- Jun 2017
These growing feathers pluck’d from Caesar’s wing Will make him fly an ordinary pitch, Who else would soar above the view of men, And keep us all in servile fearfulness.
Shakespeare utilises this extended metaphor to highlight the apprehensive sentiment that many higher class Romans had towards the newfound power Caesar had gained, and the upper class' incredulity of Caesar’s overwhelming support with the plebeians. In context, this scene is a dialogue between two Tribunes, Flavius and Murellus, with them fearing the ever-increasing power and arrogance of Caesar, and their concern that the blind worship of him would elevate Caesar to an untouchable god-status.
They discuss about plucking the feathers from Caesar’s wing to make him fly an ordinary pitch, which is to tow Caesar back from the lofty status of power he has assumed. In this scene, they disrobe the lavish ornaments placed on the monuments of Caesar in an attempt to bring Caesar down to the level of an ordinary man, and in a bid to remove the perception of a deity the plebeians had towards Caesar. The uneasiness they had was that if they did not bring Caesar down, he would ‘soar above the view of men’, and would rule over the people by keeping them in a subservient status.
It is debatable whether or not the Tribunes and Senators who were against Caesar did so in fear of him gaining too much power, or if they were against him to further their own ambitions and desires. However, this scene helps foreshadow the further conflicts that will occur, and helps define the higher classes and their viewpoints. In fact, in Act1 Scene2, it is stated that Murellus and Flavius were put to silence for defacing Caesar’s images, which helps solidify the concerns of many Romans as to whether or not Caesar’s rule would be dictatorial.