Theme Of Fire In Julius Caesar

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Throughout The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, there is a consistent recurrence of the word fire, which is interesting since most of time it is utilized metaphorically. It often emphasizes characters’ passion; however it is also used more literally to signify destruction. Passion plays a key role in the story: characters wholeheartedly take positions for their belief due to powerful emotions, but most of the time their attempts have unintentional ramifications. These decisions appear shortsighted; they do not take into consideration all the logistics, possibly because people are too eager to take action before thinking it all the way through. Such illogical thinking is seen when the commoners attack the conspirators’ homes. …show more content…
This is present later in the scene after the conspirators were leaving Brutus’ house. Ligarius, a fellow patrician, arrives at Brutus’ home appearing sick but he claims he is not as long as Brutus is involved in the plot for the sake of honor (2.1.242-243). He appears eager to join the assassination as he says, “Set on your foot,/And with a heart new-fired I follow you/To do I know not what: but it sufficeth/That Brutus leads me on” (2.1.360-363). The line “with a heart new-fired” expresses the following with Brutus has sparked Ligarius’ avidity. Igniting his heart produces a new light; symbolizing a powerful enthusiasm like an energy source, feeding his desire. He disregards the details of the actual scheme since he says he does not know what he is about to do but all that matters is that Brutus is leading, which ultimately is the source of his zeal. Ligarius adamantly trusts Brutus to execute the plan, having a deep devotion to Brutus’ leadership. Ligarius is not acknowledging the plausible consequences of the intrigue; because the commoners have not opposed Caesar before, there is no evidence the Romans will rejoice at the sight of the conspirators murdering their beloved leader. In fact, the townspeople eventually call the conspirators “traitors” for the homicide of their leader (3.2.13). Unfortunately this murder leads to turmoil, as the commoners target Ligarius and/or his house to burn …show more content…
This scene comes before Casca is recruited to the conspiracy, prior to Caesar’s death. First Casca speaks about the abnormal weather, then he brings up the supernatural event: “A common slave (you know him well by sight)/Held up his left hand, which did flame and burn/Like twenty torches joined; and yet his hand,/Not sensible of fire, remained unscorched” (1.3.15-18). The hand is “not sensible of fire” as in illogical; when personified the hand seems unaware of the hazard fire is to human flesh, possibly implying general oblivion to danger. Another possible interpretation is this occurrence defies the laws of nature, so as an omen it may be hinting things that should not happen will happen. Put together a viable interpretation is things that cause harm and should not happen will happen because of ignorance. The initial detail of the slave makes it seem like this is no one special; this could have happened to anyone or even everyone. This ignorance could happen to anyone, as the slave is “common.” Although at first glance this mention of fire does not match the other patterns, it seems to foreshadow the later meanings; the supernatural event acts as a presage that characters will go through the process of being unconscious of danger, which should not occur at all but does. In

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