SCENE II. The same. The Forum.
[Enter Brutus and Cassius, with a throng of Citizens.]
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.
I will hear Brutus speak.
I will hear Cassius; and compare their reasons,
When severally we hear them rendered.
[Exit Cassius, with some of the Citizens. Brutus goes into the
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 honour, 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 loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome
more. Had you rather Caesar were living, and die all slaves, than
that Caesar were dead, to live all freemen? As Caesar loved me, I
weep for him; as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was
valiant, I honour him; but, as he was ambitious, I slew him.
There is tears for his love; joy for his fortune; honour for his
valour; 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
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 enforced, for which he suffered
[Enter Antony and others, with Caesar’s body.]
Here comes his body, mourned 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!
Bring him with triumph home unto his house.
Give him a statue with his ancestors.
Let him be Caesar.
Caesar’s better parts
Shall be crown’d in Brutus.
We’ll bring him to his house with shouts and clamours.
Peace! silence! Brutus speaks.
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 glory; 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.
Stay, ho! and let us hear Mark Antony.
Let him go up into the public chair;
We’ll hear him.—Noble Antony, go up.
For Brutus’ sake, I am beholding to you.
What does he say of Brutus?
He says, for Brutus’ sake,
He finds himself beholding to us all.
‘Twere best he speak no harm of Brutus here.
This Caesar was a tyrant.
Nay, that’s certain:
We are blest that Rome is rid of him.
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 honourable 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 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 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.
Methinks there is much reason in his sayings.
If thou consider rightly of the matter,
Caesar has had great wrong.
Has he not, masters?
I fear there will a worse come in his place.
Mark’d ye his words? He would not take the crown;
Therefore ‘tis certain he was not ambitious.
If it be found so, some will dear abide it.
Poor soul! his eyes are red as fire with weeping.
There’s not a nobler man in Rome than Antony.
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 disposed to stir
Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage,
I should do Brutus wrong and Cassius wrong,
Who, you all know, are honourable men:
I will not do them wrong; I rather choose
To wrong the dead, to wrong myself, and you,
Than I will wrong such honourable 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.
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 loved 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!
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.
They were traitors: honourable men!
The will! The testament!
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?
[He comes down.]
You shall have leave.
A ring! stand round.
Stand from the hearse, stand from the body.
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 follow’d it,—
As rushing out of doors, to be resolved
If Brutus so unkindly knock’d, or no;
For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar’s angel:
Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar loved 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 statua,
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,
Here is himself, marr’d, as you see, with traitors.
O piteous spectacle!
O noble Caesar!
O woeful day!
O traitors, villains!
O most bloody sight!
We will be revenged.
Revenge,—about,—seek,—burn,—fire,—kill,—slay,—let not a
Peace there! hear the noble Antony.
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 honourable:
What private griefs they have, alas, I know not,
That made them do it; they’re wise and honourable,
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 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 burn the house of Brutus.
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 deserved 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 drachmas.
Most noble Caesar!—we’ll revenge his death.
O, royal Caesar!
Hear me with patience.
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 forever; common pleasures,
To walk abroad, and recreate yourselves.
Here was a Caesar! when comes such another?
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.
Go, fetch fire.
Pluck down benches.
Pluck down forms, windows, any thing.
[Exeunt Citizens, with the body.]
Now let it work.—Mischief, thou art afoot,
Take thou what course thou wilt!—
[Enter a 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 ‘em say Brutus and Cassius
Are rid like madmen through the gates of Rome.
Belike they had some notice of the people,
How I had moved them. Bring me to Octavius.
Caesar is dead and the people are looking for their next ruler, so are easily suede in the tide of opinions. Two different speeches, two possible outcomes, two great leaders. One could tear Rome apart, and one could bring it together. The fate of the Roman Empire is in the hands of the rabble. Antony and Brutus have stepped up to wield them, Brutus for the good of Rome, and Antony to exact vengeance on the murderers of Caesar. Brutus opens leaning on the basis of patriotism and honour.
His entire speech explains he loved Caesar, and that he killed him because “he was ambitious”. His speech is not structured in syllables, he uses blank verse, a prose, putting his points across bluntly so the crowd understands. He uses a series of repartitions, rhetorical questions and answers. One major mistake from Brutus was that he went first, leaving a skilled speaker like Antony obvious chances to turn his own words against him. Another mistake was that Brutus left the forum, leaving Antony to usurp his new control of the people and sway their opinions once more.
Antony’s first major tool in his speech was the bloody carcass of Caesar, which adds a vital visual impact, increasing the fundamental elements of his speech; sadness, pity, sympathy, and anger! He starts off with “friends” this time unlike Brutus’ “Romans” personalising his speech so it means more to the crowd. His speech is structured, with an obvious attempt to keep the lines of a similar length and rhythm which gives more of an impact. He repeats the words “honourable” and ambition eventually to such an extent that they loose there meaning and almost become insults.
His initial speech focuses on “ambition” and how Brutus used it to explain Caesar’s murder, he succeeds in convincing the crowd that Caesar was not ambitious. In a way this is kind of ironic where Brutus stabbed Caesar in the back, Antony is now stabbing Brutus with his of ambition and honour. This is completely different to Brutus’ speech. Brutus was honourable, he killed Caesar for Rome and its people He wasn’t trying to offend anyone, in fact he asked if he had, yet he got no reply. And now Antony is trying to stir up the crowd to go against, or even hate Brutus.
His pause at the end of the first section leaves time for him to assess the crowd of how they are reacting to his words and also adds to his show to gain sympathy and sadness. His next section adds a new angle, Caesar’s will. Antony now uses a lot of reverse psychology to increase the crowd’s interest in the will, Caesar and on his words. Ultimately Antony’s speech was far better than Brutus’ was, it was well structured and planned and worked into the minds of the plebeians and bent them to his will. Antony made far better use of rhetoric and so the crowd was in his favour.