ACT 2 SCENE 2
Good afternoon. I'm going to tell you about the disposition of Julius Caesar’s wife Calpurnia, during the early morning hours on the Ides of March which was also the day Caesar was to be crowned king but, was assassinated instead.
The scene opens with thunder and lightning accompanied by torrential rain since the night before when Calpurnia is deeply disturbed by horrid nightmares of Caesar being slaughtered by sadistic murderers (sadistic because they were smiling when stabbing him which depicts that they were enjoying in killing him). Distraught by his wife’s premonitions, Caesar calls upon his servant to go and ask the priests to make an animal sacrifice to pacify the gods. As soon as the servant departs, Calpurnia enters the scene and orders Caesar not to step out of the house.
However, Caesar was determined to go since, he felt that all the dangers face his back but, shall disappear once they see his face. Never having believed in omens ever before, Calpurnia is highly distressed due to her nightmares and also due to the watchmen’s report of ghastly scenes sighted occurring on the street such as a lioness giving birth in the street; graves have reopened and dead people have been seen lurking around; ferocious, resolute warriors waging battle in the sky above leading to bloodshed upon the Capitol in the form of rain. They could also hear the sounds that are common to the battlefield such as the neighing of horses, the moaning of dying people and the yelping and howling of the souls of already dead men. Thus, she is trying to persuade Caesar that these happenings are quite abnormal and that she fears for him. Caesar retorts that whatever plans devised by God cannot be altered and that all the devastating effects of the portents affect not only himself but, commoners as well and hence, is firm on his decision to go to the Capitol. Calpurnia counter-retorts that these ill-fated occurrings affect only royalty and not the poor. Caesar philosophizes death as a repetitive event for cowards throughout their lives whereas, the brave witness death only once. Moreover, death is not an aspect to be feared as it is the inevitable end of life.
The servant renters with word from the priests that Caesar should not go out of the house on this day as the animal sacrificed to the God was found without a heart in its body. Caesar is under the impression that the animal was found without a heart was due to its fear of death and that if he should stay at home because of such a petty finding, he shall be no less than the cowardly animal. He assures Calpurnia that his life is not in danger as he emphasizes on the fact that he himself is more dangerous than danger itself. He compares himself and danger are twins born together and he being the elder, is more frightful and reiterates that he will go to the Capitol no matter what. Calpurnia is upset about the fact that Caesar’s decision to go forth is clouded with overconfidence and lacks wisdom. She realizes that he is adamant on going and pleads him to refrain from doing so due to her fears rather than his own. As a last resort, she begs him to listen to her for once and send a message through his good friend Mark Antony to the Senate House stating that Caesar is not well and will not come this day. Finally, Caesar gives in to his wife’s pleas and decides to stay home for her happiness.
Nevertheless, the crafty Decius Brutus who is also a part of the conspiracy against Caesar, comes to his house and talks him into coming to the Capitol after all as he twists Calpurnia’s nightmare around into a positive sign and further adds that Caesar is to be crowned but, if he decides no to go, the Senate might reconsider their decision to crown him.
Line 10 - 11: Personification - “the things that threatened me Ne’er looked but on my back” (the things here are referred to Calpurnia’s nightmares which are given human-like qualities...
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