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Common People In Julius Caesar Essay

800 words - 4 pages

Is Shakespeare’s portrayal of the common people of Rome realistic? Why did the common people of Rome kill Cinna the poet?
Shakespeare’s portrayal of the common people of Rome is realistic since he shows how people act when they are part of a crowd. The image of disordered society also influences the act of Rome populace since there are no rules. Shakespeare realized that people tend to follow the crowd; therefore, he uses this point to exemplify mob mentality which is prevalent throughout the play.

In Act I, the commoners are cheering for Caesar after the defeat of Pompey, Marullus, a tribune, reminds them of how they had similarly cheered for Pompey in the same streets. The ...view middle of the document...

“ while another says “…When severally we hear them rendered.” Brutus then speaks to the commoners and explains why Caesar had to be killed for the good of Rome. He manages to convince them that Caesar was too ambitious and would have ruined Rome. The people, with their minds made up, begin to chant that they want Brutus to be the new ruler, forgetting all about how they'd recently been singing Caesar's praises. They call Caesar out as a tyrant and that “… We are blest that Rome is rid of him.” This lasts until Antony speaks. Antony is a far better judge of human nature than Brutus and he uses that to his advantage. He tells the crowd of Caesar’s good works and his concern for the people. Within minutes, Antony manages to turn the crowd against Brutus, Cassius, and the other conspirators, once again demonstrating the fickleness of the crowd. The scene at the beginning of Act I where Marullus and Flavius reprimand the commoners for being fickle foreshadows the events of Act III.

Antony’s speech causes the people of Rome to become enraged. Brutus first sways them to the plight of the conspirators, but Antony manages to convince them to riot in the end. They become worked up and eager to cause violence. This causes them to kill the poet Cinna in Act III, Scene III. Cinna is...

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