Are there any examples of juxtaposition, foreshadowing, symbolism, or prose in Julius Caesar acts 4 or 5?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Foreshadowing is simply a warning or indication of a future event. The appearance to Brutus of Caesar's ghost in act 4, scene 3 foreshadows how Caesar will be remembered long after his death. Brutus and the other assassins may have killed Caesar, but they haven't been able to destroy his legacy. Caesar's memory is loved and revered by his friends and by the people of Rome. Even if the assassins should prevail in the civil war, that memory is set to live on in the hearts and minds of millions, and there's little or nothing that Brutus and his partners in crime can do about it. Figuratively speaking, they will be haunted by Caesar, just as Brutus is now haunted by his ghost.

Juxtaposition means two things being seen or placed close together, with contrasting effect. There's also a good example of this in act 4. Whereas Brutus and Cassius quarrel over the conduct of the war, their opponents show strength in purpose, busily drawing up lists of those they will execute once they've achieved power. One camp is riven by division, the other relatively united. This can also be seen as an example of foreshadowing in that it points toward the coming battle's final outcome.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Shakespeare foreshadows at the end of Act IV when Brutus sees the ghost of Caesar. The encounter is brief, and Caesar’s ghost offers little information. When Brutus addresses the ghost, asking him why he is here, the ghost just says, “To tell thee thou shalt see me at Philippi.” Brutus doesn’t muse at his meaning.

Since Brutus ends up dying at Philippi, we can presume that Caesar’s ghost meant that Brutus would see him there because Brutus would die there. This fact dawns on Brutus late in Act V when he says “The ghost of Caesar hath appeared to me two several times by night; I know my hour is come.”

It is interesting to note that Shakespeare does not describe the second encounter with the ghost. Brutus simply says it happened and that is all the information we have. We can presume that the ghost of Caesar sought revenge against Brutus for his treason.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial