quora

Misinterpretation: the Role of Omens, Divination and Superstition in Shakespeares Julius Caesar - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Summary
here are many religions in which omens and superstition play an important role. There are likewise many Shakespearean plays that deal in these things: they are excellent plot elements to keep the interest in plays where the audience perpetually knows that the entire cast – or at least much of it, is eventually going to die…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER97.1% of users find it useful
Misinterpretation: the Role of Omens, Divination and Superstition in Shakespeares Julius Caesar
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample
"Misinterpretation: the Role of Omens, Divination and Superstition in Shakespeares Julius Caesar"

Download file to see previous pages Yet in Julius Caesar, omens, divination and superstition take on a larger role even than they often do in other Shakespearean tragedies. Omens, divination and superstition are, at their most fundamental levels, attempts to know things that are unknowable: to predict the future. They vary widely in supposed predictive powers; superstitions are things that give people temporary pause but may or may not be disregarded: they are the least potent of the three. One step up are omens – these are things that are known and generally believe to have predictive powers of some sort, but are often vague in their predictions; a certain thing might mean that it will be a bad year for agriculture, for instance, but might not tell of a specific event (the same is true of windfalls, the positive cousin of omens, which are, by definition, ill). Divination is supposedly the most strongly predictive of the three, seeing directly into the future. Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar indicates that omens, superstition and divination were important parts of Roman religion, and well practiced; it also makes some room for human free will, however, in whether or not to heed the omens and give them their just respect. One of the major things that jumps out at someone upon reading or seeing this play is that there are simply a massive sheer number of omens, superstitions and episodes of divination in the play. For instance, in Act One Scene 3 alone, Casca experiences three things that she considers omens. The first of these omens was possibly the most notable: a slave had his left hand set on fire, but he did not feel the burn. This is clearly an unnatural experience: flesh should burn when set aflame. Yet it does not. In almost any society this would be taken as an omen. Later, however, there is a lion who gazes at Casca in the street – free and unfettered, but chooses not to attack him. This is something of a more understandable occurrence; not every lion is a bloodthirsty killer. Finally, an owl was seen sitting and hooting at the marketplace at noon, at the height of the day, when Owls are supposed to be nocturnal animals. This is something more natural than the last event even – owls are rarely but still occasionally seen by day, and it is quite easy to imagine this happening without there being some kind of mystical force at work. It would be strange, certainly, but imaginable. However, what these omens do show is that Roman culture was incredibly sensitive to omens and incredibly superstitious. Firstly, their sheer number and placement in the play demonstrates this – these three are simply the first examples, and occur early in the play, but there are countless others that could have been chosen. This alone shows that omens were taken very seriously. The relatively mundane nature of the last two omens further reinforces the importance of omens to Roman religion. Someone from a different religious or cultural background might simply think it was a full lion and a strange owl, but someone immersed in Roman religion sees otherwise – the natural explanations fall to the wayside and these two possibly ordinary events become omens. Julius Caesar clearly shows that omens and superstition were important parts of Roman religious practice, and beyond this they also show that these omens are far from prescriptive; they are open to interpretation, and are often misinterpreted, giving room for human free will. One of the best examples of divination’s subjectivity occurs in the Second Act. At one point, Calphurina dreams that a large group of Romans were standing together ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
  • CHICAGO
(“Misinterpretation: the Role of Omens, Divination and Superstition in Essay”, n.d.)
Retrieved from https://studentshare.org/religion-and-theology/1461430-misinterpretation-the-role-of-omens-divination-and-superstition-in-shakespeares-julius-caesar
(Misinterpretation: The Role of Omens, Divination and Superstition in Essay)
https://studentshare.org/religion-and-theology/1461430-misinterpretation-the-role-of-omens-divination-and-superstition-in-shakespeares-julius-caesar.
“Misinterpretation: The Role of Omens, Divination and Superstition in Essay”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/religion-and-theology/1461430-misinterpretation-the-role-of-omens-divination-and-superstition-in-shakespeares-julius-caesar.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document
CHECK THESE SAMPLES - THEY ALSO FIT YOUR TOPIC
Julius caesar-shakeaspere
He possesses outstanding qualities and greatness. His downfall is usually brought about by a greater cause or principle. A tragic hero has a tragic flaw, also known as “hamartia”, which is that quality which leads him to his downfall and eventually his death.
3 Pages(750 words)Essay
Julius Caesar Biography
The study of life of Julius Caesar and events related to it is important in many ways. It can be a leading lesson in more than one ways. It gives us an insight in to the life of a genius yet flawed personality .Julius Caesar was more than a name and an individual, he was an icon, an emblem of struggle, guidance, deterrence, determination, bravery, and wit .Hence it was just one soul that contained all these characteristics.
8 Pages(2000 words)Essay
Pericles and Julius Caesar
Pericles and Julius Caesar Pericles and Julius Caesar have come to be recognized by historians as two of the seminal figures of antiquity. While it’s clear both individuals share many similar traits, it’s perhaps in the differences that reveal the most about these individuals and the cultures of which they were apart.
3 Pages(750 words)Essay
Julius Caesar play
Bloom and Loos also state, ‘Platter notes that he witnessed an ‘excellent performance of the tragedy of the first Emperor Julius Caesar’ suggesting that he realized the significance of the play as a work about the death of the republic and the rise of imperial Rome’(281).
7 Pages(1750 words)Essay
The role Julius Caesar played as a leader of Rome that caused his assassination
In The Columbia Encyclopedia). At the time of Caesar’s death in 44 BC, the Roman empire consisted of several territories like Spain, Gaul, Italy, part of Illyria, Macedonia, Greece, West Asia Minor, Bithynia, Pontus, Cilicia,
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
Julius Caesar
These conquests made a great number of Roman citizens very rich. However, the wars seriously broke the social and economic bases of Rome. Many peasants were deprived of their property. The Roman Senate, which initially was a certain form a small city administrative council, now proved own incapacity to govern the enormous empire.
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay
World History - Julius Caesar
and military commander of the empire, but also he obtained sound reputation and applause from all corners in diplomatic affairs and politics, by dint of his innate qualities of head and heart, he had been gifted with by Nature. It is therefore he was adopted as a Roman deity
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay
Julius Caesar
age that he cannot enjoy his own freedom and he forged messages with different handwriting and made the look like they came from Rome citizens claiming that Caesar had become very powerful and should be killed. Since Brutus honor for Rome was in his heart, he saw it worthy to
1 Pages(250 words)Essay
Friendship in Julius Caesar
Captivatingly, a “true friendship” is the only one that cannot be subjugated, even after death. In relation to that Cassius and Brutus, have used their friendship and the other schemer to their benefit, and to Caesar’s weakness.
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
Julius Ceasar and william shakespear
However, he is warned to beware of the Ides of March that later came true when he was assassinated by Brutus. Shakespeare portrays Marcus Brutus as a highly cherished senator in the Roman Empire. He plays an instrumental role in designing Caesar’s assassination based on his belief that Rome must get rid of the tyrant.
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.
Let us find you another Essay on topic Misinterpretation: the Role of Omens, Divination and Superstition in Shakespeares Julius Caesar for FREE!
logo footer
Contact us:
+16312120006
Contact Us Now
FREE Mobile Apps:
  • StudentShare App Store
  • StudentShare Google play
  • About StudentShare
  • Testimonials
  • FAQ
  • Blog
  • Free Essays
  • New Essays
  • Essays
  • Miscellaneous
  • The Newest Essay Topics
  • Index samples by all dates
Join us:
Contact Us