HAIL THE IDES OF MARCH | Daily News

HAIL THE IDES OF MARCH

Shakespeare crowded every incident and there were many, into a solitary day. the Ides of March.

a. A soothsayer predicts his death.

b. Caesar is assassinated at the Capitol.

c. Portia commits suicide.

d. Brutus runs on Strato's sword and dies.

e.The ghost of Caesar appear.

When Shakespeare innovated this day, the Romans not realizing it was but fictitious, seized the opportunity to place it as a significant day in their calendar. Their sentiments ran so high that the Ides of March became a day of terror, horror and mystery.

The extreme fear and evil associated with the day crept into the subconscious mind of man and remain still so much so many refrain from their daily activities with many opting to remain indoor. Why they failed to realize the day was identified to get rid of the Roman ruler.

No, he was not a Latin historian and not an English historian either which reveals the discrepancies in his historical plays. Shakespeare was unconcerned about truth and violated some when conceiving especially royal tragedies. Circumstances, time and year was not important as the plot nor historical realism.

He eliminated centuries to coincide plays such as Julius Caesar and reached its apotheosis in such scenes as Ceasar's assassination and acclaim Brutus as the Roman Emporer's assassin and immediately turn against him by the moving eloquence of Antony.

The day kept dragging for Shakespeare. He was not still through it. The Ides dawned with lightning and thunder. Thrice had Calphurnia cried out in her sleep. She dreams of Caesar's death and attempts to prevent him going to the Capitol.

Caesar - Go bid the priests do present sacrifice.

Calphurnia - You shall not stir out of your house today.

Caes - Caesar shall forth, the things that threaten me.

Cal - Caesar; I never stoop on ceremonies. Yet, they fright me. This is one

within. Besides the things that we have heard and seen. Recount most horrible sights seen by the watch. A lioness has whelped in the streets. And graves have yawn's and yielded up their dead: Fierce fiery warriors fight upon the clouds. In ranks and squadrons and right form of war. which drizzled blood upon the Capitol.

The noise of battle hurtled in the air. Horses did neigh and dying men did groan. The ghosts did shriek and squeal about the streets….

Inspite of her pleas, Caesar moves towards the Capitol. He tells her that cowards die many times before their deaths. He by passes the senators on their way to the Capitol amids cheers from the Romans gathered to greet him on his way. In the crowd he turns back when he hears a voice call him by name.

As the crowd surge to get a glimpse of Caesar at corner street, a soothsayer emerge from among them.

Soothsayer - Caeaser

Caesar - Who calls?

I hear a tongue, shriller than all the music cry Caesar. Speak, Caesar is turn'd to hear

Sooth - Beware the Ides of March'

Caes - What man is that?

Brutus - A soothsayer bids you beware of the Ides of March

Caes - Set him before me. Let me see his face. Fellow come from the throng, look

upon Caesar. What say'st thou to me now. Speak again.

Sooth - Beware the Ides of March. (1.11)

As Caesar is cheered, another general join the chorus that frustrates Brutus and Cassias who are aware some new honours are heaped upon him.

Cas - Why man, he doth bestride the narrow world. Like a colossus, and we petty men walk under his huge legs, and peep about to find ourselves dishonorable graves. Men at times are masters of their fates; The fault dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in our selves. (11.11)

HOW THE STORY BEGAN

May be Shakespeare had his own reasons to down-play Ceaser's character. He opted to show Brutus in good spirit so that the audience will be moved by his sad downfall.

Here, Shakespeare failed to derive the best out of a good story instead highlight on Brutus's weakness where a noble man like him can be led astray to do wrong. Shakespeare's Caesar is different from the real Emporer Ceaser of the Roman history who many scholars and critics think was the greatest ruler of the ancient era.

True, he was though Shakespeare got hold of the wrong end of the stick by making him play the wrong side of his bearing, like he is already the king of Rome. Cassius thinks him to be a coward, a foolish vain man neither of which he was. Shakespeare had the ability to crush or elevate anyone.

Therefore, he makes Brutus the hero in the play but in contrast give him some of the best lines in the play in numerous ways, the honesty of Brutus and high-minded thinking were his undoing when he wrongly believed the conspirators to be honorable like him. His trust in people led him to his death and that of Caesar, his wife, the trusting Portia and Cassius.

At the Capitol, they all stab Caesar, twenty three times, Casca first and Brutus last and wash their hands in his royal blood. The Ides of March has come and gone.

Caesar - Et tu Brute ? (he falls and die) (1-111)

After the death of Ceasar, Shakespeare puts history to right with Antony and Ceasar's nephew Octavious taking over Rome after their failed battle in Philippi.

Antony tributes - This was the noblest Roman of them all.

All the conspirators save one,

Did what they did in envy of great Caesar.

He in a general honest thought. (V.V) 


 

Add new comment