Discuss what the various responses to omens, nightmares and other supernatural events show about the struggle between fate and freewill in Julius Caesar?

1856 Words Oct 18th, 2009 8 Pages
One of the major concerns presented by Shakespeare in Julius Caesar is the struggle between fate and free will. This struggle is evident throughout the play through Shakespeares continual presentation of the supernatural. The supernatural is present in many different forms in the text, for example through omens, nightmares and sacrifices. Shakespeare believed that life was a combination of fate and freewill, he presents this idea to the audience through different events that occur throughout the play, events such as the Feast at the Lupercal, the Soothsayers prophecy, the animal sacrifice, Calpurnias dream and the presence of animals and Caesars ghost. These events build dramatic tension throughout the play, illustrating the struggle of …show more content…
This flawed justification illustrates his confusion and how he does not seem to connect death with himself.

Pathetic Fallacy is used by Shakespeare to create a mood of malevolence and darkness. Thunder and lightning is used frequently in the early stages of the play to highlight the lack of balance in the natural world. For example, when the conspirators are trying to convince Brutus to join the conspiracy there is a storm with thunder and lightning, this creates an ominous tone as an Elizabethan audience would have recognised the storm as an omen of unrest. The Elizabethans believed that storms released forces of evil and unrest, this indicates the unnatural dominance of corruption. The turmoil of the heavens directly represents the state of Rome and the minds of men, in particular, Brutus. The rampant storm and the peculiar signs of disharmony are misinterpreted by Caesar and this becomes an increasing important concern in the play. The ambiguities present in the omens are summed up by Cicero, men may construe things after their fashion clean from the purpose of the things themselves. This is one message that Shakespeare presents to the audience, men at some stage are masters of their fates.

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