Re-reading Macbeth

I’m taking a class this fall through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI).  The University of Vermont sponsors them at several locations around the state including in Brattleboro.  We are reading Shakespeare – Macbeth and a number of kings – and discussing power and what makes a good ruler.

Although I haven’t read Macbeth for a number of years, the words are familiar, full of quotations and phrases many of us use without thinking of their origin.  But then I read this bit of dialogue I hadn’t remembered.  It is a conversation between Lady MacDuff and her young, unnamed son shortly before Macbeth has them murdered.  Remember that MacDuff has fled the country after the murder of King Duncan leaving behind his wife and children.

Son:  What is a traitor?

Lady McDuff:  Why, one that swears and lies.

Son:  And be all traitors that do so?

Lady McDuff:  Every one that does so is a traitor, and must be hanged.

Son:  And must they all be hanged that swear and lie?

Lady McDuff:  Every one.

Son:  Who must hang them?

Lady McDuff:  Why, the honest men.

 

We are currently being governed by men who lie and swear.  Honest men and women need to step up and realize that our democracy is at stake.  I think the House will vote articles of impeachment, but I can only hope that the Senate still has 67 honest men and women who can put country above party.

Image of Macbeth from wikipedia.

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