Et Tu, Kanye? Test Your Ides of March Knowledge with “Rapper or Roman”

Posted by Blair Thornburgh


It almost goes without saying that Julius Caesar has a lot in common with Kanye West. Both are (or were) rulers of sprawling empires, both have royally healthy egos, and both of them sport the same straight-across-the-brow haircut.

But what does go without saying is the sayings they have in common—until now, that is. This Ides of March, see if you can figure out who said it: Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, or one of Kanye’s monster hits.

(Answers below)

1. “Human beings in a mob
What’s a mob to a king?
What’s a king to a god?
What’s a god to a non-believer?”


2. “Revenge! About! Seek! Burn! Fire! Kill!


3. “Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.”


4. “Tears on the mausoleum floor
Blood stains the coliseum doors”


5. “Fierce fiery warriors fight upon the clouds,
In ranks and squadrons and right form of war,
Which drizzled blood upon the Capitol”


6. “I live by you, desire
I stand by you, walk through the fire
Your love is my scripture
Let me into your encryption”


7. “For let the gods so speed me as I love
The name of honor more than I fear death”


8. “Picture if you will, that the throne was burning
Rome was burning, and I’m sitting in the corner all alone burning”


9. “Paralyzed by the pain, I can barely move
My nephew gone, my heart is torn
Sometimes I look to the sky, ask why I was born”


10. “I would like to thank Julius Caesar for originating my hairstyle”



1.  Kanye West song “No Church in the Wild”

2. Julius Caesar, Act 3, Scene II

3. Julius Caesar, Act 2, Scene II

4. Kanye West song “No Church in the Wild”

5. Julius Caesar, Act 2, Scene II

6. Kanye West song “No Church in the Wild”

7. Julius Caesar, Act 1, Scene II

8. Kanye West song “Why I Love You”

9. Kanye West song “Welcome to the Jungle”

10. Kanye West,  on Twitter


Blair Thornburgh

Blair Thornburgh

BLAIR THORNBURGH is a graduate of the University of Chicago, where she earned a B.A. in medieval studies and delivered a pretty good commencement speech. She lives in Philadelphia.