(subtitled, far too obviously for the UK football fans amongst us, ‘who ate all the pies?’)
I warned you! I WARNED YOU! Did I warn you?
Yes, I did. And so did Francis Bacon. And Jonathan Bate. And Fredson Bowers. We all said that revenge was likely to spiral out of control, because once you lose your faith in the law, and in divine justice too, all bets are off. And because every stroke in the ‘rally of revenge‘ is that much harder, has that much more spin on it than the last. Let’s mix our metaphors again: in this particular poker game, someone, eventually, is going to see your stake and raise you with everything they’ve got, not caring any more whether they win or lose. The chips, and what they represent, are suddenly and utterly unimportant …
Secular authorities had (and still have) every investment in discouraging revenge. If citizens perceive that the law no longer serves them, then we get the kind of situation that Francis Bacon famously warned of:
‘Revenge is a kind of wild justice’
And this is a point that Jonathan Bate develops, quoting Fredson Bowers:
Private action undermines the authority of the state:Elizabethan law felt itself capable of meting out justice to murderers, and therefore punished an avenger who took justice into his own hands just as heavily as the original murderer.The authorities, conscious of the Elizabethan inheritance of private justice from earlier ages, recognised that their own times still held the possibilities of serious turmoil; and the were determined that private revenge should not unleash a general disrespect for law.
Act IV however adds the dimension of the breakdown of DIVINE justice to the individual’s decision to subvert the legal process.
(subtitled: it’s not life and death, it’s just Wimbledon, sigh. Now can I have my radio back, please?)
It’s not that long ago that I effectively promised that the blog’s ventures into the real world would remain topical rather than political – that when major sporting events were on I would give them as much treatment as the current political situation.
I despise Wimbledon. With a passion you could only vaguely grope at, like a sixteen-year-old boy trying to cop his first feel in the back row of the cinema. Assuming that sort of thing even happens nowadays – they seem to be too busy on social media, throwing popcorn, or trying to record the film on their smartphones.
This started as commentary on the furore surrounding the staging of Julius Caesarfeaturing a Trump-alike, but based in England, I can’t help reflecting the fact that things have been overtaken here by the insane events near Finsbury Park Mosque in London …
At what stage does it become acceptable for people to use the kind of methods they vilify – demonise, actually – in others to advance their own agendas? No, really – when is this OK?
How can I apologise, in fact why should I, for the current political flavour of chatter at The Boar’s Head? I, who spend my working life pitching Shakespeare as ‘relatable’ to the next generation (despite hating the word)? After all, I managed to wangle my non-political holiday in. And of course, it’s my blog. So ‘NA na-na NA na.’ When the next World Cup comes, I dare say the public bar’s chatter will relate Shakespeare’s works to penalty shoot-outs, outrageous diving and dubious red-cards … can’t wait!
I’ve got a 4-period day tomorrow, so I could do with an early night. Instead, I put a pizza in the oven at about 11pm …
Thanks a bunch, exit polls.
Yesterday, I explored how Shakespeare might vote in today’s General Election. Reluctantly, I came to the conclusion that he and I might avoid discussing politics over our ale – a bit like I have to with my dad, to be honest.
And, regardless of my – or your – political beliefs, for the love of God, please VOTE tomorrow, if you’re entitled to. Never mind the hackneyed cliché: ‘people died so you could‘ argument – you have absolutely no right to complain about what happens over the next 5 years if you didn’t even make the smallest effort to effect a change …
Anyway, I visited isidewith, and tried to answer the questions as someone who died 401 years ago … here’s a selection of the conundrums I was faced with, plus the (firmly tongue-in-cheek) result …