In act 1, the political mood and behavior of the Romans are best described as?  

Expert Answers
Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the first act of the play, the Roman people are enjoying a holiday from work as they await Caesar's triumphant return to Rome after killing in battle the sons of Pompey, Rome's former ruler. They are clearly in a celebratory mood, taking nothing very seriously. Not everyone in Rome, however, celebrates Caesar's victory and his political power. In the opening scene, two tribunes--Flavius and Marullus--try to break up the crowds and clear the streets. Marullus scorns these common people, reminding them that they used to cheer for Pompey as they now support Caesar. He accuses them of terrible ingratitude. Marullus' comments suggest that the Roman people are easily swayed and very fickle in their loyalty to their leaders.

Later scenes, especially with Cassius and Brutus, show there is a growing concern among some in Rome about Caesar's rise to power and how he intends to use it. Brutus confides his concern to Cassius:

Brutus had rather be a villager

Than to repute himself a son of Rome

Under these hard conditions as this time

Is like to lay upon us.

Unlike the unthinking masses, Brutus fears that Caesar will make himself a king in Rome.

 

Read the study guide:
Julius Caesar

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question