Friday, February 24, 2012

Speech: Shylock’s Justification and Brutus’ Speech in the Forum

These two speeches are popularized by William Shakespeare. He is the prominent writer, philosopher and artist of all times. William Shakespeare has been known in the world because of his love of art and his contribution in it especially in the world of Literature. His works are accepted and known worldwide.

Two of the famous speeches that I have already tried to deliver in the class are his Shylock’s Justification and Brutus’ Speech in the Forum.

Shylock’s Justification
by William Shakespeare

He hath disgraced me and hindered me half a million; laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled by friends, heated mine enemies; and what’s the reason? I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, sense, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same summer and winter as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge.

Brutus’ Speech in the Forum
by William Shakespeare

Romans, countrymen, and lovers! Hear me for my cause and be silent, that you may hear: believe me for mine honor, and have respect for mine honor, that you may believe; censure me in your wisdom, and awake your sense, 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: no 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 freemen? As Caesar loved me, I weep for him; as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was valiant, I honor him; but as he was ambitious, I slew him. There is tears for his love; joy for his fortune; honor for his valor; 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. Then none have I offended. I have done no more to Caesar than you shall do to Brutus. The question of his death is enrolled in the Capitol; his glory not extenuated, wherein he was worthy; nor his offenses enforced, for which suffered death.

Here comes his body, mourned by Mark Anthony who, though he had no hand in his death, shall receive the benefit of his dying, a place in the commonwealth, as which of you shall not? With this I depart, that, as I slew my best lover for the good of Rome, I have the same dagger for myself, when it shall please my country to need my death.

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