Who is the Second Citizen? the identity of the second citizen is confused between a priest and a cobbler as in his second sentence he says"A trade, sir,that i hope i may use with a safe conscience"...

Who is the Second Citizen?

the identity of the second citizen is confused between a priest and a cobbler
as in his second sentence he says"A trade, sir,that i hope i may use with a safe conscience" which means that even a priest
has to do his job in a safe conscience and even a cobbler has to do his job in a safe way so that nothing goes wrong.Then he continues that,"which is,indeed,sir,a mender of bad soles"in this sentence the'mender of bad soles' could also be 'mender of bad souls' which is the work of a priest...

Expert Answers info

Jamie Wheeler eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2006

write2,050 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

The Second Citizen (in my text, "Second Plebian") is actually a cobbler. The "mending of soles" is a clever play on words (soles = souls).

First, his lines read:

A trade, sir, that I hope I may use with a safe conscience,
which is, indeed, sir, a mender of bad soles. (1.1.13-16)

Then,

Truly, sir, all that I live by is with the awl. I meddle with no tradesman's matters nor women's matters, but withal I am indeed, sir, a surgeon to old shoes. When they are in great
danger, I recover them. As proper men as ever trod upon
neat's leather have gone upon my handiwork. (1.1.22-26)

The cobbler lines are directed to Flavius and Marullus, who are plotting to kill Caesar (along with others). The cobbler is among the many who have come taken the day off in order to see Caesar. The talk about "souls" therefore makes the pair feel guilty about their impending betrayal. Their treachery is compared to the honest labor of the citizen.

Further Reading:
check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Unlock This Answer Now