306 • Regicide

306 • Regicide

With all common sense in abeyance
I summoned MacBeth, at a seance
(The usual procedure
The cards and the ouija)
But no one ‘came through’ (except Fleance).

In Shakespeare’s time the monarch was revered as God’s representative on earth, and to kill him (or her) was a sin without parallel. Today, of course, such potentates as we still acknowledge are more typically reviled as emissars of Satan. In our moments of deepest despair, therefore, we might wish to be possessed by some high-flying assassin, and to accomplish what needs to be accomplished; but in fact all we can muster is the spirit of an obscure runaway, remembered only for fleeing a scene of monstrous injustice – an epitome of cravenness in crisis.

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