Edmund Campion was an English Jesuit who was born in January 25, 1540, and was executed on December 1, 1581. He studied in St. John’s College in Oxford and became a close friend to Queen Elizabeth. Although born and raised a Catholic, Edmund Campion took the Oath of Supremacy, acknowledging Queen Elizabeth as the head of the Church in England. Campion became an Anglican deacon, but he started to have doubts with his new allegiance and went to Ireland where he had an epiphany and returned to his Catholic spirit.
Continue reading “I am a Catholic (St. Edmund Campion)”
“Bad Girl” is a popular declamation piece among elementary and secondary students. The piece has circulated around the web, but no one can pinpoint who wrote this. The piece is written in first-person POV (point of view) about how the persona became “bad” because of neglect and bad influence from the society around her.
The piece talks about a rebellious teenager or a “problem child” who is, deep down, crying for help. The girl blames people and flaunts her wrong-doings, but in the end, she asks her parents and her elders to come help her. Continue reading “Bad Girl”
A piece inspired from the Bible, The Rich Man and the Poor Man is, as you can guess, a dialogue between the rich man and the poor man. The poor man looks on as the rich man eats and lives in splendor. The Rich tosses the crumbs to the Poor. The last two lines of the piece are its most memorable parts, used and quoted by people around the world. Continue reading “The Rich Man and the Poor Man”
This emphatic speech written by Raul S. Manglapus speaks of the tao (man) and his struggles against his oppressors. Although the piece clearly relays the oppression of the farmers during the Spanish era in the Philippines, it also speaks a universal truth of taking the law into one’s own hands. The tao, at first, does not fight, thinking that things did not need to escalate to violence. The tao then finds out that even his own countrymen have betrayed him for money. The piece climaxes into the tao’s anger. He has had enough of the oppression, and after the many times he had tried to settle things peacefully, he will strike at his oppressors when they least expect it. The last sentences are very moving and speak of the man’s desire for freedom.
Continue reading “Land of Bondage, Land of the Free”
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?” Continue reading “The Defense of Brutus”
Background of the Speech
Also known as Marc Antony’s Funeral Oration for Julius Caesar, this speech is also memorable and well-known. Taken from the same play Julius Caesar written by William Shakespeare, the piece is delivered by Marc Antony or Marcus Antonius, a good friend of Caesar, and his fellow general. While Brutus may be a politician and Marc Antony a soldier, there is not doubt that the better orator is the latter.
After Brutus’ defense of their actions and a funeral is held for Caesar, Marc Antony is allowed to speak in the ceremony, but prohibited from saying anything against the conspirators. A brilliant strategist and speaker, Marc Antony is still able to convince the people that killing Caesar was wrong, and that the conspirators should be punished. Instead of insulting the conspirators and calling them killers, Marc Antony calls Brutus and the rest of them “honorable men” multiple times in his speech. He also emphasizes how much Caesar had done for Rome, and that no past action of his could ever be considered tyrannical or power-hungry. Continue reading “The Tribute of Marc Antony”
Dagger of the Mind is taken from William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, which is based on a historical political conflict in Medieval Scotland, surrounding the death (assassination) of King Duncan by Macbeth. The play depicts Macbeth as a good friend and noble warrior, but has succumbed to greed after three witches tells him that he will be king. His wife, just called “Lady Macbeth”, tells him that there is no point in waiting if he will become king anyway. They might as well take the throne from Duncan. Continue reading “Dagger of the Mind”