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Wednesday, 13 March 2013

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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 Capitol.

----------------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 space invasion.

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 times.

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 reason.

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.

 

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