HAMLET GIVES US THE WINNING STRATEGY
Hamlet may give the words but I WILL SHAKESPEARE gave them to HAMLET!
Many of us ask ourselves "Whether tis nobler to serve the interests of the very rich and work a 9-5 slavery job and pay our bills so corporations fatten, and pay taxes so all cash everywhere is used to kill civilians in Arabic countries...or ... take a little time off to fight the system with activism. William Shakespeare knew the answer. He lived in a time of great danger and repression. If you could be identified as a Catholic, you got an axe to the neck or were burned at the stake; your land was taken and your kids starved to death in the snow. Shakespeare came from a Catholic mother's upbringing which he needed to HIDE from the National Enquirer of his day as he got very famous and the Queen had agents everywhere. He could have been seriously IN FOR IT.
But he STILL WROTE THE SPEECH (below). Bravely and the subtext is about fighting the Evil Ruler. Elizabeth First's Dad -- Henry VIII -- had put a savage end to Rome. He'd taken away all church land and booted Priests and Churches out over the Ann Boylen thing. Any Catholic who survived Henry's PURGE saluted the vicious daughter who continued Daddy's policies and kept an Executioner on staff and busy fulltime.
In every play Shakespeare hides his soul anguish at this climate of repression -- his feeling of fear. He was TORN by being secretly loyal to his view of God. The need to hide his beliefs from the system that he wanted to destroy was written all over his plays. Take the Hamlet speech, below, about opposing his genocidal Stalin-like murderous Stepfather while wanting to bust him on murder and throne stealing ---with criticism, truth or an avenging sword.
Today all of us have an evil stepfather we'd like to spear: STEPFATHER BANK, Stepfather White House, Stepfather NSA, Stepfather IRS, CIA/ FBI? Our City cops? the IMF? The FED. WALL STREET? Supreme Court? We cannot even form the syllables of complaint. We tremble in our boots but we know that if we OPPOSE Big Brother we might end up in one of those FEMA camps, 800 reputed to exist now.
The problem is, the second we fear body deaths, there are other deaths to worry about. The death of truth, the death of conscience, society, the death of an economy, the death of millions of third worlders with rumbling bellies, already starving as they are neglected by the world economy which was rigged to suit the 1%. And the death of our grandchildren as enslavement spreads.
But my point is, listen with your third ear to the playwright when he ruminates over an anguish that mirrors your own, a twin to your own sorrow which tore men's hearts and minds in that day:
"To be, or not to be; that is the question
Whether 'tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,
Or to take Arms against The Royals' eternal property-based laws
that offer no justice and by opposing them, end their wretched hold.
To die. To sleep No more; and by a sleep, to say we end
The Heart-ache, and the thousand Natural shocks
that our slave-wage Flesh is heir to? 'Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die to sleep,
To sleep, perchance to Dream of time before the Commons
were banned, when an artisan could trade a haunch for a flint
Aye, there's the rub, fight serfdom and taxes, you die
and in that sleep of death, what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil
must give us pause. Here there's famine, icy wind, useless
hovels with high rent and taxes which make Calamity of long life:
And who would bear the Whips and Scorns of time,
The Oppressor's wrong, the proud man's harsh wage
The pangs of despised Love and the Law’s delay? (!)
The insolence of high Office, and the Spurns
for patient merit for which we hoped and which our Lords rejected,
Whilst they their subjection & REPRESSION gave at the point of
bared dagger. Who would such weighty load bear?
To grunt and sweat under a weary life!
But then the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered Country, from whose horizon
No Traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to rebellion and revolution that we know not of.
Thus Conscience does make Cowards of us all,
And thus the Native hue of Resolution
Is sicklied o'er, with the pale cast of clinging Thought,
And enterprises of great pitch and moment,
such as activism, posting folios and the like
such cowardly mindset their Currents turn awry,
And we lose the name of Action.
Yes. Lost is the path of justice.. Yet I mustn't succumb to tyranny.
I must forward the action ! Leap into the Breech!
Soft you now, fair Nymph of Evolution;
I go to serve you though there be death lurking.
Be all my heroics remembered and all my sins forgotten."
HAMLET on tyranny, rebellion, fear of action. rewritten a tad cuz he couldn't announce the name of the enemy.
Elizabeth insane, corrupt, violent, selfish regent of Brittania and her miserable wife-hating insane father.
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