Roman Mob in William Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" is Itself a Character



 In the group of Shakespearean  Roman plays, Julius Caesar remains an epic making work and like Coriolanus, their other theatrical play, Julius Caesar also has a strong opening scene of a crowd in commotion. In fact, the presence of Roman Crowd in their various characteristics can be felt throughout the play of Julius Caesar. However, it is in the opening scene and in the forum scene that they are actively instrumental in mounding the course of the play. Let us now have a close look of their characteristics under the following heads.

Explores the Changing Roles:

William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar explores the changing roles of  main characters, Roman Mob and principle political personages, as they interact with Roman history as partners in political relationships of various types. Roman Mob is the person the reader comes to know best, as they serve as narrator for most of the story. It is through their voice and eyes that the reader views the drama's events. Their heroes both Antony and Brutus is defined as a stereotypical impractical political artist with no sense of political management. It is because of their ephemeral character,  Roman Mob, has already assumed a major portion of the duties necessary in running a socio- political identity , including power mobilization, power planning, and distribution of power. Their personalities and concerns seem as different and difficult as these leaders are. 

Feeding and Caring for the State:

William Shakespeare
Roman Mob describes himself as an owner and discovers that in their relationships  with the state they has been too controlling. They begins to learn that loving someone also means allowing him the freedom to exist in a life separate from him the state. What Roman Mob hold in common is a commitment to the feeding and caring for citizwns of the state and a mutual concern about the well-being of states. Their different understandings of how their commitment to living things might transfer from animals such as sea turtles and dusky seaside sparrows to human beings is explored during the course of the novel.

Festive in Mood:

 In the opening scene Roman populace are seen rejoicing in Caesar’s victory. They are rejoicing in the triumph of Caesar over Pompey's son. Caesar is adorned in the street amidst popular applause. The Roman mob have crowded the streets in huge numbers and they appear jay and festive just like an another holiday in their best attires.

Least concerned with monarchy or Republic: 

One of the great Shakespearean scholars Mark Hunter remarks that Roman people as presented in the Act. I Act I of Julius Caesar are monarchical in sentiments. But we can readily refute the charges by saying that the crowded streets as it is seen in the Roman streets are in fact voicing the common pulse of the time. But Roman Mob are not stiff but fickle minded. The forum scene ideally proves this. At Caesar’s funeral, the conspirators try to rationalize their reasons for slaying Caesar. Brutus addresses the populace in a fine, reasoned tone, giving a sound but uninspired explanation of his reasons for killing Caesar. He says that it is not that he “loved Caesar less,” but that he “loved Rome more.” The crowd is swayed by the obvious purity and sincerity of Brutus's motives, but unfortunately for the conspirators, his restrained prose is followed by Mark Antony's impassioned speech.

Over the objections of Cassius, Mark Antony has gained permission from Brutus to speak at Caesar's funeral.
“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears! I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him,” he exclaims. With mounting sarcasm Mark Antony gradually turns Caesar’s faults into attributes and belittles the motives of the conspirators by repeatedly referring to them as honorable men, until the epithet becomes a curse. He sentimentalizes Caesar's blood-soaked cloak until he has the multitude weeping with sorrow. With masterful ease and without offering a single rational argument against Brutus's calm statement, Mark Antony turns the populace into a raging mob, howling for revenge against the conspirators.

The citizens chase the conspirators out of Rome. Mark Antony, Octavius Caesar (Caesar’s nephew and adopted son), and Lepidus are selected as the new leaders, known as a triumvirate.

Ardhendu De

Ref: Microsoft Encarta


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