Today is March 15, the Ides of March, the date of the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC. The day has me remembering the famous quotation from Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar: “Beware the ides of March” (I, ii, 18).
Of course, this is not the only memorable quotation. On this day, I thought I’d highlight my top ten from this particular play; these are not necessarily the most famous but ones I have found useful in everyday life.
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 (II, ii, 32 - 37).
. . . when needing some courage?
Men at some time are masters of their fates:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars
But in ourselves, that we are underlings (I, ii, 139 - 141).
. . . when needing encouragement?
There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries (IV, iii, 217 - 220).
. . . when needing to avoid procrastination?
The evil that men do lives after them (III, ii, 77).
. . . when needing a reminder to do no evil?
You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things (I, i, 35)!
. . . when admonishing students for not doing their work? – in jest of course!
He reads much;
He is a great observer, and he looks
Quite through the deeds of men (I, ii, 201-203).
. . . when praising the benefits of reading?
You are my true and honourable wife,
As dear to me as are the ruddy drops
That visit my sad heart (II, I, 289 - 291).
. . . when needing a quotation for an anniversary card?
But I am constant as the northern star,
Of whose true-fix'd and resting quality
There is no fellow in the firmament (III, I, 61-63).
. . . when assuring someone of one’s loyalty?
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears (III, ii, 75).
. . . when trying to get people’s attention for an important announcement?
It was Greek to me (II, ii, 284).
. . . when my husband started talking about mechanics!
Remember that 2016 is the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, so why not choose a play and make your own list of favourite quotations.