The tragedy of Julius Caesar: In Act 3, Scene 3, explain the mob mentality in this scene  

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Julius Caesar, after being persuaded by Marc Antony that Caesar loved the Roman people since he bequeathed to them "a rich legacy unto their issue," and subtly calling upon them to "mutiny and rage" against Brutus and the other conspirators who each stabbed Caesar, the mob is incited by Antony's words and emotion and demonstration of the bloody robe of Caesar,

One of the plebians cries, "They were traitors!" (III,ii, 163),   and a second plebian shouts, "We will be revenged." (III,ii, 213). Hearing these words, Antony further incites them with his ironical statement,

....But were I Brutus,

And Brutus Antony, there were an Antony

Would ruffle up our spirits, and put a tongue

In every wound of Caesr's that should move

The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny. (III,ii,237-240)

(Earlier when Antony has learned of Caesar's death, he has vowed "civil strife," so he desires to incite the crowd in his oration.  However, he has promised Brutus that he would not speak against the conspirators.  This is why he words his statement in this ironic way.)

Now incited, the Roman crowd moves through the streets after shouts of "We'll all mutiny," and cry that they will burn the house of Brutus.  In this crazed state, two plebians come upon Cinna the Poet; mistaking him for Cinna of the Senate, who is a conspirator.  When the Poet protests that he is not Cinna the conspirator, a fourth plebian retorts,

It is no matter, his name's Cinna; pluck but his name out of his heart, and turn him going. (III,iii,32)

In their bloodlust for the conspirators, the mob "tear him" apart.

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Julius Caesar

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