Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
Amelia, the daughter of Augustus’s tutor, seeks revenge against Augustus for her father’s death. She asks for vengeance as a provision of her marriage to Cinna, the grandson of Pompey, who was more deeply wronged by Augustus than Amelia. Her friend Fulvia believes that the plot against Augustus’s life can be successful only if anger and hatred are not apparent, especially since Augustus holds Amelia in such high esteem that courtiers often ask her to act as an intermediary in affairs at court. The two women debate the worth of Augustus as compared to the cruelties exercised to establish him in his high position. Amelia thinks the winning of love through the destruction of a tyrant is worth all the risk involved, but self-glorification seems to Fulvia to be more of the impetus behind the plot than either love or desire for vengeance—a thought that almost causes Amelia to waver in deference to her endangered and beloved Cinna.
Cinna, however, believes the plot has an excellent chance of success. All the conspirators seem to him as desirous of vengeance and as eager for the rewards of love as he is, though their inspiration is the result of his oratorical eloquence in reciting his own as well as the historical grievances against the emperor. Cinna will, while bearing the sacrificial cup at the next day’s ceremony of thanksgiving to the gods, stab Augustus to death. His friend Maximus will hold back the mob, while others will surround Cinna. Even...
(The entire section is 1019 words.)
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