The Tale of Two Tragedies
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, many regard Shakespeare as "the greatest dramatist of all time." His work has outlived him, by more than four hundred years, and the Oxford English Dictionary has credited him "with introducing nearly 3,000 words into the English language." Not only does he have a prominent place in literature, but his work is also found in common expressions in English, like "break the ice" and "wild goose chase," either popularized or coined by him. 2
Here he's remembered for something he wrote that speaks across the centuries, to our day. In Act V, Scene viii of The Tragedy of Macbeth, we see Macbeth saying, "I bear a charmed life, which must not yield to one of woman born." And one named Macduff answers, "Despair thy charm, and let the angel whom thou still hast served tell thee, Macduff was from his mother's womb untimely ripp'd." In the ensuing clash, Macbeth is slain. He put his faith in something he shouldn't have.The key words for us to ponder are "from his mother's womb untimely ripp'd." While the passage refers to a Caesarean surgery, it's also relevant to a sad practice of our times. From one tragedy, the words point to yet another.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines the verb rip as: "Tear or pull forcibly away." Its use was heard during the presidential debate in October 2016, referring to a particular abortion: ď... in the ninth month, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby.Ē It is, in fact, a particularly egregious form of abortion, called partial birth abortion.
first, a little background of the Shakespearean drama from which the passage
was taken. Macbeth meets three witches on a barren heath, withered and wild
in attire. They all greet Macbeth, with one of them prophesying, "All hail,
that shalt be king hereafter." Tempted and whetted by ambition, and
encouraged on by Lady Macbeth, Macbeth murders the Scottish King, Duncan,
while the King was staying at Macbeth's castle, the monarch being there "in
double trust." His murderer will take the throne.
the murder of the King, Macbeth plots the death others: "The castle of
Macduff I will surprise; seize upon Fife 4
(Macduff), give to
the edge o' the sword His wife, his babes and all unfortunate souls who
trace him in his line."
Macbeth believes he bears a "charmed life." But after he encounters Macduff and they fight, he learns that Macduff was taken surgically from his mother. As far as Birnam wood coming to the hill, soldiers cut boughs from Birnam wood, to carry before them for disguise, thus appearing as if the wood was moving. Macbeth was deceived. If people today believe they may cut down the life and limb of the unborn, they too are also deceived!
Macbeth assumed governance as the King in Scotland.
Today, there are those in
government who support accessibility to abortion. And it's not just found in
government policy, but is also found in the policy of a major political
party, in the platform of the Democrat Party.
These actions broaden the
threat to the unborn, and put a mantle of approval over the evil of killing
On August 22nd, 1787, during the debates of the federal convention, Col. Mason said, "Every master of slaves is born a petty tyrant. They bring the judgment of Heaven on a country. As nations cannot be rewarded or punished in the next world, they must be in this. By an inevitable chain of causes and effects, Providence punishes national sins by national calamities."
some years later, our nation was torn apart by the Civil War, resulting in
about a million casualties, and basic to the conflict was the issue of
slavery, which involved a group of people. The unborn are a group of people
as well. It doesnít matter how tiny or undeveloped they are, itís who
they are. Itís that they exist as human. What has happened
to them by the millions is even a greater wrong than those who were
subjected to slavery, because itís more than an unjust treatment of people:
itís the very taking of their lives.
It's tantmount to them being sacrificed
for "a falsely perceived benefit."
Consider whether America might be vulnerable to chastisement for the slaughter of the innocents, which happens today, in another temple―the temple of the body!
Perhaps we can see a sign the Creator's displeasure in the severity of the weather in recent times, this compared to what could yet happen if we don't awaken to wickedness behind the wanton slaughter.
The Founding Fathers
left us with a Constitution that set up a structure of government and
a framework of law, but it seems there are those in government who do not
always abide by it. We hear of separation of powers, but we also hear of
legislation from the bench. The Courts are supposed to decide whether a law
is within the bounds of the Constitution. There are those who are not
good stewards of what we were bequeathed.
Clinton, when running for the Presidency, said, "that deep-seated cultural
codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed."
It seems there's a threat in there to
The Democrat Governor of New York, Andrew Coumo, said there's no place for pro-life voters in his state anymore. That's pretty brazen! Now Cuomo signed into law theReproductive Health Act (RHA), permitting abortion up to 24 weeks, when babies can survive outside the womb "and it creates lenient exceptions essentially sanctioning elective abortion up to the moment of birth."
These are indications of a pretty sad state of affairs.
Wherein abortion is promoted, supported and voted for by the people, they become culpable. Wherein it's legislated into law or decided for by judicial decree, government officials are culpable. As national policy, it becomes what George Mason was talking about. Even without being formulated, if it's widespread in a nation, it's of serious concern. Even one is too many. Just being for it, is a murderous mentality!
To ignore the spiritual aspect of this issue, doesn't bode well for our country. God won't bless America for abortion!
were consequences to what issued from the mind of Macbeth and his
wife. Macbeth would literally lose his head and Lady Macbeth would say in
Act V, scene i: "Here's the smell of blood still; all the perfumes of
Arabia will not sweeten this little hand." Malcolm, the son of King Duncan,
says of her: "...'tis thought, by self and violent hands took off her life."
She died in an apparent suicide, a tragedy in itself.
yet another phrase in Macbeth to think about. In Act III, Scene iv:
Macbeth says, "I am in blood stepp'd in so far that, should I wade no more,
returning were as tedious as go oe'r:" Whatever Macbeth meant about "a
tedious return" isn't certain, but the part about being stepp'd in blood
does apply to abortion. And even using this description, as the infant's
body is killed, its little spirit continues onward, going "o'er" the brink
of eternity and on into its future. It lives in spirit ahead of those who've
killed the body.
1. Imprimis, Volume 48, no. 2, February 2019, a publication of Hillsdale College, from a talk by Roger Kimball, Editor and Publisher, The NewCriterion. Kimball writes about the "erasure of history. " Remembered here are these words attributed to Omar Khayyam from his Rubiayat, written in 1120 A.D. : ďThe Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.Ē
2. Some common expressions either coined or popularized by Shakespeare: Neither a borrower or lender be (Hamlet); Bated Breath (The Merchant of Venice); All our yesterdays (Macbeth); Brevity is the soul of wit (Hamlet); Break the ice (The Taming of the Shrew); Crack of doom (Macbeth); A dish fit for the gods (Julius Caesar); Dead as a doornail (Henry IV, Part II); Eaten out of house and home (Henry IV Part II); Faint hearted (Henry VI, Part I); Full circle (King Lear); "For goodness' sake " (Henry VIII) ; Fancy-free (A Midsummer's Night Dream); Foregone conclusion (Othello); Good Riddance (Troilus and Cressida); In my heart of hearts (Hamlet); In my mind's eye (also Hamlet); Laughing stock (The Merry Wives of Winsor); Wild goose chase (Romeo and Juliet); Milk of human kindness (Macbeth); Love is blind (The Merchant of Venice); Kill with kindness (The Taming of the Shrew); Knock, knock! Who's there? (Macbeth); Mum's the word ( Henry VI, Part II); Heart of gold ((Henry V); Lie low (MuchAdo About Nothing); Not slept one wink (Cymbeline); in stitches (Twelfth Night); Vanish in thin air (Othello); Own flesh and blood (Hamlet); All of a sudden (The Taming of a Shrew); Send him packing (Henry IV, Part I); A sorry sight (Macbeth) And more.
Dunsinane hill: A fort known as Macbeth's castle. In a scene near Birnam
wood, Malcolm, a son of the murdered king, says "Let every soldier hew him
down a bough and bear 't before him: thereby shall we shadow the numbers of
5. Moral Guidance, Loyola University Press,by Edwin Healy, S.J., Gregorian University, (and revised by James Meara, S.J., St. Louis University) and Right and Reason - Ethics in Theory and Practice by Austin Fagothey S.J., Professor of Philosophy, University of Santa Clara
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