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Shakespeare & Beyond

Beware the Ides of March

A Soothsayer (Nafeesa Monroe, left) warns Caesar (Michael Sharon, center): “Beware the ides of March!” Julius Caesar, directed by Robert Richmond, Folger Theatre, 2014. Photo by Jeff Malet.

The Soothsayer says, “Beware the Ides of March.” Suddenly a chill falls on Caesar’s festive procession to the forum to celebrate the Lupercalia at the opening of Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar. The line is repeated three times—once by Brutus and twice by the Soothsayer—but is brushed aside by Caesar who responds, “He is a dreamer. Let us leave him.”

“Famous last words,” we might reply! Perhaps if Caesar had paid attention to the Soothsayer and to his wife Calpurnia’s premonitions, he might not have been killed—but that would be re-writing history.


I have always thought that the life of Julius Caesar is absolutely fascinating. His ability to stand up to people with much more power then he is something else. I recently finished reading a biography of Julius Caesar which I was prompted to read from reading Shakespeare. Right now, I am reading more about astronomy and science.

Michael Lee — September 18, 2018