Read the “Romans, countrymen and lovers! Hear me for my cause” Julius Caesar soliloquy below with a modern English translation & analysis:

Spoken by Brutus, Julius Caesar, Act 3 Scene 2

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 honour, 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 free men? 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 reply.

Then none have I offended. I have done no more to Caesar than you shall do to Brutus. The question of his death is enrolled in the Capitol; his glory not extenuated, wherein he was worthy, nor his offencesenforced, for which he suffered death.

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.

“Romans, countrymen and lovers” Soliloquy Translation:

Romans countrymen and friends, listen to what I have to say and be silent so that you can hear. Trust me for my honour and show respect so that you will follow what I say. Judge me according to your wisdom and use your understanding so that you will be able to judge better. If there is anyone in this assembly, any dear friend of Caesar’s, to him I say that Brutus’ love for Caesar was no less than his. If then that dear friend demands to know why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my answer – not that I loved Caesar less but that I loved Rome more. Would you rather Caesar were living, and all die slaves, than that Caesar were dead, to all live as free men? As Caesar loved me, I weep for him; as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was brave, I honour him; but as he was ambitious, I killed him. There are tears for his love; joy for his fortune; honour for his valour; and death for his ambition. Is there anyone here so lacking in pride that we wants to be a slave? If there is, speak, because it’s he I have offended. Who is here so low that he doesn’t want to be a Roman? If any, speak, for it’s him I have offended. Who is here so vile that he does not love his country? If any, speak, for him I have offended. I have done no more to Caesar than you would do to Brutus. The things that Caesar died for are recorded in the Capitol. His glory, for which he was renowned, is not understated; not his offences exaggerated, for which he suffered death

Here comes his body, mourned by Mark Antony, who, although he had no hand in Caesar’s death, will receive the benefit of his dying – a place in the commonwealth, as which of you won’t? With this I leave you: that as I slew my best friend for the good of Rome, I have the same dagger for myself when it shall please my country to need my death.

 

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