How does Brutus justify killing Caesar in his soliloquy at the beginning of scene 1?
He wonders how being king would change Caesar. He worries that Caesar would abuse power.
How does the letter that Lucius gives to Brutus affect Brutus?
It persuades Brutus to "speak and strike" to receive justice for Rome by killing Caesar.
Identify and explain:"Since Cassius first did whet me against Caesar I have not slept."
Brutus is saying that he has not slept since Cassius started turning him against Caesar.
Why does Brutus believe there is no need for the conspirators to swear an oath? What does this suggest about his character?
He believes that if their determination for the cause is strong they need not swear an oath. He also believes that they shouldn't need an oath to hold them to their deed. If they are doing it for good, they wouldn't need it, and they all believe it is for the good of Rome in the first place.
Identify and explain:"Let Antony and Caesar fall together."
Cassius said this because he does not believe that Antony should outlive Caesar. "We’d find that he was a dangerous plotter. And as you know, his connections, if he put them to good use, might be enough to hurt us all. To prevent this, Mark Antony should die along with Caesar." (Spark Notes)
Identify and explain:"Let us be sacrificers,but not butchers."
Sacrifice during the ancient Roman period referred to formal sacrifices meant to appease or please the gods. Brutus was suggesting that their murder of 'Caesar' be considered NOT as a murder, but as a purposeful act meant to achieve a goal. He also felt that they would be "purging" Rome of Caesar.
Identify and explain:"...for he is given to sports, to wildness, and much company."
Brutus said this about Antony. "Alas, good Cassius, don’t think about him. If he loves Caesar, then he can only hurt himself—by grieving and dying for Caesar. And I’d be surprised if he even did that, for he prefers sports, fun, and friends." (Spark Notes)
Describe the relationship between Portia and Brutus.
Portia and Brutus are married. Portia isn't afraid to stand up to Brutus. She desires for him to tell his secrets and worries. She is willing to wound her thigh to show her commitment and loyalty. Brutus respects her for this.
How does Brutus explain his insomnia to his wife?
Identify and explain:"You have some sick offense within your mind, Which by the right and virtue of my place I ought to know of."
Portia is telling Brutus that he should tell her what's wrong because they are married and she has a right to know as his wife.
How does Portia prove her sincere loyalty and commitment to Brutus?
She tells Brutus that she comes from a noble family; she is Cato's daughter. She also tells him that she has given herself a voluntary wound in her thigh. "If I can bear that pain, then I can bear my husband's secrets."
Identify and explain:"Cowards die many times before their deaths. The valiant never taste of death but once."
Caesar says this. Cowards are never brave, so they never get to truly live their lives.
Briefly describe Calpurnia's dream. How does she interpret it?
She saw Caesar's statue bleeding. Happy Romans were bathing in the blood. She believes this is a warning of Caesar's death.
Who convinces Caesar to go to the Capitol? How does this man interpret Calpurnia's dream? What arguments does he use to convince Caesar to go to the Capitol?
Decius gets Caesar to go to the Capitol. He tells Caesar that the Romans bathing in the blood signifies he is the life of Rome, for everyone loves him.
How does Caesar react to the arrival of the conspirators in Scene 2?
He welcomes them and makes small talk.
Identify and explain:"Here will I stand till Caesar pass along, And as a suitor will I give him this."
Artemidorus is determined to give Caesar the letter warning him on the conspirators' plan.
What does Scene 4 reveal about Portia?
She knows there is a plan to kill Caesar.
What is the purpose of the reappearance of the soothsayer?
Entertain the groundlings and to reiterate that he wants to warn Caesar.