Supernatural in Julius Caesar

Essay by mydog11 June 2014

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Julius Caesar Essay

The play Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare includes many references of superstitions and omens. These references played an important role in the development of the plot and characters. Shakespeare used elements such as weather, old beliefs, and people's visions to portray messages to the audience. Through the use of superstitions and omens, Shakespeare foreshadowed Caesar's death, exposed the changes in various characters, and allowed the characters' true intensions to reveal themselves through the misinterpretations of omens.

The superstitions and premonitions added by Shakespeare were used to foreshadow the death of Caesar. By doing this, Shakespeare to made it obvious to the audience that Caesar was going to die and there was nothing anybody could do about it. On the night before the Ides of March, there was a large thunderstorm that took place. The storm foreshadowed the assassination of Julius Caesar and it's negative repercussions. Shakespeare's audience treated the kings as the gods' representative on Earth.

So when Casca and Cicero met on a Roman street. Casca points out:

"Either there is a civil strife in heaven,

Or else the world, too saucy with the gods,

Incenses them to send destruction." (1.3.11-13)

Casca's words leave an undertone that even the heavens are upset with the plans to murder Caesar. Because Caesar's death would break one of the human laws, this disturbed a natural law, resulting in a thunderstorm. Casca continues to point out to Cicero things he saw that were clearly omens:

"Against the Capitol I met a lion,

Who glared at me and went surly by,

Without annoying me…

And yesterday the bird of night did sit

Even at noon-day upon the marketplace,

Hooting and shrieking." (1.3.20-28)

Obviously these things don't just naturally happen, so they were put there by Shakespeare to foreshadow Caesar's assassination.