Who Is Mistral Dawn?

Mistral Dawn is a thirty-something gal who has lived on both coasts of the US but somehow never in the middle. She currently resides in the Southeast US with her kitty cats (please spay or neuter! :-)) where she works as a hospital drudge and attends graduate school. Taken By The Huntsman is her first effort at writing fiction and if it is well received she has ideas for several more novels and short-stories in this series. Please feel free to visit her on FaceBook or drop her a line at mistralkdawn@gmail.com

Monday, May 9, 2016

#Wisdom From The #Bard?

Hey Everyone!!

Have you ever heard the phrase, "Methinks the lady doth protest too much?"  It actually comes from William Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act III, Scene II.  I've included part of the scene below so you can see the context.

I'm not going to tell you the story of Hamlet, if you want to know what it's about you can download the text for free and read it.  But the scene in question is about a play within the play where one character in the play is insisting that she'll never marry again if her husband dies.  It's a longish speech and I've only posted the end of it below.  So go ahead and read it, and then I'll tell you where I'm going with this. ;-)

Excerpt from Hamlet:
Player Queen: Nor earth to me give food, nor heaven light!
Sport and repose lock from me day and night!
To desperation turn my trust and hope!
An anchor’s cheer in prison be my scope!
Each opposite that blanks the face of joy
Meet what I would have well, and it destroy!
Both here and hence pursue me lasting strife,
If, once a widow, ever I be wife!

Hamlet: If she should break it now!

Player King: ’Tis deeply sworn. Sweet, leave me here awhile;
My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile
The tedious day with sleep. [Sleeps.]

Player Queen: Sleep rock thy brain;
And never come mischance between us twain! [Exit]

Hamlet:  Madam, how like you this play? 

Queen Gertrude: The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

So, as you can see, the implication is that the character is not believable because her declaration is too over-the-top.  That only someone who was lying would go to such trouble to convince someone of something.  And if you think about it, that does seem to hold true.  Think about the last time someone was ferociously adamant in denying or asserting something.  Were they telling the truth?

Now, I'd like to direct your attention towards the current debate over rights for the LGBTQ+ community.  I'll admit that emotions run high on both sides of the debate, but I don't think the explanation for that is the same on both sides.

For people who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community and allies of the community, it's a matter of human rights and people being treated fairly and being granted the same opportunities as anyone else.  Those are high ideals and this is certainly not the first time they have provoked people to extreme emotion and determination.  To quote Patrick Henry, "Give me liberty, or give me death!"  Hyperbole? Maybe for some, but it does resonate and it does ring true.

How about the other side?  Why are people so passionate about denying rights to others?  What do they gain from it?  If two other people who are not you, and are not connected to you in any way, get married to each other, how does that affect you?  It doesn't, does it?  Unless you've been suppressing your own desires for a long time, and you resent that other people are being allowed to do what you wish you had done.  To paraphrase Shakespeare again, when the green-eyed monster rears it's ugly head, look out!

So is that the problem?  Honestly?  Probably not in all cases.  In some cases it's probably a fear of those who are different that's so extreme that those who suffer from it should really seek professional help.  But in some cases, I really do think it may be a case of some people protesting just a bit too much.  That they're just so jealous of others who are living their lives in a way that makes them happy that they just can't contain their anger.  

That's really sad.  The idea that people have denied their own needs on such a fundamental level that the thought of others having the freedom to have their needs met enrages them.  It's a tragedy for all involved, and I think there's a lesson for everyone in it.  When making choices for ourselves, we should all take Polonius's advice to Hamlet, "This above all: to thine ownself be true."  If we do that, hopefully we'll find it in our hearts to let others do the same.