Who do you call Friend?

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


When I was in high school, my friend, Charlie, and I memorised Marc Antony’s entire speech at Caesar’s funeral in the play [Julius Caesar] by William Shakespeare. We were supposed to study three plays for a test; Julius Caesar, Macbeth and… ah I forget the third one. Another classic though – obviously. We were so obsessed with Julius Caesar that we re-read it countless times instead of studying the others. In the end, we just listened to summaries of the other plays in order to pass the test.

Our love for the play had absolutely nothing to do with the test and everything to do with how riveting it was. Betrayal, murder, revenge… and captivating words. It was/is everything and more.

Throughout my life, I have found that the people I am surrounded by play a very vital role in whatever I pursue or find interesting at any given moment. They either urge me on, or talk me out of it. They either suggest new things or insist on the old. The people we call friends are a much greater influence upon our lives than we ever give them credit for (sometimes).

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.

So my question is, who do you call Friend? Someone who stabs you at the least change they get and muddies your name till it is almost unrecognizable? Or someone who speaks up for you when everyone else would rather be silent?

Think about it.

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

-Marc Antony



Dr Nyameba 💜

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