ICSE Julius Caesar Workbook answer : Act 5 Scene 1

Welcome to our blog post dedicated to dissecting Act 5, 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 5, 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 5, 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 :

The fifth Act takes place at Philippi in Macedonia. In this first scene, the two forces meet. Octavius and Antony enter first and Octavius expresses surprise that Brutus and Cassius should openly challenge them rather than wait on the hills. A messenger arrives with the news that the enemy advances in full array, and Octavius and Antony disagree as to which side of the field each should cover. Their argument is cut short by the appearance of Brutus and Cassius, with whom they enter into pre-battle arguments.

A battle of words follows. Antony accuses Brutus of hypocrisy in the assassination, and blames the conspirators for the cowardly way in which they killed Caesar. Cassius accuses Antony of using deceit in his meeting with the conspirators following the assassination. The taunting between the pairs of generals takes the form of accusations of cowardice and flattery, as well as silly personal abuse.

Cassius confides to Messala that it is his birthday, but he fears it will be his death day too. Despite his previous belief in the philosophy of Epicurus, who had no time for omens and portents, Cassius has now changed his mind and takes notice of signs of ill omen. Cassius then recalls that two great eagles had flown above them as they marched from Sardis but in the morning they flew away, and in their places came “ravens, crows and kites” who seemed to foretell defeat and death. Brutus joins Cassius and is asked what his intentions are if they are defeated. Brutus says that he does not believe in suicide and thinks one should have patience to live through anything the gods ordain. On the other hand, he will never allow himself to be led in chains to Rome.

Then follows a touching farewell between Brutus and Cassius, in case they do not see each other again. They go into battle with this negative attitude.

julius caesar icse

Workbook MCQs :

1. Which hopes of Octavius are “Answered”?
(a) The conflict between Brutus and Cassius
(b) The armies of the conspirators’ advance towards Philippi
(c) The surrender by the armies of the conspirators
(d) None of the above

Answer :- (b) The armies of the conspirators’ advance towards Philippi

2. What reason does Antony give for the enemy’s advance towards Philippi?
(a) To hide their fears and show their unity
(b) To hide their conflict and show their unity
(c) To show their patriotism and friendship
(d) None of the above.

Answer :- (a) To hide their fears and show their unity

3. Cassius compares Antony’s sweet words with which of the following?
(a) Honey made by Sybla bees
(b) Honey made by Olympus bee,
(c) Honey made by Hybla bees
(d) None of the above

Answer :- (c) Honey made by Hybla bees

4. When does Octavius say his sword will go back into its sheath?
(a) When Caesar’s ghost will disappear
(b) When thirty-three wounds of Caesar have been avenged
(c) When another Caesar will appear
(d) When he becomes Caesar

Answer :- (b) When thirty-three wounds of Caesar have been avenged

5. Who has been described by Cassius as “A peevish schoolboy”?
(a) Marcus Brutus
(b) Mark Antony
(c) Lucius
(d) Octavius Caesar

Answer :- (d) Octavius Caesar

6. With whom has Cassius compared himself in this scene?
(a) Brutus
(b) Pompey
(c) Caesar
(d) Lucius

Answer :- (b) Pompey

7. Cassius has changed his mind about the doctrine of Epicurus regarding which of the following?
(a) Superstitions
(b) Ghosts
(c) Republicanism
(d) Omens and Premonitions

Answer :- (d) Omens and Premonitions

8. Who according to Cassius has formed a “canopy most fatal” over their heads?
(a) Two huge eagles
(b) Crows and kites
(c) Enemy soldiers
(d) None of the above

Answer :- (b) Crows and kites

9. How does Brutus define Cato’s act of committing suicide?
(a) Mean and short-sighted
(b) Sensible and timely
(c) Low and cowardly
(d) None of the above

Answer :- (b) Sensible and timely

10. Why would Cassius and Brutus smile at each other if they meet again?
(a) It will be after their victory over their enemies
(b) It will be their farewell meeting
(c) It will mark an end of their differences
(d) It will be in front of their armies.

Answer :- (a) It will be after their victory over their enemies

Workbook Questions :

Question No: 1

They mean to warn us at Philippi here
Answering before we do demand of them

Tut, I am in their bosoms, and I know
Wherefore they do it: they could be content
To visit other places; and come down
With fearful bravery, thinking by this face
To fasten in our thoughts that they have courage;
But ’tis not so.

(i) Who are “they” referred to in line 1? What warning would they give? From where would they come to Philippi? 

Answer :- In line 1, “they” refers to the enemy forces at Philippi. They intend to warn Octavius and Antony by their presence before Octavius and Antony demand anything of them. They would come to Philippi from their respective camps or positions.

(iI) Give the meaning of : 

  • (a) Answering before we do demand of them. 
  • (b) I am in their bosoms. 

Answer :- (a) “Answering before we do demand of them” means that the enemy intends to take action or make a move before Octavius and Antony ask them to do so.

(b) “I am in their bosoms” means that Antony is familiar with their thoughts and intentions, suggesting that he understands their strategy.

(iII) Whose military strategy has dictated that the battle should take place at Philippi? What had Brutus argued regarding this strategy?

Answer :- The military strategy dictating that the battle should take place at Philippi was Octavius’s. Brutus argued against this strategy, suggesting that they should wait for the enemy to come to them rather than going to meet the enemy.

(iV) What did Octavius hope that the enemy would do? What according to him is the intention of the enemy?

answer:-  Octavius hoped that the enemy would come down to Philippi with a show of fearful bravery, thinking that this would impress Octavius and Antony with their courage. He believed that the enemy’s intention was to create an impression of courage and strength.

(v) What, according to Antony, is the planning of the enemy? Why does Antony feel so confident that he knows what the enemy intends to show? 

Answer:- According to Antony, the enemy’s planning is to visit other places but they choose to come down to Philippi with a fearful show of bravery to impress Octavius and Antony. Antony feels confident in his assessment because he believes he knows the true intentions behind the enemy’s actions, seeing through their facade of courage.

Question No: 2

Now, Brutus, thank yourself :
This tongue had not offended so today,
If Cassius might have rul’d.

Come, come, the cause : If arguing make us sweat.
The proof of it will turn to redder drops.
Look, –
I draw a sword against conspirators;
When think you that the sword goes up again?
Never, till Caesar’s three-and-thirty wounds
Be well aveng’d; or till another Caesar
Have added slaughter to the sword of traitors.

(i) Whose is the “tongue” of which Cassius speaks? Give the substances of what the tongue had said which so “offended” Cassius.

Answer :- The “tongue” referred to by Cassius is his own. He blames himself for speaking out of turn or offending someone. The substance of what Cassius’ tongue had said that offended him was likely criticism or disagreement with Brutus’s decisions or actions.

(iI) Give a brief explanation of the earlier episode that Cassius is referring to when he reminds Brutus that he has only himself to thank for the present situation

Answer :- Cassius is referring to an earlier episode where he had disagreed with Brutus’s decision. He believes that if he had been allowed to rule or make decisions, he wouldn’t have ended up in the current situation where he feels offended or marginalized.

(iII) Give the comments made by Cassius, in his next speech, when he scornfully describes Octavius.

Answer :- In his next speech, Cassius scornfully describes Octavius as “a hot friend cooling.” This implies that Cassius sees Octavius as someone who was initially supportive but is now becoming less friendly or helpful.

(iV) What does Octavius mean by “the cause”? State in your own words the meaning of the last two lines of the passage—“or till another Caesar… sword of traitors.”

answer:-  Octavius refers to the cause of their conflict, suggesting that if arguing makes them sweat, the proof of their arguments will be seen in bloodshed. When he says, “Look, I draw a sword against conspirators,” he means that he is ready to fight against those who conspired against Caesar. The last two lines imply that the sword will not be sheathed until Caesar’s thirty-three wounds are avenged, either by seeking justice for Caesar’s death or until another Caesar rises to power and defeats the traitors.

(v) Was Octavius successful in his task of vengeance? How does the play end ?

Answer:- Octavius and his forces emerge victorious in the battle against Brutus and Cassius. The play ends with the defeat and deaths of Brutus and Cassius, marking the end of their rebellion against Octavius and the restoration of power to the triumvirate of Octavius, Antony, and Lepidus.

Question No: 3

Coming from Sardis, on our former ensign
Two mighty eagles fell’; and there they perch’d,
Gorging and feeding from our soldiers’ hands;
Who to Philippi here consorted us:
This morning are they fled away and gone;
And in their stead do ravens, crows, and kites
Fly o’er our heads, and downward look on us,
As we were sickly prey: their shadows seem
A canopy most fatal, under which
Our army lies, ready to give up the ghost.

Believe not so,

(i) In this extract, Cassius narrates something he has seen. What is it? Did he believe in the significance of such things earlier in his life? Why? 

Answer :- Cassius narrates that two mighty eagles had previously perched on their ensign when they were coming from Sardis, and their soldiers fed them. However, on the morning he speaks of, the eagles had fled, and instead, ravens, crows, and kites were flying over their heads, casting ominous shadows. Cassius, earlier in his life, did not believe in the significance of such signs. He followed the philosophy of Epicurus, which did not give importance to omens and portents.

(iI) Give the meaning of : “As we were sickly prey : their shadows seem/ A canopy most fatal.” What do these lines signify?  

Answer :-  The lines “As we were sickly prey: their shadows seem / A canopy most fatal” suggest that the presence of ravens, crows, and kites flying over their heads is interpreted by Cassius as a bad omen. The shadows cast by these birds create an image of a dark and ominous canopy, symbolizing impending doom or death hanging over their army.

(iII) What did Cassius see on the previous day and on that particular morning? What do these signs signify?

Answer :- Cassius saw two mighty eagles perched on their ensign the previous day, a sign traditionally associated with victory or good fortune. However, on the morning he speaks of, the eagles had fled, and instead, birds of ill omen like ravens, crows, and kites had taken their place. These signs signify a shift from favorable conditions to ominous ones, suggesting potential defeat or disaster.

(iV) How can you conclude from what Cassius says, a little later, that he was prepared for a possible defeat?

answer:-  Cassius’s statement that their army lies under a “canopy most fatal” indicates his belief that they are destined for defeat or death. This suggests that he was mentally prepared for the possibility of a negative outcome in the battle.

(v) How does Brutus console him?

Answer:-  Brutus tries to console Cassius by encouraging him not to believe in such omens and superstitions. He reassures Cassius by suggesting that they should focus on their own actions and abilities rather than being swayed by signs or portents.

Question No: 4

Then, if we lose this battle,
You are contented to be led in triumph
Thorough the streets of Rome?

No, Cassius, no think not, thou noble Roman
That ever Brutus will go bound to Rome;
He bears too great a mind. But this same day
Must end that work the ides of March begun,
And whether we shall meet again I know not.
Therefore our everlasting farewell take.

(I) What has Brutus just said which makes Cassius say the words given in the extract? Which Roman practice is referred to in Cassius’ speech?

Answer :- Cassius speaks the words in the extract in response to Brutus mentioning the possibility of losing the battle. He questions Brutus if he would be content with the idea of being led in triumph through the streets of Rome if they were to lose. Cassius refers to the Roman practice of a victorious general being granted a triumphal procession through Rome to celebrate their military success.

(iI) State briefly to what extent Brutus bears a great mind.

Answer :-  Brutus bears a great mind to the extent that he refuses to entertain the idea of being led in triumph through Rome if they were to lose the battle. He sees it as beneath his dignity and believes himself to be too noble and honorable for such a fate.

(iII) What was begun on the ides of March? How will the words of Brutus be prophetic?

Answer :- On the ides of March, the assassination of Julius Caesar was initiated by Brutus and the other conspirators. Brutus’ words about the day ending the work begun on the ides of March are prophetic because the battle they are about to engage in will determine the outcome of their actions against Caesar’s rule. Whether they win or lose, it will bring closure to the events that started with Caesar’s assassination.

(iV) Do Cassius and Brutus meet again? Why?

answer:-  Cassius and Brutus do not meet again after this scene because both of them die in the battle at Philippi. Therefore, they do not have the opportunity for another meeting as their lives are cut short during the conflict.

(v) Brutus and Cassius are affected by the latest events. This makes them act in  a different way than their normal behaviour. Give one incident to illustrate this.

Answer:-  One incident illustrating their altered behavior is when Brutus refuses to listen to Cassius’ advice about the battle strategy and insists on his own plan, despite Cassius usually being the more experienced and practical strategist. This deviation from their normal behavior highlights the stress and tension they are under as they face the decisive battle.

24th April 2024
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