Nelson Mandela’s Favorite Shakespeare Quote

From Julius Caesar, marked by Mandela in a copy of The Complete Works, held by fellow ANC prisoner on Robben Island.


“Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.”

from Julius Caesar (Caesar to his wife, Calpurnia)

dated December 16, 1977  – originally a celebration of White Supremacy – marking a Boer defeat of the Zulus – but now celebrated as “Day of Reconcilliation”

Thanks to scholar David Schalkwyk.


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