Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The Bard on Peace

You could learn a lot about a blogger by reading his or her profile. I took care a year ago when I listed my favorite books. (Wouldn't a Favorite Magazines category be especially revealing?) I just hadda start with a Shakespeare play.

Othello is my favorite of the bard's four great tragedies. In 2004, I put a Shakespeare quote from Othello on my photo Christmas card, which showed me crossing the finish line that October at the TCM in 4:29 (gun time) while wearing my John Kerry t-shirt.

The quote (below) depicted peace to me, which I certainly thought Americans were interested in, at least until they voted the Decider back in that year (well, maybe that's not true since he stole Ohio that time around).

Keep up your bright swords
for the dew will rust them.
Good signior, you shall more command with years
Than with your weapons. (I:ii)

Othello says this when we first meet him as he breaks up a civil fracas in the streets of Venice. I have always treasured this quote.

To me it shows the desirability of exercising wisdom over resorting to violence, or using diplomacy in lieu of warfare. If you bring out your shiny weapons and use them, you'll wreck them ("the dew will rust them"). But if you use good judgment and lay deep plans, you'll get further than you will with shock and awe ("you shall more command with years").

And I thought the Decider said awhile back that he read Shakespeare.

The Decider's "ecelectic" reading list includes "three Shakespeares."

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