Caesar Study Guide: Act I Vocabulary: Write down the definition for each of the
following vocab words from Act I. 1. barren (adj) 2. blunt (adj) 3. conspirator (n) 4. countenance (n) 5. encompass (v) 6. infirmity (n) 7. portentous (adj) 8. servile (adj) 9. soothsayer (n) 10. torrent (n)
Directions: Answer each of the following questions based on
your reading of Act I. 1. Explain why the working men are celebrating in the first
scene. Why does Marullus reproach them?
2. What is the setting of Scene 2? What warning does the soothsayer give Caesar,
and what is Caesar’s response?
3. Explain what Cassius want to convince Brutus of in Scene
4. Why does Caesar, in Scene 2, think Cassius is
dangerous? What qualities disturb him?
5. Describe what happens when Caesar is offered the crown,
according to Casca?
6. Caesar stands astride the world as a powerful ruler, yet
he suffers many personal weaknesses. Various characters will us what these are, and they say that a man who
is as human as anyone else would not act life a god and rule the world. What exactly are Caesar’s infirmities and
7. At the end of Scene 2, how does Cassius say he will
pursue his plan to involve Brutus in the conspiracy against Caesar?
8. Believing that nature mirrors the disorders in human
lives, Shakespeare heightens the atmosphere of terror as the conspirators
gather to discuss their plans. What
details in Scene 3 do you think evoke this sense of danger and terror?
9. Who is the moving force, the protagonist, who drives the
action, in Act I? By the act’s end, what
steps has he taken to achieve his goal?
10. How would you describe the play’s conflict as it is
established in Act I?
11. Shakespeare uses even minor conflicts and events to set
up the basic situation of the play and to foreshadow future conflicts and
events. Explain what you learn from this
act about the moods and loyalties for the Roman mob.
12. A healthy republic requires a reasonably intelligent and
responsive citizenry. Throughout this
play people of Rome
are described as “trash” or worse. Point
out passages in Act I where various nobles express their contempt for the common
people. How does this make you feel
about these characters? Do the people seem to deserve a republic?
13. Cassius tell Brutus several anecdotes about Caesar in
Scene 2. What is Cassius implying
through these stories?
14. Do you have any
conflicting feeling about Caesar during this act? Describe your impressions of his character,
based on what you observe of his speeches and actins and on what other
characters say about him.