Calpurnia’s Speech after Caesar’s Death – Chaitra Kotasthane

Antony spoke of honourable men, and I have come to do the same
Where have they all gone? Has the earth at their feet swallowed them?
For I saw not one standing by Caesar’s side when he still breathed and his blood still sang
And even in his death, it seems, my lord is as friendless as he ever was

Woe, where art thou? Take me by my arm, I implore, and lead me to Hades’ realm;
Perhaps interred in his orchards I shall find these men’s judgment, for it has clearly fled them

Antony, honourable? I would spit at his feet
His eyes are red, but not from weeping,
Believe me when I say this:
I have seen the devil in them

On the morn of my lord’s murder, I quaked with fear, for I had seen visions most terrible
And now? Oh, now I quake with a fear greater still, for the demons I have seen, they have escaped my dreams, and they are now prowling the Roman streets,
And the worst of them bears Antony’s likeness

What honourable man barges into the house of a man freshly dead and tears his belongings from his grieving widow’s chest?
Caesar’s generous will was not Antony’s to read;
He is devious scum and I shall treat him as such!

Cursed are those who live to see their progeny’s death
Then what does that make me?
For Caesar’s unborn babe was culled in my belly by the same men who murdered his mighty father in the Senate
Have you ever heard, countrymen, of an act so wretched?

Surely valiant Caesar deserves justice, both for his blood and his seed?

I demand it on my fallen lord’s behalf – I am not his flesh, nay, I am something else:
I am the chalice he chose to pour his blood into
And I shall shield it with a wife’s devotion and a widow’s anger
I fear not the wrath of traitors, because I know, my friends, that your hearts are inflamed
And that every true man in Rome shall stand by Caesar’s wife as she guards his wain

Chaitra Kotasthane is an aspiring poet, writer, and absent teenager. She is a regular volunteer at her school’s library and enjoys contributing to various literary societies. She currently resides in Varanasi, India, and her work has been recognised by the Royal Commonwealth Society.

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