Terror of the witches’ prophecy
In a phenomenally wired world like ours we should ideally be more enlightened and connected. The reality is the opposite, bordering on the occult. There seems to be more focus on the witches’ prophecy to divine the truth, in a manner of speaking, than on Macbeth’s lurking ambitions.
As revealed with damning proof by Messrs Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, people are being steadily shepherded towards the opaque, to become more bereft of rational reasoning than was their lot earlier.
Consider the readily advocated logic of more pervasive security — as opposed to an honest appraisal of the malaise, say, in the aftermath of the Manchester slaughter. Take any other devastating moment in any other part of the world — the attack on Christians in a bus in Egypt, on the heels of the Manchester carnage. It is not difficult for our frayed minds to grasp the link between the two tragedies. Stretch the logic further though, and one feels a stubborn lack of comprehension, an inability to see the connection between the drowning of three-year old Alan Kurdi in the Mediterranean Sea on a bad day and the death of SaffieRose Roussos, the angelic eight-year-old who died in a Manchester music hall with 21 other mostly young beautiful people.
Jeremy Corbyn saw the link but Theresa May shouted him down. It’s useful to recall what he said just three days after the attack on one of Britain’s most cosmopolitan cities: “Many experts including professionals in our intelligence and security services have pointed out the connections between wars that we have been involved in, or supported or fought in other countries such as Libya, and terrorism here at home.” That’s exactly what Bernie Sanders and Noam Chomsky have been saying too. Corbyn added, to be sure, that his “assessment in no way reduces the guilt of those that attack our children. Those terrorists will forever be reviled and implacably held to account for their actions”.
Traditionally, jumbling fair with foul is associated with witchcraft. There are no witches, of course, only humans playing their roles while blaming it on the supernatural. Professor Bradley likened the witches’ prophecy in Macbeth to “equivocation of the fiend”, which is a reasonably familiar human trait, is it not? It’s commonly called double-speak.
Three apparitions on the heath brought happy tidings to Macbeth, which are said to have contained the seeds of the hero’s doom, never mind his own lurking ambitions. Shakespeare’s use of the occult (or Bimal Roy’s for that matter) did not preclude rational thinking.
It is difficult to see the Manchester tragedy without reference to Tony Blair and David Cameron who both took turns in stirring the witches’ brew. An alternative way to understand the pain and suffering set off by mindless killers could require us to accept the witches’ mumbo jumbo: “Double, double toil and trouble;/Fire burn and caldron bubble./Cool it with a baboon’s blood, /Then the charm is firm and good.”
Taking the witches’ war dance in Macbeth seriously, as some of us can be lulled into doing, would require us to be looking for a baboon, a fall guy, but where? In Iran? China? Or perhaps in Moscow?
By arrangement with Dawn