Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar Act 1, scene 1 Summary & Analysis

Read our modern English translation of this scene.
Summary
Analysis
Two tribunes, Flavius and Murellus, encounter a Carpenter, Cobbler, and other plebeians, and ask them why they are dressed up in the streets instead of at work. The plebeians say they have come to cheer the great general Caesar's triumph over the sons of his rival Pompey.
The commoners' language is full of puns about their professions, indicating that they are solely concerned with personal tasks, rather than the worldly business of politics.
Themes
Logic and Language Theme Icon
Public vs. Private Theme Icon
Politics and Morality Theme Icon
Murellus angrily reminds them that they once cheered Pompey the same way, and says the gods must be offended by their short memories.
The common people are easily persuaded, but their support is crucial for those in power..
Themes
Manhood and Honor Theme Icon
Politics and Morality Theme Icon
Flavius and Murellus decide to split up and disperse more crowds, and to remove the laurel crowns from Caesar's statues.
Establishes that many officials are concerned with Caesar getting too powerful.
Themes
Public vs. Private Theme Icon
Politics and Morality Theme Icon