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This setting of this scene is Caesar’s house the morning of the day he is assassinated in the Roman Senate (the Ides of March, or March 15). Calpurnia tries desperately to make Caesar stay home instead of going to the capital as planned. Strange events in Rome during the night, as well as a terrible dream she has had, have convinced her that he is in great danger—which he is.
The primary literary technique at work in this scene is that of foreshadowing: the strange, unnatural happenings that have terrified Calpurnia strongly hint at the terrible events that will follow. Furthermore, her dream in which Caesar’s statue pours forth blood from “a hundred spouts” exactly foreshadows Caesar’s murder soon to occur in which he is stabbed repeatedly by the conspirators.
Foreshadowing is effective in creating mood and building suspense. This scene makes the reader aware that Caesar’s death is at hand. Because the play is rooted in history, Shakespeare’s audience knows that Caesar will not survive the day, but Shakespeare creates suspense by developing the events leading up to the assassination.
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