What is Julius Caesar's internal conflict.William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Shakespeare's play of the same name, Julius Caesar, leader of Rome, enters the city triumphantly, glorying in the adulation of the crowd.  He tells the runner, Marc Antony to be sure to touch Portia so she will be able to bear children, a superstion of the festival of Lupercnal. However, when a soothsayer approaches him, warning, "Beware the Ides of March," Caesar dismisses the man as "a dreamer." Yet, later he clearly gives credence to the dream of his wife Portia who warns him against going to the Forum on the Ides of March.  It is only his fear of appearing weak that makes Caesar argue against his wife, with the words,

Cowards die many times before their deaths,

The valiant never taste of death but once. (2.2.32-33)

While covertly superstitious, he definitely does not want to appear weak.  He challenges Cassius to swim in the turbulent river; he accompanies Decius to the Forum and he rebuffs Metellus Cimber, who pleads for the return of his banished brother.  Caesar mocks his groveling, likening it to a dog.

Clearly, Julius Ceasar's internal conflicts involve his wish to appear both fearless and unsuperstitious.

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Julius Caesar

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