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The Top 5 Shakespeare Moments on Great Performances

Helen Maybanks

by Elisa Lichtenbaum

Friends, Romans, countrymen (and countrywomen), lend us your ears! Julius Caesar, Shakespeare’s timeless tale of power, loyalty and ambition gone awry, is coming to Great Performances this month in a groundbreaking all-female production from London’s Donmar Warehouse starring Harriet Walter as Brutus and Jackie Clune as Julius Caesar.

To whet your appetite for this riveting production, here are five of our favorite Shakespeare moments from the Great Performances archives.

1) Sir Ian McKellen, King Lear (2009)

Throughout his illustrious career, Sir Ian McKellen has done it all, from classical theater to blockbuster movies and TV – and he has played nearly every major Shakespearean role, from Romeo and Richard III to a highly touted King Lear in a Royal Shakespeare Company production that aired on Great Performances in 2009. Join us as we revel in this scene spotlighting the “madness” of King Lear.

2) Sir Patrick Stewart, Macbeth (2010)

Something fabulous this way comes – Sir Patrick Stewart as Macbeth! Following a London West End run in 2007, a sold-out limited engagement at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2008, and an eight-week run on Broadway, Great Performances captured Stewart’s Tony-nominated portayal of the ambitious general in director Rupert Goold’s gripping stage production of Macbeth, with Kate Fleetwood (Princess Feodora in Victoria) as his coldly scheming wife.

Why does Stewart’s Macbeth make a sandwich as he persuades two men to murder Banquo in the savage and unsettling “murderers’ scene”? Find out in his interview with Paula Zahn.

3) Benedict Cumberbatch, The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the RosesHenry VI, Part Two and Richard III (2016)

Benedict Cumberbatch is perhaps best known as detective extraordinaire Sherlock Holmes in the popular Masterpiece series, but in this lavishly filmed miniseries based on Shakespeare’s Henry VI plays and Richard III, the beloved British thesp takes on the role of Richard III — Shakespeare’s most notorious king, who manipulates his way through the court on a bloodthirsty and ruthless path to the throne.

Watch as the duplicitous Richard plots the demise of both his brother and his father, the King.

Robert Viglasky © 2015 Carnival Film & Television Ltd

4) Diana Damrau and Vittorio Grigolo, Great Performances at the Met: Romeo et Juliette (2017)

We can’t resist a good romance, even if it ends tragically. Hailed by The New York Times for singing “with white-hot sensuality and impassioned lyricism,” Diana Damrau and Vittorio Grigolo sizzle as star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet in Gounod’s operatic take on Shakespeare’s classic story. Bartlett Sher directs the acclaimed Metropolitan Opera production.

Enjoy highlights from this sumptuous opera and feel the love.

5) Harriet Walter, Shakespeare Live! (2016)

To commemorate the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death in 2016, The Royal Shakespeare Company hosted a glittering jubilee party from The Bard’s hometown of Stratford-Upon-Avon – and Great Performances was there to capture the festivities. The starry cast included Benedict Cumberbatch, Judi Dench, John Lithgow, Ian McKellen, Helen Mirren, and a scene-stealing Prince Charles in a Hamlet-inspired sketch. It’s hard to pick a favorite moment from the evening’s many treasures, but we can’t resist applauding Harriet Walter’s heartbreaking turn as a dying Cleopatra. (Walter also shines as Brutus in the all-female Julius Caesar airing this month on Great Performances.

Watch a preview of Shakespeare Live!

Helen Maybanks © RSC

Great Performances: Julius Caesar premieres Friday, March 29 at 9 p.m. on THIRTEEN and streams the following day on and PBS apps.

Watch a preview of Julius Caesar.


Elisa Lichtenbaum, editor of the monthly THIRTEEN program guide, is also Senior Writer at WNET, a tap dancer and theater geek.



-Next, on 'Great Performances'... -Friends! Romans! Countrymen!

Lend me your ears!

-William Shakespeare's immortal tale of liberty versus tyranny, in a gripping modern interpretation from London's Donmar Warehouse.

-You have done me wrong! -Places, ladies!

-Reimagined inside a women's prison, an all-female cast transforms one of the bard's most famously male history plays... -Harriet Walter stars in the pivotal role as Brutus, whose love of freedom ultimately surpasses his sense of loyalty.

-...but that I loved Rome more!

-Shakespeare's cautionary political drama comes into a sharper focus in this theatrical tour de force.

[ Walking in silence ] [ Cage rattles ] -Places, ladies!

-Good morning, everyone. Thanks for coming.

My name is Sade.

We've chosen the plays for our trilogy because they're the ones that connected to our stories.

Each play speaks to us in a different way.

Only 15% of women in prison are there because of violent crimes.

Over half have been victims of domestic abuse.

And that's partly my story.

I retaliated -- finally.

I know that doesn't excuse it -- I made a very bad mistake and now I've got a long sentence to serve for manslaughter.

As Brutus says, 'Good words are better than bad strokes.'

I've always found it hard to speak up.

I used to be very shy, but working on these Shakespeare plays has really helped me to find my voice.

And I know that's the same for some of the other girls here.

I hope you enjoy your day.

[ Applause ] [ Low thrumming electronic music ] ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Upbeat pop tune ] -♪ I can see a new expression ♪ On my face ♪ I can feel a strange sensation ♪ ♪ Taking place ♪ I can hear the guitars playin' ♪ ♪ Lovely tunes ♪ Everytime that you -♪ Walk in the room!

[ Cheering, indistinct shouts ] ♪♪ -Yes!

♪♪ -You all right, everyone?

[ Cheering ] Did you miss me?

I can't hear you, I said, did you miss me?

[ Cheering ] ...ya bastard.

-No! Caesar!

-It's all right, it's all right, let her through.

Let her through!

-Come on. -Oh, my... -Whaddya want?

-Beware the ides of March.

-Ooh! Bit of Shakespeare!

Gimme that. Uh... 'Libra: You have an opportunity to show leadership skills, but tone down your feisty attitude...' [ Jeering ] '...and be sensitive to other people's feelings.

If an invitation comes your way, beware the Ides of March.'

[ Mock laughter ] 'Don't be surprised by an upturn in your love life.

You will feel more free than you did in the last moon cycle.'

All that rubbish. Go on, take that.

Take baby Annabelle with ya.

No, where were we?! [ Band playing rock tune ] ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Cheering ] ♪♪ [ Music fades, stops ] -Will you go see the progress of the games?

-Not I. -I pray you do.

-I am not gamesome.

I do lack some part of that quick spirit that is in Antony.

Let me not, Cassius, hinder your desires; I'll leave you.

-Brutus, I do observe you now of late: I have not from your eye that gentleness and show of love as I was wont to have: You bear too stubborn and too strange a hand over your friend, that loves you.

-Cassius, be not deceived: if I have veiled my look, I turn the trouble of my countenance merely upon myself.

Vexed I am of late with passions of some difference, conceptions only proper to myself which give some soil, perhaps, to my behaviors.

But let not therefore my good friends be grieved -- among which number, Cassius, be you one -- nor construe any further my neglect than that poor Brutus, with himself at war, forgets the shows of love to other men.

-Then, Brutus, I have much mistook your passion, by means whereof this breast of mine hath buried thoughts of great value, worthy cogitations.

Tell me, good Brutus, can you see your face?

-No, Cassius, for the eye sees not itself but by reflection, by some other thing.

-'Tis just, and it is very much lamented, Brutus, that you have no such mirrors as will turn your hidden worthiness into your eye, that you might see your shadow: I have heard, where many of the best respect in Rome -- except immortal Caesar -- speaking of Brutus, and groaning underneath this age's yoke, have wished that noble Brutus had his eyes.

-Into what dangers would you lead me, Cassius, that you would have me seek into myself for that which is not in me?

-Therefore, good Brutus, be prepared to hear: and since you know you cannot see yourself so well as by reflection, I your glass shall modestly discover to yourself that of yourself which you yet know not of.

And be not doubtful of me, gentle Brutus: were I a common laugher, or did use to stale with ordinary oaths my love to every new protester, if you know that I do fawn on men, and hug them hard, and after scandal them, or if you know that I profess myself in banqueting to all the rout, then hold me dangerous.

[ Shouting, rattling cage ] -What means this shouting?

I do fear the people choose Caesar for their king.

-Ay, do you fear it? -[Scoffs] -Then must I think you would not have it so.

-I would not, Cassius!

Yet I love him well.

But wherefore do you hold me here so long?

What is it that you would impart to me?

If it be aught toward the general good, set honour in one eye, and death in the other, and I will look on both indifferently.

For let the gods so please me, I love the name of honor more than I fear death.

-I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus, as well as I do know your outward favor.

Well, honor is the subject of my story: I cannot tell what you and other men think of this life, but for my single self, I had as lief not be as live to be in awe of such a thing as I myself.

I was born free as Caesar, so were you: We both have fed as well, and we can both endure the winter's cold as well as he, for once, upon a raw and gusty day, the troubled Tiber chafing with her shores, Caesar said to me, 'Dar'st thou, Cassius, now leap in with me into this angry flood and swim to yonder point?'

Upon the word, accoutrèd as I was, I plungd in and bade him follow: so indeed he did.

The torrent roared, and we did buffet it with lusty sinews, throwing it aside, and stemming it with hearts of controversy.

But ere we could arrive the point proposed, Caesar cried, 'Help me, Cassius, or I sink!'

I -- as Aeneas, our great ancestor, did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder the old Anchises bear -- so from the waves of Tiber did I the tired Caesar: and this man is now become a god, and Cassius is a wretched creature that must bend his body if Caesar carelessly but nod on him.

He had a fever when he was in Spain, And when the fit was on him I did mark how he did shake: 'tis true, this god did shake, his coward lips did from their color fly, and that same eye, whose bend doth awe the world, did lose his lustre: I did hear him groan: Ay, and that tongue of his bade the Romans mark him, and write his speeches in their books, 'Alas,' it cried, 'Give me some drink, Cassius,' as a sick girl.

Ye gods, it doth amaze me a man of such a feeble temper should so get the start of the majestic world and bear the palm alone.

[ Crowd cheering ] -Another general shout?! I do believe that these applauses are for some new honors that are heaped on Caesar.

-Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world like a Colossus, and we petty men walk under his huge legs and peep about to find ourselves dishonorable graves.

Men at some time are masters of their fates.

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves, that we are underlings.

Brutus and Caesar: what should be in that 'Caesar'? Why should that name be sounded more than yours?

Write them together, it is as fair a name: sound them, it doth become the mouth as well: weigh them, it is as heavy: conjure with 'em, Brutus will start a spirit as soon as Caesar.

Now in the name of all the gods at once, upon what meat doth this our Caesar feed that he is grown so great?

Age, thou art shamed!

When could they say, till now, that talked of Rome, that her wide walks encompassed but one man?

But woe the while, our fathers' minds are dead, and we are governed by our mothers' spirits: our yoke and sufferance show us womanish.

-That you do love me, I am nothing doubtful: what you would work me to, I have some aim: How I have thought of this and of these times I shall recount hereafter.

For this present, I would not -- so with love I might entreat you -- be any further moved.

What you have said I will consider, what you have to say I will with patience hear, and find a time both meet to hear and answer such high things.

Till then, my noble friend, chew upon this: Brutus had rather be a villager than to repute himself a son of Rome under such hard conditions as these times are like to lay upon us.

-I am glad that my weak words have struck but thus much show of fire from Brutus.

[ Cymbal crash ] -Ah, the games are done, and Caesar is returning.

[ Jazzy tune, crowd cheering ] ♪♪ [ Band stops abruptly ] -Antonio.


-Let me have men about me that are... fat! [ Cheering ] Sleek-headed men, and such as sleep a-nights.

Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look: he thinks too much: such men are dangerous.

-Well, fear him not, Caesar, he's not dangerous.

He is a noble Roman, and well given.

-Would he were fatter!

But I fear him not: Yet if my name were liable to fear, I do not know the man I should avoid so soon as that spare Cassius.

He reads much, he's a great observer, he sees quite through the deeds of men.

He loves no plays, Antony, as thou dost: he hears no music: seldom he smiles, and smiles in such a sort as if he mocked himself, and scorned his spirit that could be moved to smile at anything.

Such men as he be never at heart's ease whiles they perceive a greater than themselves, And therefore are they very dangerous.

[ Nervous laughter ] I rather tell thee what is to be feared than what I fear, for always I am Caesar.


-Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf, and tell me truly what thou think'st of him.

-Casca! Casca, tell us what hath chanced today that Caesar seems so strange.

-Why, you were with him, were you not?

-I should not then ask Casca what had chanced.

-Why, there was a crown offered him; and being offered him, he put it by with the back of his hand, thus, and then the people fell a-shouting.

-What was the second cry for?

-Why, for that too. -They shouted thrice: what was the last cry for?

-Why, for that too.

-Was the crown offered to him thrice?

-Ay, marry, was't, and he put it by thrice, every time gentler than other; and at every putting-by, mine honest neighbors shouted.

-Who offered him the crown?

-Why, Antony.

-Tell us the manner of it, gentle Casca.

-I can as well be hanged as tell the manner of it: it was mere foolery, I did not mark it.

I saw Mark Antony offer him a crown -- yet 'twas not a crown neither, 'twas one of these coronets -- and as I told you, he put it by once: but for all that, to my thinking, he would fain have had it.

Then he offered it to him again, then he put it by again: but to my thinking, he was very loath to lay his fingers off it.

And then he offered it the third time; he put it the third time by, and still as he refused it, the rabblement hooted, and clapped their chopped hands, and threw up their sweaty nightcaps, and uttered such a deal of stinking breath because Caesar refused the crown that it had almost choked Caesar, for he swooned and fell down at it.

And for mine own part, I durst not laugh, for fear of opening my lips and receiving the bad air.

-But soft, I pray you: what, did Caesar swoon?

-He fell down in the market-place, and foamed at the mouth, and was speechless.

-'Tis very like -- he hath the falling sickness.

-No, Caesar hath it not: but you, and I, and honest Casca, we have the falling sickness.

-I know not what you mean by that, but I am sure Caesar fell down.

I could tell you more news too: any found pulling wreaths off Caesar's images, is to be put to silence.

Fare you well.

There was more foolery yet, if I could remember it.

-Will you sup with me tonight, Casca?

-No, I am promised forth.

-Will you dine with me tomorrow?

-Ay, if I be alive, and your mind hold, and your dinner worth the eating.

-I will expect you.

-Do so. Farewell, both.

-For this time I will leave you: tomorrow if you please to speak with me, I will come home to you: or if you will, come home to me, I will wait for you.

-I will do so.

Till then, think of the world.

[ Sighs ] Well, Brutus, thou art noble: yet I see thy honourable mettle may be wrought from that it is disposed: therefore it is meet that noble men keep ever with their likes for who so firm that cannot be seduced?

Caesar doth bear me hard, but he loves Brutus.

Were I Brutus now, and he Cassius, he should not humor me.

I will this night in several hands in at his windows throw, as if they came from several citizens, writings all tending to the great opinion that Rome holds of his name -- wherein obscurely Caesar's ambition may be glancèd at.

And after that let Caesar seat him sure, for we will shake him, or worse days endure.

[ Ominous music ] -What, Lucius, ho?

I cannot by the progress of the stars give guess how near to day -- Lucius, I say!

I would it were my fault to sleep so soundly.

When, Lucius, when? Awake, I say: what, Lucius!

-Called you, my lord?

-Is not tomorrow, boy, the Ides of March?

-I know not, sir.

-Look in the calendar, bring me word.

-I will, sir.

-[ Grunts ] It must be by his death: and for my part, I know no personal cause to spurn at him but for the general.

They say tomorrow the senators mean to establish Caesar as a king.


How that might change his nature, there's the question.

'Tis the bright day that brings forth the adder, and that craves wary walking: crown him that, and then I grant we put a sting in him, that at his will he may do danger with.

The abuse of greatness is when it disjoins remorse from power: and 'tis a common proof that lowliness is young ambition's ladder Whereto the climber upward turns his face.

But when he once attains the upmost round, he then unto the ladder turns his back, looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees by which he did ascend: so Caesar may; and lest he may, prevent.

And for the quarrel will bear no color for the thing he is, fashion it thus: that what he is, augmented, would run to these and these extremities: and therefore think him as a serpent's egg which hatched, would as his kind grow mischievous, and kill him in the shell.

[ Note sounds, paper rustles ] 'Brutus, thou sleep'st.

Awake, and see thyself.

Shall Rome, et cetera, speak, strike, redress.'

'Brutus, thou sleep'st. Awake!'

Such instigations have been often dropped where I have took them up.

'Shall Rome, et cetera.'

Thus must I piece it out: Shall Rome stand under one man's away?

What Rome?

'Speak, strike, redress.'

Am I entreated, then, to speak and strike?

O Rome, I make thee promise, if the redress will follow, thou receivest thy full petition at the hand of Brutus.

-Sir, March is wasted fifteen days.

-'Tis well. [ Rattling ] Go to the gate: somebody knocks.

Since Cassius first did whet me against Caesar, I have not slept.

Between the acting of a dreadful thing and the first motion, all the interim is like a phantasma, or hideous dream: the genius and the mortal instruments are then in council, and the state of man, like to a little kingdom, suffers then the nature of an insurrection.

-Sir, 'tis your brother Cassius at the door, who doth desire to see you.

-Is he alone?

-No, sir, there are more with him.

-Do you know them? -No, sir, their hats are plucked about their ears and half their faces buried in their cloaks, that by no means I may discover them by any mark of favor.

-Let 'em enter.

-I think we are too bold upon your rest.

Good morrow, Brutus, do we trouble you?

-I have been up this hour, awake all night.

Know I these men that come along with you?

-Aye, every man of them; and no man here but honors you, and every one doth wish you had but that opinion of yourself which every noble Roman bears of you.

This is Trebonius.

-He is welcome hither. -This, Casca.

This, Cinna.

And this, Metellus Cimber.

-They're all welcome.

What watchful cares do interpose themselves betwixt your eyes and night?

-Shall I entreat a word?

[ Cage rattling ] [ Inaudible ] -Give me your hands all over, one by one.

-And let us swear our resolution.

-No, not an oath.

If not the faith of men, the suffering of our souls, the time's abuse; if these be motives weak, break off betimes, and every man hence to his idle bed.

So let high-sighted tyranny range on till each man drop by lottery.

But if these, as I am sure they do, bear fire enough to kindle cowards, and to steel with valor the melting spirits of women, then, countrymen, what need we any spur but our own cause to prick us to redress?

What other bond than secret Romans that have spoke the word and will not falter?

And what other oath than honesty to honesty engaged, that this shall be, or we will fall for it?

-Shall no man else be touched, but only Caesar?

-Metellus, well urged.

I think it is not meet Mark Antony, so well beloved of Caesar, should outlive Caesar.

We shall find of him a shrewd contriver.

And you know his means if he improve them may well stretch so far as to annoy us all: which to prevent, let Antony and Caesar fall together.

-Our course will seem too bloody, Caius Cassius, to cut the head off and then hack the limbs -- like wrath in death and envy afterwards -- for Antony is but a limb of Caesar.

Let's be sacrificers, but not butchers, Caius.

We all stand up against the spirit of Caesar, and in the spirit of men there is no blood.

O, that we then could come by Caesar's spirit and not dismember Caesar!

But, alas, Caesar must bleed for it.

And, gentle friends, let's kill him boldly, but not wrathfully: let's carve him as a dish fit for the gods, not hew him as a carcass fit for hounds.

Which so appearing to the common eyes, we shall be called purgers, and not murderers.

And for Mark Antony, think not of him, for he can do no more than Caesar's arm when Caesar's head is off.

-Yet I do fear him.

For in the ingrafted love he bears to Caesar -- -Alas, good Cassius, do not think of him: If he love Caesar, all that he can do is to himself -- take thought and die for Caesar.

And that were much he should, for he is given to sports, to wildness and much company.

-We have no fear of him; let him not die, for he will live and laugh at this hereafter.

[ Gong rings ] -Peace!

Count the clock.

-The clock hath stricken three.

-'Tis time to part. -But it is doubtful yet whether Caesar will come forth today or no, for he is superstitious grown of late, quite from the main opinion he held once of fantasy, of dreams and ceremonies.

It may be these apparent prodigies, the unaccustomed terrors of the night and the persuasion of his augurers, may keep him from the Capitol today.

-Never fear that.

If he be so resolved, I can o'ersway him, for he loves to hear that unicorns may be betrayed with trees, and bears with mirrors, lions with nets, elephants with holes, and men with flatterers.

Though when I tell him he hates flatterers, he says he does, being then most flattered.

Let me work.

For I can give his humor the true bent, and I will bring him to the Capitol.

-Nay, we will all of us be there to fetch him.

-By the eighth hour. Is that the latest?

-Be that the latest, and fail not then.

-Good, friends, disperse yourselves; but all remember what you have said, and show yourselves true Romans.

-Good morrow to you, every one.

-Boy! Lucius!

Fast asleep?

It is no matter.

Enjoy the honey-heavy dew of slumber: Thou hast no figures, nor no fantasies Which busy care draws in the brains of men; Therefore thou sleep'st so soundly.

-Brutus, my lord. -Portia, what mean you?

Wherefore rise you now?

It is not for your health thus to commit your weak condition to the raw cold morning.

-Nor for yours neither.

You've ungently, Brutus, stole from my bed: and yesternight, at supper, you suddenly arose, and walked about, musing, and sighing, with your arms a-cross: and when I asked you what the matter was, you stared upon me with ungentle looks.

I urged you further, then you scratched your head, and too impatiently stamped with your foot: yet I insisted, yet you answered not, but with an angry wafture of your hand gave sign for me to leave you: so I did, fearing to strengthen that impatience which seemed too much enkindled, and withal hoping it was but an effect of humor, which sometime hath his hour with every man.

It will not let you eat, nor talk, nor sleep; and could it work so much upon your shape as it hath much prevailed upon your condition, I should not know you, Brutus.

Dear my lord, make me acquainted with your cause of grief.

-I am not well in health, that is all.

-Brutus is wise, and were he not in health, he would embrace the means to come by it.

-Why, so I do.

Good Portia, go to bed.

-Is Brutus sick?


And is it physical to walk unbraced, and suck up the humors of the dank morning?

What, is Brutus sick?

And will he steal out of his wholesome bed to dare the vile contagion of the night?

And tempt the rheumy and unpurged air to add unto his sickness?

No, my Brutus, you have some sick offense within your mind which by the right and virtue of my place I ought to know of: and upon my knees I charm you, by my once-commended beauty, by all your vows of love and that great vow which did incorporate and make us one, that you unfold to me, your self, your half, why you are heavy, and what men tonight have had resort to you, for here have been some five or six who did hide their faces even from darkness.

-Kneel not, gentle Portia.

-I should not need, if you were gentle Brutus.

Within the bond of marriage, tell me, Brutus, is it accepted I should know no secrets that appertain to you?

What, am I your self but as it were in sort or limitation?

What, to keep with you at meals, comfort your bed and talk to you sometimes?

Dwell I but in the suburbs of your good pleasure?

If it be no more, Portia is Brutus' harlot, not his wife.

-You are my true and honorable wife, as dear to me as are the ruddy drops that visit my sad heart.

-If this were true, then should I know this secret.

I grant I am a woman; but withal a woman that Lord Brutus took to wife: I grant I am a woman; but withal a woman well-reputed, Cato's daughter.

Think you I am no stronger than my sex being so fathered and so husbanded?

Tell me your counsels.

I will not disclose them.

I here make strong proof of my constancy, Giving myself a voluntary wound -No! -Here in the thigh: Aah!

Can I bear that with patience And not my husband's secrets?

-O! Gods, render me worthy of this noble wife... Come in with me, thy bosom shall partake the secrets of my heart.

All my engagements I will construe to thee, all the charactery of my sad brows.

[ Snarling, growling ] ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Snarling, growling ] ♪♪ -Shh!

Nor heaven nor earth have been at peace tonight: thrice hath Calpurnia in her sleep cried out, 'Help, ho! They murder Caesar!'

Who's within?

-My lord?

-Go bid the priests do present sacrifice and bring me their opinions of success.

[ Shriek, thudding, squelching ] -What mean you, Caesar? Think you to walk forth?

You shall not stir out of your house today.

-Caesar shall go forth.

The things that threatened me ne'er looked but on my back: when they shall see the face of Caesar, they are vanishèd.

-Caesar, I never stood on ceremonies, yet now they fright me.

There is one within, besides the things that we have heard and seen, recounts most horrid sights seen by the watch.

A lioness hath whelpèd in the streets, and graves have yawned, and yielded up their dead; fierce fiery warriors fight upon the clouds in ranks and squadrons, and right form of war, which drizzled blood upon the Capitol: the noise of battle hurtled in the air, horses do neigh, and dying men did groan, and ghosts did shriek and squeal about the streets.

O Caesar, these things are beyond all use, and I do fear them.

-What can be avoided whose end is purposed by the mighty gods?

Yet Caesar shall go forth, for these predictions are to the world in general as to Caesar.

-When beggars die there are no comets seen: the heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.

-Cowards die many times before their deaths, the valiant never taste of death but once.

Of all the wonders that I yet have heard, It seems to me most strange that men should fear, seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come.

What say the augurers?

-They would not have you stir forth today.

Plucking the entrails of the offering forth, They could not find a heart within the beast.

-The gods do this in shame of cowardice: Caesar should be a beast without a heart if he should stay at home today for fear.

No, Caesar shall not.

Danger knows full well that Caesar is more dangerous than he.

We are two lions littered in one day, and I the elder and more terrible, and Caesar shall go forth.

-Alack, my lord, your wisdom is consumed by confidence.

Do not go forth today: call it my fear that keeps you in the house, and not your own.

We'll send Mark Antony to the senate house, and he shall say that you are not well today.

Let me upon my knee prevail in this.

-Mark Antony shall say I am not well, and, for thy humor I will stay at home today.

-Here's noble Casca, he shall tell them so.

-Caesar, all hail.

Good morrow, worthy Caesar, I come to fetch you to the senate house.

-And you are come in very happy time to bear my greetings to the senators and tell them I will not come today: cannot is false, and that I dare not, falser: I will not come today.

Tell them so, Casca.

-Say he is sick.

-Shall Caesar send a lie?

Have I in conquest stretched mine arm so far to be afeared to tell greybeards the truth?

Casca, go tell them Caesar will not come.

-Most mighty Caesar, let me know some cause, lest I be laughed at when I tell them so.

-The cause is in my will, I will not come, that is enough to satisfy the senate.

But for your private satisfaction, because I love you, I will let you know.

Calpurnia here, my wife, stays me at home: she dreamt tonight she saw my statue, which, like a fountain with an hundred spouts, did run pure blood, and many lusty Romans came smiling and did bathe their hands in it.

And for these does she apply warnings and portents and evils imminent, and on her knee hath begged that I stay at home today.

-This dream is all amiss interpreted.

It was a vision, fair and fortunate: your statue spouting blood in many pipes in which so many smiling Romans bathed, signifies that from you great Rome shall suck reviving blood, and that great men shall press for tinctures, stains, relics and cognizance.

This by Calpurnia's dream is signified.

-And this way have you well expounded it.

-I have, when you have heard what I can say: and know it now, the senate have concluded to give this day a crown to mighty Caesar.

If you shall send them word you will not come, their minds may change.

Besides, it were a mock apt to be rendered, for someone to say, 'Break up the senate till another time when Caesar's wife shall meet with better dreams.'

If Caesar hide himself, shall they not whisper 'Lo, Caesar is afraid'? Pardon me, Caesar, for my dear, dear love to our proceeding bids me tell you this, and reason to my love is liable.

-How foolish do your fears seem now, Calpurnia?

I am ashamed that I did yield to them.

Give me my robe, for I will go.

And look where Cassius is come to fetch me.

-Good morrow, Caesar.


What, Brutus, so early too?

What is't o'clock? -Caesar, 'tis strucken eight.

-I thank you for your pains and courtesy.

-Caesar? -See where Antony, who revels long o'nights, is notwithstanding up.

Good morrow, Antony. -Oh!

So to most noble Caesar.

♪♪ -Bid them prepare within: I am to blame to be thus waited for.

Oh, God, Cinna!

Ha! Now, Metellus.


Oh, what, Trebonius. -Hey!

-I have an hour's talk in store for you.

Remember that you call on me today: be near me, that I might remember you.

-Caesar, I will. -Caesar!

-And so near will I be his best friend shall wish I had been further.

-Huh! -Good friends, go in, and taste some wine with me, and we, like friends, will straightway go together.


♪♪ Beware of Brutus, take heed of Cassius, come not near Casca, have an eye to Cinna, trust not Trebonius, mark well Metellus Cimber.

♪♪ There is but one mind in all these men, and it is bent against Caesar.

If thou be'st not immortal, look about you: security gives way to conspiracy.

♪♪ The mighty gods defend thee.

♪♪ -Lucius!

I prithee, boy, run to the senate-house.

Stay not to answer me, but get thee gone.

Why dost thou stay?

-To know my errand, madam.

-I would have had thee there and here again ere I can tell thee what thou shouldst do there.

O constancy, be strong upon my side, set a huge mountain 'tween my heart and tongue: I have a man's mind, but a woman's might.

How hard is it for women to keep counsel.

Art thou here still?

-Madam, what should I do?

Run to the Capitol, and nothing else?

And so return to you, and nothing else?

-Yes, bring me word, boy, if thy lord look well, for he went sickly forth: and take good note what Caesar doth, what suitors press to him.

Hark, boy, what noise is that?

-I hear none, madam. -Prithee listen well.

I heard a bustling rumour like a fray, and the wind brings it from the Capitol.

-Sooth, madam, I hear nothing.

[ Squeaking ] -Come hither, fellow.

Which way hast thou been?

-At mine own house, good lady.

-What is it o'clock?

-About the ninth hour, lady.

-Is Caesar yet gone to the Capitol?

-Madam, not yet.

I go to take my stand to see him pass on to the Capitol.

-Thou hast some suit to Caesar, hast thou not?

-That I have, lady, if it will please Caesar to be so good to Caesar as to hear me: I shall beseech him to befriend himself.

-Why, know'st thou any harm's intended towards him?

-None that I know will be, much that I fear may chance.

Good morrow to you.

-I must go in.

Ay me!

[ Groans ] How weak a thing the heart of woman is.

O Brutus, the heavens speed thee in thine enterprise.

Sure, the boy heard me. Um... Brutus hath a suit that Caesar will not grant.

O, I grow faint.

Run, Lucius, and commend me to my lord, say... I am merry.

And come to me again, and bring me word what he doth say to thee.

[ Music playing over, indistinct conversations ] ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ -The Ides of March are come.

-Ay, Caesar, but not gone.

[ Wheel squeaking ] ♪♪ -Are we all ready?

What is now amiss that Caesar and his senate must redress?

-Most high, most mighty and most puissant Caesar, Metellus Cimber throws before thy seat a humble heart -- -I must prevent thee, Cimber.

These couchings and these lowly courtesies might fire the blood of ordinary men, and turn pre-ordinance and first decree into the law of children.

Be not fond to think that Caesar bears such rebel blood that will be thawed from the true quality with that which melteth fools -- I mean low-crookèd curtsies, sweet words, and base spaniel-fawning.

Thy brother by decree is banishèd: If thou dost bend and pray and fawn for him, I spurn thee like a cur out of my way.

Know, Caesar doth not wrong, nor without cause will he be satisfied.

-Is there no voice more worthy than my own to sound more sweetly in great Caesar's ear for the repealing of my banished brother?

-I kiss thy hand, but not in flattery, Caesar, desiring thee that Publius Cimber may have an immediate freedom of repeal.

-What, Brutus? -Pardon, Caesar: Caesar, pardon.

As low as to thy foot doth Cassius fall, to beg enfranchisement for Publius Cimber.

-I could be well moved if I were as you: if I could pray to move, prayers would move me.

But I am constant as the northern star, of whose true-fixed and resting quality there is no fellow in the firmament.

The skies are painted with unnumbered sparks, they are all fire and every one doth shine: but there's but one in all doth hold his place.

So in the world: 'tis furnished well with men, and men are flesh and blood, and apprehending; yet in the number I do know but one that unassailable holds on his rank, unshaked of motion.

And that I am he, let me a little show it, even in this: that I was constant Cimber should be banished, and constant do remain to keep him so.

-O Caesar -- -Hence!

Wilt thou lift up Olympus?! Caesar -- -Doth not Brutus bootless kneel?

[ Talking over each other ] -Speak hands for me!

[ Caesar screams ] [ Muffled groaning ] [ Coughing ] [ Groans ] -Et tu, Brute?

[ Gasps ] [ Screams ] -Then fall, Caesar.



Tyranny is dead!

Run hence, proclaim, cry it about the streets.

-Some to the common pulpits and cry out, 'Liberty, freedom, and enfranchisement!'

-People and senators, be not affrighted.

Fly not, stand still: ambition's debt is paid.

-Where is Antony? -Fled to his house amazed.

Men, wives, children stare, shout out as it were doomsday.

-Oh, Fates, we will know your pleasures.

That we shall die we know; 'tis but the time and drawing days out that men stand upon.

-Why, he that cuts off twenty years of life cuts off so many years of fearing death.

-Grant that, and then is death a benefit: so are we Caesar's friends that have abridged his time of fearing death.

Stoop, Romans, stoop, and let us bathe our hands in Caesar's blood up to the elbows and besmear our swords: then walk we forth, even to the market-place, and waving our red weapons o'er our heads, Let's all cry, 'Peace, freedom and liberty!'

-How many ages hence shall this our lofty scene be acted over, in states unborn and accents yet unknown?

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

-What, shall we forth? -Ay, every man away.

Brutus shall lead, and we will grace his heels With the most noblest and best hearts of Rome.

-I know not, gentlemen, what you intend, who else must be let blood, who else is rank: if I myself, there is no hour so fit as Caesar's death's hour, nor no instrument of half that worth as those your swords, made rich with the most noblest blood of all the world.

I do beseech ye, if you bear me hard, now, whilst your purpled hands do reek and smoke, fulfil your pleasure.

Live a thousand years, I shall not find myself so apt to die.

No place will please me so, no means of death, as here by Caesar, and by you cut off, the choice and master spirits of this age.

-O Antony! Beg not your death of us: though now we must appear bloody and cruel, as by our hands and this our present act you see we do, yet see you but our hands and this the bleeding business they have done: our hearts you see not: they are pitiful, and pity to the general wrong of Rome -- as fire drives out fire, so pity, pity -- hath done this deed on Caesar.

For your part, to you our swords have leaden points, Mark Antony.

Our arms in strength of vengeance, and our hearts of brothers' temper, do receive you in with all kind love, good thoughts and reverence.

-Your voice shall be as strong as any man's in the disposing of new dignities.

-Only be patient till we have appeased the multitude, beside themselves with fear, and then we will deliver you the cause why I, that did love Caesar when I struck him, have thus proceeded.

-I doubt not of your wisdom.

Let each man render me his bloody hand.

First, Marcus Brutus, will I shake with you.

Next, Caius Cassius, do I take your hand.

Now yours, Metellus.

Yours, Cinna.

And my valiant Casca, yours; though last, not least in love, yours, good Trebonius.

Gentlemen all: alas, what shall I say?

My credit now stands on such slippery ground, that one of two bad ways you must conceit me, either a coward or a flatterer.

-But what compact mean you to have with us?

Will you be pricked in number of our friends, or shall we on, and not depend on you?

-Friends am I with you all, and love you all, upon this hope, that you shall give me reasons why and wherein Caesar was dangerous.

-Our reasons are so full of high regard that were you, Antony, the son of Caesar, you should be satisfied.

-Well, that's all I seek, and am moreover suitor, that I may produce his body to the market-place, and in the pulpit, as becomes a friend, speak in the order of his funeral.

-You shall, Mark Antony.

-Brutus, a word with you.

You know not what you do.

Do not consent Antony speak at his funeral.

Know you how much the people may be moved by that which he will utter. -By your patience: I will myself into the pulpit first, and show the reason of our Caesar's death.

What Antony shall speak, I will protest he does by leave and by permission, it shall advantage more than do us wrong.

-I know not what may fall. I like it not.

-Come, Antony, take you Caesar's body.

You shall not in your funeral speech blame us, but speak all good you can devise of Caesar, and say you do it by our permission; else shall you not have any hand at all about his funeral. -Be it so.

I do desire no more.

-Prepare the body then, and follow us.

[ Grunts ] -O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth, that I am meek and gentle with these butchers.

Thou art the ruins of the noblest man that ever livèd in the tide of times.

Woe to the hand that shed this costly blood.

Over thy wounds now do I prophesy -- which like dumb mouths do ope their ruby lips to beg the voice and utterance of my tongue -- a curse shall light upon the limbs of men: domestic fury and fierce civil strife shall cumber all the parts of Italy: blood and destruction shall be so in use, and dreadful objects so familiar, that mothers shall but smile when they behold their infants quartered with the hands of war: all pity choked with custom of fell deeds, and Caesar's spirit, ranging for revenge, with Atè by his side, come hot from hell, shall in these confines, with a monarch's voice cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war, that this foul deed shall smell above the earth with carrion men, groaning for burial.

You serve Octavius Caesar, do you not?

-I do, Mark Antony.

-Caesar did write for him to come to Rome.

-He did receive his letters, and is coming, and bid me say to you by word of mouth -- O Caesar!

-Thy heart is big: get thee apart and weep.

Get thee apart and weep!

Passion, I see, is catching, for mine eyes, seeing those beads of sorrow stand in thine, began to water.

Is thy master coming?

-He lies tonight within seven leagues of Rome.

-Post back with speed and tell him what hath chanced: here is a mourning Rome, a dangerous Rome, no Rome of safety for Octavius yet.

Hie hence, and tell him so.

Yet -- yet stay awhile.

Thou shalt not back till I have borne this corpse into the market-place: well, there shall I try in my oration how the people take the cruel issue of these bloody men, according to the which thou shalt discourse to young Octavius of the state of things.

Lend me your hand.

♪♪ -Be patient till the last.

Romans, countrymen, and lovers, hear me for my cause and be silent, that you may hear.

Believe me for mine honor and have respect to mine honor, that you may believe.

Censure me in your wisdom and awake your senses, that you may the better judge.

If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of Caesar's, to him I say Brutus' love to Caesar was no less than his.

If then that friend demand why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my answer: not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more.

Had you rather Caesar were living, to die all slaves, than that Caesar were dead, and 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: honour, for his valour: joy, for his fortune: 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.

Then none have I offended.

I have done no more to Caesar than you shall do to Brutus, when it shall please my country to need my death.

[ Shouting indistinctly ] No! No!

No, no, no!

-Here comes Mark Antony, who, though he had no hand in Caesar's death, yet shall receive a place in the commonwealth, as which of you shall not?

Harken to his speech tending to Caesar's glories which by our permission he is allowed to make.

[ Shouting ] -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 interrèd 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 honorable man: so are they all, all honorable 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 honorable 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 honorable man.

You all did see, that at our festival 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 honorable man.

Now, 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 judgment! 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.

[ Murmuring ] -O masters!

If I were disposed to stir your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage, I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong, who -- you all know -- are honorable men; I will not do them wrong. I rather choose to wrong myself, to wrong the dead, and you, than I will wrong such honorable men.

But here's a parchment, with the seal of Caesar.

I found it in his closet: 'tis his will. [ Crowd gasps ] Let but the commons hear this testament -- which, pardon me, I do not mean to read -- and they would go and kiss dead Caesar's wounds, and dip their napkins in his sacred blood, yea, beg a hair of him for memory, and, dying, mention it within their wills, bequeathing it as a rich legacy unto their issue.

-Read the will! Read the will! Read the will!

-Have patience, gentle friends, I must not read it.

It is not meet you know how Caesar loved you.

You are not wood, you are not stones, but men: and being men, hearing the will of Caesar, it will inflame you, it will make you mad; 'tis good you know not that you are his heirs, [ Crowd gasps ] For if you did, oh, what would come of it!

-Read the will! Read the will!

Read the will!

-Will you be patient?

Will you stay awhile?

I have o'ershot myself to tell you of it.

I fear I wrong the honorable men Whose daggers have stabbed Caesar: I do fear it.

[ All shouting ] -You will compel me then to read the will. -Yes!

-Shall I attend? -Yes!

-Will you give me leave? -Yes!

-If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.

You all do know this mantle.

I remember the first time ever Caesar put it on.

T'was on a summer's evening in his tent, That day he overcame the Nervii.

Look, in this place ran Cassius' dagger through: [ All grunt ] See what a rent the envious Casca made: [ All grunt ] Through this, the well-belovèd Brutus stabbed, and as he plucked his cursèd steel away, Mark how the blood of Caesar followed it, as rushing out of doors, to be resolved if Brutus so unkindly knocked or no, for Brutus, as you know, was Caesar's angel.

Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar loved him.

This was the most unkindest cut of all.

For when the noble Caesar saw him stab, ingratitude, more strong than traitors' arms, quite vanquished him: then great Caesar fell.

O, what a fall was there, my countrymen!

Then you, and I, yea, all of us fell down, whilst bloody treason flourished over us.

O, now you weep, and I perceive you feel the dint of pity: these are gracious drops.

Kind souls, what weep you when you but behold our Caesar's vesture wounded?

Look you here, here is himself, marred as you see by traitors.

[ Gasping ] -Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir you up to such a sudden flood of mutiny: they that have done this deed are honorable.

What private griefs they have, alas, I know not, that made them do it: they are wise and honorable and will no doubt with reasons answer you.

I come not, friends, to steal away your hearts: I am no orator, as Brutus is; But as you know me all a plain blunt man that love my friend, and that they know full well That gave me public leave to speak of him, for I have neither wit, nor worth, nor words, action, nor utterance, nor the power of speech, to stir men's blood.

I only speak right on and tell you that which you yourselves do know, show you sweet Caesar's wounds, poor, poor dumb mouths, and bid them speak for me.

But were I Brutus, and Brutus Antony, there were an Antony would ruffle up your spirits, and put a tongue in every wound of Caesar that should move the stones of Rome to rise and mutiny.


Huh. Huh.

Huh. Huh.

-Why, friends, you go to do you know not what: Wherein hath Caesar thus deserved your loves?

Alas, you know not.

I will tell you then: You have forgot the will I told you of.

Here is the will, and under Caesar's seal.

To every Roman citizen he gives, to every several man, a hundred drachmas.

Moreover, he hath left you all his walks, his private arbours and new-planted orchards, on this side Tiber.

He hath left them you and to your heirs for ever!

[ All cheering, shouting ] ♪♪ [ Screech ] Now let it work.

Mischief, thou art afoot: Take thou what course thou wilt.

[ Indistinct shouting ] ♪♪ -I dreamt tonight that I did feast with Caesar, and things unluckily charge my fantasy: I have no will to wander forth of doors -- [ Beep ] -Alexander, meds.

-Oh, you're...kidding. What?

[ Speaks indistinctly ] -Alexander!


-I'm meant -- I'm meant to do the poem.

-Come on. -Don't touch me like that.

-Stop. Don't! Stop! Do you want to be cuffed?

Get! -I think it's one page.

I know what page it is.

Yeah, no.

-Can we have the lights back?

[ Sighs ] -[ Clears throat ] I dreamt tonight that I did feast with Caesar, and things unluckily charge my fantasy: I have no will to wander forth of doors, yet something leads me forth.

-What is your name? -Whither are you going?

-Where do you live?

-Are you a married man or a bachelor?

-Answer every man directly. -Ay, and briefly.

-Ay, and wisely. -Ay, and truly, you were best.

-Ay, and truly, you were best. What is my name?

Whither am I going? Where do I dwell?

Am I a married man or a bachelor?

Then, to answer every man directly and briefly, wisely and truly: wisely I say I am a bachelor.

-Ho-ho! That's as much as to say they are fools that marry: you'll bear me a bang for that, I fear.

Proceed, directly.


-Give me the book, man.

Directly, I am going to Caesar's funeral.

-As a friend or an enemy? -As a friend.

-That matter is answered directly.

-For your dwelling, briefly.

-Briefly, I dwell by the Capitol.

[ Crowd cheers ] -Your name, sir, truly.

-[ Muffled ] Truly, my name is Cinna.

-What?! -Truly, my name is Cinna.

-He's a conspirator! -Tear him to pieces!

[ Indistinct shouting ] -I am Cinna the Poet, I am Cinna the Poet.

-Tear him for his bad verses.

[ Indistinct shouting ] -Oi, look, I am not Cinna the conspirator.

-It don't matter. Your name is Cinna.

-Yeah, your name's Cinna.

[ Indistinct shouting ] -Oh!

-Seriously, let me see. Let me see.

Come on, let me see.

Let me see.

-Knock it off! That's enough!

-Rochelle, look at me. -What?

-Look at me.

Are you all right? -Yeah, I'm fine.

-You all right, Rochelle?

-Let's just go from the last bit.

-Just go from the last bit.

-Come on, Rochelle. Come on. Come on.

You all right, yeah?

-Go from the last bit. Just the last bit.


[ Both grunting ] [ All shout ] ♪♪ ♪♪ -These many, then, shall die: their names are pricked.

-Your brother too must die: consent you, Lepidus?

-I do consent. -Prick him down, Antony.

-Upon condition Publius shall not live, who is your sister's son, Mark Antony.

-He shall not live; look, with a spot I damn him.

But, Lepidus, go you to Caesar's house: fetch the will hither, and we shall determine how to reduce the people's legacies.

-What, shall I find you here? -Or here, or at the Capitol.

-This is a slight unmeritable man, meet to be sent on errands: is it fit, the three-fold world divided, he should stand one of the three to share it?

[ Drumbeat ] -So you thought him, and took his voice who should be pricked to die in our black sentence and proscription.

[ Drumbeat ] -Octavius, I have seen more days than you, and though we lay these honours on this man to ease ourselves of divers sland'rous loads, he shall but bear them as the ass bears gold, to groan and sweat under the business, either led or driven, as we point the way: and having brought our business where we will, then take we down his load, and turn him off -- like to the empty ass -- to shake his ears and graze on commons.

[ Drumbeat ] -You may do your will: but he is a tried and valiant soldier.

-So is my horse, Octavius.

It is a creature that I teach to fight, to wind, to stop, to run directly on, his corporal motion governed by my spirit.

Do not talk of him but as a property.

[ Drumbeat ] And now, Octavius, listen great things.

Brutus and Cassius are levying powers.

We must straight make head: Therefore let our alliance be combined, our best friends made, and let us presently go sit in counsel, how covert matters may be best disclosed, and open perils surest answerèd.

-Let us do so, for we are at the stake and bayed about with many enemies, and some that smile, I fear, have in their hearts millions of mischiefs.

-[ Whimpering ] [ Drumbeats ] ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ -Most noble brother, you have done me wrong.

-Judge me, you gods; wrong I mine enemies?

And if not so, how should I wrong a brother?

-Brutus, this sober form of yours hides wrongs, and when you do them -- -Cassius, be content.

Speak your griefs softly: I do know you well: Before the eyes of both our armies here -- which should perceive nothing but love from us -- let us not wrangle.

Bid them move away: Then in my tent, Cassius, enlarge your griefs, and I will give you audience.

-Pindarus, bid our commanders lead their charges off a little from this ground.

-Dardanius, do you the like, and let no man come to our tent till we have done our conference.

♪♪ ♪♪ -That you have wronged me doth appear in this: You have condemned and disgraced Lucius Pella for taking bribes here of the Sardians; whereas my letters, praying on his side because I knew the man, were slighted off.

-You wronged yourself to write in such a case.

-In such a time as this it is not meet that every small offence should bear a comment.

-Let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself are much condemned to have an itching palm, to sell and mart your offices for gold to undeservers.

-I, an itching palm?

You know that you are Brutus that speaks this, or by the gods, this speech were else your last.

-Remember March, the Ides of March remember: Did not great Caesar bleed for justice' sake?

What villain touched his body, and did stab and not for justice?

What, shall one of us that struck the foremost man of all this world but for supporting robbers: shall we now contaminate our fingers with base bribes?

And sell the mighty space of our large honours for so much trash as may be graspèd thus?

I'd rather be a dog and bay the moon, than such a Roman.

-Brutus, bait not me, I'll not endure it: you forget yourself to hedge me in.

I am a soldier, I, older in practice, and abler than yourself to make conditions.

-Go to, you are not, Cassius. -I am.

-I say you are not. -Urge me no more, I shall forget myself.

-Away, slight man! -Is't possible?

-Hear me, for I will speak.

Must I give way and room to your rash choler?

Shall I be frighted when a madman stares?

-O ye gods, ye gods, must I endure all this?

-All this? Ay, more: fret till your proud heart break.

Go show your slaves how choleric you are, make your bondmen tremble.

Must I budge? Must I observe you?

Must I stand and crouch under your testy humour?

By the gods, you shall digest the venom of your spleen though it do split you.

For, from this day forth, I'll use you for my mirth, yea, for my laughter, when you are waspish.

-Is it come to this?

-You say you are a better soldier: Let it appear so; make your vaunting true and it shall please me well.

For my part, I shall be glad to learn of noble men.

-You wrong me every way: you wrong me, Brutus.

I said, an elder soldier, not a better.

Did I say 'better'? -If you did, I care not.

-When Caesar lived, he durst not thus have moved me.

-Peace, peace, you durst not so have tempted him.

-I durst not? -No.

-What? Durst not tempt him?

-For your life you durst not.

-Do not presume too much upon my love: I may do that I shall be sorry for.

-You have done that you should be sorry for.

There is no terror, Cassius, in your threats, for I am armed so strong in honesty that they pass by me like the idle wind, which I respect not.

I did send to you for certain sums of gold, which you denied me, for I can raise no money by vile means: By heaven, I'd rather coin my heart and drop my blood for drachmas, than to wring from the hard hands of peasants their vile trash by any indirection.

I did send to you for gold to feed my legions, which you denied me: was this done like Cassius?

Should I have answered Caius Cassius so?

When Marcus Brutus grows so covetous, to lock such rascal counters from his friends, be ready, gods, with all your thunderbolts, dash him to pieces!

-I denied you not. -You did.

-I did not.

He was but a fool that brought my answer back.

Brutus hath rived my heart: A friend should bear his friend's infirmities; Brutus makes mine greater than they are.

-Do not, till you practise them on me.

-You love me not.

-I do not like your faults.

-A friendly eye could never see such faults.

-A flatterer's would not, though they do appear as huge as high Olympus.

-Come, Antony, and young Octavius, come, revenge yourselves alone on Cassius, for Cassius is aweary of this world: hated by one he loves, braved by his brother, checked like a bondman, all his faults observed, set in a notebook, learned and conned by rote to cast into my teeth.

O, I could weep my spirit from mine eyes!

There is my dagger, and here my naked breast: within, a heart dearer than Pluto's mine, richer than gold.

If that thou be'st a Roman, take it forth.

I that denied thee gold will give my heart: Strike as thou didst at Caesar; for I know, when thou didst hate him worst, thou lov'dst him better than ever thou lov'dst Cassius.

-Sheathe thy dagger.

Oh! God.

Be angry when thou wilt, it shall have scope.

O Cassius, you are yokèd with a lamb that carries anger as the flint bears fire, who, much enforcèd, shows a hasty spark and straight is cold again.

-Hath Cassius lived to be but mirth and laughter to his Brutus, when blood and grief ill-tempered vexeth him?

-When I spoke that, I was ill-tempered too.

-Do you confess so much?

Give me your hand. -And my heart too.

What the...are you doing back there?

Just either get off the stage or do something useful on it.

Come, little... -I did not know you could have been so angry.

-O Cassius, I am sick of many griefs.

-Of your philosophy you made no use, if you give place to accidental evils.

-[ Scoffs ] No man bears sorrow better.

Portia is dead.

-Ha? Portia?

-She's dead.

-How scaped I killing when I crossed you so?

O, insupportable and touching loss!

Upon what sickness?

-Impatient of my absence, and grief that young Octavius and Mark Antony have made themselves so strong -- for with her death those tidings came -- with this she grew distract, And -- her attendants absent -- swallowed fire.

-And died so?

-Even so.

-O ye immortal gods!

-Speak no more of her. Come.

Lucius, a bowl of wine.

In this I bury all unkindness, Cassius.

-My heart is thirsty for that noble pledge.

Fill, Lucius, till the wine o'erswell the cup: I cannot drink too much of Brutus' love.

-Come in, Trebonius.

Welcome, good Casca.

Come sit we close and call in question our necessities.

-Portia, art thou gone?

-No more, I pray you.

Casca, I have here receivèd letters that Octavius and Mark Antony come down upon us with a mighty power.

-Myself have letters on the selfsame tenor.

-With what addition?

-Octavius, Antony, and Lepidus have put to death an hundred senators.

-Mine speak of seventy that died.

-Had you your letters from your wife, my lord?

-No, Casca.

-Nor nothing in your letters writ of her?

-Nothing, Casca.

-That, methinks, is strange.

-Why? Heard you aught of her in yours?

-No, my lord.

-Now, as you are a Roman, tell me true.

-Then like a Roman bear the truth I tell: for certain she is dead, and by strange manner.

-Why, farewell, Portia.

We must die, Casca: With meditating that she must die once, I have the patience to endure it now.

-Just so great men, great losses should endure.

-So, to our work alive.

What think you of marching to Philippi presently?

-I do not think it good. -Your reason?

-This it is: 'Tis better that the enemy seek us, so shall he waste his means, weary his men, doing himself offence, whilst we, lying still, are full of rest, defence and nimbleness.

-Good reasons must of force give place to better: Our enemy increaseth every day: We, at the height, are ready to decline.

There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune: Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries.

On such a full sea are we now afloat, and we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.

-Then with your will go on: We'll along ourselves, and meet them at Philippi.

-There is no more to say. Lucius. My gown.

-My dear brother, this was an ill beginning of the night: Never let such division come between our souls.

Let it not, Brutus.

-Everything is well.

-Goodnight, my lord.

-Goodnight, good brother. -Good night, Lord Brutus.

-Farewell, every one.

Where is my gown?

-Here, my lord.

-What, thou speak'st drowsily?

Poor knave, I do not blame you: thou art o'er-watched.

Oh. Look, Lucius, here's the book I sought for so: I put it in the pocket of my gown.

-I was sure your lordship did not give it me.

-Forgive me, boy, I am much forgetful.

Canst thou hold up thy heavy eyes awhile and play thy instrument a strain or two?

-Ay, my lord, and if it please you.

-It does, my boy.

I trouble you too much, but thou art willing.

-It is my duty, sir.

-I should not urge thy duty past thy might.

I know young bloods look for a time of rest.

-I have slept, my lord, already.

-And you shall sleep again.

I will not hold thee long.

[ Guitar plays ] ♪♪ If I do live, I will be good to thee.

♪♪ ♪♪ -♪ I was very sad last night ♪ You came by, I was so glad ♪ My sadness covered ♪ The smile I kept for you ♪ I was waiting for the clouds ♪ To pass over ♪ Then I could show my love ♪ You could have made me laugh ♪ You could've stayed, but you left ♪ ♪ I was more confused than I was ♪ ♪ Before you came ♪ I was frightened ♪ I saw insanity and tears ♪ I shouted for you to stay ♪ It could have been better ♪ If you'd have held my hand and smiled at me ♪ ♪ Or questioned why ♪ My face was so distorted ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ Oooh ♪ Ahhhhh ♪ I'm back in the sunlight again ♪ ♪ Oh, I'm so glad ♪ It's only joy that I wanna give to you ♪ ♪ Sometimes I feel lost and desperate ♪ ♪ Please forgive me ♪ If I show no sign of reasoning ♪ ♪♪ ♪ Or consideration ♪ In my bleaker times -Speak to me what thou art.

-Thy evil spirit, Brutus.

-Why comest thou?

-To tell thee thou shalt see me at Philippi.

-Well: then I shall see thee again?

-Ay, at Philippi.

-Why, I will see thee at Philippi, then.

Ill spirit, I would have more talk with thee.

Boy, Lucius. -My lord?

-Didst thou dream, boy, that thou so cried'st out?

-My lord, I do not know that I did cry.

-Yes, that thou didst: didst thou see anything?

-Nothing, my lord.

-Go, commend me to my brother Cassius: Bid him set on his powers betimes before and we will follow.

♪♪ ♪♪ -Now, Antony, our hopes are answered.

You said the enemy would not come down, but keep the hills and upper regions: It proves not so: their forces are at hand.

-Tut, I am in their bosoms, and I know wherefore they do it: they come down with fearful bravery, thinking by this face to fasten in our thoughts that they have courage; but 'tis not so.

-Prepare you, generals.

The enemy comes on in gallant show: Their bloody sign of battle is hung out, and something to be done immediately.

-Octavius, lead your battle softly on, upon the left hand of the even field.

-Upon the right hand I: keep thou the left.

-Why do you cross me in this exigent?

-I do not cross you: but I will do so.

-Make forth, the generals would have some words.

♪♪ -Words before blows: is it so, countrymen?

-Not that we love words better, as you do.

-Good words are better than bad strokes, Octavius.

-In your bad strokes, Brutus, you give good words: Witness the hole you made in Caesar's heart, crying 'Long live!

Hail, Caesar!'

-Antony, the posture of your blows is yet unknown but for your words, you rob the Hybla bees, and leave them honeyless.

-Not stingless too?

-O yes, and soundless too, for you have stol'n their buzzing, Antony, and very wisely threat before you sting.

-Villains, you did not so, when your vile daggers hacked one another in the sides of Caesar: You showed your teeth like apes, and fawned like hounds, and bowed like bondmen, kissing Caesar's feet; whilst damnèd Casca, like a cur, behind struck Caesar in the neck.

O you flatterers!


Now, Brutus, thank yourself.

This tongue had not offended so today if Cassius might have ruled.

-Come, come, the cause.

If arguing make us sweat, the proof of it will turn to redder drops: I draw a sword against conspirators.

When think you that the sword goes up again?

Never, till Caesar's three and thirty wounds be well avenged.

I was not born to die on Brutus' sword.

-O, if thou wert the noblest of thy strain, young man, thou couldst not die more honourable.

-A peevish schoolboy, worthless of such an honour, joined by a masquer and a reveller.

-Old Cassius still.

-Come, Antony, away.

Defiance, traitors, hurl we in your teeth.

If you dare fight today, come to the field; if not, when you have stomachs.

♪♪ -Today is my birthday: -Hooray!

-On this very day was Cassius born.

-♪ Happy birthday to you ♪ Happy birthday to you ♪ ♪ Happy birthday, dear Cassius [ Cheering ] -Trebonius. -What say my general?

-Be thou my witness that against my will am I compelled to set upon one battle all our liberties.

Coming from Sardis, on our foremost ensign two mighty eagles fell, and there they perched, gorging and feeding from our soldiers' hands, who to Philippi here consorted us: This morning are they fled away and gone, and in their steads, ravens, crows and kites fly o'er our heads and downward look on us as we were sickly prey; Their shadows seem a canopy most fatal, under which our army lies, ready to give up the ghost.

-Believe not so.

-I but believe it partly, for I am fresh of spirit and fully resolved to meet all perils very constantly.

Most noble Brutus.

The gods today stand friendly, that we may, lovers in peace, lead on our days to age.

But since the affairs of men rests still incertain, let's reason with the worst that may befall.

If we do lose this battle, then is this the very last time we shall speak together: What are you then determinèd to do?

-I know not how, but I do find it cowardly and vile, for fear of what might fall, so to cut off the time of life -- I arm myself with patience to await the providence of some high powers that govern us below.

-Then, if we lose this battle, you are contented to be led in triumph through the streets of Rome?

-No, good Cassius, think not, thou noble Roman, that ever Brutus shall go bound to Rome.

He bears too great a mind.

No. But this same day must end that work the Ides of March begun.

And whether we shall meet again I know not: Therefore our everlasting farewell take.

For ever and for ever farewell, Cassius.

If we do meet again, why, we shall smile; If not, why then, this parting was well made.

-For ever and for ever farewell, Brutus: If we do meet again, we will smile indeed; If not, 'tis true this parting was well made.

-Why, then, lead on.

O, that a man might know the end of this day's business ere it come: But it sufficeth that the day will end, and then the end is known.

Come ho, away!

♪♪ -Now, blow wind, swell billow and swim bark: The storm is up and all is on the hazard.

♪♪ No, come back!

♪♪ Aah!


♪♪ No! Come back!

Don't leave!

Ahead! Forward!

♪♪ Go! Go!



You coward!

Villains! Back!

Back, you villain!

Ah, you coward!

♪♪ O, look, Trebonius, look, the villains fly: Myself have to mine own turn'd enemy: This ensign here of mine was turning back.

I slew the coward, and did take it from him.

-O Cassius, Brutus gave the word too early, now by Antony we're all enclosed.

-Fly further off, my lord, fly further off.

Mark Antony is in your tents, my lord: Fly, therefore, noble Cassius, fly far off.

-This hill is far enough.

Look, look, Trebonius; Are those my tents where I perceive the fire?

-They are, my lord.

-Trebonius, if thou lovest me, mount thou my horse, and hide thy spurs in him, till he hath brought thee up to yonder troops and here again, that I might rest assured whether yond troops be friend or enemy.

-I will be here again, even in a thought.

-Pindarus, climb higher on that hill: My sight was ever thick.

Regard Trebonius, and tell me what thou not'st about the field.

♪♪ This day I breathèd first.

Time is come round, and where I did begin, there shall I end.

My life is run his compass.

Sirrah, what news?

-Trebonius is enclosèd round about with horsemen, that make to him on the spur, yet he spurs on.

Now they are almost on him: Now, Trebonius.

Now some dismount: O, he dismounts too.

♪♪ He's gone.

He's captured.

And, hark, they shout for joy.

-Come down, behold no more.

O, coward that I am, that I should live so long, to see my best friend ta'en before my face.

Come hither, sirrah.

In Parthia did I take thee prisoner, and then I swore thee, saving of thy life, that whatsoever I did bid thee do, thou shouldst attempt it.

Come now, keep thine oath; Now be a freeman, and with this sword that ran through Caesar's bowel, search this bosom.

Stand not to answer: Come.

Here, take thou the hilts.

And when my face is covered, as 'tis now, guide thou the sword.

[ Grunts ] -[ Gasping ] [ Both grunt ] [ Knife thuds ] -Caesar, thou art revenged, even with the sword that killed thee.

-So, I am free, yet would not so have been durst I have done my will.

O Cassius, far from this country Pindarus shall run, where never Roman shall make note of him.

-Trebonius, Octavius is overthrown by noble Brutus' power, -These tidings will well comfort Cassius.

[ Chuckles ] [ Whimpers ] Oh! O my heart!

Why did thou send me fourth, brave Cassius?

Alas, thou hast misconstrued everything.


-O Julius Caesar, thou art mighty yet.

Thy spirit walks abroad and turns our swords in our own proper entrails.

The last of all the Romans, fare thee well: It is impossible that ever Rome should breed thy fellow.

Friends, I owe more tears to this dead man than you shall see me pay.

I shall find time, good Cassius: I shall find time.

Come then, and to Thasos bear his body.

His funeral shall not be in our camp, lest it discomfort us.

Let us to the field.

And, Romans, yet ere night we shall try fortune with a second fight.

♪♪ [ Clicking ] ♪♪ ♪♪ Aah!

Come on!

Oh, come on!

Oh, come on!


♪♪ ♪♪ Come on!

Come on!

Come on!

Come hither, good Volumnius, list a word.

-[ Speaks Spanish ] -Why, this, Volumnius: The ghost of Caesar hath appeared to me two several times by night: at Sardis once, and this last night, here in Philippi fields: I know my hour is come. -[ Speaks Spanish ] -Nay, I know it is, Volumnius.

Thou seest the world, Volumnius, how it goes.

The enemy have beat us to the pit: It is more worthy to leap in ourselves than tarry till they push us.

Oh, good Volumnius, thou know'st we went to school together: Even for that our love of old, I prithee hold thou my sword-hilts, whilst I run on it.

-[ Speaking Spanish ] -Fly, my lord, fly, there is no tarrying here.

-Farewell to you, and you, and you.

Gentlemen, my heart doth joy that yet in all my life I found no man but he was true to me.

I shall have glory by this losing day more than Mark Antony and Octavius by their vile conquest shall attain unto.

So fare thee well.

My bones would rest, that have but laboured to attain this hour.

-Fly, my lord, fly!

-Hence: I will follow.

-Come on.

-[ Growls ] -Lucius, stay thou by thy lord.

Thou art a fellow of a good respect: Thy life hath had some smatch of honour in it.

Hold then my sword, while I do run on it.

Wilt thou, boy?

-Give me your hand first.

Fare you well, my lord.

-Farewell, good Lucius.

[ Drumbeat ] [ Breathing heavily ] Caesar, lie thou still.

I killed not thee with half so good a will.

♪♪ -What man is that?

-Why it's Brutus' man. Lucius.

-He's free from the bondage you are in, Casca.

The conquerors can but make a fire of him: for Brutus only overcame himself, and no man else hath honour by his death.

-All that served Brutus, I will entertain them.

How died thy master, Lucius?

-I held the sword and he did run on it.

-Fellow, wilt thou bestow thy time with me?

-This was the noblest Roman of them all: All the conspirators save only he did that they did in envy of great Caesar.

He only, in a general honest thought and common good to all, made one of them.

His life was gentle, and the elements so mixed in him that Nature might stand up and say to all the world 'This was --' -This was a man. [ Clears throat ] According to his virtue let us use him with all respect and rites of burial.

Within my tent tonight his bones shall lie, most like a soldier, ordered honourably.

And so call the field to rest, and let's away, to part the glories of this happy day.

[ Drumbeat ] ♪♪ [ Cage rattling ] ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Buzzer ] -Five minutes to lockup. Five minutes to lockup.

-Line it up, ladies!

Line it up!

-You can't be serious.

-Walk, Rochelle.

-[ Crying ] -Down you come, Hannah.

[ Clatter ] -It's not even finished.

You can't stop it now.

We won't get another chance. You know that.

It's our last chance.

You stopped it before it finished.

It never...finishes. This isn't the end.

Never is the...end.

The world's gone to hell. We can't do anything in here.

You've got to do something!

[ Cheers and applause ] -To find out more about this and other 'Great Performances' programs, visit, find us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

[ Cheers and applause ] ♪♪


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