Iambic pentameter is a line of poetry made up of 10 syllables in an unstressed/stressed pattern (5 iambs). Prose is not poetry in that it mimics normal patterns of speech.
Give two examples of characters who speak in Prose and the reason why they use prose.
The cobbler in Act I because he is a commoner, a workman. Brutus when talking to the commoners after assassinating Caesar. He was trying to act/talk like them to show that he was on their side. Casca also speaks in prose during Act I even though he is noble. Shakespeare made him speak in prose because his personality is “low class”: he is gossiping about what he saw.
Give an example of a time in the play when knowing the difference between thou and you helped you better understand the play.
Brutus’ argument with his wife, Portia. He addresses her formally as “you” at the beginning, only to change to the informal “thou” when she has deeply moved him emotionally and he agrees to tell her his secrets.
On which date in which year was Caesar assassinated?
A speech made by a character on stage when no other characters are present. It reveals the characters thoughts and/or feelings.
Did Shakespeare’s stages have elaborate set designs and how did this affect his writing?
No: he relied on the audience to imagine the setting and scenery, and helped by writing a lot of imagery into his plays.
Explain what the following lines spoken by Cassius mean, AND explain the theme from the play that they relate to: “The fault, dead Brutus, is not in our stars, / but in ourselves that we are underlings.”
Cassius is saying that we control our destinies (in their case, being servants to Caesar), and we cannot blame forces outside of ourselves for current situations. This relates to the theme that humans cannot blame forces outside of themselves for the bad situations they find themselves in.
Did Brutus speak in prose or iambic pentameter at Caesar’s funeral, and why?
Brutus spoke in prose which is normally only spoken by commoners. Since prose is the “language” of the commoners, it is clear that Brutus was trying to act like he was one of them, in order to get them on his side.
What plot developments take place in each act of a 5-act tragedy?
Act I - Exposition; Act II - Rising Action or complication; Act III - Turning Point/Crisis; Act IV - Falling Action; Act V - Tragic Downfall and Resolution
How are the crisis and tragic downfall defined in a tragedy?
Crisis = Tragic Error --the tragic hero makes a decision which guarantees their downfall Tragic Downfall = the death (or banishment) of the tragic hero
What three things are established in the exposition of a story?
Setting, characters and their conflicts, and background
Give at least three examples of characters or groups of people who had their minds changed and tell what strategy was used to change their minds.
Brutus to kill Caesar; Caesar to go to the Senate; the commoners for Antony and against Brutus.
Once the commoners were on Antony’s side, how did he “seal the deal”?