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How suitably is the theme of the supernatural depicted in the play 'Julius Caesar'?

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Introduction

How suitably is the theme of the supernatural depicted in the play 'Julius Caesar'? William Shakespeare was one of the most influential playwrights, is known today for his plays such as Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, A Midsummer Nights Dream and many other interesting and different plays. We in the 21st century enjoy Shakespeare's plays for a variety of reasons. His plays have different themes like love, ambition, pride, friendship, supernatural, etc. His language is rich and full of imagery. Many of his famous quotes are used even till today such as "To be, or not to be" and "O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?"-Romeo and Juliet, form some of literature's most celebrated lines. Other famous Shakespeare quotes such as "I 'll not budge an inch", "We have seen better days" ,"A dish fit for the gods" -Julius Caesar and the expression it's "Greek to me" have all become catch phrases in modern day speech. Furthermore, other William Shakespeare quotes such as "to thine own self be true" have become widely spoken pearls of wisdom. "As he was valiant, I honor him; but, as he was ambitious, I slew him" . - (Act III, Scene II). "Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more". - (Act III, Scene II). "Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once. Of all the wonders that I yet have heard, it seems to me most strange that men should fear; Seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come". - (Act II, Scene II). Shakespeare was a brilliant man of the theatre; the medium of his theatre was language. It is his use of language that has made William Shakespeare one of the greatest figures in English Literature. The Elizabethan age was a period of enrichment and growth. One of the functions of Shakespeare's poetry is to communicate to the audience in an imaginative manner. ...read more.

Middle

It is followed by further violence. In the same way, the individual was often compared to nature and to society. Disorder in one was represented by disorder in the other. Some find this a most effective and dramatic scene, where Shakespeare has made full use of the popular belief in astrology in relation to human society. Since the actual violence of the storm cannot be reproduced on the Elizabethans stage Shakespeare, according to his customs, conveys the idea through the effect it has on a character. Casca is running on the stage with a drawn sword. He says that " all the sway of earth shakes like a thing unfirm". He then goes to give a vivid description of the tempest that we cannot see but we can imagin along with him. It may be noted that here Casca speaks in blank verse rather than in prose unlike in the previous scene. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, the terrifying and supernatural occurances referred to here need the rhythms and music of poetry. Secondly, it is significant that Casca is the one who is so shaken by the omens of the night for he has been, until now, portrayed as a tough, cynical man, not wasily moved. This adds to the effect of the storm. The imagery throughout this passage, lines 3-28, has an intense nightmarish quality. It is not an ordinary lighting storm when he says the "tempest dropping fire". This is followed by the figure of a man holding up his hand "which did flame and burn like twenty torches join'd. This picture and that of the lion which follows it, arouse in our minds the idea of destruction and violence. This is followed by the powerful suggestion of general terror and desolation when he talks of the "thunder ghastly women transformed with their fear" whom Casca has seen. At the end of the passage the owl is mentioned, "the bird of night". ...read more.

Conclusion

This is exactly what the ghost does here. There is harmony and peace for a brief moment in Lucius' song. The ghost makes the ominous prophecy that they shall meet again at Phlippi. The tension is soon over. The supernatural results in the death of Brutus. Supernatural makes us feel that there is a higher power that rules the lives of human beings. The murderers of Caesar's have haunted by a sense of guilt and this feeling spells their doom. Shakespeare uses the supernatural potently. He brings ancient Romans alive with their weaknesses and superstitions. Pathetic fallacy in Julius Caesar is used to show how a man feels, to show how nature reflects your happiness. Shakespeare used direct and indirect manifestations of the supernatural. Soothsayers warning and Calpurnia's terrifying dream are omens and predictions. In conclusion I would say that the play would be totally different without the theme of the supernatural. The supernatural actually builds up the eerie atmosphere and sustains the interest of the audience. I have personally learnt that if we get a warning from someone about an ill omen, we will take care and be cautious. Pride and over confidence can take over you completely leading to your own downfall. The Elizabethan audience loved and believed in the supernatural and superstition and so Shakespeare would have loved to put in the play. I feel that William Shakespeare's portrayal of the supernatural is amazing accompanied with forceful imagery. As there was no back drop and sounds the reader had to visualize the supernatural elements. If the play had to take place in the 21st century it would be very effective on the audience as we are living in a world of politicians and world leaders fighting and killing for high ranks in the government. As Julius Caesar is a political play it would have a psychological slants just as we have in the politics. With music and backdrops the plays would be simply extraordinary. The theme of supernatural is depicted is very well in the play. Shakespeare's vivid description of the supernatural has a lasting impression on us. ...read more.

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