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Posts Tagged ‘Mark Antony’

Henry V – Act Three Scene Six

A bridge has been defended or overtaken by the English as they march through France

GOWER

Is the Duke of Exeter safe?

FLUELLEN

The Duke of Exeter is as magnanimous as Agamemnon;
and a man that I love and honour with my soul, and my
heart, and my duty, and my life, and my living, and
my uttermost power: he is not-God be praised and
blessed!–any hurt in the world; but keeps the
bridge most valiantly, with excellent discipline.
There is an aunchient lieutenant there at the
pridge, I think in my very conscience he is as
valiant a man as Mark Antony; and he is a man of no
estimation in the world; but did see him do as
gallant service.

GOWER

What do you call him?

FLUELLEN

He is called Aunchient Pistol

Note Fluellen’s mention of Mark Antony as Shakespeare’s mind was already on Rome and possibly already written of about to write Julius Caesar.  

Pistol enters and asks Fluellen to plead for Bardolph, who has been arrested for theft.

PISTOL

Bardolph, a soldier, firm and sound of heart,
And of buxom valour, hath, by cruel fate,
And giddy Fortune’s furious fickle wheel,
That goddess blind,
That stands upon the rolling restless stone–

FLUELLEN

By your patience, Aunchient Pistol. Fortune is
painted blind, with a muffler afore her eyes, to
signify to you that Fortune is blind; and she is
painted also with a wheel, to signify to you, which
is the moral of it, that she is turning, and
inconstant, and mutability, and variation: and her
foot, look you, is fixed upon a spherical stone,
which rolls, and rolls, and rolls: in good truth,
the poet makes a most excellent description of it:
Fortune is an excellent moral.

PISTOL

Fortune is Bardolph’s foe, and frowns on him;
For he hath stolen a pax, and hanged must a’ be:

Fluellen will have none of it though

FLUELLEN

Aunchient Pistol, I do partly understand your meaning.

PISTOL

Why then, rejoice therefore.

FLUELLEN

Certainly, aunchient, it is not a thing to rejoice
at: for if, look you, he were my brother, I would
desire the duke to use his good pleasure, and put
him to execution; for discipline ought to be used.

Enter King Henry, and Fluellen updates him.

FLUELLEN

                           marry, for my part, I
think the duke hath lost never a man, but one that
is like to be executed for robbing a church, one
Bardolph, if your majesty know the man: his face is
all bubukles, and whelks, and knobs, and flames o’
fire: and his lips blows at his nose, and it is like
a coal of fire, sometimes plue and sometimes red;
but his nose is executed and his fire’s out.

KING HENRY V

We would have all such offenders so cut off:

Harsh considering the history between Henry and Bardolph during his youth. See/Read the Henry IV plays for background.

A messenger from the French pours scorn on the English attempts but Henry has this reply to send back.

KING HENRY V

Thou dost thy office fairly. Turn thee back.
And tell thy king I do not seek him now;
But could be willing to march on to Calais
Without impeachment: for, to say the sooth,
Though ’tis no wisdom to confess so much
Unto an enemy of craft and vantage,
My people are with sickness much enfeebled,
My numbers lessened, and those few I have
Almost no better than so many French;
Who when they were in health, I tell thee, herald,
I thought upon one pair of English legs
Did march three Frenchmen. Yet, forgive me, God,
That I do brag thus! This your air of France
Hath blown that vice in me: I must repent.
Go therefore, tell thy master here I am;
My ransom is this frail and worthless trunk,
My army but a weak and sickly guard;
Yet, God before, tell him we will come on,
Though France himself and such another neighbour
Stand in our way. There’s for thy labour, Montjoy.
Go bid thy master well advise himself:
If we may pass, we will; if we be hinder’d,
We shall your tawny ground with your red blood
Discolour: and so Montjoy, fare you well.
The sum of all our answer is but this:
We would not seek a battle, as we are;
Nor, as we are, we say we will not shun it:
So tell your master

The English are outnumbered by the French army, they are sick and tired, yet Henry is convinced they will fight and defeat the French, with God’s help.

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Julius Caesar Act 5 Scene 4

The battle rages on. Cato is killed and Lucilius, pretending to be Brutus, is captured.

Scene 5

Enter Brutus and Soldiers. Knowing the battle is lost, he asks them to help him kill himself. They all refuse except Strato

BRUTUS

I prithee, Strato, 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, and turn away thy face,
While I do run upon it. Wilt thou, Strato?

STRATO

Give me your hand first. Fare you well, my lord.

BRUTUS

Farewell, good Strato.

Runs on his sword

Caesar, now be still:
I kill’d not thee with half so good a will.

Dies

He dies with Caesar on his lips, just like Cassius in Act 5 Scene 3

Enter Antony and Octavius. They see Brutus lying dead.

ANTONY

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 mix’d in him that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world ‘This was a man!

THE END

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Julius Caesar – Act five Scene One

Octavius and Antony prepare for battle. Are there signs of tension already growing between them like Brutus and Cassius?

ANTONY

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

OCTAVIUS

Upon the right hand I; keep thou the left.

ANTONY

Why do you cross me in this exigent?

OCTAVIUS

I do not cross you; but I will do so

Enter Brutus and Cassius (with soldiers). A war of words then ensues between the two camps.

BRUTUS

Words before blows: is it so, countrymen?

ANTONY

Villains, you did not so, when your vile daggers
Hack’d one another in the sides of Caesar:
You show’d your teeth like apes, and fawn’d like hounds,
And bow’d like bondmen, kissing Caesar’s feet;
Whilst damned Casca, like a cur, behind
Struck Caesar on the neck. O you flatterers!

CASSIUS

Flatterers! Now, Brutus, thank yourself:
This tongue had not offended so to-day,
If Cassius might have ruled

See Act two scene one where Cassius urged the Conspirators to kill Antony as well as Caesar but Brutus persuaded them not to.

After more posturing Antony and Octavius depart.

CASSIUS

Why, now, blow wind, swell billow and swim bark!
The storm is up, and all is on the hazard

Brutus and Cassius say their farewells and prepare for the battle. 

BRUTUS

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!

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Act four 2 & 3

This is really only one long scene split into two parts. Inside and outside the tent

In Brutus’ camp near Sardis he is waiting for Cassius to arrive. Things have cooled between them since the Assassination of Caesar and fleeing Rome

BRUTUS

….. A word, Lucilius;
How he received you, let me be resolved.

LUCILIUS

With courtesy and with respect enough;
But not with such familiar instances,
Nor with such free and friendly conference,
As he hath used of old.

BRUTUS

Thou hast described
A hot friend cooling: ever note, Lucilius,
When love begins to sicken and decay,
It useth an enforced ceremony

Cassius arrives and they begin to argue until Brutus rightly says that they shouldn’t appear hostile in front of the troops. They go inside the tent

Scene 3

BRUTUS

Let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself
Are much condemn’d to have an itching palm;
To sell and mart your offices for gold
To undeservers.

CASSIUS

I an itching palm!
You know that you are Brutus that speak this,
Or, by the gods, this speech were else your last.

BRUTUS

The name of Cassius honours this corruption,
And chastisement doth therefore hide his head

The strains of war are showing on them both.  Brutus still thinks that he is in the right and has honour on his side.

BRUTUS

There is no terror, Cassius, in your threats,
For I am arm’d so strong in honesty
That they pass by me as the idle wind,
Which I respect not.

Brutus asked for money to pay his troops and Cassius refused to send him any. Cassius insists that it is a misunderstanding

BRUTUS

I do not like your faults.

CASSIUS

A friendly eye could never see such faults.

BRUTUS

A flatterer’s would not, though they do appear
As huge as high Olympus.

Cassius takes out his dagger and asks Brutus to stab him if he cannot love him. Brutus relents and they agree to stay friends and forget. Brutus explains why is in such a mood.

CASSIUS

I did not think you could have been so angry.

BRUTUS

O Cassius, I am sick of many griefs.

CASSIUS

Of your philosophy you make no use,
If you give place to accidental evils.

BRUTUS

No man bears sorrow better. Portia is dead. 

Brutus has received a letter explaining Portia’s death to him. Link to Wiki Biography of Portia

CASSIUS

How ‘scaped I killing when I cross’d you so?
O insupportable and touching loss!
Upon what sickness?

BRUTUS

Impatient of my absence,
And grief that young Octavius with Mark Antony
Have made themselves so strong:–for with her death
That tidings came;–with this she fell distract,
And, her attendants absent, swallow’d fire

Allegedly, full of grief, she committed suicide by swallowing hot coals.

Council of war.

With Titinius and Messala they discuss the plan for the upcoming battle. Should they wait and rest of march to Philippi. Cassius would wait but Brutus urges them to go forward.

BRUTUS

Under your pardon. You must note beside,
That we have tried the utmost of our friends,
Our legions are brim-full, our cause is ripe:
The 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.

Agreed they depart and Brutus settles to sleep but is disturbed by

The Ghost

Enter the Ghost of CAESAR

How ill this taper burns! Ha! who comes here?
I think it is the weakness of mine eyes
That shapes this monstrous apparition.
It comes upon me. Art thou any thing?
Art thou some god, some angel, or some devil
That makest my blood cold and my hair to stare?
Speak to me what thou art.

GHOST

Thy evil spirit, Brutus.

BRUTUS

Why comest thou?

GHOST

To tell thee thou shalt see me at Philipp

Note that when Brutus asks “What art thou?” the answer is “Thy evil spirit, Brutus”.  Caesar is blaming him. This is taken directly from the writings of Plutarch.  Frightened Brutus wakes his men and they make preparations for battle as we prepare for the final act.

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Act Four Scene One

In this scene we see Mark Antony’s true colours. He is in conference with Octavius and Lepidius

ANTONY

..
But, Lepidus, go you to Caesar’s house;
Fetch the will hither, and we shall determine
How to cut off some charge in legacies.

In other words, all that I said to the citizens in the last scene, was a lie. They wont get any of Caesar’s will. We need the money for the war against Brutus and Cassius.

When Lepidius is gone

ANTONY

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?

…………………

OCTAVIUS

You may do your will;
But he’s a tried and valiant soldier.

ANTONY

So is my horse, Octavius; and for that
I do appoint him store of provender:

Is this the eloquent man who cried at Caesars funeral and raised the city against Brutus?

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ACT THREE SCENE TWO

After the assassination of Caesar, Brutus speaks to the crowds of Plebeians He convinces them that they acted for the good of Rome.

BRUTUS

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.

All

None, Brutus, none.

 The crowd cheer him and his deed. In the opening scene  the common men were criticised by Marullus for cheering Caesar’s return after the defeat of Pompey, when before they cheered Pompey. Now they Cheer Brutus for the defeat of Caesar. Then comes Mark Antony with one of the most famous speeches of Shakespeare

 

ANTONY

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 answer’d 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

The crowd are now on his side. They begin to doubt Brutus’ actions. Mark Antony inflames them more by mentioning Caesars’ will.

Fourth Citizen

Read the will; we’ll hear it, Antony;
You shall read us the will, Caesar’s will.

ANTONY

Will you be patient? will you stay awhile?
I have o’ershot myself to tell you of it:
I fear I wrong the honourable men
Whose daggers have stabb’d Caesar; I do fear it.

Fourth Citizen

They were traitors: honourable men!

All

The will! the testament!

Second Citizen

They were villains, murderers: the will! read the will. 

He then comes down to Caesar’s body

ANTONY

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;
‘Twas on a summer’s evening, in his tent,
That day he overcame the Nervii:
Look, in this place ran Cassius’ dagger through:
See what a rent the envious Casca made:
Through this the well-beloved Brutus stabb’d;
And as he pluck’d his cursed steel away,
Mark how the blood of Caesar follow’d it,
As rushing out of doors, to be resolved
If Brutus so unkindly knock’d, 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 vanquish’d him: then burst his mighty heart;
And, in his mantle muffling up his face,
Even at the base of Pompey’s statua,
Which all the while ran blood, great Caesar fell.
O, what a fall was there, my countrymen!
Then I, and you, and all of us fell down,
Whilst bloody treason flourish’d 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, marr’d, as you see, with traitors

Antony is a true politician. Meaning the opposite of what he says. Allowing the listeners make up their own minds.

ANTONY

Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir you up
To such a sudden flood of mutiny.
They that have done this deed are honourable:
What private griefs they have, alas, I know not,
That made them do it: they are wise and honourable,
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 words, nor worth,
Action, nor utterance, nor the power of speech,
To stir men’s blood: I only speak right on;
I 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.

All

We’ll mutiny.

First Citizen

We’ll burn the house of Brutus.

Third Citizen

Away, then! come, seek the conspirators

The crowd rise against Brutus and the conspirators.

ANTONY

Now let it work. Mischief, thou art afoot,
Take thou what course thou wilt

Shakespeare’s Genius is the power of words and he knows the magic contained in them.

This is one of the true great scenes of Shakespeare and never fails to thrill audiences. How many scenes can compare to this? The Ghost of Banquo in Macbeth perhaps, The opening scene of Hamlet? Any others?

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Act three, Scene one

CASSIUS

………..How many ages hence
Shall this our lofty scene be acted over
In states unborn and accents yet unknown

I wonder if Shakespeare imagined that those words are still being spoke over four hundred years later

It’s the Ides of March (15th) and Caesar is at the Capitol. The Conspirators get ready for the bloody deed.  Decius Brutus asks Caesar to pardon his brother. Caesar answers

CAESAR

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-fix’d and resting quality
There is no fellow in the firmament.
The skies are painted with unnumber’d 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 furnish’d well with men,
And men are flesh and blood, and apprehensive;
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 banish’d,
And constant do remain to keep him so. 

This is enough to kill him. The Conspirators stab him and we get the famous line of the play

CAESAR

Et tu, Brute! Then fall, Caesar

 

Morte di Giulio Cesare ("Death of Julius ...

Image via Wikipedia

 

When I saw this at Stratford, this scene was incredible and very realistic.                “Who would have thought the old man to have so much blood in him”

Mark Antony enters and sees the bloody corpse of Caesar and breaks down.

ANTONY

O mighty Caesar! dost thou lie so low?
Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils,
Shrunk to this little measure? Fare thee well.
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 hour, nor no instrument
Of half that worth as those your swords, made rich
With the most noble blood of all this 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 mean of death,
As here by Caesar, and by you cut off,
The choice and master spirits of this age

Brutus convinces him that they mean him no harm. He will allow Antony to speak, after Brutus, to the public. Antony is left alone.

ANTONY

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 lived 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 quarter’d with the hands of war;
All pity choked with custom of fell deeds:
And Caesar’s spirit, ranging for revenge,
With Ate 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

Ate is the Goddess of Discord and Mischief.

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