8.png

Julius Caesar, Retold

 
JC web logo.png

Based on Plutarch’s recount of the final days of Julius Caesar and the battles following his death, William Shakespeare’s play has captured the imagination for over 400 years. . 

Julius Caesar, Retold is a contemporary, line-by-line, iambic-pentameter rewrite, intended to bring life to the original text through a direct, easily understood modern interpretation. 

Julius Caesar, Retold: Coming soon...

Subscribe below to receive publication details.

 

ACT 3, Scene 2 - Mark Antony addresses the crowd

Original text        

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 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 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.
 

      Retold

Friends, Romans, countrymen, please hear me out.
I’m here to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The bad things people do live on post death;
But they take good things with them to their grave.
And so it is with Caesar. Noble Brutus
Has told you all that Caesar was ambitious.
If that is true, it is a dreadful fault,
And dreadfully has Caesar paid the price.
With Brutus’s and other men’s permission—
For Brutus is an honourable man,
Just like them all, all honourable men—
I’ve come to speak at Caesar’s funeral.
He was my friend, loyal and kind to me,
But Brutus says that Caesar was ambitious,
And Brutus is an honourable man.
He brought back many captives here to Rome
And massive ransom payments filled our treasury.
Does this make Caesar seem ambitious to you?
When paupers cried, then Caesar wept as well;
Ambitious men are made of sterner stuff.
Yet Brutus says that Caesar was ambitious,
And Brutus is an honourable man.
You all saw, at the feast of Lupercal,
Three times I offered him a crown of kings,
And three times he refused. Is that ambition?
Yet Brutus says that Caesar was ambitious,
And surely he’s an honourable man.
I am not saying this to disprove Brutus;
I’m saying this to tell you what I know.
You all loved Caesar once, not without reasons.
So, now, what reasons stop you mourning him?
It seems that judgement’s fled to brutish beasts
And men have lost ability to think!
Stay here: my heart’s with Caesar in the coffin,
And I must pause until I get it back.