Mark Antony’s Famous Speech in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar

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Here lies the origin of the phrase: The evil that men do lives after them. It is first said in  this speech by the fictional character, Mark Antony in Julius Caesar, one of the many tragedies by William Shakespeare.

Let’s now go to Mark Antony’s moving speech at the funeral of his friend, the Roman Consul, Julius Caesar.

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 hath 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 Brutus 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 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.

 

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