More Light?

Horatio Speaks

OPHELIA: The king rises!

HAMLET: What? Frighted with false fire?

CLAUDIUS: Give me some light! Away!

– Hamlet

 In Act Three of Hamlet, the troubled prince hatches a plan to prove the king’s guilt. He stages a play re-enacting the circumstances of the murder he believes his uncle to have committed. The king’s reaction goes well beyond Hamlet’s expectations. Abruptly, Claudius gets up and rushes out of the makeshift theatre. “Light!” he cries. “Give me some light!”

The irony is impossible to miss. Crying for light, the guilty king runs for the embrace of the darkness that, until now, has sheltered him.

The same is true of life. Often, cries for ‘more light’ are accompanied by a flight into darkness.

One application of this idea is: how we engage in a discussion shows at least as much about us as the ideas we claim to endorse.

The recent attacks on Greg Ashman…

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