"The crowd is one of the most important characters in the play." Discuss.
In Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, the crowd is the focus of much attention on the part of the nobles, and the nobles' fates depend in part on the crowd. The crowd is a bit of a force even at the beginning of the play, when commoners take a day off of work to celebrate Caesar's victory over Pompey in the first civil war of the play (first civil war mentioned, anyway, since it's over by the start).
More importantly, the favor of the fickle crowd determines to a large extent the fate of the conspirators. Antony's speech, during which he turns the crowd against Brutus and the other conspirators is the turning point of the play.
The crowd is a power that must be considered and controlled. Brutus fails to do that, and Brutus fails.
I think that the crowd can be seen as an important character because it causes much of the important action to happen.
First, why do the conspirators want to kill Caesar? It is because (you can argue) of the crowd. The crowd loves Caesar and it is wanting him to become the king. This is what makes the conspirators want to kill Caesar.
Second, why is there a civil war? In part, it's because of Antony's speech. But, in the end, it is because of the crowd. They believe Antony's speech and they turn against the conspirators.