Friday Two Cents: Beware the Ides of March


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“Beware the ides of March.” Shakespeare Julius Caesar Act 1, Scene 2

These famous or should I say infamous words were spoken to Caesar by a soothsayer to be aware of the “ides of March”.  The “ides of March” falls on the fifteenth day of March and is known as the date that Caesar was assassinated by 60 conspirators, including his close friend Brutus.  This marks an important date in the Roman world.  The transition from the Roman Republic to the Roman Empire. 

Gaius Iulius Caesar

This incident was the last act of the civil war between Caesar and Pompey where Caesar won, after much scare tactics and debate, dictator for life.     The senators did not like the idea of a dictator for life, they preferred the consul system of service of only two years, therefore they conspired to kill Caesar and they got his close friend Brutus to agree.  Once they got Caesar alone in the senate they ambushed him and they stabbed him, repeatedly, to death.  Even as he lay dying the famous lines of Shakespeare has Caesar saying, “Et tu Brute?” meaning “Even you Brutus?” 

The lines in Shakespeare shows that after you have achieved all you want through arrogance and hubris, that your closest friend will even turn on you and stab you in the back. 

I have always enjoyed studying the ancient world and Roman society is by far my favorite.  You add Shakespeare and it is a match made in heaven.  Yet these scenes are of particular importance to me because it is a warning to not have a large head.  That you have to be careful not to show hubris (Excessive Pride), and I try not to.

Yet in resent weeks the cautionary tale of Caesar being betrayed by his close friend rings true for me.  It means that an attack can come from anywhere.  I have been stabbed in the back on different occasions and Caesar’s surprise at Brutus was mine when I realized at who betrayed me.  I have learned my lessons yet it would seem that I have too many stab wounds from people who I thought where my friends or people I thought I could trust. 

In the end I cannot change who I am and I cannot not be friendly with people.  Yet this “ides of March” is a reminder why I befriend only a few people and be careful of others because …

 

I have the scares from daggers upon my back,

Every wound is a reminder that men and women are vicious creatures.

Yet I have survived to tell the tales,

For these injures only make me stronger.

Thus during this “ides of March” I resolve to remember,

That those men and women are cowards who attack from behind.

Only those who have the fortitude to face me are not foes but friends.

And I shall endeavor to make sure I never speak these words again.

“Et tu Brute?”

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3 Responses to Friday Two Cents: Beware the Ides of March

  1. Pingback: It’s the Ides of March again (and again) | On (or close to) Schedule

  2. Pingback: Jacquel Rassenworth on March 15 | The Jacquel Rassenworth Blog

  3. Pingback: Friday Two Cents: Et Tu Brute? | Paul Gauchi

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