Cinna's Death In Julius Caesar

Better Essays
In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Caesar’s potential to rise to dictatorship threatens the Roman Republic, therefore people from the Senate conspire against Caesar and kill him to save Rome. But Rome cascades into chaos, and Brutus and Antony go to war, which ends with the death of more people. The plot of the play sparked a discussion question that was asked in class; the question is: who is innocent and who is to blame? I thought about this question while watching I, Cinna (The Poet). Caesar, Brutus, and Cassius were the three predominant characters the class argued about, but none of them are innocent and they all bear some responsibility in Caesar’s murder. Cinna, the poet, is the only character who is killed for doing absolutely nothing;…show more content…
The plebeian’s act of killing Cinna demonstrates the chaotic and debased society of Rome that Cinna is desperately trying to change through poetry. I interpreted this chaos arising after Antony’s eulogy, but in the film, the film cuts to the world outside of Cinna’s home before and after the death of Caesar, implying that the citizens were not happy with the republic. Unlike Caesar, the common people are not able to express their feelings, therefore, these feelings turn into rage. Literally, Cinna becomes a symbol for rage and violence; citizens are able to take out their rage on Cinna because Cinna is able to understand this rage and translate their feelings into poetry. He becomes a talking statue, the anonymous voice of many different people. This is where Crouch gets his idea for his film adaptation. Cinna is like Pasquino, a Roman statue that holds the criticisms left behind by random citizens. Cinna cannot talk for himself or express himself fully without the help of others. That is why the film adaptation is so interactive and engaging. Cinna is pasted in front of a camera, and only then is Cinna able to be seen and speak to an actual audience. With Cinna, we are able to experience the dangers of words even in a republic where all citizens are allegedly…show more content…
The danger of words ties into the symbolism of statues and Cinna’s desire to live quietly in the shadows. Owusu allows his audience to stay inside with him and away from the dangerous outside world; he also suggests that we “write ourselves safe.” He means if he and his audience write the words instead of saying the words out loud, they will be able to freely exercise their freedom of speech which could ordinarily get you killed in the streets of Rome. Owusu asks his audience to write the country, the leader of the country, and one word describing that leader. This exercise allows his audience to freely express their thoughts, but then stops them because he knows they have written something bad and they will punished if anyone finds out. This is how the Roman republic works—words are not free, and neither are the people. Cinna spends the whole time sealed away from the politics and corruption of the outside world and the first time he leaves he is killed.
Speech also divides the educated citizens from the uneducated citizens. Cinna is a poet, and is accustomed to speaking poetically. Cinna states “I dreamt to-night that I did feast with Caesar, / And did things unluckily charged
Get Access