Julius Caesar Act II, Scenes 3 and 4: Questions and Answers

William Shakespeare

Act II, Scenes 3 and 4: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. How does Shakespeare add the element of suspense in these two short scenes?

2. What is Artemidorus’ warning?

3. What does Artemidorus mean when he says, “Security gives way to conspiracy”? (Sc. 3, 7–8)

4. How does he plan to give Caesar his letter?

5. Why doesn’t Lucius carry out Portia’s request?

6. What does Portia mean in her aside, “O constancy, be strong upon my side; / Set a huge mountain ‘tween my heart and tongue. / I have a man’s mind but a woman’s might. / How hard it is for women to keep counsel!” (Sc. 4, 7–10)?

7. What does she tell Lucius to do?

8. What does the soothsayer tell Portia he plans to do?

9. What is Portia’s wish for Brutus?

10. How does Portia try to cover up being overheard by Lucius?

Answers
1. He provides Caesar with two possibilities of saving his life: through Artemidorus’ letter or the soothsayer.

2. Artemidorus warns Caesar to be on his guard if he is not immortal.

3. He means that overconfidence on Caesar’s part opens the way to conspiracy and death.

4. He will wait on the street as a suitor looking for some political favor and present the letter to Caesar when he passes.

5. Portia does not make her intentions clear.

6. She is afraid she will not be able to keep Brutus’ plans a secret because she is a “weak” woman.

7. Portia tells Lucius to bring back word as to how Brutus looks, what Caesar does, and which suitors present themselves to Caesar.

8. He will go down the street and speak to Caesar when he comes by and try to warn him about the possible danger.

9. She hopes the heavens will help him in his enterprise.

10. She tells him Brutus has a suit (a request) that Caesar will not grant him.