In Julius Caesar, what supernatural events occur and who are affected by them?

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In Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, several supernatural events occur that deeply affect the characters. The night before Caesar's assassination, Rome is filled with ominous phenomena: a dreadful storm, battles in the clouds, blood rain, a lioness giving birth in the streets, and ghosts shrieking. These events terrify Calpurnia, who sees them as omens of Caesar's impending doom. Furthermore, Calpurnia's prophetic dream of Caesar's bloody statue comes true when he is assassinated. Lastly, Caesar's ghost appears to Brutus, foretelling his fate at Philippi, which leaves Brutus shaken and anxious.

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Shakespeare's audiences were fascinated with supernatural events, frequently believing in them as reality rather than acts of imagination. Shakespeare gave his audiences what they enjoyed; many of his plays include supernatural presences, such as the ghost of Hamlet's father and the witches in Macbeth.

In Julius Caesar, Act II is rife with supernatural events. The night before Caesar's assassination, strange occurrences break out in Rome. A terrible storm shakes the city; warriors do battle upon the clouds; blood rains down on Rome; a lioness gives birth in the city streets; graves have opened up and "yielded up their dead." Ghosts have appeared to "shriek and squeal about the streets." Calpurnia is terrified by these supernatural events, seeing them as signs that Caesar is headed for destruction. She tells Caesar, "The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes." Caesar dismisses her fears and goes to the Senate where he is assassinated.

Calpurnia's strange dream may also be viewed as a supernatural event since it came true. Her dream of Caesar's statue pouring blood while Romans bathe in it becomes reality when his body bleeds from many wounds after being mortally wounded by the conspirators. They cover their arms "up to the elbows" in Caesar's blood.

Another important supernatural event occurs when the ghost of Caesar appears to Brutus in his tent before Brutus and Cassius meet Antony and Octavius in battle at Philippi. Caesar's ghost tells Brutus "thou shalt see me at Philippi." Brutus is shaken by the ghost's appearance, wanting to hear more before the ghost disappears. When no more information is forthcoming, Brutus orders that Cassius lead his forces to Philippi immediately, with Brutus to follow. Brutus will not wait for his fate to come to him. He seeks it.

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What are the supernatural happenings in Julius Caesar? What are the effects they produce and are they still relevant today?

The supernatural events in this play are the appearances of Caesar's ghost to Brutus as he prepares for battle.  Brutus, of course, is a little unnerved by the appearance and he feels obvious guilt for his part in the murder since things have not played out the way he and the other conspirators planned.  The ghost tells Brutus that he will be with him at Phillipi, and this unnerves Brutus a little more.  He is convinced that this foretells his own death, and he becomes a little melancholy.

These effects and reactions are very relevant today, don't you think?  People still react with fear, wonder, and perhaps even guilt when the ghost of someone they know appears. The latter is especially true if the living person had something to do with the dead person's death.

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Describe the supernatural events in Julius Caesar. How effective are they in the play?

The supernatural events in Julius Caesar are very much part of ancient literature. The Romans were very aware of supernatural events such as prodigies and omens. They believed that the gods communicated with them through these. We can say that they were like signaling mechanisms with the divine. This might seem strange to modern readers, but it is only in the west and only recently that people shied away from the supernatural. Even in Shakespeare's time, people had very strong beliefs in the supernatural. So, I would say that these supernatural events fit right in the narrative and also fit into the culture of readers with perhaps the exception of modern times.

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Describe the supernatural happenings in Julius Caesar and the effects which they produce. Are these still relevant today? How?

The supernatural happenings include the appearance of ghosts, a horrible storm in which blood rains on the capital building, references to graves giving up their dead, as well as other incidences which betray the natural order of things as they "should be" (nightbirds-or owls-seen during the day, lions-something savage and animalistic-giving birth in the streets-the place of commerce and civilization).  Several of the characters refer to bad omens (Calupurnia's prophetic dream, Cassius' description of the eagles replaced by scavenger birds on their journey to meet Antony's army, etc.).  Perhaps the most important supernatural event is the appearance of Caesar's ghost to Brutus, causing him to move his armies more quickly than caution would dictate. 

All of these events create tension in the play and help motivate other rash deeds.  They also provide a backdrop of impending doom and growing instability which makes Caesar's assassination more dramatic.

As for their relevance, I'm not sure if you are referring to the supernatural events or the historical events which they lead up to.  I would say that we are definitely not as superstitious as the Elizabethans were, making omens seem irrelevant; but we are still very sensitive to situations which are unstable and unsure.  Witness the national devastation and insecurity following 9/11.

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Describe the supernatural happenings in Julius Caesar and the effects which they produce. Are these still relevant today? How?

This question has been asked a number of times. Check the links below for a great headstart!  Good luck and thanks for using enotes!

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