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12th English – Lesson 6 – Supplementary – Remember Caesar (Play)

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 12th2BEnglish2B 2BLesson2B62B 2BSupplementary2B 2BRemember2BCaesar2B2528Play2529 Tamil Mixer Education

12th English – Lesson 6 – Supplementary – Remember Caesar (Play)

1. Complete the summary of the play, choosing the appropriate words
from the list given below the passage.

Lord Weston was
a(1) _____ judge in England. Being pompous and vain, he told his secretary
Roger that he had attained glory by hard work and (2) _____ He expressed his
displeasure over Roger’s request for a half-holiday. Suddenly, he discovered a
piece of paper with the words (3) _____ in his pocket, and he feared that the
message was a warning conveyed by his enemies who had received legal punishments
from him. As the message was sent on the 15th of March, (the day Julius Caesar
was assassinated), he was (4) _____ that someone affected by his fair judgement
was plotting his murder. Sensing the definite attack, Lord Weston ordered his
secretary to (5) _____ all the doors and windows. But his wife remained (6)
_____ by the threat. So, Lord Weston was angered by her (7) _____ reaction. He
ordered Roger to send the cook and the (8) _____ away. Both Weston and Roger
took elaborate precautionary measures to thwart the (9) _____ attempt. Finally,
Weston was able to recollect that he had written the message “Remember Caesar”
himself as a (10) _____ Caesar was actually a gardener who had an appointment
to visit Weston’s garden. The play revolves around Weston’s absentmindedness
which is the crux of the play.

Answer:

well-known

zealous service

Remember Caesar

convinced

shut

unperturbed

callous

gardener

assassination

reminder

 

2. Based on your understanding of the text, answer the following
questions briefly.

(а)How
did Lord Weston describe himself?

Answer: Lord
Weston claimed that he had won his honours by hard work and zealous service. He
is acknowledged as the most impartial judge in England.

 

(b)How
did Roger react to Lord Weston’s advice?

Answer: Roger
was jolted from his self-indulgent absent mindedness. He made a calculated
guess that Mr. Weston must have recounted his rise to success and advised him
to emulate his hard work and zealous service. When Mr. Weston was busy
advising, Roger had resumed his work of taking notes.

 

(c)What
made Lord Weston think that his life was in danger?

Answer: Lord
Weston dug out a scrap of paper from his coat pocket. He imagined that it
should have been placed by some unknown adversary. The words “Remember Caesar”
reminded him of the Ides of March when Caesar was assassinated. Unfortunately,
it was also the 15th of March. So, Mr. Weston deduced that he was likely to be
assassinated on that day by someone who got punished through him in the court.

 

(d)Why
was the speaker keen to know what day it was?

Answer: The
speaker was keen to connect the scrap of paper with the Ides of March.

 

(e)Mention
the immediate steps taken by Lord Weston to protect himself from his assassin.

Answer: He
had all the doors except the kitchen bolted and locked from within. He wanted
to diffuse allegedly a parcel deemed to contain a bomb, by keeping it soaked
completely in a pail of water. He ordered the gardener to sit under the Ilex
tree so that snipers can’t have access point to shoot at him. He sent all the
servants away.

 

(f)Do
you think that Lady Weston did not care about the threat to her husband? State
reasons.

Answer: Lady
Weston did not care much about the threat to her husband because she does not
believe in the seriousness of the threat. She wanted to remove the portrait of
his aunt from gun shot point so that Mr. Weston’s property is saved. She says
only big people get assassinated. The assassination, if it happens, will make
Mr. Weston great. She wants to let the grocer in. She is cool headed throughout
the play.

 

(g)How
did Lord Weston ‘defuse’ the ‘infernal machine’?

Answer: Lord
Weston asked Roger to bring the pail of water, he placed the parcel of infernal
machine inside. It floated. To drown it, Mr. Weston used some books.

 

(h)Whose
life was of ‘great value’ to England? In what way?

Answer: According
to Roger, Mr. Weston’s life was of great value. He was the most well-known and
most impartial judge in England.

 

(i)Why
did the speaker consider his life less important?

Answer: The
speaker considered his life less important as he was just an assistant of Mr.
Weston.

 

(j)Who
reminded Lord Weston about Mr. Caesar?

Answer: Mr.
Roger reminded Mr. Weston of the appointment made between him and Mr. Caesar
regarding rose trees. He had come to discuss the deal on planting rose trees in
his garden.

 

(k)What
was the truth about the crumpled piece of paper?

Answer: Judge
Weston himself had written “Remember Caesar” to remind himself about the
appointment on 15th March with that gardener.

 

(l)Bring
out the irony in the message “Remember Caesar”.

Answer: The
message “Remember Caesar” was written by judge Weston. He himself forgot the
context in which he had written it. Being an absent-minded fellow, he thought
it was a coded message informing him of a well-thought out assassination on the
Ides of March.

 

3. Based on your understanding of the play, complete the Graphic
Organiser (GO)

Title: Remember Caesar

Author: Gordon Daviot

Setting: The home of Lord Weston

Characters: Mr. Weston, Roger, The
Kitchenmaid, Joel the gardener, Caesar

Climax: Caesar the rose tree! gardener
arrives and lord weston; remembers his hand writen note: Remember Caesar.

Humorous Elements:

1. linking remember Caesar to the
idear of Ma

2. Connection parcel of velvet coat to
infernal machine

3. Barring all doors

4. Precuation to staty away from gun
shot point

 

4. Answer the following questions in a paragraph about 150 words
each.

(a)“Remember
Caesar” is a light hearted comedy. Discuss the statement in a group and
identify various aspects such as title, plot and characterisation that
contribute to the humour in the play.

Answer: Remember
Caesar is a light hearted comedy. The name Caesar is the name of a tragic hero
Julius Caesar in one of the plays of William Shakespeare. Weston gives an
appointment to Mr. Caesar to discuss rose tree planting work in his garden.
Just to remind him of the proffered appointment, he scribbles two words “Remember
Caesar” and keeps that scrap of paper in his coat pocket. Roger, the assistant
of the judge elevates him to the level of a tragic hero. He flatters the judge
that his death could be a great loss to England as he was a great impartial
judge whose integrity could not be bargained or bribed. Mrs. Weston’s entry
lightens up the whole drama and the tragedy transitions into a dark comedy.
Lady Weston keeps hinting about earlier attempts when he was eating a game pie.

She becomes seriously playful when she
says, “you’ve ahvays w’anted to be a great man and now you’ve got your wish.
They don’t assassinate nobodies.” She cool-headedly tells her husband that he
can stay indoors and have drinks. Lady Weston asks her husband if someone was
planning to murder him. He says, “obviously”. She gives a curt retort, “I
wonder someone hasn’t done it long ago. A great many people must hate judges.
And you are a strict judge, they say.” When Weston says he has instructed Roger
to barricade all doors, her immediate worry is about the grocery awaited. She
asks if he was expecting both French and Dutch together in the attempt to
assassinate. When Weston asks if a little pepper was more important to her than
her husband’s life, she says that he would be the first person to complain if
the bread was short and the gravy thin. The cook disobeys the order. She has
never been “behind the bars”. She will handle any one who enters by the
kitchen. A judge and his assistant want the door locked but a cook is not
afraid. Lady Weston doesn’t want to send away the cook. She is practical. She
w’ants her to stay back to cook his pet dishes.

Lady Weston brings
a handful of candles to keep the room lit if Mr. Weston has to stay underground
for a while. A velvet coat is construed as an infernal machine that could blow
up the whole place is smothered with books inside a pail of w ater to the great
annoyance of Lady Weston. She casually reminds her husband that doctor
disapproves of excitement. It was only on this account, Lady Weston bears the
nonsense and whimsical behaviour of Mr. Weston. The arrival of Mr. Caesar only
sorts out the knot. The judge remembers to meet Mr. Caesar on 15th March.

 

(b)Compare
the character traits of Lord Weston and his wife.

Answer: Lord
Weston is a well established judge. He is respected for being the most
impartial judge in England. He is inflated with pride on his success as a
judge. He keeps on advising Roger about diligence, courage and attention to
details to climb the ladder of success. He reprimands him for seeking half a
day leave. When Roger qualifies his request with the purpose of interviewing
the clerk Mr. Clays to get the data required for his case. A scrap of paper
upsets him. He reads it out “Remember Caesar”. Mr. Weston interprets those two
words as “death warrant”. Mrs. Weston doesn’t take those words as any threat to
anybody. But the judge senses something evil. He declares some illiterate must
have scribbled those words. He deduces that a pirate he had punished or the
offenders in the treason case could be behind the conspiracy to eliminate him.
His undue fear of ‘velvet coat parcel’ is really comic. His wife’s efforts to
be normal provokes him. She casually indicates that she was wondering why he
was not assassinated earlier as he must have won the hatred of many law
breakers. She is a charming woman and an excellent housewife. But one is never
sure how much intelligence and sweet malice there lies behind her practical
simplicity. She teasingly says were she to shoot him, she would choose the ilex
tree as it had thick foliage to hide any sniper and still give him enough room
to aim at the judge. Mrs. Weston mocks at Weston’s idea of shutting all the
doors leaving large space at the roof. When someone knocks it is she who tells
Weston that it could be some perfectly innocent person. She is right. It was an
innocent Caesar who he had agreed to meet on that day. Mrs. Weston is more
practical and level headed than Mr. Weston.

 

(c) Group Work

 

The play revolves around a ‘perceived
threat’ and how Lord Weston and Lady Weston react to it. Let’s reverse their
roles. Imagine a panic-stricken Lady Weston and a frivolous Lord Weston. Read
the following piece of dialogue from the play and rewrite it to suit the
changed roles.

 

LADY WESTON: My dear, your life is in
grave danger and you are being so cool. WESTON : Don’t worry. Nothing will
happen to me.

LADY WESTON: How can you be so sure? I
found this small scrap of paper “Remember Caesar” and it doesn’t look like a
joke to me.

WESTON : (Ha! Ha! Ha!) My dear lady,
this is also another hoax. Why do you make a fuss asking the servants to bar
and bolt the doors.

LADY WESTON: Why do you laugh?

WESTON : What else do I do dear lady?
I had fixed an appointment with Mr. Caesar to meet me today to discuss about
planting rose trees in our garden as you had wished.

LADY WESTON: Oh! How could I have
misunderstood the whole thing! So silly of me.

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