‘Beware The Ides of March’

Unnamed photo
Julia A Sokol

In commemoration of the Ides of march, students reenact the assassination of Julius Caesar on the steps of Memorial Church yesterday.

“My particular favorite part was when the dead Caesar pulled out a bright purple umbrella,” said Reyzl R. Geselowitz ’10, the only spectator watching a reenactment of Julius Caesar’s assassination yesterday in commemoration of the Ides of March.

Despite the low turnout on the steps of Memorial Church for the yearly dramatization by the Harvard Radcliffe Science Fiction Association (HRSFA), the group was not deterred from performing its abridgement of William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar,” showing up in bedsheets and bathrobes and one imperial Halloween costume.

No members of the organization were able to say precisely how long HRSFA has been holding the reenactment, though Alison Miller ’08 said it has occurred for “as long as any of uscan remember.”

Rachel S. Storch ’10, who played Cassius and Plebian Number One, said that the event was intended partly as an opportunity for club members to release aggression, but mostly to just “confuse the tourists.”

In addition to plastic swords and scythes, the faux assassins also used pencils.

“We were told that senators did actually stab him with their styli,” Miller explained.

Miller, who portrayed Caesar, said excitedly before the event, “I’ve never been killed before.”

Geselowitz was proud to be the only attendee. “I feel like it’s a position of honor,” she said, “quite similar to that of the emperor in ancient Rome.”

She was, however, “mildly annoyed” with the authenticity of the event.

“Being currently enrolled in the class, ‘Rome of Augustus,’ in which we read several primary sources dealing with the assassination of Gaius Julius Caesar, I can safely say...this is wrong,” Geselowitz said. Asked why, she responded definitively,

“because they are wearing bedsheets.”

As for the climax of the reenactment, Geselowtiz said, “I can’t say I was too surprised.”

—Staff writer Alexander B. Cohn can be reached at abcohn@fas.harvard.edu.