What is the significance of the storm in act 1, scene 3 of Julius Caesar?

Shakespeare uses the storm in act 1, scene 3 of Julius Caesar to symbolize the gathering storm in Rome, to foreshadows the disruption to the Roman state that will be caused by Caesar's assassination, and to set the tone for the conspiracy scenes that lead to the assassination.

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Shakespeare uses storms to portend or foreshadow coming events and to set the tone or atmosphere for a scene. As other Educators have noted and discussed, the storm in act 1, scene 3 of Julius Caesar symbolizes and portends the coming storm in Rome, foreshadows the disturbance and chaos that will be caused by Caesar's assassination, and sets the tone of secrecy and uncertainty for the conspiracy scenes leading up to the assassination.

The sudden flashes of lightning and the loud thunder at the beginning of the scene seem a bit heavy-handed, unless Shakespeare intended to wake up anybody in the audience who dozed off during the previous scene and alert everybody else in the theatre to pay attention to the growing conspiracy against Caesar that follows in the next two scenes.

Judging by Casca's lines in the early part of the scene, it's apparent that Shakespeare wanted to emphasize the conspiracy and the coming disruption in Rome, and he wants to make it perfectly clear that's exactly what the...

(The entire section contains 5 answers and 1177 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on May 27, 2020