Author Topic: Brutus (A Monologue)  (Read 5829 times)


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Brutus (A Monologue)
« on: December 30, 2012, 03:48:21 PM »
I wrote this monologue over summer. It's sort of from the point of view of Brutus from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, who helps assassinate Caesar in the hope of bringing Rome's republic back only to have Mark Antony whip the mob up against him and then face Antony and Octavian in a war which he eventually loses. There's more too it than the Shakespeare though, I've used parallels with various modern revolutions etc as well, and incorporated several famous references to war poetry.

And if I die, think only this of me;
That I was an honourable man.

Being, as I must be, so many things made manifest
In hope and grief, triumph and sorrow,
Being the demon who not only whispers
That things are wrong
But acts
Steps into the abyss
In the hope that with enough of himself sacrificed he will fill it, that others may cross.
Others, not himself. Not myself. Not me.
For I am an honourable man.

“But Brutus” they say.
Is it not dishonourable to kill?
When your knife struck Caesar,
Caused this bloodshed –
But did it?
Was it I who chose to pick up the gun,
To imitate the action of a tiger,
To stir a mob to anger?
Not I. Caesar’s life was dear to me, but cheap compared to the price revenge exacts.

Even in my dreams I see the face of Caesar.
Guttering, falling, gasping, drowning.

But I tried. Tried to end it there on the senate steps.
For I think it is no good or sweet thing for any man to die –
For I am an honourable man.
Yet there are rights, my friends, more vital than life.
Hopes greater than any fear of death.
Why did I kill Caesar?
Why did Brutus kill Caesar?
What I should have my honour
That I should not be a slave
That my wife should not be a slave
That my child as yer unborn should not be a slave
That you, and you, and you should walk in freedom
For I am an honourable man.

What is life without joy?
Without freedom?
To go beyond the need
To eat, sleep, drink
To love who we truly love
To create, to write, to sing
To dare to dream
To discover, to laugh, to be who we are
To look a friend in the eye and smile.
That is honour.
And I am an honourable man.

Friends, people, humans,
I do not need your ears
To simply hear my suffering
Lend me your arms
That I may fight.
Lend me your legs
To stand against tyranny
Lend me your hearts
Your minds, your dreams
Lend me your honour
And I shall lend you mine
For I am an honourable man.

The tyrant – the new tyrant
Rolls his tanks across the sands
I watch the shells fall
On Ypres, Dubrovnik, Misrata, Aleppo
And I am alone.
I shout, I cajole those around me
Make them laugh
Make them cry
Make them sing
Make them see what I see
Feel what I feel
Think for them, lead them… but never be among them
So I am still alone when the guns fall silent at night
Still seeing faces of men that can no longer look back
But still an honourable man

So now my arts are overthrown
What strength I have’s my own.
No constancy in my thoughts
Not like the northern star,
For somewhere, beneath it all,
Brutus is a man.
Just a man.
And in the twilight I cry to the wind
For the dead – and for myself.

O! How beautiful and terrible a thing is freedom.
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...