Use of Symbolism In Julius Caesar

By: Jason, Natalie, Tiffany, and Justin

Thesis Statement:

William Shakespeare’s use of symbolism allows the audience to gain a deeper understanding of the events in the play.

The Symbolism of Weather:

  • Symbolizes the hatred and actions that ultimately lead to the murder of Caesar.
  • e.g. The lightning storm that rages on during Casca and Cicero's conversation

The Symbolism of Birds:

  • Symbolizes the fate of certain characters in the scene
  • e.g. The owl during the day symbolized Caesar's death
  • e.g. The crows and ravens symbolized Brutus and Cassius' death

The Symbolism of Handshakes:

  • Symbolizes peace, friendship, and deception
  • Antony tricks the conspirators into thinking that they are friends
  • eg: the handshake between Antony and the conspirators near Caesar's body

“Are you not moved, when all the sway of the earth shakes like a thing unfirm? O Cicero” (I. iii. 424-425)

"Their shadows are like a deadly canopy, under which our army lies, ready to die." (V.i.86)

"That one of two bad ways you must conceit me, Either a coward or a flatterer" (III.i.50)

Symbolism in Literature

In Summary

  • Symbolism: Allows greater appreciation for the play
  • Weather indicates Julius Caesar was loathed
  • Birds are omens that foretell the character's fate
  • Handshakes represent deception
  • Symbolism is essential to a well developed play