American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

"Julius Caesar" (1953)

 

Brutus Addresses Roman Citizenry on the Death of Julius Caesar

Audio mp3 delivered by James Mason

Brutus: Romans, countrymen, be patient till the last. Hear me for my cause, and be silent that you may hear. Believe me for mine honor 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.

  Roman Citizen I followed by crowd: Caesar! Caesar!

Brutus: 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?

  Roman Citizens II & III followed by crowd: No! No!

  Brutus: As Caesar loved me, I weep for him. As he was fortunate, I rejoice at it. As he was valiant, I honor him. But, as he was ambitious, I slew him. There is tears for his love; joy for his fortune; honor 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.

  Roman Citizen IV followed by crowd: None, Brutus, none.

  Brutus: 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 offences enforced, for which he suffered death.

  [Roman Citizen I shrieks as Antony enters carrying Caesar's body]

Brutus: 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 Caesar for the good of Rome, I have the same dagger for myself, when it shall please my country to need my death.

Roman Citizens II & III followed by crowd: Live, Brutus! live, live!

Roman Citizen II: Bring him with triumph home unto his house. Give him a statue with his ancestors.

Crowd: Live!

Roman Citizen V: Let him be Caesar. Caesar's better parts shall be crowned in Brutus.

Crowd: Live!

 

Brutus: Good countrymen --

 

Roman Citizen VI: Peace, silence!

Roman Citizen VII: Brutus speaks.

  Brutus: 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 glories, which Mark Antony by our permission is allowed to make.  I do entreat you, not a man depart, save I alone, till Antony hath spoke.

 

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