Such a powerful king; why did he not listen to the soothsayer and his wife?

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ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In William Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar," the ruler of the land is Caesar.  The traits in his personality, which kept him from listening to the Soothsayer and his wife, are also the traits in his personality that made him a strong leader.  A during that era in Roman history, a leader who second-guessed his decisions or let everyone around him dictate his decisions would not have lasted very long.  Caesar bordered on being a narcissist.  His personality was such that he made decisions without consulting others, and once he made a decision he rarely went back on that decision.  Caesar was determined to go before the people and even though he was warned "Beware of the ides of March," he was far to arrogant to think that anything would happen to him.  He believed everyone loved him as much as he loved himself.

"Caesar's actions in this scene have been used to support differing views of his character. Some argue that his refusal to listen to others demonstrate his high-handed, arrogant nature. It has also been suggested that perhaps Caesar recognized the need to act in the interest of Rome, rather than on his personal preferences."

mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator


In Act I, scene ii, Caesar ignores the soothsayer's warning, "Beware the ides of March."  Caesar addresses himself in the third person, responding, "Speak, Caesar is turn'd to hear."

Later in Act III, scene i, Caesar sees the soothsayer again and, jokingly, says that I ain't dead yet: "The Ides of March are come; Ay, Caesar, but not gone."  He later refuses Metallus as to reversing the decision of his brother's exile: "I am constant as the northern star."  His own wife and two others also warn him not to go to the capitol. 

Caesar obviously suffers from an arrogance of power and a megalomania (obssessive, delusional fantasy) in his position as "King."  He addesses himself in the third person, as if he is a character in a play, a clear sign of grandiose delusion.  He arrogantly thinks he is "God's chosen vessel," and--as such--invincible.  He suffers from a lack of flexibility as well.  Once he has made a decision, he stays the course stubbornly.  To deviate is to show weakness.  The coronet has clearnly gone to his head.

forever960 | Student

Sorry! im gonna answer urr Quetion brief and to the point only (: :

He doesnt listen to the soothsayer because the soothsayer asks in public and caesar doesnt want to show that he is superstious as that means you are weak!!

He doesnt listen to his wife because he really badly wants his crown though he shows he doesnt care a bit (:

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Julius Caesar

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