What does Caesar tell Antony to do to Calpurnia in Julius Caesar?what does Ides mean?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, while he has triumpantly enters Rome after defeating Pompey, he has stopped the procession and called to Calpurnia and told her

Stand you directly in Antonius' way/When he doth run his course.  Antonius! (I,i,3-4)

  To Marc Antony, who is dressed to run, Caesar gives instruction to touch Calpurnia as he runs past her.  Caesar gives these directives because the Romans believed that during the Feast of Lupercal, a fertility festival in honor of the god Pan, a barren woman touched by the winner of a race held on this day, would "Shake off their sterile curse" (I,i,9). 

The irony of this action and statement of Caesar is that when the soothsayer appears and warns him of the Ides of March, the 15th day of the month, also a festive day in honor of the god Mars celebrated with a military parade, Caesar dismisses him as "a dreamer."  And, later, in Act II Caesar wishes to act again as though he is not superstitious by attending the Senate because he strongly desires to receive the honors that will there be bestowed him; yet, here, in this first scene, he is certainly that way in hoping that the god of Pan will make Calpurnia fertile so that she may bear him heirs.

snowflake212 | Student

Ides mean the middle of the month..In Julius Caesar its March 15th.

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Julius Caesar

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