The play Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare

In the play Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare, a warning from a Soothsayer serves as a deterrent for the protagonist, Julius Caesar. The Soothsayer’s prophetic warning is heavy with irony because Caesar will be killed of the Ides of March. Caesar, who studies the man and his words, exercises poor judgement in dismissing both. In Act I, Scene 2 of Julius Caesar, a Soothsayer calls out from the crowd to Julius Caesar, warning him to “Beware of the Ides of March! ” (Line 21). Caesar asks the Soothsayer to come forward and repeat the warning again and decides, “He is a dreamer, let us leave him” (Line 29).

Caesar’s extreme vanity leads him to believe that he is absolutely secure from attack by mere humans. Brutus repeats the fortuneteller’s warning, but Caesar ignores him as well. The Soothsayer’s warning to Caesar is one of the first of many ironies that pervade the play. His firm belief that he is immune to any personal danger will cause him to participate in his own slaughter by ignoring the Soothsayer. Caesar, being a great war general and conqueror of nations, sees himself as invincible on many levels.

It could be said that the Soothsayer’s warning is seen as a challenge to Caesar’s invincibility. Thereby setting himself up for his own death. In the end, Caesar is the dreamer and does not see the reality that his views and ambitions are a threat to many. Caesar’s delusion is that he can defeat the fate of the gods. However, it is he who dies and bleeds as any man. Obviously, the Soothsayer is a deterrent to Julius Caesar for the simple reason that what he said was true. Caesar never fulfills all his ambitions.

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