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In Act 3 Scene 2 of Julius Caesar, what do the reactions of the mob to Antony's speech...

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dben823 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 9, 2012 at 3:20 AM via web

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In Act 3 Scene 2 of Julius Caesar, what do the reactions of the mob to Antony's speech indicate? 

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 9, 2012 at 3:38 AM (Answer #1)

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Before Antony's speech, Brutus has just justified the assassination of Caesar. The members of the crowd are convinced by Brutus's speech, and are murmuring to each other that "Caesar was a tyrant," and "We are blest that Rome is rid of him." By the end of Antony's speech, in which he reminds the crowd that Caesar had "thrice refused" the crown he offered him at the Lupercal, Antony stirs the crowd into a furor by baiting them with his will:

Have patience, gentle friends, I must not read it;      It is not meet you know how Caesar loved you. 
You are not wood, you are not stones, but men; 
And, being men, hearing the will of Caesar, 
It will inflame you, it will make you mad. 
'Tis good you know not that you are his heirs,
For if you should, O, what would come of it! 

He concludes his speech by showing the crowd the body of Caesar, pointing at the wounds made by the assassins. The crowd respond angrily, shouting as one, "Revenge! About! Seek! Burn! Fire! Kill! Slay! Let not a traitor live!" When Antony reveals the contents of his will, which divides his wealth among the people of Rome, they resolve to kill Brutus and the other conspirators. Antony has whipped the mob into a frenzy.

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