What becomes of Flavius and Marullus in Julius Caesar? Why?

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The play begins with Flavius and Marullus, Tribunes of the People, angrily upbraiding certain commoners for taking a holiday to celebrate Caesar's triumph. The position of Tribune was traditionally the only great public office in Rome reserved for plebeians but, by this point in the history of the Republic, many...

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The play begins with Flavius and Marullus, Tribunes of the People, angrily upbraiding certain commoners for taking a holiday to celebrate Caesar's triumph. The position of Tribune was traditionally the only great public office in Rome reserved for plebeians but, by this point in the history of the Republic, many wealthy plebeian families were effectively indistinguishable from the patricians.

The two Tribunes treat the commoners with aristocratic scorn. When the commoners have departed, the Tribunes agree that they will go through the city removing any decorations the people have placed on images of Caesar. Marullus is somewhat hesitant to take this action. It is the feast of the Lupercal, when such celebrations were common and mandated, but Flavius insists:

It is no matter; let no images
Be hung with Caesar's trophies.

This is the last we see of Flavius and Marullus, but Casca later tells Cassius:

Marullus and Flavius, for pulling scarfs off Caesar's images, are put to silence.

The precise meaning of this is open to interpretation. Clearly, the two Tribunes have been seen taking the decorations off the statues of Caesar, as they planned to do in the first scene. They have been "silenced" as a punishment for this action. Commentators disagree as to whether this means they have been killed or stripped of their titles and forbidden to speak in public. The latter is more likely, as this is what happened to the historical figures on whom Shakespeare's Flavius and Marullus are based.

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