Famous stirring speeches from Shakespeare’s plays #3

This the third in the series of motivational speeches from Shakespeare plays that I’d hoped might be used in the EU Referendum campaign. Part of this stirring speech has been used by Nadim Zahawi – MP for Stratford on Avon, hence it’s use. This is the complete speech.

376px-Title_page_William_Shakespeare's_First_Folio_1623In this speech, the dying John of Gaunt in Shakespeare’s play Richard II, Act2, Scene 1, hopes to give King Richard II, a young and ineffective ruler, this worldly advice about patriotism,

This royal throne of kings, this scepter’d isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England,
This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
Fear’d by their breed and famous by their birth,
Renowned for their deeds as far from home,
For Christian service and true chivalry,
As is the sepulchre in stubborn Jewry,
Of the world’s ransom, blessed Mary’s Son,
This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land,
Dear for her reputation through the world,
Is now leased out, I die pronouncing it,
Like to a tenement or pelting farm:
England, bound in with the triumphant sea
Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege
Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame,
With inky blots and rotten parchment bonds:
That England, that was wont to conquer others,
Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
Ah, would the scandal vanish with my life,
How happy then were my ensuing death!

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