Idiom | The Ides of March

Idiom | The Ides of March

Idiom | The Ides of March

“The ides of March” falls on March 15th and has become linked to misfortune and doom. In 44 B.C.E., Julius Caesar was stabbed and killed by a group of Roman senators on the “ides of March.” His assassination plunged the Roman empire into civil war and autocracy.

The phrase was immortalized by William Shakespeare in his 1599 play ‘Julius Caesar.’ In the tragedy, a soothsayer warns Caesar to “beware the ides of March,” which he ignores.

The idiom literally means to beware of March 15th. It can also be used as a warning in other situations to watch out for betrayal or misfortune. It’s often used in political contexts.

「The ides of March」は3月15日にあたり、不幸や悲運と結びつきました。紀元前44年、ジュリアス・シーザーは この3月15日にローマの元老院の人たちに刺されて殺されました。彼の暗殺により、ローマ帝国は内戦と独裁政治に突入ました。

このフレーズは、ウィリアム・シェイクスピアの1599年の戯曲『ジュリアス・シーザー』で不朽の名作となりました。この悲劇では、予言者がシーザーに「3 月 15 日を警戒せよ」と警告しますが、シーザーはそれを無視します。


Idiom Usage 使い方 | The Ides of March

English Stripped Bare - B. Bearington & Naomi Learn Real English Idiom: Beware the Ides of March
Woodcut Illustration of Porcia Catonis Counseling Marcus Junius Brutus, Julius Caesar’s Death at the Hands of Brutus & Gaius Cassius Longinus, & Porcia’s Suicide

To use this idiom properly we don’t need to do much. In fact, we can simply say ‘beware the ides of March.’ The phrase can be added onto longer sentences as well. See the examples below.

このイディオムを正しく使うために、付け足す言葉は多くはありません。「beware the ides of March」と言うだけでOKです。長い文章に付け加えて使われることもあります。下記例文をご覧ください。

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Examples 例文

English Stripped Bare - B. Bearington & Naomi Learn Real English Idiom: Beware the Ides of March
A Production of Julius Cesar at the PlayMakers Repertory Company

Caesar: What say’st thou to me now? Speak once again.

Soothsayer: Beware the ides of March.

シーザー :私に何と言ったのか?もう一度話せ。

予言者 :3 月 15 日を警戒せよ。

The way things have worked out for the group this month, they should have heeded the warning; beware the ides of March!


Putin should take a lesson from history and beware the ides of March!


Use mnemonic! ニーモニックテクニック

English Stripped Bare - B. Bearington & Naomi Learn Real English Idiom: Beware the Ides of March
The Assassination of Julius Caesar by William Holmes Sullivan, c. 1888

A great mnemonic device to help you remember this phrase is to remember that the ides is the middle point of the month. When we’re still in the middle we still have a lot of work to do. If we don’t focus, tragedy and misfortune can strike.

Of course, we always encourage you to create your own mnemonic device. It’s much more effect if you do that.

Check out our post on mnemonics basics to learn more.




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