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Julius Caesar Scenes

Scene 2

The Forum.

(Brutus; Cassius; Plebeians; Mark Antony; Caesar; Octavius’s Attendant)

In precise, legalistic prose, Brutus explains to the mob why he killed Caesar, explaining that he did it for the sake of freedom and equality, and that he loves Rome more than he did Caesar. The mob approves. Then Antony comes to give Caesar’s funeral speech, a perfectly-tuned, fiery, rabble-rousing piece that undoes all that Brutus has accomplished and whips the mob into a rage, sending them rioting to kill all the conspirators they can find. By this point Brutus and Cassius have fled from Rome; Antony goes to meet Octavius and Lepidus. (248 lines)

Enter Brutus and Cassius with the Plebeians.


We will be satisfied! Let us be satisfied!


Then follow me, and give me audience, friends.

Cassius, go you into the other street,

And part the numbers.

Those that will hear me speak, let ’em stay here;

Those that will follow Cassius, go with him;

And public reasons shall be rendered

Of Caesar’s death.

1. PLEB.

I will hear Brutus speak.

2. PLEB.

I will hear Cassius, and compare their reasons,

When severally we hear them rendered.

Exit Cassius with Second Plebeian and some of the Plebeians.

Brutus goes into the pulpit.

3. PLEB.

The noble Brutus is ascended; silence!


Be patient till the last.

Romans, countrymen, and lovers, hear me for my cause, and be silent, that you may hear. Believe me for mine honor, and have respect to mine honor, that you may believe. Censure me in your wisdom, and awake your senses, that you may the better judge. If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of Caesar’s, to him I say, that Brutus’ love to Caesar was no less than his. If then that friend demand why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my answer: Not that I lov’d Caesar less, but that I lov’d Rome more. Had you rather Caesar were living, and die all slaves, than that Caesar were dead, to live all freemen? As Caesar lov’d me, I weep for him; as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was valiant, I honor him; but, as he was ambitious, I slew him. There is tears for his love; joy for his fortune; honor for his valor; and death for his ambition. Who is here so base that would be a bondman? If any, speak, for him have I offended. Who is here so rude that would not be a Roman? If any, speak, for him have I offended. Who is here so vile that will not love his country? If any, speak, for him have I offended. I pause for a reply.


None, Brutus, none.


Then none have I offended. I have done no more to Caesar than you shall do to Brutus. The question of his death is enroll’d in the Capitol: his glory not extenuated, wherein he was worthy; nor his offenses enforc’d, for which he suffer’d death.

Enter Mark Antony and others with Caesar’s body.

Here comes his body, mourn’d by Mark Antony, who, though he had no hand in his death, shall receive the benefit of his dying, a place in the commonwealth, as which of you shall not? With this I depart, that, as I slew my best lover for the good of Rome, I have the same dagger for myself, when it shall please my country to need my death.


Live, Brutus, live, live!

1. PLEB.

Bring him with triumph home unto his house.

3. PLEB.

Give him a statue with his ancestors.

4. PLEB.

Let him be Caesar.

5. PLEB.

Caesar’s better parts

Shall be crown’d in Brutus.

1. PLEB.

We’ll bring him to his house

With shouts and clamors.


My countrymen—

3. PLEB.

Peace, silence! Brutus speaks.

1. PLEB.

Peace ho!


Good countrymen, let me depart alone,

And, for my sake, stay here with Antony.

Do grace to Caesar’s corpse, and grace his speech

Tending to Caesar’s glories, which Mark Antony

(By our permission) is allow’d to make.

I do entreat you, not a man depart,

Save I alone, till Antony have spoke.


1. PLEB.

Stay ho, and let us hear Mark Antony.

4. PLEB.

Let him go up into the public chair,

We’ll hear him. Noble Antony, go up.


For Brutus’ sake, I am beholding to you.

Goes into the pulpit.

5. PLEB.

What does he say of Brutus?

4. PLEB.

He says, for Brutus’ sake

He finds himself beholding to us all.

5. PLEB.

’Twere best he speak no harm of Brutus here!

1. PLEB.

This Caesar was a tyrant.

4. PLEB.

Nay, that’s certain:

We are blest that Rome is rid of him.

3. PLEB.

Peace, let us hear what Antony can say.


You gentle Romans—


Peace ho, let us hear him.


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 answer’d it.

Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest

(For Brutus is an honorable man,

So are they all, all honorable 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 honorable 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 honorable 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 honorable 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 judgment! 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.

1. PLEB.

Methinks there is much reason in his sayings.

3. PLEB.

If thou consider rightly of the matter,

Caesar has had great wrong.

4. PLEB.

Has he, masters?

I fear there will a worse come in his place.

5. PLEB.

Mark’d ye his words? He would not take the crown,

Therefore ’tis certain he was not ambitious.

1. PLEB.

If it be found so, some will dear abide it.

3. PLEB.

Poor soul, his eyes are red as fire with weeping.

4. PLEB.

There’s not a nobler man in Rome than Antony.

5. PLEB.

Now mark him, he begins again to speak.


But yesterday the word of Caesar might

Have stood against the world; now lies he there,

And none so poor to do him reverence.

O masters! If I were dispos’d to stir

Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage,

I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong,

Who (you all know) are honorable men.

I will not do them wrong; I rather choose

To wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you,

Than I will wrong such honorable men.

But here’s a parchment with the seal of Caesar,

I found it in his closet, ’tis his will.

Let but the commons hear this testament—

Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read—

And they would go and kiss dead Caesar’s wounds,

And dip their napkins in his sacred blood;

Yea, beg a hair of him for memory,

And dying, mention it within their wills,

Bequeathing it as a rich legacy

Unto their issue.

5. PLEB.

We’ll hear the will. Read it, Mark Antony.


The will, the will! We will hear Caesar’s will.


Have patience, gentle friends, I must not read it.

It is not meet you know how Caesar lov’d you:

You are not wood, you are not stones, but men;

And, being men, hearing the will of Caesar,

It will inflame you, it will make you mad.

’Tis good you know not that you are his heirs,

For if you should, O, what would come of it?

5. PLEB.

Read the will, we’ll hear it, Antony.

You shall read us the will, Caesar’s will.


Will you be patient? Will you stay awhile?

I have o’ershot myself to tell you of it.

I fear I wrong the honorable men

Whose daggers have stabb’d Caesar; I do fear it.

5. PLEB.

They were traitors; honorable men!


The will! The testament!

3. PLEB.

They were villains, murderers. The will, read the will!


You will compel me then to read the will?

Then make a ring about the corpse of Caesar,

And let me show you him that made the will.

Shall I descend? And will you give me leave?


Come down.

3. PLEB.


4. PLEB.

You shall have leave.

Antony comes down from the pulpit.

5. PLEB.

A ring, stand round.

1. PLEB.

Stand from the hearse, stand from the body.

3. PLEB.

Room for Antony, most noble Antony.


Nay, press not so upon me, stand far off.


Stand back; room, bear back!


If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.

You all do know this mantle. I remember

The first time ever Caesar put it on;

’Twas on a summer’s evening, in his tent,

That day he overcame the Nervii.

Look, in this place ran Cassius’ dagger through;

See what a rent the envious Casca made;

Through this the well-beloved Brutus stabb’d,

And as he pluck’d his cursed steel away,

Mark how the blood of Caesar followed it,

As rushing out of doors to be resolv’d

If Brutus so unkindly knock’d or no;

For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar’s angel.

Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar lov’d him!

This was the most unkindest cut of all;

For when the noble Caesar saw him stab,

Ingratitude, more strong than traitors’ arms,

Quite vanquish’d him. Then burst his mighty heart,

And in his mantle muffling up his face,

Even at the base of Pompey’s statue

(Which all the while ran blood) great Caesar fell.

O, what a fall was there, my countrymen!

Then I, and you, and all of us fell down,

Whilst bloody treason flourish’d over us.

O now you weep, and I perceive you feel

The dint of pity. These are gracious drops.

Kind souls, what weep you when you but behold

Our Caesar’s vesture wounded? Look you here,

Lifting Caesar’s mantle.

Here is himself, marr’d as you see with traitors.

1. PLEB.

O piteous spectacle!

3. PLEB.

O noble Caesar!

4. PLEB.

O woeful day!

5. PLEB.

O traitors, villains!

1. PLEB.

O most bloody sight!

3. PLEB.

We will be reveng’d!


Revenge! About! Seek! Burn! Fire! Kill! Slay! Let not a traitor live!


Stay, countrymen.

1. PLEB.

Peace there, hear the noble Antony.

3. PLEB.

We’ll hear him, we’ll follow him, we’ll die with him.


Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir you up

To such a sudden flood of mutiny.

They that have done this deed are honorable.

What private griefs they have, alas, I know not,

That made them do it. They are wise and honorable,

And will no doubt with reasons answer you.

I come not, friends, to steal away your hearts.

I am no orator, as Brutus is;

But (as you know me all) a plain blunt man

That love my friend, and that they know full well

That gave me public leave to speak of him.

For I have neither wit, nor words, nor worth,

Action, nor utterance, nor the power of speech

To stir men’s blood; I only speak right on.

I tell you that which you yourselves do know,

Show you sweet Caesar’s wounds, poor, poor, dumb mouths,

And bid them speak for me. But were I Brutus,

And Brutus Antony, there were an Antony

Would ruffle up your spirits, and put a tongue

In every wound of Caesar, that should move

The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny.


We’ll mutiny.

1. PLEB.

We’ll burn the house of Brutus.

4. PLEB.

Away then, come, seek the conspirators.


Yet hear me, countrymen, yet hear me speak.


Peace ho, hear Antony, most noble Antony!


Why, friends, you go to do you know not what.

Wherein hath Caesar thus deserv’d your loves?

Alas you know not! I must tell you then:

You have forgot the will I told you of.


Most true. The will! Let’s stay and hear the will.


Here is the will, and under Caesar’s seal:

To every Roman citizen he gives,

To every several man, seventy-five drachmaes.

3. PLEB.

Most noble Caesar! We’ll revenge his death.

4. PLEB.

O royal Caesar!


Hear me with patience.


Peace ho!


Moreover, he hath left you all his walks,

His private arbors and new-planted orchards,

On this side Tiber; he hath left them you,

And to your heirs for ever-common pleasures,

To walk abroad and recreate yourselves.

Here was a Caesar! When comes such another?

1. PLEB.

Never, never! Come, away, away!

We’ll burn his body in the holy place,

And with the brands fire the traitors’ houses.

Take up the body.

3. PLEB.

Go fetch fire.

4. PLEB.

Pluck down benches.

5. PLEB.

Pluck down forms, windows, any thing.

Exeunt Plebeians with the body.


Now let it work. Mischief, thou art afoot,

Take thou what course thou wilt!

Enter Octavius’s Servant.

How now, fellow?


Sir, Octavius is already come to Rome.


Where is he?


He and Lepidus are at Caesar’s house.


And thither will I straight to visit him;

He comes upon a wish. Fortune is merry,

And in this mood will give us any thing.


I heard him say, Brutus and Cassius

Are rid like madmen through the gates of Rome.


Belike they had some notice of the people,

How I had mov’d them. Bring me to Octavius.



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