What does this quote by Antony in Julius Caesar mean: "let me not stir you up to such a sudden flood of mutiny"?

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Antony has finished the part of his speech to the common people where he lifts up the mantle (cloak) of the dead Caesar and shows where the different senators slashed it while plunging their daggers into Caesar's flesh. This raises the crowd to a furor of anger against the conspirators. They cry:

Revenge! About! Seek! Burn! Fire! Kill! Slay!
Let not a traitor live!

Antony then bids them to calm down. By saying he doesn't want a "sudden flood of mutiny," he means he doesn't want the people in the crowd to take on killing Brutus, Cassius, and the other assassins on the spot—at least not yet.

Antony is furious that the senators murdered Caesar, a man he dearly loved, and he has deliberately stirred the crowd up against them with his speech. However, he doesn't want the mob to go out of control before he reads them Caesar's will. He is able calm them down long enough to do that and then sends them off with even more anger in their hearts against the assassins.

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Dayna Watsica eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Antony’s speech is masterful....

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