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Assignments - English 10 Honors(Archived)
Julius Caesar Essay on Antony's Speech
Due Date: 4/6/2018
Subject: English 10 Honors



Julius Caesar

Act III, scene


In one of the most famous scenes from William Shakespeare’s tragedy

Julius Caesar

, Mark

Antony has been granted permission by the assassins to speak to the crowd at Caesar’s funeral.

He knows he must be careful not to anger his enemies, but Antony also knows he must use what

time he has carefully and effectively. As a skillful speaker and a clever manipulator of words and

rhetoric, Antony speaks to the citizens of



is the first part of his fun

eral speech. How does Antony approach this difficult situation

using rhetorical devices such as irony, sarcasm, tone, repetition, rhetorical questions, logical

appeals, and


Read th

e speech carefully, and then write an essay in which you state M

ark Antony’s purpose,

identify the rhetorical devices he uses, and comment on his attitude. What effect does this part of

the speech have on his audience? Does Antony accomplish his purpose? Be sure to make

references to specific quotations in order to sup

port your


Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your


When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath


I come to bury Caesar, not to praise



Ambition should be made of sterner


The evil that men do lives after



Brutus says he was


The good is oft interred with their


And Brutus is an honorable



So let it be with Caesar. The noble


You all did see that on the


Hath told you Caesar was


I thrice presented him a



If it were so, it was a grievous



Which he did thrice refuse. Was this


And grievously hath Caesar answer’d


Yet Brutus says he was


Here, under leave of Brutus and the


And sure he is an honorable



For Brutus is an honorable


I speak not to disprove what Brutus


So are they all, all honorable


But here I am to speak what I do


Come I to speak in Caesar’s



You all did love him once, not without



was my friend, faithful and just to


What cause withholds you then to mourn for


But Brutus says he was


O judgement, thou art fled to brutish



And Brutus is an honorable


And men have lost their reason. Bear with


He hath brought many captives home to


My heart is in the coffin there with


Whose ransoms did the general coffers



And I must pause till it come back to


Did this in Caesar seem



Julius Caesar Act III Scene 2 Close Reading Questions
Due Date: 3/16/2018
Subject: English 10 Honors

Julius Caesar Act III Scene 2 Close Reading Questions                              Name




1.     Why does Brutus decide to split the crowd up and have Cassius speak to some of them while he speaks to others?


2.     The "Second Citizen" formulates a plan as to how they will respond to these events. What does he propose?



3.     In his speech, Brutus first asks the crowd to pay attention and respect him for the reputation and good name he has earned in the past. What word does Brutus use referring to his reputation?


4.     Does Brutus profess love for Caesar in the speech?

5.     Brutus asks the crowd to judge wisely and censure him. "Censure" means to criticize. but at the end of his speech, he makes it clear that anyone who does so must be flawed. Explain one of the several flaws a citizen would have if one of them criticized him, according to Brutus.


6.     Brutus's listing of these flaws suggests certain contradictions to the "honor" of his own character. List at least one.



7.     According to his speech, what did Brutus love more than Caesar?


8.     Brutus says he "slew" Caesar for only one reason. What was it?



9.     What crimes of Caesar's does Brutus list?


10.  After this very brief speech, Antony enters the stage. Then Caesar interacts with the crowd. He promises to commit another act of violence if the crowd desires. Against whom does he promise to commit this violent act?



11.  Many of the citizens call for Brutus to be crowned Emperor, or "Caesar," an honor that Julius Caesar wanted from them on the Lupercal. Explain the irony.


12.  Does Brutus a) reject, b) accept, or c) ignore their request?

13.  Speculate: In responding as he does, Brutus does not take advantage of an opportunity. Why is it a mistake for him to respond as he does to their request?


14.  Speculate: Why doesn't Brutus seize this opportunity?



15.  Brutus leaves and Antony prepares to speak. In depicting conversations among members of the crowd, Shakespeare reveals the effects of Brutus's speech on them. Are the crowd generally in sympathy with Brutus and the conspirators, or are they opposed to them?


16.  Speculate what must be going through Antony's mind at this moment. What is his goal?



17.  Do you think he calculates odds to be in his favor, or against him?


18.  Brutus planned to explain his reasons for slaying Caesar in his speech. Speculate: Has Brutus explained those reasons to Antony's satisfaction?



19.  Explain Antony's one great advantage, now that Brutus has decided to leave.


20.  If you have not yet read through the remainder of the scene, be sure to do so. Then return to the beginning of Antony's speech for a closer look. Very early in his speech, Antony says he has no intention of praising Caesar. Does Antony proceed to praise him anyway?


21.  Antony comments on "good" and "evil." Which one, according to Antony, is the stronger?


22.  What statement of logical "evidence" does Antony offer to prove that one of those two is stronger?


23.  Antony says Caesar's good deeds should be buried "with [his] bones." Does Antony proceed to "bury" Julius Caesar's good deeds, or does he "bring them up" for examination?


24.  "Brutus ... [said] Caesar was ambitious." Does Antony at first claim to 1) agree, 2) disagree, or 3) remain undecided about Caesar's ambition? (Choose one of the three.)

25.  At the end of his speech, does Antony claim to 1) agree, 2) disagree, or 3) remain undecided about Caesar's ambition? (Choose one of the three.)

26.  Antony is driving at an important point when he first brings up the topic of Caesar's ambition, but then he obviously stops pressing so hard at the idea. In his endeavor to "try ... how the people take [it]," what change must he have noticed about the crowd?


27.  When he notices this change, Antony shifts his topic. In shifting the topic, what quality of character among the conspirators does Antony discuss?


28.  Antony also finds this moment a good time to fulfill one of the three conditions required of him by Brutus, just before he left him with Caesar's body toward the end of AS 31. What does Antony now say that Brutus has required him to say?


29.  To explain his state of mind, Antony says simply that Caesar was a good friend who always treated him well. Then he boldly presents three examples of evidence to prove that Caesar served the glory of Rome and desired to preserve its well being instead of gratifying his own ambitions. What is his first example?


30.  What is Antony's second example?


31.  What is Antony's third and most persuasive example?


32.  After once again praising the conspirators, Antony challenges the crowd, not necessarily to continue loving Caesar as they once did, but at least "to _____ for him."


33.  Starting at the phrase, "Bear with me," Antony gives a reason for needing to pause during his speech. He says his "heart is in the coffin." What does Antony mean by that?


34.  Assume Antony is not actually in need of pausing and is offering a false reason to cover up his real purpose. Speculate as to the real reason Antony might want to pause at this moment.


35.  Antony judges the citizens' reactions. Are they more willing now to hear his version of the assassination than they were before, or not?


36.  Presumably, Antony hears the third citizen (and others like him) comment on his speech so far. Why does Antony proceed with caution?


37.  Antony promises not to speak against Brutus and Cassius, but just before he issues that promise, he also chastises the crowd for failing to respect Caesar. His says, "none ... [will] do him _______."


38.  Antony says, before he'd wrong the honorable men, he would wrong Caesar, himself, and ______.


39.  What sort of response among the crowd would be likely after Antony says that?


40.  As the people respond, he explains that he could now provoke them all to respecting and loving Caesar by informing them of the substance of one item. What is the item?


41.  The crowd demands that he inform them of this item, but he refuses. What does he say will happen if he does as they demand?


42.  According to Antony, whom has he "wronged" by mentioning this item?


43.  Now the people begin to show exactly the kind of emotional response Antony wants from them. The fourth and second citizens, in particular, are willing to make very serious accusations about the "honorable men." Name one accusation.


44.  Antony asks for a little extra time. Are the members of the crowd willing to give him that time?


45.  Instead of informing them of the item of greatest interest, Antony proceeds to do something else. What does he do?


46.  He brings up several conspirators' names. About which of them in particular does he speak at greatest length?


47.  Which conspirator's "steel" is said to be "cursed"?


48.  Which conspirator earned such trust of Caesar that Antony calls him Caesar's "angel," the one who made the "most unkindest cut of all"?


49.  Which of the conspirators earned the greatest trust of the crowd in an earlier speech?


50.  "Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar loved him!" Antony says of this man. Speculate as to why Antony uses these particular words.


51.  Which of the conspirators, according to Antony, caused Caesar to fall?


52.  Who, according to Antony, fell with Caesar?


53.  Now Antony dares to utter a hateful word describing the act of the conspirators. What is the hateful word?

54.  After he uses the word, he sees the reaction of the crowd and speaks of it. What must be happening among the crowd?


55.  He tells them that he has only been showing them Caesar's clothing. What does he show them now that is even more horrible?


56.  The citizens go mad and immediately desire to revolt. What item have they forgotten, about which Antony must remind them?


57.  How much money did Caesar leave every citizen in his will?


58.  What else did Caesar leave?


59.  To whose house does Antony go at the end of the scene?


60.  Whom does Antony plan to meet?