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The crowd's mood when Brutus first speaks in Julius Caesar


When Brutus first speaks in Julius Caesar, the crowd's mood is supportive and respectful. They are swayed by Brutus's explanation of Caesar's assassination, believing his justification that it was for the good of Rome. This initial support sets the stage for the later shift in sentiment when Antony speaks.

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What is the crowd's mood when Brutus first speaks in act 3 of Julius Caesar?

When Brutus first appears, the angry crowd demands an explanation of what has happened and why it occurred.

After Brutus steps forward, one of the plebeians shouts, "We will be satisfied! Let us be satisfied!" (3.2.1) Brutus instructs the crowd to follow him or Cassius and "public reasons shall be rendered/Of Caesar's death" (3.2.7-8). So, the crowd divides as some go with Cassius; Brutus then ascends the steps in order to speak to those assembled before him. 
He tells these plebeians that he has killed Caesar not because he did not love him, but because he loves Rome more. Passionately, he asks the crowd if they would rather that Caesar were living and they would all die as slaves, or that Caesar die and they could live as free men. Further, Brutus declares that while he honors Caesar for his valor, he has slain him because Caesar was ambitious. The crowd believes Brutus because they know that Caesar has previously defeated Pompey with whom he contended for the leadership of Rome. Brutus further appeals to his listeners: 

Who is here so base, that would be a bondman? If any, speak; for him have I offended. (3.2.31-32)

When the crowd replies "none," Brutus declares that Caesar's life has been evaluated both for his faults and his virtues. Then, Mark Antony enters with Caesar's body, and Brutus explains that Antony has had nothing to do with the assassination; therefore, he should be included in the new government. The crowd is in agreement with Brutus, cheering Brutus and urging that he should be put in Caesar's place; in fact, they want to carry him to his home in triumph.

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In Julius Caesar, what does the crowd's opening call reveal about their mood?

When Brutus and Cassius enter the Forum following Caesar's assassination, a crowd of Roman citizens follows them. These people are shocked, confused and deeply disturbed by what has just transpired. They demand to be "satisfied," meaning they demand to know the facts surrounding Caesar's sudden and violent murder by the group of Roman Senators. Brutus and Cassius split up; Brutus stays in the Forum and Cassius goes into a street. The idea is that by splitting up they can talk to more people. At this point, the people do not seem angry or violent with Brutus and Cassius. One Roman says he will stay and listen to Brutus; his companion says he will go and hear Cassius speak so that Cassius' and Brutus' reasons for killing Caesar can then be compared. More than anything else, the Roman citizens seek information and understanding in regard to Caesar's death.

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