Act III, scene iii, of The Tragedie of Julius Caesar ends with the murder of a poet. It begins with a stage direction: ‘Enter Cinna the Poet, and after him the Plebeians.’ This direction creates two oppositions. The poet is opposed to the plebeians. And ‘Cinna the Poet’ is opposed to ‘Cinna the Conspirator’ (III.iii.32/1682), a character with the same name but a different vocation.1 On these two oppositions — between poet and plebeians, between poet and conspirator — Shakespeare builds his narrative of bardicide.
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