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A happy Ides to all
Posted by: Pam Adams (---.bus.csupomona.edu)
Date: March 15, 2004 04:14PM

Marc Antony-

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;
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar answer'd it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest--
For Brutus is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honourable men--
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.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honourable man.
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.

pam


Re: A happy Ides to all
Posted by: joseph torelli (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: March 15, 2004 05:25PM

Pam:

I committed this soliloquy to memory as a 10th grader about a zillion years ago and it's surprising that, with the exception of a few words, I've managed to retain it intact, even though I haven't really thought about it in ages. It's amazing how the mind works.

joet


Re: A happy Ides to all
Posted by: Marian-NYC (---.nyc1.dsl.speakeasy.net)
Date: March 15, 2004 06:24PM

Joseph, so did I ... and ditto.


Re: A happy Ides to all
Posted by: IanB (---.tnt11.mel1.da.uu.net)
Date: March 15, 2004 06:36PM

What a piece of crowd-rousing! Notice the transition at the end from 'Brutus' to 'brutish'.


Re: A happy Ides to all
Posted by: Henry (213.78.99.---)
Date: March 15, 2004 07:31PM

We had a very large though gentle English master at school, whom we unkindly christened The Brute. The play we studied that year was Julius Caesar.

All went well in class until we came to the line "Et tu, Brute!" The boy reading the part, instead of pronouncing it "Brutay", deliberately pronounced it "brute". We all burst into laughter of course. "Oh, cruel boys!" cried the master, but I think he must have enjoyed telling the story when he returned to the staff room.


Re: A happy Ides to all
Posted by: Pam Adams (---.bus.csupomona.edu)
Date: March 15, 2004 09:08PM

And the final sentence is my idea of a funeral poem-

My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
And I must pause till it come back to me.


pam


Re: A happy Ides to all
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.phoenix-01rh15-16rt.az.dial-access.att.net)
Date: March 16, 2004 11:38AM

Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.


A lesson in how to criticize murderers without being killed oneself.


Re: A happy Ides to all
Posted by: Marian-NYC (---.nyc1.dsl.speakeasy.net)
Date: March 16, 2004 02:05PM

"O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts"

This line is an example of what's sometimes called "the flight of the virtues"--the image of the virtues physically departing when when a society (not an individual) is declining and falling, as 'twere. I heard a classics professor give a talk about "the flight of the virtues" but all her examples were from classical (Greek and Latin) literature. Afterwards I ran a couple of later examples by her:

1. This one from JULIUS CAESAR, and

2. A line from Ben Jonson's VOLPONE: "Whither, whither hath shame fled human breasts...?"

In #2 note that SHAME is a virtue--the opposite of shameLESSness--an aspect of conscience.

Not only is the IMAGE one of the virtue departing, even the word is the same: FLIGHT, the act of FLEEing, having FLED.


Re: A happy Ides to all
Posted by: joseph torelli (---.dyn.optonline.net)
Date: March 16, 2004 05:54PM

Pam:

I agree with your assessment of the last sentence. I actually heard it paraphrased in a eulogy several years ago - the speaker substituting the name of the deceased for "Caesar." At the time I thought it a bit melodramatic, but afterwards, when I considered the relationship between the speaker and the deceased I thought it very appropriate and really quite touching.


Re: A happy Ides to all
Posted by: Henry (213.78.163.---)
Date: March 16, 2004 07:48PM

I found this posted on another site. With their strange symbols for numbers, I'm not surprised that the Romans had an equally strange calendar - which I presume derives from kalends.

The soothsayer's warning to Julius Caesar, "Beware the Ides of March," has forever imbued that date with a sense of foreboding. But in Roman times the expression "Ides of March" did not necessarily evoke a dark mood—it was simply the standard way of saying "March 15." Surely such a fanciful expression must signify something more than merely another day of the year? Not so. Even in Shakespeare's time, sixteen centuries later, audiences attending his play Julius Caesar wouldn't have blinked twice upon hearing the date called the Ides.

The term Ides comes from the earliest Roman calendar, which is said to have been devised by Romulus, the mythical founder of Rome. Whether it was Romulus or not, the inventor of this calendar had a penchant for complexity. The Roman calendar organized its months around three days, each of which served as a reference point for counting the other days:

Kalends (1st day of the month)
Nones (the 7th day in March, May, July, and October; the 5th in the other months)
Ides (the 15th day in March, May, July, and October; the 13th in the other months)

The remaining, unnamed days of the month were identified by counting backwards from the Kalends, Nones, or the Ides. For example, March 3 would be V Nones—5 days before the Nones (the Roman method of counting days was inclusive; in other words, the Nones would be counted as one of the 5 days).

[www.infoplease.com]


Re: A happy Ides to all
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.denver-03rh15rt.co.dial-access.att.net)
Date: March 17, 2004 11:24AM

Hmmm. Notably missing are the 9th day AFTER the ides, and the last day of the month. I wonder why.


Re: A happy Ides to all
Posted by: Marian-NYC (---.nyc1.dsl.speakeasy.net)
Date: March 17, 2004 03:26PM

My dad refers to tax day (U.E.) as "the ides of April."




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