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Julius Caesar: Student Response Journal 1

#22. Returning from Spain, where he had been victorious, Caesar had to choose between having a triumphant march into the city as general of victorious troops or standing for the consular elections... etc.

This represents a significant literary importance because it is the arrival of Caesar into Rome which is being prepared for in Act One, Scene One. The day was selected as the day for Caesar to celebrate his triumph over Pompey's sons. He has already been victorious over Pompey in 48 B.C. The prompt refers to a time which occurred before the play began. At this point in time Caesar chose to try for the consulship rather than have a triumphant march. However, it is much more powerful at the start of the play because he does not have to try for a consulship. In Scene One the commoners are preparing for Caesar's return, where he will be named dictator (and then dictator for life). In the play, Marullus refers to Pompey who is also mentioned in the prompt. In the play Marullus says to the crowd, "There you sat the livelong day, with patient expectation to see great Pompey pass the streets of Rome... And do you now strew flowers in his way that comes in triumph over Pompey's blood?" Marullus is making the people of Rome realize that they should be ashamed to partake in a celebration that dishonors the sons of Pompey whom the previously respected as their leader. The people did not realize that the were doing anything wrong until Marullus explained it to them. The people of Rome did not know, or at least forgot, that Caesar brought the two most powerful men in Rome, Pompey and Crassus, together just a few years before, so that he could use their united power to strengthen himself. Had they recalled this, the celebration on the day of Caesar's return to Rome might not have occurred.

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