Julius Caesar is one of my favourite Shakespeare plays. It is so good in fact that we ranked it No. 8 on our list of Best Shakespeare Plays. It’s a classic tale, full to the brim of great speeches! It’s also more succinct and entertaining than the other Roman plays such as Antony and Cleopatra, Titus Andronicus and Coriolanus which are performed less and can often feel more laborious. This play is classified a tragedy, though it is loosely based on historical facts – but Shakespeare never was very good at keeping to history. This page will hopefully be a helpful resource for finding some of the best Julius Caesar monologues. The list is heavily dominated by Marc Antony, who has some absolute bangers in this play, but there are plenty to explore.
I have listed all the notable monologues from the play both for men and women. I recently watched a terrific production of this play presented by the Donmar Warehouse in the UK, which was performed by an all-female cast. It was superb. So don’t ever feel limited to the gender of these characters and enjoy tackling whichever speech resonates with you.
If you need a brief overview of the play:
Julius Caesar Monologue for Men
Act 1 Scene 2 (Cassius)
Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
Like a Colossus, and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs and peep about
To find ourselves dishonourable graves.
Men at some time are masters of their fates:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
Brutus and Caesar: what should be in that ‘Caesar’?
Why should that name be sounded more than yours?
Write them together, yours is as fair a name;
Sound them, it doth become the mouth as well;
Weigh them, it is as heavy; conjure with ’em,
Brutus will start a spirit as soon as Caesar.
Now, in the names of all the gods at once,
Upon what meat doth this our Caesar feed,
That he is grown so great? Age, thou art shamed!
Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods!
When went there by an age, since the great flood,
But it was famed with more than with one man?
When could they say till now, that talk’d of Rome,
That her wide walls encompass’d but one man?
Now is it Rome indeed and room enough,
When there is in it but one only man.
O, you and I have heard our fathers say,
There was a Brutus once that would have brook’d
The eternal devil to keep his state in Rome
As easily as a king
LEARN MORE: Full Cassius Act 1 Scene 2 Monologue Breakdown
Act 3 Scene 1 (Marc Antony)
Marc Antony walks in to see Caesar’s body, and the senators who have committed the crime stand before him…
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.
Act 3 Scene 1 (Marc Antony )
Antony looks over Caesar’s dead body, after he has just been murdered…
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.
Act 3 Scene 2 (Marc Antony)
Caesar’s funeral. Marc Antony has been allowed to speak, but cannot openly call out the crime of the senators. He uses this speech to rouse the people of rome…
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.
Act 3 Scene 2 (Marc 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-belovèd Brutus stabbed.
And as he plucked his cursèd steel away,
Mark how the blood of Caesar followed it,
As rushing out of doors, to be resolved
If Brutus so unkindly knocked, 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 vanquished him. Then burst his mighty heart,
And, in his mantle muffling up his face,
Even at the base of Pompey’s statue,
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 flourished over us.
Oh, 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, marred, as you see, with traitors.
Julius Caesar Monologues for Women
Act 2 Scene 1 (Portia)
Is Brutus sick? And is it physical
To walk unbracèd and suck up the humors
Of the dank morning? What, is Brutus sick,
And will he steal out of his wholesome bed,
To dare the vile contagion of the night
And tempt the rheumy and unpurgèd air
To add unto his sickness? No, my Brutus.
You have some sick offense within your mind,
Which by the right and virtue of my place
I ought to know of.
(kneels) And upon my knees
I charm you, by my once-commended beauty,
By all your vows of love and that great vow
Which did incorporate and make us one
That you unfold to me, your self, your half,
Why you are heavy, and what men tonight
Have had to resort to you. For here have been
Some six or seven who did hide their faces
Even from darkness.
LEARN MORE: Full Portia Act 2 Scene 1 Monologue breakdown
Act 2 Scene 1 (Portia)
Nor for yours neither. You’ve ungently, Brutus,
Stole from my bed: and yesternight, at supper,
You suddenly arose, and walk’d about,
Musing and sighing, with your arms across,
And when I ask’d you what the matter was,
You stared upon me with ungentle looks;
I urged you further; then you scratch’d your head,
And too impatiently stamp’d with your foot;
Yet I insisted, yet you answer’d not,
But, with an angry wafture of your hand,
Gave sign for me to leave you: so I did;
Fearing to strengthen that impatience
Which seem’d too much enkindled, and withal
Hoping it was but an effect of humour,
Which sometime hath his hour with every man.
It will not let you eat, nor talk, nor sleep,
And could it work so much upon your shape
As it hath much prevail’d on your condition,
I should not know you, Brutus. Dear my lord,
Make me acquainted with your cause of grief.
Act 2 Scene 2 (Calpurnia)
Caesar, I never stood on ceremonies,
Yet now they fright me. There is one within,
Besides the things that we have heard and seen,
Recounts most horrid sights seen by the watch.
A lioness hath whelped in the streets;
And graves have yawn’d, and yielded up their dead;
Fierce fiery warriors fought upon the clouds,
In ranks and squadrons and right form of war,
Which drizzled blood upon the Capitol;
The noise of battle hurtled in the air,
Horses did neigh, and dying men did groan,
And ghosts did shriek and squeal about the streets.
O Caesar! these things are beyond all use,
And I do fear them.