Hamlet, Act I, Part V
“So the whole ear of Denmark
Is, by a forgèd process of my death,
Throughout her long reign, the late Queen Elizabeth II was heralded as a symbol of continuity, permanence, stoicism and unity. After all, what is the point of a British monarch if not to be an ambulatory synecdoche? And if this synecdoche remained enigmatic and silent, all the better for her to serve as a vessel filled with whatever her people chose.
by Jack Brindelli
It was Norfolk’s — and arguably history’s — finest polemicist, Thomas Paine, who best summed up the illogical institution of monarchy when he wrote, “One of the strongest natural proofs of the folly of hereditary right in Kings, is that nature disapproves of it. Otherwise, she would not so frequently turn it to ridicule, by giving mankind an ASS for a LION.” Paine’s pamphlet Common Sense rocked the world when it was first published some 240 years ago – inspiring revolution in America, and resentment amongst the ruling class in Britain. It left them trembling at the prospect of revolution on their own doorstep, as the former Corset-maker from Thetford dared common folk everywhere to question exactly why we should offer the inbred parasites atop our society anything but contempt, and the wrong end of a sword.
There have, of course, been some earth shattering changes since the days of Paine — but before you get too comfortable, think hard, ye serfs, on the events of Saturday May 2nd.