Back in the day when I was an actor, when auditioning for a role, I generally had to prepare both a contemporary and a classic monologue to demonstrate my acting skills. My choice for classic monolog is appropriate for today, March 15th. It was culled together from this scene, Act 4, Scene 3, from Shakespeare’s Julius Ceasar.
Like Jason Robarts in the video below, my role was that of Marcus Brutus. Cassius, another conspirator against Caesar and a friend of Brutus, comes into the scene angry because Brutus won’t give him additional funds for his army. Enjoy some classic literature and a video:
Remember March, the Ides of March remember. Did not great Julius bleed for justice’ sake?
What villain touch’d his body, that did stab, And not for justice?
What, shall one of us that struck the foremost man of all this world; But for supporting robbers,
shall we now contaminate our fingers with base bribes? And sell the mighty space of our large honors For so much trash as may be grasped thus?
I had rather be a dog and bay the moon, Than such a Roman.
(…) There is no terror, Cassius, in your threats,
For I am armed so strong in honesty That they pass by me as the idle wind Which I respect not.
(…) I did send To you for gold to pay my legions, Which you denied me.
Was that done like Cassius? Should I have answered Caius Cassius so?
When Marcus Brutus grows so covetous To lock such rascal counters from his friends,
Be ready, gods, with all your thunderbolts; Dash him to pieces!
H/T The Bard Of Avon
It’s become a family tradition. Each year on March 15th, I wake my kids by emoting the Brutus speech performed by Jason Robarts in the video below. And when they have friends over on the 15th, they tell them to go up to their father and ask, “what’s today’s date ?” so I can give them a dose of Shakespeare. This is my first year as an empty nestMarch 15them on their cell phones for the annual annoyance.
Note: The Roman Senate made Julea Caesar Hol-ey was March 15th, 44 BCE. That translated to the 25th of Adar in the Jewish Calendar. This year, the 25th of Adar falls on March 18th in the secular Calendar. In other words, today is not Julius Caesar’s yahrzeit. Do not light a memorial candle today. Because the 18th is the Sabbath, light the candle on Friday the 17th before sundown.