"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?

Essay by nzmickyHigh School, 11th gradeB, September 2006

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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...