Julius Caesar

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

The conspirators smear their hands and swords with CAESAR’s blood
The conspirators smear their hands and swords with CAESAR’s blood.
    How many ages hence
Shall this our lofty scene be acted over
In states unborn and accents yet unknown!
How many years from now will this heroic scene be reenacted in countries that don’t even exist yet and in languages not yet known!

BRUTUS

How many times shall Caesar bleed in sport,
125That now on Pompey’s basis lies along
No worthier than the dust!

BRUTUS

How many times will Caesar bleed again in show, though he now lies at the base of Pompey’s statue, as worthless as dust!

CASSIUS

    So oft as that shall be,
So often shall the knot of us be called
“The men that gave their country liberty.”

CASSIUS

As often as it’s replayed, our group will be hailed as the men who gave their country liberty.

DECIUS

What, shall we forth?

DECIUS

Well, should we go out?

CASSIUS

    Ay, every man away.
130Brutus shall lead, and we will grace his heels
With the most boldest and best hearts of Rome.

CASSIUS

Yes, every man forward. Brutus will lead, and we’ll follow him with the boldest and best hearts of Rome.
Enter ANTONY'S SERVANT
ANTONY'S SERVANT enters.

BRUTUS

Soft! Who comes here? A friend of Antony’s.

BRUTUS

Wait a minute. Who’s that coming? It’s a friend of Antony’s.

ANTONY'S SERVANT

(kneeling) Thus, Brutus, did my master bid me kneel.
(falls prostrate) Thus did Mark Antony bid me fall down,
135And, being prostrate, thus he bade me say:
Brutus is noble, wise, valiant, and honest.
Caesar was mighty, bold, royal, and loving.
Say I love Brutus, and I honor him.
Say I feared Caesar, honored him, and loved him.

ANTONY'S SERVANT

(kneeling) Brutus, my master ordered me to kneel like this. (he kneels, head bowed low) He ordered me to kneel low, and, from the ground, like this, he ordered me to say: “Brutus is noble, wise, brave, and honest. Caesar was mighty, bold, royal, and loving. Antony loves Brutus and honors him. Antony feared Caesar, honored him, and loved him.