Omens In Julius Caesar

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In The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare includes prophets, omens, and natural phenomenon that point to the tragic end of the three main characters: Julius Caesar, Marcus Brutus and Gaius Cassius. Writing a play based on such a well known historical event, Shakespeare’s audience would have known the outline of the events before entering the theater. Therefore, the inclusion of the omens would have served as a reminder for his audience. Though the omens suggest a sense of predetermination that would have satisfied the historical outlook of the audience, it is abundantly clear that it is the choices that those characters make that dooms them. Ultimately, Shakespeare suggests that it is the flaws of the main characters that leads…show more content…
Caesar encounters many incidents when he is directly warned about his death. However, each time, he fails to accept such warnings because of his pride. The first incident is during the feast of Lupercal, when a soothsayer warns him “Beware the ides of March” (1.2.23). Without taking the warning seriously, Caesar dismisses the soothsayer as a “dreamer.” Furthermore, when he reencounters the soothsayer on the ides of March, Caesar ridicules him by saying “The ides of March are come” (3.1.1). Caesar’s scornful behavior towards the soothsayer illustrates his arrogance. Later, in Act 2, Calpurnia pleads Caesar to stay home because she realizes that all the omens are pointing to Caesar’s death. Despite her plea, Caesar insists “Caesar shall forth: the things that threaten’d me ne’er look’d but on my back; when they shall see the face of Caesar, they are vanished” (2.2.15-17). These incidents show that Caesar’s pride blinds his ability to see his tragic end. Moreover, Caesar ignores his own feeling of uneasiness towards Cassius for the sake of his pride. In Act 1, Scene 2, Caesar expresses to Antony the uneasiness he feels about Cassius. Yet, he says “I rather tell thee what is to be fear’d than what I fear; for always I am Caesar” (1.2.223-224). Despite the warnings and omens and even his own feelings, Caesar fails to eliminate the dangerous figures such as Cassius because he believes that acting upon…show more content…
Brutus is without a doubt the most noble character in this play. Nonetheless, his impeccable sense of morality also blindfolds him to other people’s sordid motives and makes him easy to be manipulated. Indeed, Brutus is easily manipulated by Cassius in Act 1, Scene 2. In hope to convince Brutus to join the conspirators, Cassius says “Men at some time are masters of their fates: The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings” (1.2.150-152). As a result, Brutus starts to believes that it is his job to murder Caesar, as he says in Act 2, Scene 1: “It must be by his death: and for my part, I know no personal cause to spurn at him, but for the general” (2.1.14-16). This example explicitly shows that Brutus’s nobility makes him an easy target for others to manipulate. Furthermore, Brutus’s nobility makes him naive. In Act 3, Scene 2, Brutus departs, fully trusting Mark Antony on his words to make a speech that does not blame the conspirators. This, however, is a huge mistake because Antony seeks this chance to successfully turn the crowd against the conspirators. Brutus, who is so noble, is too naive to understand that others may not act as righteously as he does. Hence, Brutus fully trusting Antony to keep his promise demonstrates his naivety. It is his nobility that prevents him to see that others may not be as noble as he is. As a consequence, Brutus’s nobility leads him to his
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