Ides of March: Shakespeare Dominates Google Searches

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"Beware the ides of March," the soothsayer in William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar advises the doomed dictator.

More than 400 years after the Bard first penned these words, they're still captivating people's minds. Three of the most searched terms on Google today are Julius Caesar-related: "ides of March," "beware the ides of March meaning," and "et tu Brute."

If only Google had been around in Caesar's day; things might have turned out differently. The soothsayer issued his warning to be beware the ides of March—or what we today would call March 15—because he knew the members of the Roman Senate were plotting to kill the just-crowned Caesar. He ignored the soothsayer, only to find himself stabbed to death on March 15. Caesar's final words? "Et tu, Brute," meaning "You, too, Brutus?" in Latin. Brutus was Caesar's close friend, and these dying words were meant to express Caesar's surprise at this betrayal.

The soothsayer's warning and Caesar's subsequent death might be the most Google-able elements of Julius Caesar, but the most stirring part occurs after the assassination, when Marc Antony (played here by the peerless Marlon Brando in a 1953 film version) speaks at Caesar's funeral. Enjoy:

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Eleanor Barkhorn is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

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