Give an example of comic relief in Julius Caesar.

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There is not very much comedy in Julius Caesar . The play opens with the two tribunes, Flavius and Marullus, upbraiding the commoners for celebrating when they ought to be working. The cobbler answers with some impertinent puns and, when asked why he is leading this rabble through the streets,...

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There is not very much comedy in Julius Caesar. The play opens with the two tribunes, Flavius and Marullus, upbraiding the commoners for celebrating when they ought to be working. The cobbler answers with some impertinent puns and, when asked why he is leading this rabble through the streets, replies:

Truly, sir, to wear out their shoes, to get myself into more work.

Casca's bluntness and sarcasm also provide some comic relief in the midst of the tense and dangerous conspiracy. When Cassius asks him about the effect of Cicero's learned Greek quotations, Casca replies with a phrase that still serves as an idiom today.

Nay, an I tell you that, Ill ne'er look you i' the face again: but those that understood him smiled at one another and shook their heads; but, for mine own part, it was Greek to me.

The most sustained attempt at comic relief in Julius Caesar is also the darkest, since it may well conclude with a man's death (though, if so, this occurs offstage). In act 3, scene 3, when Rome has been plunged into carnage, Cinna the poet ventures out of doors, to be confronted by a band of vigilantes who bombard him with confusing questions. Upon learning that his name is Cinna, they mistake him for Cinna the conspirator and resolve to "tear him to pieces." When he protests that he is Cinna the poet, one of them instantly responds:

Tear him for his bad verses, tear him for his bad verses.

This is certainly rather a grim joke, but it does serve to highlight the absurdity of the citizens' frenzy.

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