Julius Caesar

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

50And do you now strew flowers in his way
That comes in triumph over Pompey’s blood?
Be gone!
Run to your houses, fall upon your knees,
Pray to the gods to intermit the plague
55That needs must light on this ingratitude.
And now you toss flowers in the path of Caesar, who comes in triumph over Pompey’s defeated sons? Go home! Run to your houses, fall on your knees, and pray to the gods to spare you the pain that you deserve for such ingratitude.
Go, go, good countrymen, and for this fault,
Assemble all the poor men of your sort,
Draw them to Tiber banks, and weep your tears
Into the channel till the lowest stream
60Do kiss the most exalted shores of all.
Go, go, good countrymen, and to make up for having done wrong, gather up all the poor men like yourselves, lead them to the Tiber, and weep into the river until it overflows its banks.
Exeunt CARPENTER, COBBLER, and all the other commoners
The CARPENTER, COBBLER, and all the commoners exit.
See whether their basest metal be not moved.
They vanish tongue-tied in their guiltiness.
Go you down that way towards the Capitol.
This way will I. Disrobe the images
65If you do find them decked with ceremonies.
Well, that ought to move even the most thickheaded of them. There they go, feeling so guilty they’re now tongue-tied—they don’t have a thing to say. You go down toward the Capitol, and I’ll go this way. Undress the statues if they’re decorated in honor of Caesar.
May we do so?
You know it is the feast of Lupercal.
It is no matter. Let no images
Be hung with Caesar’s trophies. I’ll about
70And drive away the vulgar from the streets.
So do you too, where you perceive them thick.
These growing feathers plucked from Caesar’s wing
Will make him fly an ordinary pitch,
Who else would soar above the view of men
75And keep us all in servile fearfulness.
It doesn’t matter. Make sure that none of the statues are decorated in tribute to Caesar. I’ll walk around and force the commoners off the streets. You do the same, wherever the crowds are thick. If we take away Caesar’s support, he’ll have to come back down to earth; otherwise, he’ll fly too high and keep the rest of us in a state of fear and obedience.
Exeunt severally
They exit in different directions.