In "Julius Caesar", what are the people doing that angers Marullus and Flavuis?Act 1

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Michael Foster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Flavius and Marullus question the tradespeople who are hanging the statues of Caesar with garlands.  Instead of working, they are celebrating the approach of Caesar in triumph.  The soldiers chide the masses for their lightly held loyalty.  Previously, they had celebrated Pompey, Caesar's onetime ally and now enemy.  Now, with Pompey's death, they quickly join the side of Caesar, the victor.

The Roman Republic is on the verge of civil war.  Pompey and Caesar had both been consuls of Rome.  However, Caesar, while in Gaul, decided to invide Rome with his loyal army.  By crossing the river Rubicon, he thus declared war (it was against the law for an armed regiment to enter Italy).  Pompey had escaped and evntually fled to Egypt, where he was assassinated, his head being sent back to Caesar.

The swiftly changing allegiances of the people irritate the two soldiers, being part of that army that had stayed loyal to Pompey.  However, even Caesar's days are numbered, and with his death and the succession of Octavius as Caesar Augustus, the Roman Republic will fall.

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Julius Caesar

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