Make your own free website on Tripod.com
English 2 Brittani
Home | Journal | Projects | Class work/ Homework | Literature assignments








class work for 4-24-06

p. 223 #17, p. 226 #10, p. 230 #10

17. In his argument with Cassius in Act IV scene 3, Brutus refers to Caesar in terms of both praise and censure. Find the speech and decide whether

a. the praise is consistent with earlier references to Caesar’s qualities and
Remember March, the ides of March remember:
Did not great Julius bleed for justice' sake?
What villain touch'd his body, that did stab,
And not for justice? What, shall one of us
That struck the foremost man of all this world
But for supporting robbers, shall we now
Contaminate our fingers with base bribes,
And sell the mighty space of our large honours
For so much trash as may be grasped thus?
I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon,
Than such a Roman.
Brutus refers to the fact that they killed Caesar for his ambition, and reminds Cassius that they killed him for justice because there was not further reason to kill Julius. He also calls Caesar the foremost man of this world, which is true because of the rank Caesar held and the respect he earned from his actions through his ambition.

b. whether the criticism is so major that Brutus should have mentioned it earlier.
Let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself
Are much condemn'd to have an itching palm;
To sell and mart your offices for gold
To undeservers.
Brutus puts together that he was the only person who killed Caesar for justice the rest of them did it out of greed with their “itching palms.” Brutus should have recognized and mentioned this flaw in character earlier.

10. The quarrel scene (Act IV Scene 2) has been belittled by the critic Thomas Rymer in the seventeenth century; praised by John Dryden, his contemporary, for its “masculinity” in the eighteenth century; admired as an example of dramatic genius in the nineteenth century (by Samuel Taylor Coleridge); and dismissed as irrelevant by twentieth century critic Henry Bradley. Read it carefully and decide for yourself

a. Whether Brutus is (i) unrealistic in expecting his allies always to act honorably or (ii) admirable in his inflexible attitude toward corruption.
Brutus is a very honorable man, so much so that it gets him into trouble. He is unrealistic to think that his allies will always act honorably, because they are greedy. His quality of honorability is admirable but not always the best trait to have in the situation he is in.

b. Whether Brutus is (i) arrogant and insensitive towards Cassius at the beginning of the quarrel or (ii) properly firm and uncompromising.
Brutus is not arrogant or insensitive towards Cassius, after all it was Cassius who corrupted Brutus to make him the man he became. He was right to stand up to Cassius and call him out on the wrongs he committed and his lies he told

c. Whether Brutus is (i) taunts Cassius or (ii) refuses to be browbeaten by him (Explain your answer)
I think that Brutus taunts cassius because he tells him to go into his office and He will listen to his complaints and then he tells his guards to do the something that cassius has told his guards to do. He tells him to be calm so they will not fight.

d. Whether Brutus is (i) insultingly cold or (ii) admirable forthright
I think that Brutus is admirable forthright because I don’t think that he is insultingly cold because he tells it like it is and he is not afraid of what might come out of it; good or bad.

e. Whether Brutus is (i) sober form …"hides wrongs" or (ii) whether he is "armed so strong in honesty" that he cannot compromise.
I think that Brutus is "sober form" because he is supposed to be a noble and honorable man and the people think that he tells then everyting that it going on because they trust him and they want to believe him for what he says
Form an opinion of your own about the character of Brutus as it is revealed in the quarrel with Cassius from its beginning to its height.
10. The quarrel scene (Act IV Scene 3) shows Cassius in many moods.
a. choleric: what are the reasons for his anger, and are they justified?
CASSIUS
That you have wrong'd me doth appear in this:
You have condemn'd and noted Lucius Pella
For taking bribes here of the Sardians;
Wherein my letters, praying on his side,
Because I knew the man, were slighted off.
BRUTUS
You wronged yourself to write in such a case.
CASSIUS
In such a time as this it is not meet
That every nice offence should bear his comment.
BRUTUS
Let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself
Are much condemn'd to have an itching palm;
To sell and mart your offices for gold
To undeservers.
CASSIUS
I an itching palm!
You know that you are Brutus that speak this,
Or, by the gods, this speech were else your last.
BRUTUS
The name of Cassius honours this corruption,
And chastisement doth therefore hide his head.
CASSIUS
Chastisement!
BRUTUS
Remember March, the ides of March remember:
Did not great Julius bleed for justice' sake?
What villain touch'd his body, that did stab,
And not for justice? What, shall one of us
That struck the foremost man of all this world
But for supporting robbers, shall we now
Contaminate our fingers with base bribes,
And sell the mighty space of our large honours
For so much trash as may be grasped thus?
I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon,
Than such a Roman.
CASSIUS
Brutus, bay not me;
I'll not endure it: you forget yourself,
To hedge me in; I am a soldier, I,
Older in practise, abler than yourself
To make conditions.
BRUTUS
Go to; you are not, Cassius.
CASSIUS
I am.
BRUTUS
I say you are not.
CASSIUS
Urge me no more, I shall forget myself;
Have mind upon your health, tempt me no further.
BRUTUS
Away, slight man!
• The reason for his anger it the fact that he is a man with no reason. He has an itching palm.
b. tormented: how does Brutus provoke him , and what does Cassius’s restraint reveal about his personality?
BRUTUS
Hear me, for I will speak.
Must I give way and room to your rash choler?
Shall I be frighted when a madman stares?
CASSIUS
O ye gods, ye gods! must I endure all this?
BRUTUS
All this! ay, more: fret till your proud heart break;
Go show your slaves how choleric you are,
And make your bondmen tremble. Must I budge?
Must I observe you? must I stand and crouch
Under your testy humour? By the gods
You shall digest the venom of your spleen,
Though it do split you; for, from this day forth,
I'll use you for my mirth, yea, for my laughter,
When you are waspish.
• Brutus provokes him by threatening him with other things than death. The restraint of Cassius shows us that he is a cowardly man.
c. passionate: does the passion throw a new light on his character?
CASSIUS
Do not presume too much upon my love;
I may do that I shall be sorry for.
BRUTUS
You have done that you should be sorry for.
There is no terror, Cassius, in your threats,
For I am arm'd so strong in honesty
That they pass by me as the idle wind,
Which I respect not. I did send to you
For certain sums of gold, which you denied me:
For I can raise no money by vile means:
By heaven, I had rather coin my heart,
And drop my blood for drachmas, than to wring
From the hard hands of peasants their vile trash
By any indirection: I did send
To you for gold to pay my legions,
Which you denied me: was that done like Cassius?
Should I have answer'd Caius Cassius so?
When Marcus Brutus grows so covetous,
To lock such rascal counters from his friends,
Be ready, gods, with all your thunderbolts;
Dash him to pieces!
CASSIUS
I denied you not.
BRUTUS
You did.
CASSIUS
I did not: he was but a fool that brought
My answer back. Brutus hath rived my heart:
A friend should bear his friend's infirmities,
But Brutus makes mine greater than they are.
BRUTUS
I do not, till you practise them on me.
CASSIUS
You love me not.
• The passion does throw a new light on his character but deep down he is still the cowardly man that he will always be.

d. affectionate: how does this show and is it surprising?
•         My spirit from mine eyes! There is my dagger,
And here my naked breast; within, a heart
Dearer than Plutus' mine, richer than gold:
o       This is shown through this passage and it is not surprising that he would show affection for himself.
e. jocular: which episode brings out a flash of humor, and what is its purpose?
•         CASSIUS
Hath Cassius lived
To be but mirth and laughter to his Brutus,
When grief, and blood ill-temper'd, vexeth him?
BRUTUS
When I spoke that, I was ill-temper'd too.
CASSIUS
Do you confess so much? Give me your hand.
BRUTUS
And my heart too.
CASSIUS
O Brutus!
BRUTUS
What's the matter?
CASSIUS
Have not you love enough to bear with me,
When that rash humour which my mother gave me
Makes me forgetful?
o       Its purpose it to lighten up the scene and make it seem as if their lives are always so serious.
f. sympathetically emotional: would you have expected him to react  to Portia’s death in the way he does? How does it compare with Brutus’s own response?
•         BRUTUS
No man bears sorrow better. Portia is dead.
CASSIUS
Ha! Portia!
BRUTUS
She is dead.
CASSIUS
How 'scaped I killing when I cross'd you so?
O insupportable and touching loss!
Upon what sickness?
BRUTUS
Impatient of my absence,
And grief that young Octavius with Mark Antony
Have made themselves so strong:--for with her death
That tidings came;--with this she fell distract,
And, her attendants absent, swallow'd fire.
o       Yes, Cassius is not usually so affectionate for other people just himself. Brutus’s reaction is just the opposite.
g. dependent: what evidence is there to show that in his relationship with Brutus, there is another side to Cassius than the one presented before the assassination?
•         BRUTUS
All this! ay, more: fret till your proud heart break;
Go show your slaves how choleric you are,
And make your bondmen tremble. Must I budge?
Must I observe you? must I stand and crouch
Under your testy humour? By the gods
You shall digest the venom of your spleen,
Though it do split you; for, from this day forth,
I'll use you for my mirth, yea, for my laughter,
When you are waspish.
CASSIUS
Is it come to this?
BRUTUS
You say you are a better soldier:
Let it appear so; make your vaunting true,
And it shall please me well: for mine own part,
I shall be glad to learn of noble men.
CASSIUS
You wrong me every way; you wrong me, Brutus;
I said, an elder soldier, not a better:
Did I say 'better'?
BRUTUS
If you did, I care not.
CASSIUS
When Caesar lived, he durst not thus have moved me.
BRUTUS
Peace, peace! you durst not so have tempted him.
CASSIUS
I durst not!
BRUTUS
No.
CASSIUS
What, durst not tempt him!
BRUTUS
For your life you durst not!
CASSIUS
Do not presume too much upon my love;
I may do that I shall be sorry for.
BRUTUS
You have done that you should be sorry for.
There is no terror, Cassius, in your threats,
For I am arm'd so strong in honesty
That they pass by me as the idle wind,
Which I respect not. I did send to you
For certain sums of gold, which you denied me:
For I can raise no money by vile means:
By heaven, I had rather coin my heart,
And drop my blood for drachmas, than to wring
From the hard hands of peasants their vile trash
By any indirection: I did send
To you for gold to pay my legions,
Which you denied me: was that done like Cassius?
Should I have answer'd Caius Cassius so?
When Marcus Brutus grows so covetous,
To lock such rascal counters from his friends,
Be ready, gods, with all your thunderbolts;
Dash him to pieces!
CASSIUS
I denied you not.
BRUTUS
You did.
CASSIUS
I did not: he was but a fool that brought
My answer back. Brutus hath rived my heart:
A friend should bear his friend's infirmities,
But Brutus makes mine greater than they are.
BRUTUS
I do not, till you practise them on me.
CASSIUS
You love me not.
BRUTUS
I do not like your faults.
•         This shows that Cassius can not rule alone, he cannot go on with a plan without another. He is very dependent on people rather than before the assassination he is very independent

Enter content here

Enter content here

Enter content here

Enter content here



Enter supporting content here