In William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun themes, symbols, and characters can be compared. Both A Raisin in the Sun and Julius Caesar were composed for the stage; for that reason their characters end up being more obvious and more thoroughly depicted than in a book, for instance. Even though, these works were composed by far different authors and in different centuries their similarities and differences are evident. In both A Raisin in the Sun and Julius Caesar themes, signs, and character development are consistent.
Comparing character development in Julius Caesar and A Raisin in the Sun is helpful in discovering more about each and every character. Among the major characters in A Raisin in the Sun is Mama; a character she can be compared to in Julius Caesar is Calpurnia. In spite of Mother has a larger role in Hansberry’s work and Calpurnia’s function in Shakespeare’s work is not as powerful as Mother, similarities are still evident.
One way they are similar is in their authority over a single person or a couple of people in general, their households to be more specific. In A Raisin in the Sun, Mother has a strong opinion regarding her beliefs. She stands up for them and stresses respect. Mama is likewise the head of the Younger family. She reminds everyone who is living with her the difference in between best and incorrect. Nevertheless, Mom seems to be a bit more worried with what Walter is always doing. Walter is her oldest boy. In the same method, Calpurnia stresses what she believes in. Comparable to how Mama watches out for her kid Walter, Calpurnia attempts to warn her spouse, Julius Caesar, against wicked and something horrible that has a capacity of occurring. Mom reveals her authority over Walter when she provides him the responsibility of putting away a share of the cash, “Listen to me, son. I say I been incorrect, child. That I been doing to you what the rest of the world been doing to you. (She turns of the radio) Walter–(She stops and he looks up slowly at her and she satisfies his eyes pleadingly)
What you ain’t never ever understood is that I ain’t got absolutely nothing, do not own absolutely nothing ain’t never truly desired absolutely nothing that wasn’t for you. There ain’t absolutely nothing as precious to me … There ain’t nothing worth holding on to, money, dreams, absolutely nothing else– if it indicates– if it suggests it’s going to ruin my young boy. (She takes an envelope out of her handbag and puts it in front of him and he watches her without speaking or moving) I paid the male thirty-five hundred down on your home. That leaves sixty-five hundred dollars. Monday early morning I desire you to take this money and take three thousand and put it in a cost savings account for Beneatha’s medical education. The rest you put in a checking account– with your name on it. And from now on any penny that come out of it or enter it is for you to look after. For you to decide. (She drops her hands a little helplessly) It ain’t much, however it’s all I got in the world and I’m putting it in your hands.
I’m informing you to be the head of this family from now on like you expected to be” (Hansberry 106-107). In a comparable way Calpurnia takes authority over Julius Caesar, “Alas my lord, your wisdom is consumed in confidence. Do not go forth to-day; call it my worry that keeps you in the house, and not your own. We’ll send Mark Antony to the senate-house; and he will say you are not well to-day; let me, upon my knee, dominate in this” (Shakespeare 2.2). Both Calpurnia and Mother take authority over someone. Due to the reality that both jobs were not taken seriously both Walter and Caesar run into chaos later in the literary work. In Walter’s case, he doesn’t do as Mother says and loses his and Beneatha’s money as well as people’s trust in him (Hansberry 127-128). In Caesar’s case, him not staying home and returning to the senate versus his other half’s will, Caesar is welcomed with his death (Shakespeare 3.1). In both works of literature, importance is frequently used.
Some of the signs utilized in A Raisin in the Sun are Mama’s plant, Beneatha’s hair, and the check Mama receives after her spouse dies. In Raisin in the Sun, Mother’s plant represents her dreams and the rest of her household’s dreams. A result of this would be Mom constantly ensuring to take extra care of her plant and to nourish it well. On the other hand, Mama’s check represents all of the hard work that her husband achieved and how hard he had to work to actually get that quantity of money. Beneatha’s hair signifies the assimilationist beliefs of the time and how people become inferior to the dominant race. When Beneatha returns her hair to its natural state it signifies that she protests common assimilation beliefs. The meaning of her hair appears in a conversation between her and Asagai, “‘(Coming to her at the mirror)
I shall need to teach you how to drape it correctly. (He flings the material about her for the moment and stands back to look at her) Ah– Oh-pay-gay-day, oh-gaha-mu-shay. (A Yoruba exclamation for adoration) You use it well … effectively … mutilated hair and all.’ ‘(Turning all of a sudden) My hair– what’s incorrect with my hair?’ ‘(Shrugging) Were you born with it like that?’ ‘(Rising to touch it) No … obviously not. (She recalls to the mirror, disrupted)’ ‘(Smiling) How then?’ ‘You know perfectly well how … as crinkly as yours … that’s how'” (Hansberry 61-62). The symbols utilized in Julius Caesar are omens, pain, and the conspirators bathing in Caesar’s blood. In Julius Caesar, prophecies represent wicked and alert people versus evil and bad things that could occur, perhaps fatal things.
By the conspirators bathing or cleaning their hands in Caesar’s blood they are signifying that they are taking obligation for ridding Rome of its ‘dreadful’ leader. Portia, Brutus’s spouse, utilizes the symbol of pain to demonstrate how much she likes Brutus, that she is devoted to him, and he can trust her. Portia roughly eliminates herself by swallowing cinders since Brutus declines to share anything with her, “No guy bears grief better. That tidings came. With this she fell sidetrack and, her attendants absent, swallo ‘d fire (Shakespeare 4.3 147, 155-156). By using importance Hansberry and Shakespeare made their readers and audience think with depth and understanding. In A Raisin in the Sun, a number of styles are covered throughout the play; the same goes for Julius Caesar. Despite the fact that there are numerous styles in these works of literature there are 2 that stick out and can be compared. The styles that are comparable in between A Raisin in the Sun and Julius Caesar are pride and the role of males and females in society and your house. In A Raisin in the Sun pride is style because the Younger household doesn’t have much but they have their pride.
Throughout the play their pride is checked but they never think twice to speak their minds. When Mama buys a house in a white area they are a bit reluctant in the beginning but are happy in the end. They reveal their pride concerning this circumstance when a representative from Clybourne Park comes and asks them to offer the house back but in the end they do not and kick Linder out of their home. Pride is extremely obvious in the discussion in between Walter, Linder, and Ruth, “‘(Putting on his glasses and drawing a type out of the briefcase) Our association is prepared, through the cumulative effort of our individuals, to purchase your house from you at a monetary gain to your family.’
‘Lord have grace, ain’t this the living gall!’ ‘All right, you through?’ ‘Well, I wish to provide you the precise terms of the monetary arrangement–‘ ‘We do not wish to hear no exact terms of no arrangements. I would like to know if you got anymore to tell us ’bout getting together?’ ‘(Taking off his glasses) Well– I don’t suppose that you feel …’ ‘Never mind how I feel– you got anymore to say ’bout how individuals ought to take a seat and speak to each other? … Leave my house, male. (He turns his back and walks to the door) (Hansberry 118-119). Although pride is a similar theme between Julius Caesar and A Raisin in the Sun, the pride in Julius Caesar is different than that in A Raisin in the sun.
Hansberry, Lorraine. A Raisin in the Sun. New York City: Vintage, 1994. Print. “Julius Caesar Theme of Pride.” Shmoop. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Jan. 2013. “A Raisin in the Sun Style of Pride.” Shmoop. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Jan. 2013. “Play ScriptJulius Caesar.” Complete Text/ Script of the Play Julius Caesar Act I by William Shakespeare. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Jan. 2013.