The federal government recently spent almost $100,000 dollars to help the “Synetic Theatre” In Washington D.C., run by a husband-and-wife team from Soviet Georgia, produce a silent version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The muted play offers grotesque grunts and abstract dance moves. According to reviewer James Bovard, viewers can only distinguish the good guys from the bad guys, by their “Nazi-style salutes and other flourishes.”
Because some of my popcorn money was used by the government to produce this junk, I decided to refresh my High School memory of Hamlet and examine why the Goebbel speech police at the White House decided to silence Hamlet and his co-stars Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. After reviewing a few of the more famous speeches in the play, it soon became very evident as to why grunting sounds replaced rich oratory in the bowels of a theatre in Washington D.C.
In Act 1, scene 1, Lady Macbeth says;
Out, damned spot; out, I say. One, two,—why, then ’tis time to do’t. Hell is murky. Fie, my lord, fie, a soldier and afeard? What need we fear who knows it when none can call our power to account? Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?
Lady MacBeth is asserting that as long as she and her husband’s power is secure, the murders they committed cannot harm them. But, Lady’s guilty mind begins to go mad as she begins to realize that she and her husband MacBeth have created their own murky hell where they are tormented by guilt and insanity.
In Act 5, scene 5, Macbeth laments after his wife’s death;
She should have died hereafter.
There would have been a time for such a word.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time.
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle.
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Macbeth insists there is no meaning or purpose in life, rather life is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing and although Macbeth himself has perpetrated awful crimes, he still justifies his actions as less awful because like everything else in his life, they too ”signify nothing.” Macbeth’s nihilism embraces not only his own life, but the entire play.
Probably the most famous speech in the English language, was spoken by Hamlet in Act III. It is his powerful examination of whether to commit suicide and what the moral ramifications of living and dying were;
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 a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?—To die,—to sleep,—
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to,—’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die,—to sleep;—
To sleep: perchance to dream:—ay, there’s the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of despis’d love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would these fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,—
The undiscover’d country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns,—puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others 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 thought;
And enterprises of great pith and moment,
With this regard, their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.
In this metaphor, Hamlet trys to decide if suicide is a desirable course of action, “a consummation devoutly to be wished” but soon figures out, as the religious word “devoutly” signifies, the difficult question is much more complex. The dread of the afterlife, Hamlet concludes, leads to excessive moral sensitivity that makes suicide impossible and “conscience does make cowards of us all.”
Hamlet expertly illustrates that a guilty conscience can make the mind a prisoner, its penalty remorse, its actions both regrettable and devastating.
Unfortunately, Hamlet’s play of nihilism and lack of conscience has become a daily reality show for Americans as they watch their Actor-in-chief spew his rejection of religious and moral principles from the White House stage. The new “No Speak” Hamlet tragically symbolizes an immoral, despot whose “tales told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signify nothing,” meaningless words that may as well be muted.
Sadly however, most Americans know firsthand the play does “Signify something;” that when hope and “change” is implemented by a leader without a conscience, the result can be both regrettable and devastating.
Here is Richard Burton’s 1964 masterful performance of “To be or not to be,” long before Hamlet was bastardized by a theatre funded by a classless, spendthrift, Obama and his cronies, and when extraordinary talent was still revered and valued. Is America better off now than in 1964? That, is the question!