Language and Composition
2002 question 2 Form B
Decius vs. Calphurnia
Thursday, November 08, 2012
In William Shakespeare’s Tragic Play, Julius Caesar, Decius a noble and trusted
supporter of Caesar was able to convince his “Crowned king” to visit the senate after
he was forewarned by his wife Calphurnia about the consequences of leaving his
home. Caesar not looking into the forewarnings and having only the desire of
earning a crown was murdered and stabbed by his most loyal constituents. Decius
the most loved supporter of Caesar lead his “King” to his death and stabbed him the
last. This shows us that in Decius’s careful choice of words, use of appeals and his
understanding of Caesar himself played an important role in getting Caesar to the
senate in the first place even though his beloved wife warned him of the
In this passage, Calphurnia begins to tell Caesar a vision she had just dreamt of
the night before. She tries to scare Caesar and uses details from her omens to warn
him and convince him to remain at home. She says “…graves have yawned…drizzled
in blood upon the capitol.” She uses these emotionally charged words to try to make
Caesar understand her fear. However, Decius is more effective in his arguments
rather than Calphurnia because he knows Caesars behavior enough to deceive him.
He leaves out much of the scary visions his wife mentions , skipping over them or
manipulating them in to positive visions ,for example when he twist Calphurnia’s
words into “… reviving blood …for tinctures, stains relics and cognizance.” He
discredits every point she makes and makes her seem foolish for showing her fear.
He also takes advantage of the situation by showing no fear and keeping calm when
needed. He only lets her continue ranting on about her dream and allowing her to
beg him to stay home.
Both Calphurnia and Decius...