Julius Caesar: A Verse Translation


My verse translation of Julius Caesar matches Shakespeare's play line-by-line with the same syntactic complexity and a similar vocabulary range as the original. All blank verse lines remain in verse with accurate and authentic iambic pentameter.


Play Statistics

  Unique words in Shakespeare's original: 2,869

  Unique words in Richmond's translation: 3,031



From Act 3, Scene 1 (Mark Antony is standing over Caesar soon after Caesar's assassination and delivers his famous "dogs of war" speech)


[Exit all but MARK ANTONY]


Forgive me, please, you bleeding piece of earth,

For being meek and gentle with these butchers!

Here are the ruins of the noblest man

That ever glided on the tide of time.

O, curse the hands that shed this precious blood!

Over your wounds—these silent mouths that part

Their ruby lips and beg my tongue to voice

And utter this—I make this prophesy:

A curse shall fall upon the limbs of men.

Internal fury and fierce civil strife

Shall overwhelm all parts of Italy.

Blood and destruction shall be spread so wide

And dreadful sights will be so commonplace

That mothers merely smile when they behold

Their infants chopped up by the hands of war,

All pity choked when cruel deeds are routine.

And Caesar’s spirit, roving for revenge,

Its goddess by his side hot out of Hell,

Shall from these confines with a monarch’s voice

Cry “Havoc!” and unleash the dogs of war,

So this foul deed can smell above the earth

With rotting men, groaning for burial.

[Enter a SERVANT]

You serve Octavius Caesar, do you not?


I do, Mark Antony.


Caesar has ordered him to come to Rome.


He has received his letters and is coming,

And said to say to you in person that—[sees the body]

O Caesar!—


Your heart is swollen. Stand aside and weep.

Grief, I’m afraid, is catching, and my eyes,

Seeing those beads of sorrow there on yours,

Began to water. Is your master coming?


He’s camped tonight some twenty miles from Rome.


Race back and tell him what has happened here.

This is a mourning Rome, a dangerous Rome,

A Rome not safe yet for Octavius.

Hurry, and tell him. Better yet, hold on.

Don’t leave until I carry his remains

Into the market-place. My eulogy

Will let me test how people there regard

The cruel product of these bloody men,

A finding you’ll include in your report

To young Octavius on the state of things.

Give me a hand.

[Exit with JULIUS CAESAR’s body]

© 2011 by Kent Richmond