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What are some examples of repression in Julius Caesar?

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brandih | eNotes Employee

Posted March 6, 2013 at 8:16 PM via web

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What are some examples of repression in Julius Caesar?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 7, 2013 at 11:46 AM (Answer #1)

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The play actually opens in Act I scene 1 with an example of repression, as Flavius and Murellus attempt to stop the commoners from celebrating Caesar's triumph and send them back to work. They also disrobe the statues that are clothed in a tribute to Caesar. The commoners are presented as just celebrating for no reason, without understanding the significance of Caesar's victory, which Flavius and Murellus are well aware of. Note what Murellus says to the commoners to repress their desire to praise Caesar and enjoy a holiday:

Be gone!
Run to your houses, fall upon your knees,
Pray to the gods to intermit the plague
That needs must light on this ingratitude.
For Flavius and Murellus, of course, the triumphant return of Caesar is a very worrying and concering fact, something that should result in significant alarm rather than widespread jubilation. Repression therefore is introduced as a key theme in the text from the very beginning of the play and is highlighted as being something that is imposed on people by others more powerful. This is echoed throughout the play in the way that the conspirators decide who should be killed when they assassinate Caesar, and also in the way that Mark Anthony and his fellow generals do the same after they take power.


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