Julius Caesar Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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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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At the beginning of act 2, scene 2 Calpurnia sees Caesar getting ready to leave their home. She questions his desire to go and tells him that he should stay. She informs him that many portentous events have been witnessed and that, although she has "never stood on ceremonies," they now frighten her. She names some strange and frightening incidents and noises that she believes spell danger. She cries out that these occurrences seem purposeless but that they fill her with fear. 

Caesar believes that Calpurnia's fears are unfounded because, as he says, these portents of doom apply equally to the general public and do not specifically relate to him alone. He decides that he will leave. His wife, however, insists that comets do not blaze when beggars are about to die; they foretell the death of princes. She desperately wants Caesar to understand that these omens warn about his doom. 

The general stubbornly refuses to heed Calpurnia's advice and believes that only cowards are overwhelmed by their fear. As such, they die many deaths while those who are brave only meet one death, for they do not fear the possibility of dying. He is alluding to himself and does not deem himself a coward.

Caesar's servant informs him that his soothsayers have studied the entrails of an offering and could not find its heart. Their advice is that he should stay indoors since this unnatural discovery predicts danger. Caesar, however, stubbornly refuses to heed this warning and instead sees it as a comment about cowardice. He believes that he should go forth and face whatever dangers he may encounter. He arrogantly states that he is, after all, more dangerous than danger itself.

Calpurnia's insistence, however, wears him down. He finally relents and decides to follow her advice. He will send Mark Anthony in his place and instruct him to inform the senators that he is unwell.

Decius Brutus's arrival changes everything. When Caesar informs the conspirator that he is not going to the Senate, Decius wishes to know why. Caesar then tells him about his wife's portentous dream. He mentions that Calpurnia had seen his statue spouting blood from numerous gashes and that she...

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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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