September 21, 2015

Pathetic fallacy

In this scene, a scared casca and cicero are in the streets of Rome. There is thunder and lightning. Casca tells cicero all his fears like ‘ the sway of the earth or ‘ civil strife in heaven.’ These quotes are examples of pathetic fallacy. Pathetic fallacy is when the writer uses nature to describe the emotion of the characters.

Shakespeare uses pathetic fallacy in order to show the emotions of the characters cicero and casca. An example of pathetic fallacy in the Julius caesar is ‘Are not you nov’d when all the sway of earth shakes like a thing unfair.’

When casca says this we might read the ‘sway of the earth’ as a metaphor for an earthquake. I think this because the earth shaking could mean that someone is sulking and stomping on the ground shaking the earth. This links into the play because casca wants power over Rome and ceasar is taking the power by becoming the emperor of Rome. This makes casca angry as he isn’t getting what he wants.

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Hello Dylan,

    Your exploration of pathetic fallacy shows a thorough understanding of the scene and of the ideas that Shakespeare might have been trying to express.

    You might develop your answer fully by linking this to the potential interpretations of the audience. I’d be interested in the difference between the audience then and the audience now, for instance.

    You might also want to link this to other instances of pathetic fallacy and how the characters choose to interpret this for their own reasons.


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