A Shakespearean Glance at the People and Issues of the Day.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Macbeth and Death Row


Lady Macduff's situation is precarious. Her husband, judging Macbeth to be the murderer of King Duncan and therefore illegitimate as Duncan's successor, has fled the land Macbeth now rules. Macduff plans to champion the claim to the Scottish crown of Malcolm, son of Duncan (and thanks to Jad of ShakespeareHigh for a correction as to whose son Malcolm was). But a fat lot of good this does Macduff's wife, whom Macduff was forced to abandon in the family castle (wants means lacks):

L McD: "Wisdom? To leave his wife, to leave his babes,
His mansion, and his titles in a place
From whence himself does fly? He loves us not,
He wants the natural touch; for the poor wren,
The most diminutive of birds, will fight,
Her young ones in her nest, against the owl.
All is the fear and nothing is the love…".

Without the protection of her husband, specifically of his sword and the swords of the men in his retinue, Lady Macduff is defenseless. Naturally, Macbeth chooses this opportunity to overcompensate for his usual queasiness:

Macbeth: "…From this moment
The very firstlings of my heart shall be
The firstlings of my hand. And even now,
To crown my thoughts with acts, be it thought and done:
The castle of Macduff I will surprise,
Seize upon Fife, give to th' edge o' the sword
His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls
That trace him in his line…".

There sits on death row in Mississippi a man named Cory Maye. Mr. Maye was lying asleep when police officers, mistakenly executing a "no-knock" search warrant on the wrong residence, burst into his home. Awakening suddenly to see men bursting into his home, Mr. Maye shot and killed one of them.

A tragicomedy of further injustices, that probably included the planting of evidence as suggested by the revision of an initial police report, followed for Mr. Maye, leading in the end to his placement on death row. Our quiz question for the day: Why have America's media organs trumpeted the cause of a now deceased Tookie Williams, murderer of four and founder of the murderous Crips gang, while Mr. Maye's name remains nearly unknown? The answer is to follow. Meanwhile, let's return to Lady Macduff:

- Enter Murderers

Lady MacD: "What are these faces?

1st Mur: "Where is your husband?

Lady MacD: "I hope in no place so unsanctified
Where such as thou mayst find him."

1st Mur: "He's a traitor."

Son: "Thou liest, thou shag-haired villain!"

1st Mur: "What, you egg?" (He stabs him.)
Young fry of treachery!

Son: "He hath killed me, Mother.
Run away, I pray you!"

- Exit Lady Macduff crying "Murder!" followed
By the Murderers with the Son's body

Now if Lady Macduff had had a nice shiny gun in a drawer in her bedside table, she and her son would have survived. And this circumstance provides the answer to our quiz question. Because Mr. Maye used a gun to defend himself from a perceived attack, his story seems to argue against gun control restrictions. But Hollywood and the major news media favor gun control.

That's why you haven't heard of Mr. Maye.

Mr. Maye's real predicament may not be that he is on death row, but that, being there, he enjoys less media sympathy than did the deceased cold-blooded killer Tookie Williams.

And by the way, although we all know Mr. Williams' name very well, raise your hand if you have read or heard the names of his victims. They are:

Tsai-Shai Yang
Yen-I Yang
Ye-Chen Lin
Albert Owens

Let them be remembered. And may they rest in peace.

Here's a related post from the always recommendable TheAgitator.

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