ACT III – Scene.iii
The mob is abroad in the streets of Rome seeking out
the conspirators and burning their property. They happen upon Cinna, the poet, and they confuse him with Cinna, the conspirator.
He pleads with them to be spared, and although they now realize he is Cinna the poet, they kill him anyway because of his bad verse.
Shakespeare’s purpose here is to show how the ordered
Rome has degenerated into a state where the mob rules. Why he chooses a poet to be the victim of an attack by the mob is not clear.
Perhaps he is making some comment regarding the position of poets in Elizabethan society, and perhaps indirectly, he is asking the audience to judge him and poets generally.
Just as Mark Antony incited the mob to go on a bloodlust, so did Hitler do
exactly the same, inciting hatred against the Jews. Again there is reference to blood and fire in this scene.