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20 October 2014
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Julius Caesar

Mark Antony: "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears!" (Act 3 Scene 2)

There are many ways that you could perform this speech; the Speech Text and Performance Notes explore some different approaches.

Speech Text and Performance Notes (215KB)

Julius Caesar is a political thriller in which the leaders of Rome fight over what is best for its citizens. A victorious Caesar returns from battle, the public invite him to become emperor. A group of senators led by Cassius and Brutus fear one man having too much power and they murder Caesar. Mark Antony believes Caesar was a good leader and speaks at the funeral.

Watch a performance of the speech below or choose another from the set speech list

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears! - video

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Julius Caesar: Act 3 Scene 2
(Mark Antony)

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 interrèd 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 answered 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 judgement, 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.

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