Act I Scene I as an introduction to Julius Caesar

Act I Scene I as an introduction to Julius Caesar

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The scene opens in a street of Rome. The play starts with an air of excitement. The workmen of Rome are rejoicing in Julius Caesar's triumph over the sons of Pompey, his old rival. Since the very beginning of the play, there is an atmosphere of disunity. The Tribunes rebuke the crowd angrily and order them to return to their work.

A touch of humor is imparted to the scene by the Cobbler who indulges in puns. There is a verbal dexterity. The Cobbler is a brilliant player on words. This would please the Groundlings. The Cobbler is being rude to the Tribunes. This shows the disagreement that exists between the Plebeians and the Tribunes.

Flavius and Marullus, the Tribunes, are very hostile to Caesar and are jealous of his growing popularity and power. Marullus rebukes the people for being ungrateful He treats them as "senseless things". Since the start itself, we see how popular Caesar is. All the Plebeians are his followers. He has got the support of the commoners.

Pompey was a great founder of cities and he restored cities. He was a great general and a great organizer. History repeats itself. When Pompey won the battle, people followed him, now that Caesar is victorious, they support him. A short time ago, they had enthusiastically acclaimed Pompey, now Pompey?s sons have lost their lives in a war against the very man for whom they have now declared the day to be a holiday. Marullus and Flavius are very disappointed with the people ho are unfaithful to Pompey. They scorn the people and the Plebeians ?vanish tongue tied in their guiltiness.?

The final speech of Flavius clearly indicates the widespread feeling that Julius Caesar is growing too ambitious and that his pride needs to be taken down a step. ?These growing feathers, plucked from Caesar?s wing, will make him fly an ordinary pitch?.

Caesar is being compared to a bird with wings which may fly high and dominate the people. Marullus and Flavius fear that Caesar will fly so high that he will become a dictator. Flavius intends to pull down all Caesar?s images so that the latter would feel less confident and think that he is not very popular. This will make him less confident and prevent him from being a dictator.

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Shakespeare?s opening scenes are very effective. This scene shows the popularity of Caesar with the crowd and also the jealousy of the Tribunes. The Mob is fickle. In the past they had idolized Pompey and no they are rejoicing in Julius Caesar?s triumph. There could have been no better introduction to ?Julius Caesar? than the latter?s victory and people acclaiming him. Act I, Scene I of the play, makes us impatient to meet Julius Caesar. We are eager to come across the one who defeated Pompey?s sons and is out victorious of the battle.
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