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"Julius Caesar" By William Shakespeare: Explain How Omens, Dreams And Supernatural Events Feature In The Play, Julius Caesar. What Do They Contribute To The Play?

1085 words - 4 pages

William Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" is a tragic play based on fate, misinterpretations and honour that echoes the political issues that surfaced in Shakespeare's Elizabethan England. The supernatural events play a major role in developing the themes of Julius Caesar.The omens, dreams and supernatural events in Julius Caesar seem to contribute to a sense of foreshadowing future incidents in the play through the use of certain events. The first omen that something is not right is the unease of the commoners and the tribunes that command them to stop celebrating the victory of Caesar over Pompey. The common cobbler appears to out-smart and out-wit the tribunes with puns, "a mender of bad soles", creating an upside-down world that is conveyed to the audience. This contributes to the play as by the first scene in Julius Caesar, there is a commoner implying he could "mend bad souls", which creates a sense of restlessness. This is furthered by Caesar's distrust of Cassius early in the play, "Cassius has a lean and hungry look... such men are dangerous..." Caesar's observation was cast aside and Cassius became the man who set the conspiracy in motion which led to Caesar's death. It may occur to the audience that if Caesar had acted on this thought, his death would not have been brought about by Cassius. The fact that Caesar describes Cassius as "hungry" indicates that Caesar is aware of Cassius' desire to be greater. This incident is paralleled when Brutus decides that Antony is not a threat after Caesar has been murdered. It seems ironic that both men's deaths were brought about by the one they were told not to worry about. These events foreshadow more destruction and tragedy to come as they show you should trust your instinct. These omens that were not heeded, contribute to the play the theme of fate and free-will which ask one to consider what 'may have been'. The supernatural again helps to foreshadow future events when Cinna the poet uncovers his dream, "I dreamt to-night that I did feast with Caesar...", however trivial this dream may seem, shortly after, Cinna was murdered because he had the same name as the conspirator Cinna and he was possibly going to be with Caesar as they were now both dead. This dream shows how the supernatural were important to Elizabethan times as fate played a major role in their lives. It also contributes to the foreshadowing and the fact that dreams play a huge responsibility in peoples' lives in the time Shakespeare was alive.The supernatural events continue to feature in Julius Caesar as they show character traits by their responses to certain issues. Shakespeare gives us insight into Caesar's character when a Soothsayer calls out "beware the Ides of March". Caesar brushes of this prophecy, "he is a dreamer", and continues on with his life. This could show that Caesar believes himself to be immortal as one of the Gods or that he is not afraid to die. To further this supernatural event, "beware the Ides of March" was...

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