Tag Archives: william shakespeare

The Way To Dusty Death

Richard Fernandez, at the Belmont Club, writes of the Obama administration’s failed policy in Iran in terms of Shakespeare. He wonders which Shakespeare we will get when it becomes painfully obvious, even to the Obama administration, that the policy of appeasement and engagement has failed, and Iran is on the verge of becoming a nuclear power intent on destroying Israel and commanding obeisance from her neighbors. Will it be the Shakespeare of Julius Caesar?


There is a tide in the affairs of men

Which, taken at the flood, lead on to fortune;

Omitted, all the voyage of their life

Is bound in shallows and in miseries;

On such a full sea are we now afloat

And we must take the current when it serves

Or lose our ventures.


Or MacBeth?


Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day

To the last syllable of recorded time

And all our yesterdays have lighted fools

The way to dusty death


Which will it be? To stand firm in the face of Iranian aggression or meekly submit, telling ourselves it will all work out in the end? Caesar or MacBeth?



Out damn spot! he cried in rage

And kicked the dogcan down the road

He reckoned not the Stratford sage

Had long ago those words bestrode

How had he failed, this wondrous tongue?

Had he not the beaming smile?

Had he not the welkin rung

With words that sang to God the while

He humbly asked for guidance from

Assembled potentates from lands

That altogether made the sum

Of feudal tribes and wand’ring bands?

True I talk of idle dreams

Which are the children of an idle brain

Begot of nothing but vain fantasy

And yet I hear the muted screams

Of those who are beset by pain

Who look to me to bring some sanity

To this cruel world of sticks and stones

And hidden meanings in their eyes

It may be that no man atones

For pain with wringing hands and sighs

We shall not stay our hand or will

We shall prevail and save the world

From all who wish us well or ill

We’ll leave no oyster yet unpearled

Adrift my policy doth swell

That I could change it with a wand

They say I love myself too well

In truth, fair Montague, I am too fond