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If I do, fillip me with a three-man beetle.

      — King Henry IV. Part II, Act I Scene 2


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The Tragedy of Julius Caesar

Act V

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Scene 1. The plains of Philippi.

Scene 2. The same. The field of battle.

Scene 3. Another part of the field.

Scene 4. Another part of the field.

Scene 5. Another part of the field.


Act V, Scene 1

The plains of Philippi.

      next scene .

Enter OCTAVIUS, ANTONY, and their army

  • Octavius. Now, Antony, our hopes are answered: 2345
    You said the enemy would not come down,
    But keep the hills and upper regions;
    It proves not so: their battles are at hand;
    They mean to warn us at Philippi here,
    Answering before we do demand of them. 2350
  • Antony. Tut, I am in their bosoms, and I know
    Wherefore they do it: they could be content
    To visit other places; and come down
    With fearful bravery, thinking by this face
    To fasten in our thoughts that they have courage; 2355
    But 'tis not so.

Enter a Messenger

  • Messenger. Prepare you, generals:
    The enemy comes on in gallant show;
    Their bloody sign of battle is hung out, 2360
    And something to be done immediately.
  • 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? 2365
  • Octavius. I do not cross you; but I will do so.
    [Drum. Enter BRUTUS, CASSIUS, and their Army;
    LUCILIUS, Tintinius, MESSALA, and others]
  • Brutus. They stand, and would have parley. 2370
  • Cassius. Stand fast, Tintinius: we must out and talk.
  • Octavius. Mark Antony, shall we give sign of battle?
  • Antony. No, Caesar, we will answer on their charge.
    Make forth; the generals would have some words.
  • Octavius. Stir not until the signal. 2375
  • Brutus. Words before blows: is it so, countrymen?
  • Octavius. Not that we love words better, as you do.
  • Brutus. Good words are better than bad strokes, Octavius.
  • Antony. In your bad strokes, Brutus, you give good words:
    Witness the hole you made in Caesar's heart, 2380
    Crying 'Long live! hail, Caesar!'
  • Cassius. Antony,
    The posture of your blows are yet unknown;
    But for your words, they rob the Hybla bees,
    And leave them honeyless. 2385
  • Brutus. O, yes, and soundless too;
    For you have stol'n their buzzing, Antony,
    And very wisely threat before you sting.
  • Antony. Villains, you did not so, when your vile daggers 2390
    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! 2395
  • Cassius. Flatterers! Now, Brutus, thank yourself:
    This tongue had not offended so to-day,
    If Cassius might have ruled.
  • Octavius. Come, come, the cause: if arguing make us sweat,
    The proof of it will turn to redder drops. Look; 2400
    I draw a sword against conspirators;
    When think you that the sword goes up again?
    Never, till Caesar's three and thirty wounds
    Be well avenged; or till another Caesar
    Have added slaughter to the sword of traitors. 2405
  • Brutus. Caesar, thou canst not die by traitors' hands,
    Unless thou bring'st them with thee.
  • Octavius. So I hope;
    I was not born to die on Brutus' sword.
  • Brutus. O, if thou wert the noblest of thy strain, 2410
    Young man, thou couldst not die more honourable.
  • Cassius. A peevish schoolboy, worthless of such honour,
    Join'd with a masker and a reveller!
  • Octavius. Come, Antony, away! 2415
    Defiance, traitors, hurl we in your teeth:
    If you dare fight to-day, come to the field;
    If not, when you have stomachs.

Exeunt OCTAVIUS, ANTONY, and their army

  • Cassius. Why, now, blow wind, swell billow and swim bark! 2420
    The storm is up, and all is on the hazard.
  • Brutus. Ho, Lucilius! hark, a word with you.

BRUTUS and LUCILIUS converse apart

  • Messala. [Standing forth.] What says my general?
  • Cassius. Messala,
    This is my birth-day; as this very day
    Was Cassius born. Give me thy hand, Messala:
    Be thou my witness that against my will, 2430
    As Pompey was, am I compell'd to set
    Upon one battle all our liberties.
    You know that I held Epicurus strong
    And his opinion: now I change my mind,
    And partly credit things that do presage. 2435
    Coming from Sardis, on our former ensign
    Two mighty eagles fell, and there they perch'd,
    Gorging and feeding from our soldiers' hands;
    Who to Philippi here consorted us:
    This morning are they fled away and gone; 2440
    And in their steads do ravens, crows and kites,
    Fly o'er our heads and downward look on us,
    As we were sickly prey: their shadows seem
    A canopy most fatal, under which
    Our army lies, ready to give up the ghost. 2445
  • Cassius. I but believe it partly;
    For I am fresh of spirit and resolved
    To meet all perils very constantly.
  • Brutus. Even so, Lucilius. 2450
  • Cassius. Now, most noble Brutus,
    The gods to-day stand friendly, that we may,
    Lovers in peace, lead on our days to age!
    But since the affairs of men rest still incertain,
    Let's reason with the worst that may befall. 2455
    If we do lose this battle, then is this
    The very last time we shall speak together:
    What are you then determined to do?
  • Brutus. Even by the rule of that philosophy
    By which I did blame Cato for the death 2460
    Which he did give himself, I know not how,
    But I do find it cowardly and vile,
    For fear of what might fall, so to prevent
    The time of life: arming myself with patience
    To stay the providence of some high powers 2465
    That govern us below.
  • Cassius. Then, if we lose this battle,
    You are contented to be led in triumph
    Thorough the streets of Rome?
  • Brutus. No, Cassius, no: think not, thou noble Roman, 2470
    That ever Brutus will go bound to Rome;
    He bears too great a mind. But this same day
    Must end that work the ides of March begun;
    And whether we shall meet again I know not.
    Therefore our everlasting farewell take: 2475
    For ever, and for ever, farewell, Cassius!
    If we do meet again, why, we shall smile;
    If not, why then, this parting was well made.
  • Cassius. For ever, and for ever, farewell, Brutus!
    If we do meet again, we'll smile indeed; 2480
    If not, 'tis true this parting was well made.
  • 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! 2485


. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 2

The same. The field of battle.

      next scene .

Alarum. Enter BRUTUS and MESSALA

  • Brutus. Ride, ride, Messala, ride, and give these bills
    Unto the legions on the other side.
    [Loud alarum] 2490
    Let them set on at once; for I perceive
    But cold demeanor in Octavius' wing,
    And sudden push gives them the overthrow.
    Ride, ride, Messala: let them all come down.


. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 3

Another part of the field.

      next scene .

Alarums. Enter CASSIUS and Tintinius

  • Cassius. O, look, Tintinius, look, the villains fly!
    Myself have to mine own turn'd enemy:
    This ensign here of mine was turning back;
    I slew the coward, and did take it from him. 2500
  • Tintinius. O Cassius, Brutus gave the word too early;
    Who, having some advantage on Octavius,
    Took it too eagerly: his soldiers fell to spoil,
    Whilst we by Antony are all enclosed.


  • Pindarus. Fly further off, my lord, fly further off;
    Mark Antony is in your tents, my lord
    Fly, therefore, noble Cassius, fly far off.
  • Cassius. This hill is far enough. Look, look, Tintinius;
    Are those my tents where I perceive the fire? 2510
  • Cassius. Tintinius, if thou lovest me,
    Mount thou my horse, and hide thy spurs in him,
    Till he have brought thee up to yonder troops,
    And here again; that I may rest assured 2515
    Whether yond troops are friend or enemy.
  • Tintinius. I will be here again, even with a thought.


  • Cassius. Go, Pindarus, get higher on that hill;
    My sight was ever thick; regard Tintinius, 2520
    And tell me what thou notest about the field.
    [PINDARUS ascends the hill]
    This day I breathed first: time is come round,
    And where I did begin, there shall I end;
    My life is run his compass. Sirrah, what news? 2525
  • Pindarus. [Above] Tintinius is enclosed round about
    With horsemen, that make to him on the spur;
    Yet he spurs on. Now they are almost on him. 2530
    Now, Tintinius! Now some light. O, he lights too.
    He's ta'en.
    And, hark! they shout for joy.
  • Cassius. Come down, behold no more. 2535
    O, coward that I am, to live so long,
    To see my best friend ta'en before my face!
    [PINDARUS descends]
    Come hither, sirrah:
    In Parthia did I take thee prisoner; 2540
    And then I swore thee, saving of thy life,
    That whatsoever I did bid thee do,
    Thou shouldst attempt it. Come now, keep thine oath;
    Now be a freeman: and with this good sword,
    That ran through Caesar's bowels, search this bosom. 2545
    Stand not to answer: here, take thou the hilts;
    And, when my face is cover'd, as 'tis now,
    Guide thou the sword.
    [PINDARUS stabs him]
    Caesar, thou art revenged, 2550
    Even with the sword that kill'd thee.


  • Pindarus. So, I am free; yet would not so have been,
    Durst I have done my will. O Cassius,
    Far from this country Pindarus shall run, 2555
    Where never Roman shall take note of him.


Re-enter Tintinius with MESSALA

  • Messala. It is but change, Tintinius; for Octavius
    Is overthrown by noble Brutus' power, 2560
    As Cassius' legions are by Antony.
  • Tintinius. These tidings will well comfort Cassius.
  • Tintinius. All disconsolate,
    With Pindarus his bondman, on this hill. 2565
  • Messala. Is not that he that lies upon the ground?
  • Tintinius. He lies not like the living. O my heart!
  • Tintinius. No, this was he, Messala,
    But Cassius is no more. O setting sun, 2570
    As in thy red rays thou dost sink to-night,
    So in his red blood Cassius' day is set;
    The sun of Rome is set! Our day is gone;
    Clouds, dews, and dangers come; our deeds are done!
    Mistrust of my success hath done this deed. 2575
  • Messala. Mistrust of good success hath done this deed.
    O hateful error, melancholy's child,
    Why dost thou show to the apt thoughts of men
    The things that are not? O error, soon conceived,
    Thou never comest unto a happy birth, 2580
    But kill'st the mother that engender'd thee!
  • Tintinius. What, Pindarus! where art thou, Pindarus?
  • Messala. Seek him, Tintinius, whilst I go to meet
    The noble Brutus, thrusting this report
    Into his ears; I may say, thrusting it; 2585
    For piercing steel and darts envenomed
    Shall be as welcome to the ears of Brutus
    As tidings of this sight.
  • Tintinius. Hie you, Messala,
    And I will seek for Pindarus the while. 2590
    [Exit MESSALA]
    Why didst thou send me forth, brave Cassius?
    Did I not meet thy friends? and did not they
    Put on my brows this wreath of victory,
    And bid me give it thee? Didst thou not hear their shouts? 2595
    Alas, thou hast misconstrued every thing!
    But, hold thee, take this garland on thy brow;
    Thy Brutus bid me give it thee, and I
    Will do his bidding. Brutus, come apace,
    And see how I regarded Caius Cassius. 2600
    By your leave, gods:—this is a Roman's part
    Come, Cassius' sword, and find Tintinius' heart.
    [Kills himself]
    [Alarum. Re-enter MESSALA, with BRUTUS, CATO,
  • Brutus. Where, where, Messala, doth his body lie?
  • Messala. Lo, yonder, and Tintinius mourning it.
  • Brutus. Tintinius' face is upward.
  • Brutus. O Julius Caesar, thou art mighty yet! 2610
    Thy spirit walks abroad and turns our swords
    In our own proper entrails.

Low alarums

  • Young Cato. Brave Tintinius!
    Look, whether he have not crown'd dead Cassius! 2615
  • Brutus. Are yet two Romans living such as these?
    The last of all the Romans, fare thee well!
    It is impossible that ever Rome
    Should breed thy fellow. Friends, I owe more tears
    To this dead man than you shall see me pay. 2620
    I shall find time, Cassius, I shall find time.
    Come, therefore, and to Thasos send his body:
    His funerals shall not be in our camp,
    Lest it discomfort us. Lucilius, come;
    And come, young Cato; let us to the field. 2625
    Labeo and Flavius, set our battles on:
    'Tis three o'clock; and, Romans, yet ere night
    We shall try fortune in a second fight.


. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 4

Another part of the field.

      next scene .

[Alarum. Enter fighting, Soldiers of both armies; then BRUTUS, CATO, LUCILIUS, and others]

  • Brutus. Yet, countrymen, O, yet hold up your heads!
  • Young Cato. What bastard doth not? Who will go with me?
    I will proclaim my name about the field:
    I am the son of Marcus Cato, ho! 2635
    A foe to tyrants, and my country's friend;
    I am the son of Marcus Cato, ho!
  • Brutus. And I am Brutus, Marcus Brutus, I;
    Brutus, my country's friend; know me for Brutus!


  • Lucilius. O young and noble Cato, art thou down?
    Why, now thou diest as bravely as Tintinius;
    And mayst be honour'd, being Cato's son.
  • Lucilius. Only I yield to die: 2645
    There is so much that thou wilt kill me straight;
    [Offering money]
    Kill Brutus, and be honour'd in his death.
  • First Soldier. I'll tell the news. Here comes the general.
    [Enter ANTONY]
    Brutus is ta'en, Brutus is ta'en, my lord.
  • Lucilius. Safe, Antony; Brutus is safe enough: 2655
    I dare assure thee that no enemy
    Shall ever take alive the noble Brutus:
    The gods defend him from so great a shame!
    When you do find him, or alive or dead,
    He will be found like Brutus, like himself. 2660
  • Antony. This is not Brutus, friend; but, I assure you,
    A prize no less in worth: keep this man safe;
    Give him all kindness: I had rather have
    Such men my friends than enemies. Go on,
    And see whether Brutus be alive or dead; 2665
    And bring us word unto Octavius' tent
    How every thing is chanced.


. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 5

Another part of the field.



  • Brutus. Come, poor remains of friends, rest on this rock.
  • Clitus. Statilius show'd the torch-light, but, my lord,
    He came not back: he is or ta'en or slain.
  • Brutus. Sit thee down, Clitus: slaying is the word;
    It is a deed in fashion. Hark thee, Clitus. 2675


  • Clitus. What, I, my lord? No, not for all the world.
  • Brutus. Peace then! no words.
  • Clitus. I'll rather kill myself.
  • Brutus. Hark thee, Dardanius. 2680


  • Clitus. What ill request did Brutus make to thee? 2685
  • Dardanius. To kill him, Clitus. Look, he meditates.
  • Clitus. Now is that noble vessel full of grief,
    That it runs over even at his eyes.
  • Brutus. Come hither, good Volumnius; list a word.
  • Brutus. Why, this, Volumnius:
    The ghost of Caesar hath appear'd to me
    Two several times by night; at Sardis once,
    And, this last night, here in Philippi fields:
    I know my hour is come. 2695
  • Brutus. Nay, I am sure it is, Volumnius.
    Thou seest the world, Volumnius, how it goes;
    Our enemies have beat us to the pit:
    [Low alarums] 2700
    It is more worthy to leap in ourselves,
    Than tarry till they push us. Good Volumnius,
    Thou know'st that we two went to school together:
    Even for that our love of old, I prithee,
    Hold thou my sword-hilts, whilst I run on it. 2705
  • Volumnius. That's not an office for a friend, my lord.

Alarum still

  • Clitus. Fly, fly, my lord; there is no tarrying here.
  • Brutus. Farewell to you; and you; and you, Volumnius.
    Strato, thou hast been all this while asleep; 2710
    Farewell to thee too, Strato. Countrymen,
    My heart doth joy that yet in all my life
    I found no man but he was true to me.
    I shall have glory by this losing day
    More than Octavius and Mark Antony 2715
    By this vile conquest shall attain unto.
    So fare you well at once; for Brutus' tongue
    Hath almost ended his life's history:
    Night hangs upon mine eyes; my bones would rest,
    That have but labour'd to attain this hour. 2720

Alarum. Cry within, 'Fly, fly, fly!'

  • Brutus. Hence! I will follow.
    I prithee, Strato, stay thou by thy lord: 2725
    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. 2730
  • Brutus. Farewell, good Strato.
    [Runs on his sword]
    Caesar, now be still:
    I kill'd not thee with half so good a will.
    [Dies] 2735
    [Alarum. Retreat. Enter OCTAVIUS, ANTONY, MESSALA,
    LUCILIUS, and the army]
  • Messala. My master's man. Strato, where is thy master?
  • Strato. Free from the bondage you are in, Messala: 2740
    The conquerors can but make a fire of him;
    For Brutus only overcame himself,
    And no man else hath honour by his death.
  • Lucilius. So Brutus should be found. I thank thee, Brutus,
    That thou hast proved Lucilius' saying true. 2745
  • Octavius. All that served Brutus, I will entertain them.
    Fellow, wilt thou bestow thy time with me?
  • Strato. Ay, if Messala will prefer me to you.
  • Messala. How died my master, Strato? 2750
  • Strato. I held the sword, and he did run on it.
  • Messala. Octavius, then take him to follow thee,
    That did the latest service to my master.
  • Antony. This was the noblest Roman of them all:
    All the conspirators save only he 2755
    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 2760
    And say to all the world 'This was a man!'
  • Octavius. According to his virtue let us use him,
    With all respect and rites of burial.
    Within my tent his bones to-night shall lie,
    Most like a soldier, order'd honourably. 2765
    So call the field to rest; and let's away,
    To part the glories of this happy day.