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Julius Caesar: Anachronisms in the Play

Caesar background research
by

Hannah M

on 25 October 2012

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Transcript of Julius Caesar: Anachronisms in the Play

by Hannah Markovic Anachronisms in Julius Caesar Anachronism An anachronism is "an error in chronology in which a person, object, event, etc., is assigned a date or period other than the correct one" (Dictionary.com). Clocks "Brutus: Peace! Count the clock.
Cassius: The clock hath stricken three" (Julius Caesar, act II, scene i: lines 193-194). Clothing Marry, before he fell down, when he perceived
the common herd was glad he refused the crown, he
plucked me ope his doublet and offered them his
throat to cut"
(Julius Caesar, act I, scene ii, lines 263-266). Books "Let me see, let me see; is not the leaf turned down/
Where I left reading? Here it is, I think" (Julius Caesar, act IV, scene iii, lines 272-273). Although there were clocks in Shakespeare's time, there were none in when Caesar lived. The reference to the clock does not fit in Caesar's time period, so it is an anachronism. "Casca: When Caesar lived, people did not wear doublets (a kind of close-fitting jacket worn in the Elizabethan era) "...and still as he refused it, the rabblement hooted,
and clapped their chopt hands, and threw up their
sweaty nightcaps, and uttered such a deal of stink-
ing breath because Caesar refused the crown,
that it had, almost, choked Caesar; for he swounded and
fell down at it" (Act I, scene ii, lines 243-248). Period 3 People didn't wear nightcaps then either! Brutus says: Books with pages hadn't been invented yet; the Romans used scrolls, which meant Brutus couldn't have folded a page to mark his place (Garber 434). Works Cited Astronomy "...But I am as constant as the Northern Star,
Of whose true-fixed and resting quality
There is no fellow in the firmament"
(Julius Caesar, act III, scene i, lines 60-62). In Caesar's time, Polaris, the Northern Star, would have not been fixed or very near to true north (Rob). Therefore, this statement is an anachronism. "Anachronism." Dictionary.com.
Dictionary.com, n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2012.
<http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/
anachronism>.
Garber, Marjorie. Shakespeare After All. NY:
Pantheon Books, 2004.
Roy, Rob. "Shakespeare, No Astronomer." Event
Horizon Volume 3 2 Shakespeare, No
Astronomer. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Oct. 2012.
<http://amateurastronomy.org/Events/EH3
210.html>.
The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. Prentice Hall
Literature. Timeless Voices, Timeless
Themes. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice
Hall, 1999. 712-801. Print.
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