“Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprise of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry
And lose the name of action.” Hamlet
What would Shakespeare write of the little spoken truths lightly whispered in our popular media in regards to our government’s increasing use of drones? The lack of in-depth discussion and contemplation amongst the paying public attests a relaxing in the collective conscience.
There have been shouts in the streets about the cowardice behind a man wrapped in bombs taking his life with innocent others. Am I innocent? Innocence hints at unknowing. It suggests a lack of guilt in one’s conscience.
First Murderer: How dost thou feel thyself now?
Second Murderer: Faith, some certain dregs of conscience are yet within me.
First Murderer: Remember our reward, when the deed’s done.
Second Murderer: Zounds, he dies; I had forgot the reward.
First Murderer: Where is thy conscience now?
Second Murderer: In the Duke of Gloucester’s purse.
First Murderer: So, when he opens his purse to give us our reward, thy conscience flies out.
Second Murderer: Let it go; there’s few or none will entertain it.
First Murderer: How if it come to thee again?
Second Murderer: I’ll not meddle with it, it is a dangerous thing, it makes a man a coward; a man cannot steal, but it accuseth him; a man cannot swear, but it checks him; a man cannot lie with his neighbour’s wife, but it detects him: ’tis a blushing shame-faced spirit, that mutinies in a man’s bosom; it fills one full of obstacles: it made me once restore a purse of gold, that I found; it beggars any man that keeps it: it is turned out of all towns and cities for a dangerous thing; and every man that means to live well, endeavors to trust to himself, and live without it.
The Life and Death of King Richard III – William Shakespeare