Vani’s Musings

Julius Ceasar – Act III, Scene II

Posted on: May 15, 2008

One of my colleagues, P is taking an examination which requires her to study Julius Ceasar.

Last evening, P and I were doing an analysis of the various characters of the play, and we came to Marc Anthony.

I think his speech at Ceasar’s funeral describes him best.

It was also one of the pieces we had to learn at our school elocution competitions.

Here it is, just for memory’s sake.

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him;
The evil that men do lives after them,
The good is oft interred with their bones,
So let it be with Caesar … The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar answered it …
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest,
(For Brutus is an honourable man;
So are they all; all honourable men)
Come I to speak in Caesar’s funeral …
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man….
He hath brought many captives home to Rome,
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honourable man.
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love him once, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then to mourn for him?
O judgement! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason…. Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
And I must pause till it come back to me.

Brings back all the memories of school days, when we had to mug up this bit, and recite it atleast two dozen times to our English teachers, who would then painstakingly correct the pronounciations, the waxing and waning of the words, the pauses and the continuations.

A Masterpiece is the least I can describe the speech as.

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4 Responses to "Julius Ceasar – Act III, Scene II"

nice to see you back to writing….

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imaginable says : I absolutely agree with this !

Masterpiece, yes.

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