Shakespeare Quotes

When beggars die there are no comets seen

Calpurnia:
"When beggars die there are no comets seen;
The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes."

Julius Caesar (II, ii, 30-31)

Calpurnia, wife of Julius Caesar, begs her husband not to venture out on this morning, the ides of March. Caesar has spent a restless night and there is a wild storm raging. Calpurnia has had disturbing dreams, as well; crying out three times in her sleep, "They murder Caesar!" She begs him to stay home. Caesar sends word to the priests and they, too, return a warning that Caesar must stay home. Calpurnia is very upset , especially because of the strange events of the preceding evening: reports that a lioness was seen giving birth in the streets of Rome, the dead rising from their graves, warriors fighting in the clouds, reports of horses neighing and dying men groaning, ghosts shrieking. Comets were seen during the night, which Calpurnia interprets as a prophecy of the death of a prince.

Themes: death and sickness, prophecy, dreams

Speakers: Calpurnia