Julius Caesar Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

Julius Caesar book cover
Start Your Free Trial

In Julius Caesar, Act I, what does the soothsayer tell Caesar in Scene 2, and how does Caesar respond?

Expert Answers info

samcestmoi eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCurrent Graduate Student


calendarEducator since 2016

write232 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

In this scene all of Rome is celebrating the Feast of Lupercal, a fertility festival held in honor of the god Lupercus, or Pan; as part of the festivities a foot race is held, in which Marc Antony participates. So, needless to say, there is a very large crowd around Caesar, out for this popular festival. In the throng, the soothsayer calls to Caesar, who, hearing his voice, bids him approach and speak. “Beware the ides of March,” is all he will repeat—a warning of what he has seen in his fortune-telling. Caesar, however, does not take the warning seriously, and instead dismisses the man immediately, stating that “He is a dreamer. Let us leave him. Pass.”

The story of Julius Caesar is well-known today, and was perhaps more well-known in Shakespeare’s time. Thus this event is an example of dramatic irony—the audience knows of Caesar’s fate, and yet Caesar himself disregards the only warning he receives of his forthcoming murder. Similarly, later in the scene Cassius hints to Brutus of his plans to assassinate Caesar, and Caesar, speaking with Antony, notes how he mistrusts Cassius—he “has a lean and hungry look; / he thinks too much. Such men are dangerous.” And yet he asserts, “I fear him not.” Here again is irony, for indeed, if Caesar has anyone to fear, it is Cassius.

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Tim Mbiti eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2014

write1,737 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

The soothsayer calls out Caesar’s name and Caesar responds by asking who called him. Casca asks the others to remain quiet and Caesar asks again, “Who is it in the press that calls on me?” The Soothsayer responds back to Caesar and informs him to beware the ides of March. Caesar is curious to know who issued the warning and asks him to come forward. Brutus informs Caesar...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 585 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

hilahmarca eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write225 answers

starTop subject is Literature

check Approved by eNotes Editorial