Julius Caesar Opening Scene Essay

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Opening Scene Analysis Shakespeare’s opening scene of Julius Caesar sets up the division in interests between the patricians and the plebians of Rome. Even though the plebeians look up to and celebrate the power of the patricians, the patricians abuse their power, using the plebeians for their own agendas while also looking down upon them as vulgar. When Shakespeare introduces the play, we first see the plebeians celebrating the triumphs and glories of Caesar, the strongest patrician. They celebrate by parading the streets and making “holiday to see Caesar and to rejoice” for his success in defeating their enemy, Pompey (1.1.34). Despite Pompey’s previous holdings over the plebeians, Caesar now presents himself as a strong leader able to organize Rome, and thus, the…show more content…
However, the patricians disagree and instead fear Caesar’s growing prestige and support. They even command for “no images [b]e hung with Caesar’s trophies” (1.1.73) and “the vulgar” (1.1.75) be driven from the streets therefore dishonoring Caesar. Although the people of Rome love Caesar, the patricians lose power whenever he gains power and think the Romans are nothing but “vulgar” (1.1.75), so they naturally become enemies of Caesar’s ambition. Not only do the Patricians fear losing power to Caesar, but they also fear becoming like the plebeians they despise should Caesar gain even more prestige and command them as they do the plebeians. In the final moments of the scene, Flavius, a patrician, even admits of his fear that Caesar should “soar above the view of men” and thus “keep us all in servile fearfulness” (1.1.79-80). If Caesar becomes as great as his ambition might let him, then the patricians would be shoved into a lower position serving him as the plebeians serve them. In spite of their similar positions, the plebeians of Rome praise the success that their strong leader has brought, while the patricians instead despise the ambition that

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