means that the period between deciding to do something dreadful and actually carrying it out feels unreal or like a ghostly illusion.

(b) “The genius and the mortal instruments/ Are then in council” suggests that both the divine and human faculties within Brutus are deliberating and weighing the decision, akin to a council of advisors.

(v) In the last Lines of the extract, the mental condition of Brutus is compared to a civil war. Explain how the comparison is made.

Answer:- In the last lines, Brutus compares the state of man during this mental turmoil to a little kingdom experiencing an insurrection. This comparison highlights the internal conflict within Brutus’s mind, where different aspects of his personality are at odds with each other, much like conflicting factions in a civil war.

Question No: 4

They are the faction. O conspiracy,
Sham’st thou to show thy dangerous brow by night,
When evils are most free? O, then, by day
Where wilt thou find a cavern dark enough
To mask thy monstrous visage? Seek none, conspiracy;
Hide it in smiles and affability:
For if thou path, thy native semblance on,
Not Erebus itself were dim enough
To hide thee from prevention.

(i) Who comes after this extract? How are they dressed? Who informs Brutus of their arrival?

Answer :- After this extract, the conspirators arrive. They are dressed in dark attire to conceal their identities and intentions. Lucius informs Brutus of their arrival.

(II) What is meant by the “faction” and “thy dangerous brow”?
Answer :- “The faction” refers to the group of conspirators planning against Caesar. “Thy dangerous brow” signifies the threatening and ominous appearance of the conspiracy.

(iII) How does conspiracy disguise itself at night and during the day?

Answer :- Conspiracy disguises itself at night by operating under the cover of darkness, when it believes evils are most rampant and free. During the day, it masks itself behind smiles and affability, appearing harmless and friendly to conceal its true intentions.

(iV) What is referred to as “Erebus”? If conspiracy were to appear with its “native semblance on,” what would happen?

answer:- “Erebus” refers to the darkness of the underworld in Greek mythology. If conspiracy were to appear with its “native semblance on,” meaning its true face without disguise, it would be so sinister and terrifying that not even the darkness of Erebus would be sufficient to hide it from detection.

(v) Why is it necessary to disguise the conspiracy? Give two of the Precautions taken by the conspirators to hide the conspiracy.

Answer:- It is necessary to disguise the conspiracy to avoid suspicion and prevent detection by those who may oppose their plans, such as Caesar’s loyalists or the authorities. Two precautions taken by the conspirators to hide the conspiracy include meeting at night when evils are believed to be most free, and concealing their true intentions behind friendly appearances during the day.

Question No: 5

What need we any spur but our own cause,
To prick us to redress? what other bond
Than secret Romans, that have spoke the word,
And will not palter? And what other oath
Than honesty to honesty engagd,
That this shall be, or we will fall for it?

(i) Who are referred to as the “we? What is “our own cause”? State in your own words how the cause itself is a spur.

Answer :- The “we” refers to Brutus and his fellow conspirators. Their “own cause” is the desire to bring about change or correction. The cause itself serves as a motivating force, urging them to take action to address the issues they perceive. In other words, their strong belief in the righteousness of their cause is enough to drive them forward without needing any additional encouragement or motivation.

(iI) Who had suggested the idea of taking an oath? Why did Brutus dismiss that idea? Was Brutus’ decision wise? Why?
Answer :-The idea of taking an oath was suggested by someone among the group of conspirators. Brutus dismisses this idea because he believes that true Romans, who have already committed themselves to the cause by speaking in favor of it, do not need to resort to oaths to prove their loyalty. He thinks that their commitment should be based on their integrity and sense of duty rather than on a formal oath. Brutus’ decision can be considered wise because it reflects his trust in the inherent nobility and integrity of his fellow conspirators. Relying on their sense of duty rather than on a mere oath strengthens the bond of trust among them.

(iII) Explain what is meant by “honesty to honesty engag’d”. Why is honesty very important for Brutus and his men?

Answer :- “Honesty to honesty engag’d” means a commitment to sincerity and integrity. Brutus emphasizes the importance of maintaining honesty and integrity in their actions and dealings with one another. For Brutus and his men, honesty is crucial because they are undertaking a significant and morally challenging task. They must remain true to their principles and ideals throughout the course of their endeavor to ensure its success and moral righteousness.

(iV) Give the meaning of:

answer:- “That this shall be, or we will fall for it” means that they are determined to see their plan through to its intended outcome, even if it means facing failure or defeat. The phrase underscores their unwavering resolve and determination to achieve their goal, regardless of the challenges or obstacles they may encounter along the way.

(v) According to Brutus, who normally takes an oath? How does Brutus convince his group to uphold Roman nobility rather than depend on an oath?

Answer:- According to Brutus, those who normally take an oath are people who lack the sincerity and integrity to uphold their word without such formalities. He convinces his group to uphold Roman nobility by appealing to their sense of honor and duty as true Romans. By emphasizing their commitment to their cause and their shared values of honesty and integrity, Brutus instills in them a sense of pride and responsibility, ensuring that they remain steadfast in their resolve without needing to rely on oaths.

Question No: 6

O, name him not: let us not break with him;
For he will never follow any thing
That other men begin.

Then leave him out.

Indeed he is not fit,

Shall no man else be touch’d but only Caesar?

(i) Who is “him”? What did Brutus want to leave him out of? What reason had just been given in his favour?

Answer :- “Him” refers to Mark Antony. Brutus wants to leave Mark Antony out of their plans to assassinate Caesar. The reason given in his favor is that Antony will not follow any action initiated by other men.

(iI) Explain “let us not break with him.” Why does Brutus say this?
Answer :-“Let us not break with him” means that they should not sever their ties or create enmity with Mark Antony. Brutus says this because he believes that Antony is not a threat and will not oppose them if they exclude him from their conspiracy against Caesar.

(iII) What is the meaning of “touch’d” here? Who else, does Cassius now mention should be “touch’d”? What is his reason?

Answer :- In this context, “touch’d” means affected or targeted. Cassius mentions that no one else should be targeted or harmed except for Caesar. His reason for this is to avoid unnecessary bloodshed and maintain the appearance of a just cause.

(iV) Brutus overrides Cassius. Why? What does it reveal about Brutus?

answer:- Brutus overrides Cassius because he believes that Mark Antony is not a significant threat and excluding him would prevent unnecessary conflict. This reveals that Brutus is more cautious and strategic in his approach, preferring to avoid unnecessary conflict and bloodshed.

(v) In his turn, Cassius does not agree with Brutus’ ideas. State the objection put forth by Cassius and tell how his objection was later justified.

Answer:-  Cassius objects to Brutus’ decision to leave Mark Antony out of their plans because he fears that Antony, being Caesar’s loyal ally, could pose a threat to their cause. This objection is later justified when Antony proves to be a formidable opponent after Caesar’s assassination, rallying public support against the conspirators and leading to their downfall.

Question No: 7

Yet I fear him;
For in the ingrafted love he bears to Caesar—.

Alas, good Cassius, do not think of him.
If he love Caesar, all that he can do
Is to hImself, — take thought and die for Caesar
And that were much he should; for he is given
To sports, to wildness. and much company

There is no fear in him; let him not die;
For he will live, and laugh at this hereafter.
[Clock strikes]

(i) What is the occasion for the dialogue? What is meant by “ingrafted love”? Name the person being talked about in the dialogue.

Answer :- The occasion for the dialogue is a discussion among Brutus, Cassius, and Trebonius. “Ingrafted love” refers to the deep-seated affection or loyalty that the person being talked about holds for Caesar. The person being referred to in the dialogue is Mark Antony.

(iI) How does Brutus dismiss Cassius’ fear of that person?
Answer :- Brutus dismisses Cassius’ fear by suggesting that if Antony truly loves Caesar, his loyalty would only lead him to sacrifice himself for Caesar’s sake. He implies that Antony’s loyalty is not a threat because Antony is more given to leisurely pursuits and socializing than to plotting against them.

(iII) Why does Trebonius say that there is no cause to fear that man?

Answer :- Trebonius says that there is no cause to fear Antony because he believes Antony will survive any upheaval and eventually find amusement in the situation. He implies that Antony is not a serious threat to their plans.

(iV) Give the meaning of:

answer:- “For he will live, and laugh at this hereafter” means that Antony will survive the current situation and will eventually find humor or amusement in it in the future. Trebonius suggests that Antony’s reaction will be lighthearted and not vengeful.

(v) Which of the three men prove to be right and in what way?

Answer:-  The correctness of each man’s assessment of Antony’s character is debatable. While Brutus underestimates Antony’s capabilities and loyalty to Caesar, Trebonius’s assessment that Antony will not pose a significant threat turns out to be more accurate, as Antony does not immediately take retaliatory action against the conspirators after Caesar’s assassination. However, Antony’s subsequent actions, such as his speech at Caesar’s funeral, demonstrate that he is indeed a formidable opponent.

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