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2007 grad Robert Emms selected Cassius’ “Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world” speech to Brutus in Julius Caesar:
“I love this speech because the language and the character are driven with so much energy and passion - it's such a great speech to get stuck into. The language that Cassius uses in order to rile Brutus is a gift to the actors playing both of these parts. I attempted Cassius when I was in my second year at LAMDA, but would really like to have another go one day! There are definitely some things I would do differently.
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
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 talked of Rome,
That her wide walks encompassed but one man?
Now it is 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 brooked
Th’eternal devil to keep his state in Rome
As easily as a king.