This page contains the original text of Act 5 of Julius Caesar. Shakespeare’s original Julius Caesar text is extremely long, so we’ve split the text into one Act per page. All Acts are listed on the Julius Caesar text page, or linked to from the bottom of this page.
ACT 5, SCENE 1. The plains of Philippi.
Enter OCTAVIUS, ANTONY, and their army
Now, Antony, our hopes are answered:
You said the enemy would not come down,
But keep the hills and upper regions;
It proves not so: their battles are at hand;
They mean to warn us at Philippi here,
Answering before we do demand of them.
Tut, I am in their bosoms, and I know
Wherefore they do it: they could be content
To visit other places; and come down
With fearful bravery, thinking by this face
To fasten in our thoughts that they have courage;
But ’tis not so.
Enter a Messenger
Prepare you, generals:
The enemy comes on in gallant show;
Their bloody sign of battle is hung out,
And something to be done immediately.
Octavius, lead your battle softly on,
Upon the left hand of the even field.
Upon the right hand I; keep thou the left.
Why do you cross me in this exigent?
I do not cross you; but I will do so.
Drum. Enter BRUTUS, CASSIUS, and their Army; LUCILIUS, TITINIUS, MESSALA, and others
They stand, and would have parley.
Stand fast, Titinius: we must out and talk.
Mark Antony, shall we give sign of battle?
No, Caesar, we will answer on their charge.
Make forth; the generals would have some words.
Stir not until the signal.
Words before blows: is it so, countrymen?
Not that we love words better, as you do.
Good words are better than bad strokes, Octavius.
In your bad strokes, Brutus, you give good words:
Witness the hole you made in Caesar’s heart,
Crying ‘Long live! hail, Caesar!’
The posture of your blows are yet unknown;
But for your words, they rob the Hybla bees,
And leave them honeyless.
Not stingless too.
O, yes, and soundless too;
For you have stol’n their buzzing, Antony,
And very wisely threat before you sting.
Villains, you did not so, when your vile daggers
Hack’d one another in the sides of Caesar:
You show’d your teeth like apes, and fawn’d like hounds,
And bow’d like bondmen, kissing Caesar’s feet;
Whilst damned Casca, like a cur, behind
Struck Caesar on the neck. O you flatterers!
Flatterers! Now, Brutus, thank yourself:
This tongue had not offended so to-day,
If Cassius might have ruled.
Come, come, the cause: if arguing make us sweat,
The proof of it will turn to redder drops. Look;
I draw a sword against conspirators;
When think you that the sword goes up again?
Never, till Caesar’s three and thirty wounds
Be well avenged; or till another Caesar
Have added slaughter to the sword of traitors.
Caesar, thou canst not die by traitors’ hands,
Unless thou bring’st them with thee.
So I hope;
I was not born to die on Brutus’ sword.
O, if thou wert the noblest of thy strain,
Young man, thou couldst not die more honourable.
A peevish schoolboy, worthless of such honour,
Join’d with a masker and a reveller!
Old Cassius still!
Come, Antony, away!
Defiance, traitors, hurl we in your teeth:
If you dare fight to-day, come to the field;
If not, when you have stomachs.
Exeunt OCTAVIUS, ANTONY, and their army
Why, now, blow wind, swell billow and swim bark!
The storm is up, and all is on the hazard.
Ho, Lucilius! hark, a word with you.
[Standing forth] My lord?
BRUTUS and LUCILIUS converse apart
[Standing forth] What says my general?
This is my birth-day; as this very day
Was Cassius born. Give me thy hand, Messala:
Be thou my witness that against my will,
As Pompey was, am I compell’d to set
Upon one battle all our liberties.
You know that I held Epicurus strong
And his opinion: now I change my mind,
And partly credit things that do presage.
Coming from Sardis, on our former ensign
Two mighty eagles fell, and there they perch’d,
Gorging and feeding from our soldiers’ hands;
Who to Philippi here consorted us:
This morning are they fled away and gone;
And in their steads do ravens, crows and kites,
Fly o’er our heads and downward look on us,
As we were sickly prey: their shadows seem
A canopy most fatal, under which
Our army lies, ready to give up the ghost.
Believe not so.
I but believe it partly;
For I am fresh of spirit and resolved
To meet all perils very constantly.
Even so, Lucilius.
Now, most noble Brutus,
The gods to-day stand friendly, that we may,
Lovers in peace, lead on our days to age!
But since the affairs of men rest still incertain,
Let’s reason with the worst that may befall.
If we do lose this battle, then is this
The very last time we shall speak together:
What are you then determined to do?
Even by the rule of that philosophy
By which I did blame Cato for the death
Which he did give himself, I know not how,
But I do find it cowardly and vile,
For fear of what might fall, so to prevent
The time of life: arming myself with patience
To stay the providence of some high powers
That govern us below.
Then, if we lose this battle,
You are contented to be led in triumph
Thorough the streets of Rome?
No, Cassius, no: think not, thou noble Roman,
That ever Brutus will go bound to Rome;
He bears too great a mind. But this same day
Must end that work the ides of March begun;
And whether we shall meet again I know not.
Therefore our everlasting farewell take:
For ever, and for ever, farewell, Cassius!
If we do meet again, why, we shall smile;
If not, why then, this parting was well made.
For ever, and for ever, farewell, Brutus!
If we do meet again, we’ll smile indeed;
If not, ’tis true this parting was well made.
Why, then, lead on. O, that a man might know
The end of this day’s business ere it come!
But it sufficeth that the day will end,
And then the end is known. Come, ho! away!
SCENE 2. The same. The field of battle.
Alarum. Enter BRUTUS and MESSALA
Ride, ride, Messala, ride, and give these bills
Unto the legions on the other side.
Let them set on at once; for I perceive
But cold demeanor in Octavius’ wing,
And sudden push gives them the overthrow.
Ride, ride, Messala: let them all come down.
SCENE 3. Another part of the field.
Alarums. Enter CASSIUS and TITINIUS
O, look, Titinius, look, the villains fly!
Myself have to mine own turn’d enemy:
This ensign here of mine was turning back;
I slew the coward, and did take it from him.
O Cassius, Brutus gave the word too early;
Who, having some advantage on Octavius,
Took it too eagerly: his soldiers fell to spoil,
Whilst we by Antony are all enclosed.
Fly further off, my lord, fly further off;
Mark Antony is in your tents, my lord
Fly, therefore, noble Cassius, fly far off.
This hill is far enough. Look, look, Titinius;
Are those my tents where I perceive the fire?
They are, my lord.
Titinius, if thou lovest me,
Mount thou my horse, and hide thy spurs in him,
Till he have brought thee up to yonder troops,
And here again; that I may rest assured
Whether yond troops are friend or enemy.
I will be here again, even with a thought.
Go, Pindarus, get higher on that hill;
My sight was ever thick; regard Titinius,
And tell me what thou notest about the field.
PINDARUS ascends the hill
This day I breathed first: time is come round,
And where I did begin, there shall I end;
My life is run his compass. Sirrah, what news?
[Above] O my lord!
[Above] Titinius is enclosed round about
With horsemen, that make to him on the spur;
Yet he spurs on. Now they are almost on him.
Now, Titinius! Now some light. O, he lights too.
And, hark! they shout for joy.
Come down, behold no more.
O, coward that I am, to live so long,
To see my best friend ta’en before my face!
Come hither, sirrah:
In Parthia did I take thee prisoner;
And then I swore thee, saving of thy life,
That whatsoever I did bid thee do,
Thou shouldst attempt it. Come now, keep thine oath;
Now be a freeman: and with this good sword,
That ran through Caesar’s bowels, search this bosom.
Stand not to answer: here, take thou the hilts;
And, when my face is cover’d, as ’tis now,
Guide thou the sword.
PINDARUS stabs him
Caesar, thou art revenged,
Even with the sword that kill’d thee.
So, I am free; yet would not so have been,
Durst I have done my will. O Cassius,
Far from this country Pindarus shall run,
Where never Roman shall take note of him.
Re-enter TITINIUS with MESSALA
It is but change, Titinius; for Octavius
Is overthrown by noble Brutus’ power,
As Cassius’ legions are by Antony.
These tidings will well comfort Cassius.
Where did you leave him?
With Pindarus his bondman, on this hill.
Is not that he t hat lies upon the ground?
He lies not like the living. O my heart!
Is not that he?
No, this was he, Messala,
But Cassius is no more. O setting sun,
As in thy red rays thou dost sink to-night,
So in his red blood Cassius’ day is set;
The sun of Rome is set! Our day is gone;
Clouds, dews, and dangers come; our deeds are done!
Mistrust of my success hath done this deed.
Mistrust of good success hath done this deed.
O hateful error, melancholy’s child,
Why dost thou show to the apt thoughts of men
The things that are not? O error, soon conceived,
Thou never comest unto a happy birth,
But kill’st the mother that engender’d thee!
What, Pindarus! where art thou, Pindarus?
Seek him, Titinius, whilst I go to meet
The noble Brutus, thrusting this report
Into his ears; I may say, thrusting it;
For piercing steel and darts envenomed
Shall be as welcome to the ears of Brutus
As tidings of this sight.
Hie you, Messala,
And I will seek for Pindarus the while.
Why didst thou send me forth, brave Cassius?
Did I not meet thy friends? and did not they
Put on my brows this wreath of victory,
And bid me give it thee? Didst thou not hear their shouts?
Alas, thou hast misconstrued every thing!
But, hold thee, take this garland on thy brow;
Thy Brutus bid me give it thee, and I
Will do his bidding. Brutus, come apace,
And see how I regarded Caius Cassius.
By your leave, gods:–this is a Roman’s part
Come, Cassius’ sword, and find Titinius’ heart.
Alarum. Re-enter MESSALA, with BRUTUS, CATO, STRATO, VOLUMNIUS, and LUCILIUS
Where, where, Messala, doth his body lie?
Lo, yonder, and Titinius mourning it.
Titinius’ face is upward.
He is slain.
O Julius Caesar, thou art mighty yet!
Thy spirit walks abroad and turns our swords
In our own proper entrails.
Look, whether he have not crown’d dead Cassius!
Are yet two Romans living such as these?
The last of all the Romans, fare thee well!
It is impossible that ever Rome
Should breed thy fellow. Friends, I owe more tears
To this dead man than you shall see me pay.
I shall find time, Cassius, I shall find time.
Come, therefore, and to Thasos send his body:
His funerals shall not be in our camp,
Lest it discomfort us. Lucilius, come;
And come, young Cato; let us to the field.
Labeo and Flavius, set our battles on:
‘Tis three o’clock; and, Romans, yet ere night
We shall try fortune in a second fight.
SCENE 4. Another part of the field.
Alarum. Enter fighting, Soldiers of both armies; then BRUTUS, CATO, LUCILIUS, and others
Yet, countrymen, O, yet hold up your heads!
What bastard doth not? Who will go with me?
I will proclaim my name about the field:
I am the son of Marcus Cato, ho!
A foe to tyrants, and my country’s friend;
I am the son of Marcus Cato, ho!
And I am Brutus, Marcus Brutus, I;
Brutus, my country’s friend; know me for Brutus!
O young and noble Cato, art thou down?
Why, now thou diest as bravely as Titinius;
And mayst be honour’d, being Cato’s son.
Yield, or thou diest.
Only I yield to die:
There is so much that thou wilt kill me straight;
Kill Brutus, and be honour’d in his death.
We must not. A noble prisoner!
Room, ho! Tell Antony, Brutus is ta’en.
I’ll tell the news. Here comes the general.
Brutus is ta’en, Brutus is ta’en, my lord.
Where is he?
Safe, Antony; Brutus is safe enough:
I dare assure thee that no enemy
Shall ever take alive the noble Brutus:
The gods defend him from so great a shame!
When you do find him, or alive or dead,
He will be found like Brutus, like himself.
This is not Brutus, friend; but, I assure you,
A prize no less in worth: keep this man safe;
Give him all kindness: I had rather have
Such men my friends than enemies. Go on,
And see whether Brutus be alive or dead;
And bring us word unto Octavius’ tent
How every thing is chanced.
SCENE 5. Another part of the field.
Enter BRUTUS, DARDANIUS, CLITUS, STRATO, and VOLUMNIUS
Come, poor remains of friends, rest on this rock.
Statilius show’d the torch-light, but, my lord,
He came not back: he is or ta’en or slain.
Sit thee down, Clitus: slaying is the word;
It is a deed in fashion. Hark thee, Clitus.
What, I, my lord? No, not for all the world.
Peace then! no words.
I’ll rather kill myself.
Hark thee, Dardanius.
Shall I do such a deed?
What ill request did Brutus make to thee?
To kill him, Clitus. Look, he meditates.
Now is that noble vessel full of grief,
That it runs over even at his eyes.
Come hither, good Volumnius; list a word.
What says my lord?
Why, this, Volumnius:
The ghost of Caesar hath appear’d to me
Two several times by night; at Sardis once,
And, this last night, here in Philippi fields:
I know my hour is come.
Not so, my lord.
Nay, I am sure it is, Volumnius.
Thou seest the world, Volumnius, how it goes;
Our enemies have beat us to the pit:
It is more worthy to leap in ourselves,
Than tarry till they push us. Good Volumnius,
Thou know’st that we two went to school together:
Even for that our love of old, I prithee,
Hold thou my sword-hilts, whilst I run on it.
That’s not an office for a friend, my lord.
Fly, fly, my lord; there is no tarrying here.
Farewell to you; and you; and you, Volumnius.
Strato, thou hast been all this while asleep;
Farewell to thee too, Strato. Countrymen,
My heart doth joy that yet in all my life
I found no man but he was true to me.
I shall have glory by this losing day
More than Octavius and Mark Antony
By this vile conquest shall attain unto.
So fare you well at once; for Brutus’ tongue
Hath almost ended his life’s history:
Night hangs upon mine eyes; my bones would rest,
That have but labour’d to attain this hour.
Alarum. Cry within, ‘Fly, fly, fly!’
Fly, my lord, fly.
Hence! I will follow.
Exeunt CLITUS, DARDANIUS, and VOLUMNIUS
I prithee, Strato, stay thou by thy lord:
Thou art a fellow of a good respect;
Thy life hath had some smatch of honour in it:
Hold then my sword, and turn away thy face,
While I do run upon it. Wilt thou, Strato?
Give me your hand first. Fare you well, my lord.
Farewell, good Strato.
Runs on his sword
Caesar, now be still:
I kill’d not thee with half so good a will.
Alarum. Retreat. Enter OCTAVIUS, ANTONY, MESSALA, LUCILIUS, and the army
What man is that?
My master’s man. Strato, where is thy master?
Free from the bondage you are in, Messala:
The conquerors can but make a fire of him;
For Brutus only overcame himself,
And no man else hath honour by his death.
So Brutus should be found. I thank thee, Brutus,
That thou hast proved Lucilius’ saying true.
All that served Brutus, I will entertain them.
Fellow, wilt thou bestow thy time with me?
Ay, if Messala will prefer me to you.
Do so, good Messala.
How died my master, Strato?
I held the sword, and he did run on it.
Octavius, then take him to follow thee,
That did the latest service to my master.
This was the noblest Roman of them all:
All the conspirators save only he
Did that they did in envy of great Caesar;
He only, in a general honest thought
And common good to all, made one of them.
His life was gentle, and the elements
So mix’d in him that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world ‘This was a man!’
According to his virtue let us use him,
With all respect and rites of burial.
Within my tent his bones to-night shall lie,
Most like a soldier, order’d honourably.
So call the field to rest; and let’s away,
To part the glories of this happy day.