Read the “Friends, Romans, countrymen“ Julius Caesar soliloquy below with a modern English translation & analysis:

 Spoken by Marc Antony, Julius Caesar, Act 3 Scene 2
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 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 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.

“Friends, Romans, countrymen” Soliloquy Translation

Friends, Romans and countrymen, please give me your close attention. I’ve come to attend Caesar’s funeral, not to praise him. I would like to say that the bad things one does live on in people’s memories; the good is often buried with their bodies. Let that be the Case with Caesar.

The noble Brutus has told you that Caesar was ambitious. If that was so it was a very serious failing, and it has had a serious consequence for him.

With Brutus and the others’ permission – for Brutus is an honourable man, and all the others are too – I have come to speak at Caesar’s funeral

He was a faithful and honest friend to me: but Brutus says he was ambitious, and Brutus is an honourable man. He brought many captive prisoners back to Rome, whose ransoms filled the treasury. Does that seem like ambition?

When the poor have cried, Caesar has wept. Ambition is supposed to be something harder than that. Yet Brutus says he was ambitious, and Brutus is an honourable man.

You all saw how, on the Lupercal public holiday, I offered him a royal crown three times, which he rejected each time. Was that ambition? And yet Brutus says he was ambitious, and one sure thing is that Brutus is an honourable man.

I’m not trying to contradict the things Brutus said, but I’m here to speak about what I know.

You all loved him once, with good reason. What reason now stops you from mourning for him? Oh, what’s happened to judgment? It’s gone to wild animals and men have lost their reason. Excuse me, give me a moment. My emotions are overwhelming at the sight of Caesar’s body and I must pause till I’ve recovered.

 

Read Shakespeare soliloquies >>
See Julius Caesar quotes >>
Read Julius Caesar in modern English >>

1 reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>