Plebeian Influence On Julius Caesar

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Julius Caesar: The Influence of The Common Person Former editor-in-chief of the international magazine, The Economist, Walter Bagehot once said, “Public opinion is a permeating influence, and it exacts obedience to itself; it requires us to drink other men’s thoughts; to speak other men’s words, to follow other men’s habits.” The plebeians throughout the play of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare were easily influenced by not only the main characters of the play but also by each other. We can see them play off of the emotions and reactions of one another. The plebeians, much like people today, were heavily persuaded by those around them.
This brings forward the question to be asked then, did Shakespeare knowingly depict the plebeians this
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This is exactly what we do with Shakespeare’s work today and the ironic thing is that he didn’t plan it. This brings us back to the question, did Shakespeare mean for his work to relevant even today? Either way, if he did or didn’t plan for the actions of the plebeians to be applicable today, he accurately depicted it.
Plebeians, often shortened to simply plebs or plebes, were the common people of the ancient Roman Empire. The article Plebeians from pbs.org terms plebeians as, “all free Roman citizens who were not members of the patrician, senatorial, or equestrian classes.” They made up the majority of the working class (Plebeians). They were excluded from the senate and all other public offices (The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica). They had very little individual control, but due to the plebeians’ large number in ancient Rome, though, together they were a force to be reckoned with (Plebeians). This explains why Brutus was so steadfast to talk to the plebeians before Mark Antony was to speak in Act 2, Scene 1. It also clarifies why Cassius was so against Mark Antony speaking to the plebeians in the same scene. Brutus, Cassius and Mark Antony were aware of the fact that if the plebeians sided with them, they would hold all the power. Yet the plebeians were still ignorant of this fact. Although, they were unable to recognize the potential in their ability to unify. The possibilities that their unification could portray were endless
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