Julius Caesar

William Shakespeare
Summary

Key Questions and Answers

Summary Key Questions and Answers

7) What is the significance of the comet?

The comet’s appearance mainly serves as an omen foreshadowing Julius Caesar’s impending assassination. However, Shakespeare also uses the comet to characterize Caesar’s ego as his tragic flaw. Calpurnia suggests the comet’s purpose when she explains, “When beggars die there are no comets seen. / The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes” (2.2.29–31). Such a description sets the comet up as one of three omens that portend the death of Caesar (the others are the Soothsayer’s prophecy and Calpurnia’s dream). By having Caesar flippantly ignore these three blatant omens, Shakespeare highlights Caesar’s ego as a central factor in his downfall.