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Julius Caesar

In the play Julius Caesar what did Anthony say to the people at the funeral in his now famous friends Romans countrymen lend me your ears speech?


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'''Text of the speech:

''' '''"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 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."

''' Notes: Brutus has just explained why he killed Caesar: according to Brutus, Caesar's was ambitious and wanted to become a ruler and tyrant over the free people of Rome, and killing him was the only way to keep Rome a republic.

Mark Anthony says (several times) that Brutus is an honorable man, and that he himself (Mark Anthony) has not come to praise Caesar, but in fact he argues that Caesar wasn't ambitious (a negative word in Shakespeare's time), but that he was sympathetic to regular people, that he raised money for the public good, and that he refused a crown when it was offered to him. Mark Anthony finally discredits Brutus's careful reasoning by saying that "men have lost their reason," while himself appealing to the crowd's emotions throughout the speech, and particularly in the conclusion, when he alludes to his own pain and pauses, apparently to weep for Caesar (as the members of the crowd say in the lines following the speech).