A Raisin in the Sun vs. Julius Caesar

2295 Words Jan 19th, 2013 10 Pages
Kyla Beecher
Ms. Hilliard
English 2 Honors
4 January 2013
Traditional vs. Modern Drama
In William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun themes, symbols, and characters can be compared. Both A Raisin in the Sun and Julius Caesar were written for the stage; therefore their characters become more obvious and more thoroughly portrayed than in a book, for example. Even though, these works were written by far different authors and in different centuries their similarities and differences are evident. In both A Raisin in the Sun and Julius Caesar themes, symbols, and character development are consistent.
Comparing character development in Julius Caesar and A Raisin in the Sun is beneficial in learning more
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In Raisin in the Sun, Mama’s plant represents her dreams and the rest of her family’s dreams. A result of this would be Mama always making sure to take extra care of her plant and to nourish it well. On the other hand, Mama’s check represents all of the hard work that her husband achieved and how hard he had to work to actually obtain that amount of money. Beneatha’s hair symbolizes the assimilationist beliefs of the time and how people become inferior to the dominant race. When Beneatha returns her hair to its natural state it symbolizes that she is against common assimilation beliefs. The symbolism of her hair is evident in a conversation between her and Asagai, “’(Coming to her at the mirror) I shall have to teach you how to drape it properly. (He flings the material about her for the moment and stands back to look at her) Ah—Oh-pay-gay-day, oh-gaha-mu-shay. (A Yoruba exclamation for admiration) You wear it well…very well…mutilated hair and all.’ ‘(Turning suddenly) My hair—what’s wrong with my hair?’ ‘(Shrugging) Were you born with it like that?’ ‘(Reaching up to touch it) No…of course not. (She looks back to the mirror, disturbed)’ ‘(Smiling) How then?’ ‘You know perfectly well how…as crinkly as yours…that’s how’” (Hansberry 61-62). The symbols used in Julius Caesar are omens, pain, and the conspirators bathing in Caesar’s blood. In Julius Caesar, omens symbolize evil and warn people against evil and bad things that could happen,
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