VOX POPULI: Will Gadhafi suffer the same fate as Richard III?
Vox Populi, Vox Dei is a daily column that runs on Page 1 of the vernacular Asahi Shimbun.
2011/10/05Macbeth and Richard III are two main characters of William Shakespeare's plays who are portrayed as villains. The latter was an actual king of England who lived from 1452 to 1485. In the play, he realizes his ambitions to usurp the throne by using every conceivable scheme. But in the end, the king dies in battle after being abandoned by his supporters.
I found the column "Kaze" (Wind) that ran on the opinion page of last week's vernacular Asahi Shimbun interesting for the way it likened former Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi, who vanished in a civil war, to Richard III. I was also surprised to learn that Gadhafi has his own views about Shakespeare.
Even though I am not well versed in Shakespeare's play, Gadhafi's flight makes me think of the last act of "Richard III." With his allies switching sides, the horseless king is vastly outnumbered by his enemies and shouts: "A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!"
But the king wanted a horse not to escape, but to go on fighting. I wonder for what purpose the colonel, who is believed to be in hiding in Libya, wants a "horse." I don't want to see any more bloodshed.
In the final act of the play, the ghosts of people who were killed by the king appear one after another. Meanwhile, the other day I read a story that apparent human remains were found buried near a prison for political prisoners in Libya. A "senryu" satirical poem that recently ran in The Asahi Shimbun goes: "Once a dictator exits/ Human remains appear." Could they be precious human sacrifices for a new age?
Whatever the case, with the lifting of the weight of a dictatorship, Libya remains in chaos. This is to be expected, as various groups keep vying with each other to reap the "fruit of revolution." "All's Well That Ends Well" is the title of another Shakespeare play. But in the real world, the end is also the beginning of the next stage. I hope Libya will overcome its current difficulties.
--The Asahi Shimbun, Oct. 3
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Vox Populi, Vox Dei is a popular daily column that takes up a wide range of topics, including culture, arts and social trends and developments. Written by veteran Asahi Shimbun writers, the column provides useful perspectives on and insights into contemporary Japan and its culture.