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In Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, why was Publius Cimber banished?

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goodwarrior | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 14, 2009 at 11:51 PM via web

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In Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, why was Publius Cimber banished?

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scarletpimpernel | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 16, 2009 at 8:45 AM (Answer #1)

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Good question!  There is some confusion about Publius Cimber.  In Act 2, Scene 2, when the conspirators fetch Caesar for the Senate, one of the conspirators is named Publius which many critics suggest is a different Publius than Metellus's brother.

At any rate, Shakespeare never explains why Publius Cimber is banished.  One could infer that he was a supporter of Pompey, Caesar's enemy.  Earlier in Act 2, Scene 1, Metellus suggests that they add Caius Ligarius to their plot because Caesar "rated [Caius] for speaking well of Pompey."  The Pompey connection is also the reason that Cassius dislikes Caesar so much.  He was a Pompey follower and had to ingratiate himself to Caesar, someone Cassius obviously never respected, in order to maintain any type of position in the Roman leadership.  These two examples could lead the reader to assume that Publius Cimber also spoke out publicly in support of Pompey and, therefore, against Caesar; but, again, there is no specific reason given for Caesar's seemingly harsh feelings toward Publius Cimber.

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