What is Calpurnia's dream and how does Caesar react when she shares it with him in Julius Caesar, Act II, Scene 2?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Having experienced an ominous dream, Calpurnia enters the scene declaring to  Caesar, "You shall not stir out of your house today." Naturally, mighty Caesar refutes her, "Caesar shall forth"; he adds that whatever threatens him always runs when he faces the threats. But, Calpurnia is persistent, claiming she has never believed in omens before, but is frightened this day, the Ides of March; furthermore, there is a man relating bizarre occurrences in the night such as a lioness has given birth in a street, and graves have opened and ghosts have screamed.

But, she herself has had a dream that greatly disturbs her because she fears that it portends grave danger for Caesar. In her dream, Calpurnia has seen Caesar's statue as though it were a fountain, pouring blood from a "hundred spouts; many "lusty Romans" came up to this statue, and they bathed their hands in this blood, all the time smiling.

Decius, one of the conspirators himself, re-interprets this dream so that Caesar will be persuaded to accompany him to the Senate. As a further incentive, Decius tells Caesar that the Senate means to crown him this day. Persuaded by Decius's interpretation and having learned that he will be made emperor, the ambitious Caesar ignores Calpurnia's warnings, "How foolish do your fears seem now,Calpurnia," and he departs with Decius.

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amysor's profile pic

amysor | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Calpurnia's dream was seeing the statue of Caesar, and blood spilling from it. Also, the citizens washed their hands in the blood. Calpurnia feared that this meant that Caesaer will die, and convinced Caesar to stay home. At first, Caesar was relucant to listen to her, but finally gave in to the superstition. Although, when Decius comes, he changes the interpretation of Calpurnia's dream, and convinces Caesar to go to the senate.

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