What are some of  the omens that occurred in Act I of "Julius Caesar?"

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 There are several key omens in Act I:

  • In scene ii, the Soothsayer (a fortune-teller or seer; sooth means "truth") warns Caesar, "Beware the ides of March” (l. 18). (On the ancient Roman calendar, the ides were the 15th day of March, May, July, or October or the 13th day of the other months). Caesar brushes off the warning.
  • In scene iii, Casca tells Cicero about strange, unnatural occurences in Rome on the day and night before Caesar’s assassination: a firestorm, a slave whose hand is on fire but does not suffer burns, a lion running around the capitol, frightened women who say they saw men in flames walking the streets, and an owl shrieking in the market during daylight. Casca says, “they are portentous things / unto the climate that they point upon.” (ll. 31-32). (The firestorm could be interpreted to represent either the brewing conspiracy against Caesar or the social and political turmoil that erupts after Caesar's murder; the lion could be seen to represent Caesar; and the burning men could be seen to represent the conspirators, whose actions will condemn them to eternal damnation. Shakespeare uses the owl in several of his plays to foreshadow a calamity.)
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