The Role of the Mob in Julius Caesar

The Role of the Mob in Julius Caesar

The most important characters of the play Julius Caesar are clearly the citizens of Rome. The citizens have an important effect on both the audience and the characters in the play because of their unlimited desire to passionately express their emotions. Throughout the play these emotions are communicated through various events. The first event is the celebration of the feast of the Lupercal. It was the citizens positive reaction to Caesar during his triumphant return after his victory over the sons of Pompey that fueled the fear of caesars becoming king.

The citizens opposition to Pompeys allies caused great disturbances in the streets because a short while before, Pompey was their hero. Now Caesar, victorious, is the hero of the hour. Their response also influenced the idea that Caesar was becoming too ambitious. Thus, the citizens of Rome had a role in the fate of Julius Caesar. A later example occurs during the funeral oration by Mark Antony. Brutus logically gives his reasons that necessitated Caesars death. He informs them that he acted out of love of Rome and his desire to prevent tyrants from controlling her. The citizens embrace his words with cheers and understanding.

However, their mood alters when Antony offers his interpretation of the situation. He passionately described the deeds Caesar performed in behalf of the citizens of Rome, which clearly contradict the opinion of the conspirators that Caesar was too ambitious. Antony carefully uses irony in referring to Cassius and Brutus as honorable men; the strategy wins over the citizens and they listen with growing anger to his words. He leads the citizens to the body and begins to show the brutal results of the murder while simultaneously influencing them to believe that the conspirators are murderers and traitors.

Ultimately, Antony reads Caesars will, which leaves his parks, private estates, and newly planted gardens to the citizens of Rome. His final gesture, naming Cassius and Brutus as traitors to Rome, overwhelmed the people with grief, despair, and anger for their beloved Caesars death. Though the citizens are important characters in the play, they are also unreliable and fickle in supporting the latest and most impassioned plea for their ears. Thus, we witness the irrational behavior of citizens-to-mob who think only to benefit themselves.

Cite this page

Choose citation format:
The Role of the Mob in Julius Caesar. (2019, Apr 09). Retrieved November 12, 2019, from