Famous speeches – Friends Romans Countrymen

Filed under Speeches

lend-me-your-earsby William Shakespeare

Julius Caesar
Act 3, Scene 2,

The “Friends Romans Countrymen” speech is a great example of a good speech.
From the start the first three words fit into the rule of three a technique not fully identified for a few hundred years. This was perhaps my first experience of a the power of a good speech – the ability of a speaker to convince an audience of their point of view. I particularly love the way in which he is able to turn the word honourable around to in fact mean dishonourable. I always chuckle when I hear British Members of Parliament talking about their Honourable Friends”.

Mark Antony:
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.

To be or not to be speech >>

 

17 January 2009

Filed under Speeches

Comments on: Famous speeches – Friends Romans Countrymen

this is crazy homey skillet

Posted by hey I'm asshole — 31 May @ 2:33 am

how sweet!!!

Posted by y_blue — 25 Sep @ 5:36 am

Excellent speech one could give at that time.

Posted by kris — 24 Sep @ 2:10 am

Its very nice yo yo its so good

Posted by sarthak — 16 Nov @ 1:20 pm

To know it better

Posted by Victor Morgan — 25 Mar @ 5:18 pm

awesome..!! shakespeare rocks…

Posted by Roshna Riaz — 11 Jul @ 8:59 am

Excellent speech one could give at that time.”

And waiting a thousand and six hundred and forty-two years before actually inventing it was a pretty excellent feature of it as well.

The ‘best’ historical reports on what happened at that time was that Marcus Antonius immediately left Rome on 15 March 44 B.C. upon being prevented – whether or not actually, as opposed to for propaganda purposes – from meeting up with Caesar while the latter was walking to the Roman Senate with his entourage, and that he did not return to Rome again until the next day, when it seemed sufficiently clear to him that he was not also a target of the assassination plot, and that it was safe for him return to Rome to use his role as then sole proconsul to seize sole control over the Republic’s treasury

In any event, this would mean that the scene drawn by William Shakespeare likely never happened, certainly not as he portrayed with Marcus Antonius speaking after Marcus Junius Brutus had delivered his own eulogy. It’s also worth emphasizing that Gaius Julius Caesar and Marcus Antonius were the two Roman proconsuls coming into the date of the assassination, jointly charged with chief executive responsibility over the Republic of Rome, that the Republic’s accounts fell largely if not entirely within the responsibility of Marcus Antonius, and the Marcus Antonius himself was not and had not been deposed from his role as proconsul as a consequence of the assassination.

That does not mean necessarily that Shakespeare’s drama did not succeed in capturing the POSSIBLE essence of what Marcus Antonius then succeeded in doing, that is, in speaking to the Senate to placate not just the Senate and but other powerful factions, such as the leading military leaders, such that he could continue to serve out his term as proconsul, tho from that point on along with the newly proclaimed proconsul Dolabella, one of Marcus Antonius’ political rivals, as the substitute to carry out the remaining term of Gaius Junius Caesar to the end of that calendar year.

Posted by Avattoir — 1 Feb @ 8:16 pm

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