Inside Shakespeare’s mind:
THE IDES OF MARCH ARE COME; BUT NOT GONE
Ever since Shakespeare involved ‘The Ides of March’ in Julius Caesar,
it gathered momentum.
(Caesar's house in Rome) Enter Calpurnia;
Ceasar - ........The face of Caesar, they are vanished.
Calpurnia – Caesar; I never stood on ceremonies. Yet, they now fright
me. There is one within. Besides, the one we have heard and seen,
recounts most horrible sights seen by the watch. A lioness hath whelped
in the streets. And graves have yawn'd and yielded their dead. Fierce
fiery warriors upon the clouds...... which drizzled blood upon the
----------------when beggars die, no comets are seen. The heavens
themselves blaze forth the death of princes.
Caesar – Cowards die many times before their deaths. And Ceasar
proceeds to the Capitol against his wife's warning. He is greeted
lustily along the streets while his assassinators wait for him at the
Capitol. He meets the soothsayers again who too warn him. Caesar mocks
and challenge them.
Caesaer – The Ides of March are come?
Soothsayer – Ay, Ceasar.....but not gone.
Inspired by The Ides of March, this
monstrous giant may have come off a grave as it yawned out
the dead. The way Goya saw it.
This fabled text, since, has driven fear into people, especially the
Romans who circle (15th March) in their calender to consider it as an
inauspicious and evil day. No wedding is solemnized on this day in some
regions of Rome even today.
Many inauspicious events have marred the lives of citizens when one
country rise against the other for no reason but for power as evil minds
destroy all, ultimately. Many die in the same gruesome way that Caesar
died. Presently, examples are that of Syria and Afghanistan where
hundreds shed their blood for no reason of their own.
Retreating a couple of months before the arrival of the Ides of
March, many demonic things have happened through natural disaster and
The unusual torrential rain, the melting of the Arctic snow, excess
snowing in countries that had beautiful weather all round, floods, bush
fire that destroyed innocent children and adults like fleas.
The sea keeps rising beyond their horizon to push back the water to
create fury upon waves that results in tsunami. These are some of the
precedence that precede the Ides of March.
Shakespeare's Ides of March was not only confined to academia or the
ordinary people or events but reached out its grip on other specialists
from the world of art such as the iconic painter, Francisco Goya from
the ‘Age of Reason’ one hundred and eighty two years later.
Goya was born in the month of March (30th March 1746) which is
fifteen days after the Roman Ides.
Goya's famous painting of The Colossus was Shakespeare-influenced
that he snapped off the mind of the Bard and displayed a horrible
monster of a man looking over the horizon wrapped in willowing clouds,
sweeping the countryside. Goya had placed washes of misty colours across
his top torso, bringing down his brush to work upon dark shadows to
produce an eery effect.
The contrasting colours were wide and narrow as they left his brush
to produce haunting quality of a monster. He was aware that graves
opened up to yield dead men on Ides of March and this painting may have
represented the birth of a monster that emerged from a grave.
In the painting, The Colossus is walking away from a valley below as
he puts terror into the people in a caravan. Riders and cattle who are
arranged in columns ready to leave the town in an orderly fashion,
suddenly is gripped with fear and start running.
Frenzy of bulls stampede and run in different ways, causing mayhem.
This painting is one of the world's best to come from Spain and Goya
never knew about its priceless value at the time.
His talent became apparent while he was at a religious school and his
friends knew him as a ‘restless and turbulent youth'.
Growing up in Madrid, he was soon to be noticed as a talented painter
and had a stint at the Royal Academy of San Fernando which was the
national art school.
The great Spanish painter, Diego Valazquez of the previous century,
inspired him. Much was done in the following years that saw him to the
top until he became the court painter. In 1763 and in 1766, Goya had to
travel abroad for the Royal Academy's competition which he lost both
The age of reason
He lived during this time of the French Revolution when European
Society challenged the powers of kings and the changes were sweeping
through that troubled his mind being a passionate Spaniard. He witnessed
the bloody war against foreign invaders and its torture on the
innocents. The country recorded the most turbulent, horrifying events
that disgusted him. It was injustice and superstition and the absence of
It was the absence of reason that devastated his country. With these
playing in his mind, he survived in The Age of Reason. His art brought
into focus the dark monsters that hide inside the minds of human beings,
most part of it is found in The Colossus.