In The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, three characters prophesy the death of Caesar. Even though Caesar was warned of these predictions, he ignored them. Caesar’s ambitious behaviors caused him to ignore these signs. According to the play, Caesar’s death is prophesied; Casca tells about some strange and prophetic things he has seen, Calphurnia dreams ominous nightmares, and a soothsayer, Artemidorus, and a priest try to warn Caesar.
Early in the play, Casca tells Cicero of omens that he claims to have seen. He tells of fire falling from the sky. "Against the Capitol I met a lion, who glazed upon me and went surely by without annoying me"(789). He sees a slave whose arm was on fire, but was not scorched. "And yesterday the bird of night did sit even at noonday upon the marketplace"(789). The owl is always considered a bad omen when seen in the daytime. Casca also met a group of women who swear they see a group of men, on fire, walking the streets. These unnatural occurrences convince Casca that these are warnings from the gods.
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Caesar’s wife, Calphurnia, also prophesies Caesar’s death. She wakes up three times from nightmares portraying Caesar’s death. Like Casca, she sees a lion in the streets, except it is giving birth. She also claims that "graves have yawned, and yielded up their dead"(812). She dreams of fire falling from the sky, like Casca. Another strong omen is when Calphurnia dreams of blood running down the wall of the Capitol. She sees a fountain of Caesar, running blood out of the spouts. "[Calphurnia] dreamt tonight she saw my statue, which like a fountain with an hundred spouts, did run pure blood"(813). The Romans then smilingly washed their hands in the blood. This worries Calphurnia so much that she tries to convince Caesar to stay away from the capital.
A soothsayer tries to warn Caesar about his murder. At the very beginning of the play, the soothsayer tells Caesar to "Beware the Ides of March"(779). However, Caesar took this as a joke and ignored the soothsayer. Both soothsayer and Artemidorus try to warn Caesar, but their attempts fail. Artemidorus writes a letter to Caesar containing the names of all the conspirators. "If thou read this, O Caesar, thou mayest live; If not, the Fates with traitors do contrive"(815). After Calphurnia’s bad dream, Caesar sends a priest to make a sacrifice to appease the gods. The priest comes back saying that he could find no heart in the animal that was sacrificed. This gives the priest good reason to advise Caesar to stay home.
Caesar’s death if prophesied by omens told by Casca’s observances, Calphurnia’s dream, and by a soothsayer, Artemodorus, and a priest. Caesar’s ambitious behavior prevents him from believing these omens. These prophecies were definite signs of something bad to come. Calphurnia’s dreams directed the omen’s meaning toward Caesar. If Caesar would have accepted these omens, he could have avoided the events that led to his death.
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