Julius Caesar

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Had you rather Caesar were living and die all slaves, than that Caesar were dead, to live all free men? 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 valor, 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.
Would you rather that Caesar were living and we would all go to our graves as slaves, or that Caesar were dead and we all lived as free men? I weep for Caesar in that he was good to me. I rejoice in his good fortune. I honor him for being brave. But his ambition—for that, I killed him. There are tears for his love, joy for his fortune, honor for his bravery, and death for his ambition. Who here is so low that he wants to be a slave? If there are any, speak, for it is he whom I’ve offended. Who here is so barbarous that he doesn’t want to be a Roman? If there are any, speak, for it is he whom I’ve offended. Who here is so vile that he doesn’t love his country? If there are any, speak, for it is he whom I have offended. I will pause for a reply.

ALL

None, Brutus, none.

ALL

No one, Brutus, no one.

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 offenses enforced for which he suffered death.

BRUTUS

Then I have offended no one. I’ve done no more to Caesar than you will do to me. The reasons for his death are recorded in the Capitol. His glory has not been diminished where he earned it, nor have those offenses for which he was killed been exaggerated.
Enter Mark ANTONY with CAESAR’s body
ANTONY enters with CAESAR’s body.
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 my best lover for the good of Rome, I have the same dagger for myself when it shall please my country to need my death.
Here comes his body, mourned by Mark Antony, who, though he had no part in the killing, will benefit from his death—receiving a share in the commonwealth, as you all will. With these words I leave. Just as I killed my best friend for the good of Rome, so will I kill myself when my country requires my death.

ALL

45Live, Brutus! Live, live!

ALL

Live, Brutus! Live, live!

FIRST PLEBEIAN

Bring him with triumph home unto his house!

FIRST PLEBEIAN

Let’s carry him in triumph to his house!