The Ides of March or how to annoy your co-workers today

Why is March 15th considered the Ides of March?

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)

So, why was Caesar warned to beware of the ides of March?

Caesar was appointed Roman consul and dictator, but before settling in Rome he traveled around the empire for several years and consolidated his rule. In 45 B.C., he returned to Rome and was made dictator for life. He was assassinated on March 15, 44 B.C., by a group of conspirators who believed that his death would lead to the restoration of the Roman Republic. However, the result of the “Ides of March” was to plunge Rome into a fresh round of civil wars, out of which Octavian, Caesar’s grand-nephew, would emerge as Augustus, the first Roman emperor, destroying the republic forever.

Shakespeare immortalized this day in his play Julius Caesar. And though murder should not be celebrated, we somehow still find ways to make light of this day. Case in point, my co-workers fully expect me to quote Shakespeare, or more to the point, Julius Caesar all day. With that un mind I thought I’d share 10 one-line quotes you can use in the office today. Beware, over use may lead to an insurrection.

  • “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.” …
  • “Cowards die many times before their deaths; …
  • “Men at some time are masters of their fates. …
  • “Et tu, Brute?” …
  • “Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!” …
  • “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
  • Beware the ides of March.
  • You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things!
  • “What a terrible era in which idiots govern the blind.”
  • “But, for my own part, it was Greek to me.”

Works cited (Because yes, my finger is still wrapped up tight)

infoplease.org The Ides of March

History.com Julius Caesar

Why say Trick or Treat when you can quote Shakespeare?

Depending on where you live, Halloween is right around the corner. As always, many of us are making last minute costumes or trying to assess just how much trick or treat candy we will need this year. I know I keep eyeing the large bag I have, wondering if it will be enough or if by the end of the night, I’ll be sneaking handfuls of candy into burned out neighborhood pumpkins just to get rid of the chocolate temptations. This is about the extent of my Halloween tricks, though it is fun to watch the guy across the street gingerly pick up his pumpkin in awe and then in horror as he realizes there is more damn candy for his boys!

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays; it’s a wonderful excuse to dress up and pretend to be someone else. When I am not dressing up for a party I do enjoy the army of children that stop by. There is always one or two homemade costumes that brings to mind Halloween of old, when stores did not sell ready made masks and flimsy outfits.

I realize a lot of my readers are not aware that store bought costumes are fairly modern or that the first ones, designed in the late 1930, were made out of paper. These paper costumes did not go over too well with the public as they were extremely flammable. So leery was the public that store bought costumes did not really catch on until the 60’s and even then, you were more likely to see homemade costumes on children.

Did you also know that the phrase, “Trick or treat” started out as a veiled threat? I won’t go into the history of the term, you can find a great article on in here, thanks to the History channel but in brief, the term was used to remind folks that chaos would ensue if treats were not freely given.

As I thought about the phrase “Trick or treat” and vintage costumes, it occurred to me that we could really shake things up by going, old, old school this year. Why not bring back creepy homemade costumes and instead of crying “trick or treat”, why not quote Shakespeare? I mean, really, if you want better treats than “fun size” chocolate bars, shouldn’t you put some work into your costume and demands? Let’s see some effort kids! To help you out, I give you seven Shakespeare quotes you can use.

Hamlet

That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain.

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Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing
To what I shall unfold.

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Do not forget. This visitation
Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose.

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Henry IV

Art thou not horribly afraid? doth not thy blood thrill at it?

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The Tempest

Hell is empty, and all the devils are here!

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Macbeth

Fair is foul, and foul is fair Hover through the fog and filthy air

enhanced-29512-1411407701-1And my very favorite:

By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.

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