Posted in Male speaker, Speeches

The Defense of Brutus

Background:

The Defense of Brutus is one the most memorable oratorical pieces in history. Taken from the play Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, Brutus is one of the conspirators (together with Cassius), who plots against Julius Caesar, a well-loved Roman general and senator, and Brutus’ best friend. In the play, which is based on a historical event, Cassius convinces Brutus that Caesar will be drunk with power and will soon rule Rome as a tyrant. Cassius further convinces him that they must kill Caesar for the good of Rome.

The conspirators, with Caesar, meet for a council meeting. Behind the closed doors of the assembly, they stab Caesar to death, with Brutus giving the last stab to the heart, eliciting a cry from Caesar, “Et tu, Brute?” meaning “And you, Brutus?” or “You, too, Brutus?”

The speech is set after the conspirators have stabbed Caesar. Brutus defends their actions to the people of Rome. Because Brutus was also well-loved and was considered Caesar’s dearest friend, the people soon believed that he and the rest of the conspirators had a good reason for killing Caesar. He emphasizes that he loves Caesar, but that he “loves Rome more”.

The Defense of Brutus (or Brutus’ Defense)

 Act 3. Scene 2.

Romans, countrymen, and lovers! hear me for my

cause, and be silent, that you may hear: believe me

for mine honour, and have respect to mine honour, 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, that 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 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 honour him: but, as he was ambitious, I

slew him. There is tears for his love; joy for his

fortune; honour for his valour; 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.

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Author:

Blogs at thebooktales.com and writes content articles and entertainment news. I'm a fiction writer, blogger, and former English teacher in the Philippines. When I'm not writing, I play with my pets or watch shows that are funny, scary, and thrilling. I am a booknerd and shameless fangirl. Now excuse me while I go sniff the new book I just bought...

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