Julius Caesar's Responsibility for His Own Death in William Shakespeare's Play
William Shakespeare's 'Julius Caesar' is a tale of a very ambitious
roman who is betrayed by his nearest and dearest, not to mention most
trusted, friends. Caesar, a famous military general had great hopes of
one day becoming sole ruler of Rome,- but was prevented from doing so
by his own death . Caesar was a great man,- brave and noble,- having
all the virtues of a hero,- but most terrible in his ambitiousness.
Ultimately,- it is his great ambition that leads to his downfall.
Caesar's death was a most tragic event indeed, for he would have made
a great roman monarch. However, there were many unheeded warnings and
caveats which might have averted his death.
In the first act itself we see that Caesar comes across a soothsayer
who fore tells that the future holds terrible things for Caesar. The
seer warns Caesar to 'Beware the ides of March' (the fifteenth of
March), which he foresees to hold terrible danger for Caesar. However,
Caesar thinks him to be a common fool and does not pay attention to
him. However, it is later seen that if Caesar had heeded the
soothsayer's warnings he might have escaped his death as the
conspiracy chooses that very day to carry out their planned murder.
Caesar always likes to hear good things, and bad news upsets him,
which is why he declares the seer to be a crazy dreamer and does not
heed his caveats, which he has to indeed pay for in the end.
In the second act, several strange occurrences convince Calpurnia,
Caesar's wife, that something is indeed wrong. For example,- a lioness
gives birth to her young in a crowded street, and the dead rise from
their gravesâ€¦. Calpurnia feels sure that these astonishing but bizarre
events are all warnings or omens of some kind. She fears that her
husband is in great danger and begs him to stay home that day,- but
Caesar pays no heed to her pleas. He feels that these warnings are not
directed at him specifically.
A servant informs them that a calf, which had been cut open for a
sacrifice, was found to have no heart. This worries Calpurnia even
more, but Caesar, so foolish in his arrogance, claims to be unafraid.
He says that he is not afraid because he is not a coward,- he feels
that if he were to stay at home in fear of these things, he would be 'a
beast without a heart'. He says that he is not afraid of danger
because he is brave and courageous, and claims to be more terrible and
powerful than danger itself. In this way, Caesar lets his common sense
be consumed by his arrogance and overconfidence.