in Act I, Scene i—exposition of The Tragedy of Julius Caesar—tells you what about the play? What is learned about important characters, setting, and the situation?

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hilahmarca | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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The first scene in the play Julius Caesar sets the tone for the tragic comedy.  Although the minor characters that are featured in this scene spend most of their time making jokes through the use of puns, Shakespeare simultaneously hints at the chaotic and tumultuous state of Rome, where the polarizing and all powerful leader, Julius Caesar, has clearly won many followers but has also gained a dangerous element of detractors.

During the scene, several commoners are celebrating Caesar's victory over Pompei, Caesar's former friend and fellow Roman General, in the Roman Civil War.  Although triumph and celebration line the streets, the tribunes, Flavius and Murellus, are visibly upset about Caesar's victory and go about harranguing the commoners for celebrating the death of a great Roman (Pompei).  In the end of the scene, they break up the celebration and take off all the decorations on Caesar's statues.  This foreshadows that the end of the Roman Civil War between Caesar and Pompei merely marks the beginning of a new civil strife on the horizon due to Caesar's arbitrary power.

 

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