ICSE Julius Caesar Workbook Answer : Act 2 Scene 2

Welcome to our blog post dedicated to dissecting Act 2, Scene 2 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 2, 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 2. 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 :

Now we are in Caesar’s house. It is a night of thunder and lightning preparing us for Caesar’s assassination. Caesar has been awakened by the storm and by Calpurnia crying out in her sleep that Caesar is being murdered. He sends a servant to instruct his priests to perform a sacrifice and bring him “their opinion of success.”

At this point, Calpurnia joins her husband and urges him not to venture forth that morning. She tells him that there have been reports of horrid sights in the streets of Rome: graves have yielded up their dead and ghosts have squealed, he groans of dying men have been heard, and blood has been seen dripping on the walls of the Capitol. Caesar declares that these portents concern mankind in general, not him alone. But his wife’s reply is that no such signs are seen when beggars die but that “The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.”

The servant returns with the information that the priests suggest that Caesar stays at home since they could not find a heart in the sacrificed beast. Caesar rejects their interpretation, but Calpurnia does finally persuade him to stay at home. Caesar agrees to her suggestion, not through fear, but for Calpurnia’s sake.

At this crucial point Decius enters. Caesar asks him to tell the Senate he will not come, and now he rejects Calpurnia’s excuse of sickness and tells Decius to tell them simply that he does not want to come. Decius pleads for some reason lest he “be laughed at.” No, says Caesar, it is enough for the Senate that he does not want to come. However, he tells Decius the reason: Calpurnia is afraid, and has had a dream of Caesar’s statue bleeding from many wounds and of the Romans bathing their hands in the blood.

Decius rises to the occasion and shows his skill as a flatterer. The real meaning of the dream, he says, is that Caesar shall give life to all in Rome. Caesar is pleased with this. Besides, the Senate are resolved to offer Caesar a crown that very day, he says, and if Caesar does not come they may change their minds. Also, he suggests, Caesar may be mocked if it becomes known that he is frightened by the dreams of his wife. Decius has prevailed!

Ashamed at having even listened to Calpurnia’s foolishness, Caesar decides to go to the Senate house. Publius (a senator), the conspirators, and, a little later, Antony, arrive to conduct him to the Capitol. It has just struck eight o’clock as Caesar thanks them for their courtesy, and bids them take some wine with him before they set off “like friends” together. As they go off to another part of the house, Caesar tells Metellus and Trebonius to keep near his side in the Senate House; Trebonius thinks that he will be so near that Caesars “best friends shall wish I had been further.”

julius caesar icse

Workbook MCQs :

1. Which of the following was NOT one of the horrid sights reported from the streets of Rome?
(a) Groans on dying men
(b) Graves yielding up their dead
(c) Blood dripping from the roof
(d) Ghosts squealing

Answer :-(c) Blood dripping from the roof

2. What reply does Calpurnia give when Caesar said that the portents concerned mankind in general, not him alone?
(a) The heavens drop tears of blood when princes die.
(b) The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes,
(c) The heavens themselves bring forth clouds of blood.
(d) The heavens themselves let forth fire when princes die.

Answer :-(b) The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.

3. Why does Caesar initially agree to Calpurnia’s Suggestion to not move out of his house?
(a) Out of fear of portents
(b) For Calpurnia’s sake
(c) For losing his crown
(d) None of the above

Answer :-(b) For Calpurnia’s sake

4. How does Decius interpret the meaning of Calpurnia’s dream?
(a) Caesar shall give life to all Rome
(b) Caesar will end all the evils from Rome
(c) Caesar will become the king despite the portents
(d) Caesar will put to an end all conspiracies against him.

Answer :-(a) Caesar shall give life to all Rome

5. How does Caesar compare himself with the beast sacrificed by the priests?
(a) He would be as heartless as the beast
(b) He would be coward like the beast
(c) He would be sacrificed like the beast
(d) None of the above.

Answer :- (b) He would be coward like the beast

6. Which characteristic trait of Caesar is revealed through his denial of the omens and portents?
(a) Bravery
(b) Cowardice
(c) Ignorance
(d) Vanity

Answer :- (d) Vanity

7. Which method Was used by Decius to dupe Caesar and persuade him to go to Senate?
(a) Falsehoods
(b) Appeal to Caesar’s vanity
(c) Flattery
(d) All of the above.

Answer :- (c) Flattery

8. What does this scene suggest about Caesar’s flaw that led to his dooms ?
(a) Overconfidence
(b) Pride
(c) Lack of trust
(d) Lack of vision

Answer :-(b) Pride

9. Which of the following is NOT a reason for Caesar to disregard his Wife’s warning ?
(a) Pride
(b) Humility
(c) Vanity
(d) Fate

Answer :-(b) Humility

Workbook Questions :

Question No: 1

[Enter Calpurnia]
Calpurnia
What mean you, Caesar? Think you to walk forth?
You shall not stir out of your house today.

Ceasar
Caesar shall forth: the things that threaten’d me
Ne’er look’d but on my back; when they shall see
The face of Caesar, they are vanished.

(i) In what mood does Calpurnia speak to Caesar? Why does she warn him? When earlier had he been warned of this day?

Answer :- Calpurnia speaks to Caesar with concern and urgency, trying to dissuade him from leaving the house. She warns him because she has had a dream filled with omens and believes that something terrible will happen to him if he goes out. He had also been warned earlier by a soothsayer to beware the Ides of March.

(iI) What has Caesar noticed about the night? What did he ask his servant to do then? Why?
 
Answer :- Caesar has noticed that the night is tumultuous with thunder and lightning. He asked his servant to instruct the priests to perform a sacrifice and bring their opinion of its success. He does this to seek divine guidance and assurance before making any decisions.
 

(iII) Caesar says: “Caesar shall forth.” On what are Calpurnia’s fears based? State two unusual things which she has heard to have happened.

Answer :- Calpurnia’s fears are based on the unusual signs and omens she has witnessed. Two of these are:

  • Graves yielding up their dead
  • Ghosts squealing

(iV) What does Caesar say later about cowards? What does he say in the extract to show that he is not threatened?

answer:-  Caesar later states that cowards die many times before their deaths, but the valiant taste of death only once. In the extract, he dismisses Calpurnia’s warnings, expressing confidence that the threats only lurk behind him and will vanish once they see his face.

(v) What aspect of the character of Calpurnia as well as of Caesar is hinted at in the extract? Give reasons to justify your answer

Answer:- The extract hints at Calpurnia’s superstitious nature and her concern for Caesar’s safety, showing her as a cautious and fearful character. On the other hand, Caesar’s confidence and dismissiveness of omens suggest his arrogance and belief in his own invincibility, highlighting his hubris.

Question No: 2

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 lioness hath whelped in the streets,
And graves have yawn’d, and yielded up their dead;

(i) What is meant by “I never stood on ceremonies” What is Caesar’s normal opinion on stich things? 

Answer :- “I never stood on ceremonies” implies that Caesar is not usually superstitious or overly concerned with traditional rituals or omens. Caesar’s normal opinion on such things is that he does not give them much importance or credence.

(iI) Mention any three other signs enumerated by Calpurnia in her Speech, Why does she narrate such sights at this time?
 
Answer :- Three other signs mentioned by Calpurnia are:
 
  • A lioness has given birth in the streets.
  • Graves have opened up and released their dead.
  • There have been sightings of strange and ominous figures reported by the watch.

She narrates such sights to highlight the unusual and unsettling events occurring in Rome, which she interprets as omens of impending danger.

 

(iII) What does Calpurnia’s speech reveal about her character?

Answer :-  Calpurnia’s speech reveals that she is a superstitious and fearful person who is deeply concerned about her husband’s safety. She is observant of omens and deeply affected by them, showing a sense of foreboding and a belief in supernatural signs.

(iV) What is Caesar’s reaction to Calpurnia’s fears? What does he decide to do?

answer:-   Caesar initially dismisses Calpurnia’s fears and decides to proceed with his plans despite her warnings. He believes that he is not personally threatened and that his presence will dispel any dangers. However, he later agrees to stay at home for Calpurnia’s sake, showing a degree of consideration and affection for his wife.

(v) What does Caesar a little later do to indicate that death is inevitable? Which characteristic trait of Caesar is highlighted by his action?

Answer:- A little later, Caesar decides to stay at home, indicating his acceptance of the possibility of death. This action highlights Caesar’s fatalism and his belief in fate, as well as his willingness to heed the concerns of his wife, demonstrating a more cautious and prudent side to his character.

Question No: 3

Calpurnia
Alas, my lord,
Your wisdom is consum’d in confidence.
Do not go forth today: call it my fear
That keeps you in the house, and not your own.
well send Mark Antony to the Senate House,
And he shall say you are not well today;
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.
[Enter Decius|
Here’s Decius Brutus, he shall tell them so.

(i) Where are Calpurnia and Caesar at this moment? What is Calpurnia trying to convince Caesar?

Answer :- Calpurnia and Caesar are in their house at this moment. Calpurnia is trying to convince Caesar not to go forth that day due to her fears and the ominous signs she has witnessed.

(iI) State two reasons offered by Calpurnia for wanting Caesar to stay at home.
 
Answer :- Two reasons offered by Calpurnia for wanting Caesar to stay at home are:
 
  • She fears for Caesar’s safety due to the ominous signs and portents she has witnessed, such as the lioness giving birth in the streets and graves yielding up their dead.
  • Calpurnia believes that her fear, not Caesar’s own will, should be the reason for him staying at home.
 
 

(III) Bring out three arguments Decius puts forward to make Caesar change his mind.

Answer :-  Three arguments Decius puts forward to make Caesar change his mind are:

  • He reassures Caesar that the Senate has decided to offer him a crown that day, and his absence might cause them to reconsider their decision.
  • Decius suggests that Caesar’s absence might lead to rumors and mockery, portraying him as weak and fearful of his wife’s dreams.
  • Decius interprets Calpurnia’s dream as a favorable omen, suggesting that it signifies Caesar bringing life and vitality to Rome.

(iV) Explain clearly in your own words the meaning of “your wisdom is consum’d in confidence.” Was Calpurnia correct in her judgement of her husband? Why?

answer:- “Your wisdom is consum’d in confidence” means that Caesar’s wisdom is overshadowed or diminished by his excessive confidence or overestimation of his own abilities. Calpurnia implies that Caesar’s confidence blinds him to the potential dangers around him. Whether Calpurnia was correct in her judgement of her husband is subjective. While Caesar’s confidence does play a role in his decision-making, it’s also influenced by his political ambitions and beliefs in fate.

(v) What is revealed of Calpurnia’s character in the above words? How is she contrasted with Portia who appears in the previous scene?

Answer:-Calpurnia’s character is revealed as cautious, concerned, and attentive to signs and omens. She contrasts with Portia, who appears in the previous scene, by being more superstitious and fearful, while Portia is portrayed as rational, determined, and willing to share in her husband’s concerns and burdens.

Question No: 4

Decius
Most mighty Caesar, let me know some cause,
Lest I be laugh’d at when I tell them so

Caesar
The cause is in my will: I will not come;
That is enough to satisfy the Senate:
But, for your private satisfaction,
Because I love you, I will let you know;
Calpurnia here, my wife, stays me at home:
She dreamt tonight. . .

(i) Where are the speakers at this moment? What day is this? What is the significance of this day?

Answer :- The speakers, Decius and Caesar, are likely in Caesar’s house. This is the day of Caesar’s assassination, a significant event in the play.

(iI) What did Calpurnia dream? How did she interpret her dream? How does Decius interpret her dream?
 
Answer :-Calpurnia dreamt that she saw Caesar’s statue spouting blood like a fountain with many Romans washing their hands in it. She interpreted this as a sign of impending danger to Caesar. Decius interprets the dream differently, suggesting that it actually means Caesar will bring life to Rome and that his blood will rejuvenate the citizens.
 

(iII) What other reasons did Calpurnia state for not wanting Caesar to go to the Senate?

Answer :- Calpurnia also cited other reasons for not wanting Caesar to go to the Senate, such as the reports of supernatural occurrences in Rome, including strange sights and sounds, such as ghosts, graves opening, and a lioness giving birth in the streets.

(iV) What other statements did Decius make to convince Caesar that he should attend the Senate? How is it that Decius has come on the scene at the time?

answer:- Decius pleads with Caesar not to stay at home because it might make him appear weak or fearful to the Senate, and it could lead to them changing their minds about offering him the crown. Decius has come to escort Caesar to the Senate because it’s the appointed day for him to be crowned.

(v) What is your opinion of Caesar at this point in the play? Express your feelings for him when he is assassinated.

Answer:-Caesar seems resolute in his decision-making but also somewhat dismissive of his wife’s concerns. He appears somewhat arrogant and self-assured, believing that his will alone is enough to satisfy the Senate. However, his decision to go against Calpurnia’s warnings ultimately leads to his downfall. When he is assassinated, there may be a mix of feelings, including a sense of tragedy at the fall of a great leader, but also a recognition of his flaws and the consequences of his actions.

Question No: 5

Decius

If you shall send them word you will not come;
Their minds may change. Besides, it were a mock
Apt to be render’d, for some one to say,
“Break up the Senate till another time,
When Caesar’s wife shall meet with better dreams.”
If Caesar hide himself, shall they not whisper,
“Lo, Caesar is afraid”?…

Caesar
How foolish do your fears seem now, Calpurnia!
I am ashamed I did yield to them.
Give me my robe, for I will go:

(i) What had Decius assured Caesar that the Senate were proposing to do on that particular day? Why?

Answer :- Decius assured Caesar that the Senate were proposing to offer him a crown on that particular day. He suggested that if Caesar were to stay at home due to Calpurnia’s dream, the Senate might mock him and postpone their decision until another time when Caesar’s wife had better dreams. Decius believed that Caesar’s absence might lead the Senate to question his courage and spread rumors that he was afraid, thus undermining his authority.

(iI) When was a similar thing already offered and what was the reaction of Caesar at that time ?

Answer :-  A similar situation had occurred previously when the priests offered Caesar a crown during the Lupercal festival. Caesar rejected the crown three times, but eventually, he yielded to the people’s pressure and accepted it. This incident reflects Caesar’s susceptibility to flattery and his desire for power and adoration.

(iII) What interpretation had Decius offered to Calpurnia’s dream ? What was his motive ?

Answer :- Decius interpreted Calpurnia’s dream as a favorable omen rather than a warning. He suggested that Calpurnia’s dream of Caesar’s statue bleeding with people washing their hands in the blood was a sign of Caesar’s greatness and the revival of Rome. His motive was to convince Caesar to attend the Senate session by downplaying Calpurnia’s fears and emphasizing the positive interpretation of the dream.

(iV) Earlier in the play , Caesar himself had expressed , once to Antony and once to Calpurnia , other thoughts on the topic of fear . Describe as closely as you can any one of the things he says about fear .

Answer :- In Act 1, Scene 2, Caesar dismisses fear as a mere weakness of the mind, stating, “Danger knows full well / That Caesar is more dangerous than he.” Here, Caesar asserts his confidence and belief in his own power, implying that he is not afraid of any threats or dangers.

(v) Explain in your own words the meaning of the pjhrase “it were a mock / Apt to be render’d.” What is revealed of Decius’ character in the passage ?

Answer :- The phrase “it were a mock / Apt to be render’d” means that it would be seen as a mockery or a joke if Caesar were to cancel the Senate session based on Calpurnia’s dreams. Decius reveals his manipulative and cunning nature in this passage. He uses persuasive language to manipulate Caesar’s fears and desires, ultimately convincing him to attend the Senate session despite Calpurnia’s warnings.

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