Sunday, March 2, 2014

Continuation of Mark Anthony's speech

Julius Caesar was ruling Rome. The conspirators, who included Brutus, were afraid that Caesar was going to become a tyrant, so they killed him. Mark Antony, a friend of Caesar, asked if he could speak at Caesar's public funeral. Brutus said he could on certain conditions. These were: that Brutus would speak first, that Mark Anthony would speak immediately afterwards, that he wouldn't blame the conspirators and that he would admit he spoke with the conspirators' permission. Brutus does speak first to the people of Rome and explains simply why he killed Caesar - "Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more." The crowd approve of his speech. Then Antony starts to speak.

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
Mark Antony starts carefully, as the crowd is hostile. He explains that he is talking by permission (leave) of the conspirators, as was agreed, and he calls the conspirators "honorable men".

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:
Slowly Mark Antony starts to list the good qualities of Caesar, and asks people to mourn for him. He is asking whether Brutus is right to call Caesar ambitious, but not, perhaps quite blaming him, yet!

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:
Mark Antony is becoming more passionate about Caesar. He is pretending to be overcome with grief.

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.
First Citizen:
Methinks there is much reason in his sayings.
The crowd begin to change their minds.
Second Citizen:
If thou consider rightly of the matter, Caesar has had great wrong.

Third Citizen:
Has he, masters?
This quiet statement is perceptive. Unfortunately no-one else notices it.
I fear there will a worse come in his place.
Fourth Citizen:
Mark'd ye his words? He would not take the crown;
Therefore 'tis certain he was not ambitious.
First Citizen:
If it be found so, some will dear abide it.

Second Citizen:
Poor soul! his eyes are red as fire with weeping.

Third Citizen:
There's not a nobler man in Rome than Antony.

Fourth Citizen:
Now mark him, he begins again to speak.

But yesterday the word of Caesar might
Mark Antony is still calling the conspirators "honourable men" but his language is becoming more violent. He hints that Caesar's will is worth hearing. But he can't read it because that would wrong the conspirators (who he promised not to blame). Of course, he knows perfectly well what effect this will have on the crowd!

Have stood against the world; now lies he there.

And none so poor to do him reverence.

O masters, if I were disposed to stir

Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage,

I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong,

Who, you all know, are honourable men:

I will not do them wrong; I rather choose

To wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you,

Than I will wrong such honourable men.

But here's a parchment with the seal of Caesar;

I found it in his closet, 'tis his will:

Let but the commons hear this testament--

Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read--

And they would go and kiss dead Caesar's wounds

And dip their napkins in his sacred blood,

Yea, beg a hair of him for memory,

And, dying, mention it within their wills,

Bequeathing it as a rich legacy

Unto their issue.

Fourth Citizen:
We'll hear the will: read it, Mark Antony.

The will, the will! we will hear Caesar's will.

Have patience, gentle friends, I must not read it;
Now Mark Antony is calling the crowd the heirs of Caesar, which means that they will gain something from the will.
It is not meet you know how Caesar loved you.
You are not wood, you are not stones, but men;
And, being men, bearing the will of Caesar,
It will inflame you, it will make you mad:
'Tis good you know not that you are his heirs;
For, if you should, O, what would come of it!
Fourth Citizen:
Read the will; we'll hear it, Antony;

You shall read us the will, Caesar's will.
Will you be patient? will you stay awhile?
The crowd is getting worked up. Mark Antony still calls the conspirators "honourable men", and after all, their daggers did stab Caesar!
I have o'ershot myself to tell you of it:
I fear I wrong the honourable men
Whose daggers have stabb'd Caesar; I do fear it.
Fourth Citizen:
They were traitors: honourable men!
Someone in the crowd is the first to say "traitors".
The will! the testament!

Second Citizen:
They were villains, murderers: the will! read the will.

You will compel me, then, to read the will?
Caesar's body is below Antony. He is going to show the body with its stab wounds to the crowd.
Then make a ring about the corpse of Caesar,
And let me show you him that made the will.
Shall I descend? and will you give me leave?
Several Citizens:
Come down.

Second Citizen:

Third Citizen:
You shall have leave.

[Antony comes down]

Fourth Citizen:
A ring; stand round.

First Citizen:
Stand from the hearse, stand from the body.

Second Citizen:
Room for Antony, most noble Antony.

Nay, press not so upon me; stand far off.

Several Citizens:
Stand back; room; bear back.

If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.
Mark Antony is now making the crowd see and feel the full horror of Caesar's murder. In fact, Antony wasn't there when Caesar was stabbed, so pointing out which wound was made by who is pure drama! The sight and description makes the crowd grieve, then become angry.

You all do know this mantle: I remember

The first time ever Caesar put it on;

'Twas on a summer's evening, in his tent,

That day he overcame the Nervii:

Look, in this place ran Cassius' dagger through:

See what a rent the envious Casca made:

Through this the well-beloved Brutus stabb'd;

And as he pluck'd his cursed steel away,

Mark how the blood of Caesar follow'd it,

As rushing out of doors, to be resolved

If Brutus so unkindly knock'd, or no;

For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar's angel:

Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar loved him!

This was the most unkindest cut of all;

For when the noble Caesar saw him stab,

Ingratitude, more strong than traitors' arms,

Quite vanquish'd him: then burst his mighty heart;

And, in his mantle muffling up his face,

Even at the base of Pompey's statua,

Which all the while ran blood, great Caesar fell.

O, what a fall was there, my countrymen!

Then I, and you, and all of us fell down,

Whilst bloody treason flourish'd over us.

O, now you weep; and, I perceive, you feel

The dint of pity: these are gracious drops.

Kind souls, what, weep you when you but behold

Our Caesar's vesture wounded? Look you here,

Here is himself, marr'd, as you see, with traitors.

First Citizen:
O piteous spectacle!

Second Citizen:
O noble Caesar!

Third Citizen:
O woful day!

Fourth Citizen:
O traitors, villains!

First Citizen:
O most bloody sight!

Second Citizen:
We will be revenged.

Revenge! About! Seek! Burn! Fire! Kill! Slay!

Let not a traitor live!
Stay, countrymen.

First Citizen:
Peace there! hear the noble Antony.

Second Citizen:
We'll hear him, we'll follow him, we'll die with him.

Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir you up
Mark Antony isn't finished with the crowd yet. He is still pretending not to criticise the conspirators, and claims that he is just speaking the truth. He hints that the conspirators may have had private grudges against Caesar, as opposed to the public reasons that they gave. Mark Antony also claims not to be such an orator as Brutus is, which is an obvious fib!

To such a sudden flood of mutiny.

They that have done this deed are honourable:

What private griefs they have, alas, I know not,

That made them do it: they are wise and honourable,

And will, no doubt, with reasons answer you.

I come not, friends, to steal away your hearts:

I am no orator, as Brutus is;

But, as you know me all, a plain blunt man,

That love my friend; and that they know full well

That gave me public leave to speak of him:

For I have neither wit, nor words, nor worth,

Action, nor utterance, nor the power of speech,

To stir men's blood: I only speak right on;

I tell you that which you yourselves do know;

Show you sweet Caesar's wounds, poor poor dumb mouths,

And bid them speak for me: but were I Brutus,

And Brutus Antony, there were an Antony

Would ruffle up your spirits and put a tongue

In every wound of Caesar that should move

The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny.

We'll mutiny.

First Citizen:
We'll burn the house of Brutus.

Third Citizen:
Away, then! come, seek the conspirators.

Yet hear me, countrymen; yet hear me speak.

Peace, ho! Hear Antony. Most noble Antony!

Why, friends, you go to do you know not what:
The crowd have forgotten all about the will, which was what made them angry in the first place.

Wherein hath Caesar thus deserved your loves?

Alas, you know not: I must tell you then:

You have forgot the will I told you of.
Most true. The will! Let's stay and hear the will.

Here is the will, and under Caesar's seal.

To every Roman citizen he gives,

To every several man, seventy-five drachmas.

Second Citizen:
Most noble Caesar! We'll revenge his death.

Third Citizen:
O royal Caesar!

Hear me with patience.

Peace, ho!

Moreover, he hath left you all his walks,

His private arbours and new-planted orchards,

On this side Tiber; he hath left them you,

And to your heirs for ever, common pleasures,

To walk abroad, and recreate yourselves.

Here was a Caesar! when comes such another?

First Citizen:
Never, never. Come, away, away!
The crowd are now out of control. By the way, they never got this inheritance!

We'll burn his body in the holy place,

And with the brands fire the traitors' houses.

Take up the body.
Second Citizen:
Go fetch fire.

Third Citizen:
Pluck down benches.

Fourth Citizen:
Pluck down forms, windows, any thing.

[Exeunt Citizens with the body]

Now let it work. Mischief, thou art afoot,

Take thou what course thou wilt!

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