What evidence indicates that Ceasar is superstitious, even in characterizing Cassius?William Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar"

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "Julius Caesar" as Caesar and Marc Antony, who is ready for the footrace, enter, Caesar calls to Calpurnia and tells her to stand where Marc Antony will be able to touch her.  For, Caesar believes that if Calpurnia is touched by the runner, she will then be able to bear children when heretofore she has been barren:

Forget not in your speed, Antoniius,/To touch Calpurnia; for our elders say/The barren, touched in this holy chase,/Shake off their sterile curse (I,ii,6-9)

Yet, ironically, when the soothsayer tells Caesar, "Beware the Ides of March," Caesar dismisses him as a "dreamer."  As Caesar and Antony continue to walk, Caesar spots Cassius, saying,

Let me have men about me tht are fat,/Sleek-headed men, and such as sleep a'nights./Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look;/He thinks too much:  such men are dangerous(I,ii,192-195)

In this case, Caesar's fears are accurate as he notices the hunger for power in the lean look of Cassius who clearly envies Caesar:

Why, man, he [Caesar] doth bestride the narrow world/Like a Colossus, and we petty men/Walk under his huge legs and peep about/To find ourselves dishonorable graves...(I,ii,135-138)

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Julius Caesar

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