Sunday, 10 November 2013

Truth is an unwelcome guest

When a child guilelessly tells the truth it is often the cause of amusement in adults. Candid and unalloyed truth-telling is seen as quaint. The lack of calculation is appealing precisely because it runs so counter to the practices of the adult world. When an adult tells the truth the opposite is often true. An adult truth-teller is unwelcome to the extent that attempts may be made to neutralise him. These may take many forms. The truth-teller may be collectively styled as mad. If that doesn’t work he may be styled as dangerous. His very presence, before a mere word is uttered by him may be seen as dangerous and threatening. Protectors turn their backs to him and usher the vulnerable to places of safety lest his presence infect their hearing with his toxic pronouncements. It may even go further than this…… The ranks of orthodoxy may close, confronted with attempts to challenge that orthodoxy, and the truth-teller may be excluded from the community and decreed beyond the pale. The truth changes people and change is often an unwelcome guest. Prince Hamlet realised this. In the new orthodoxy of the court of his murderous uncle and his treacherous mother, he knew that his attempts to cry foul would be branded as heretical or mad. As a result he beat them to it, and took on the role of the madman to disguise his intent. Reassured that he was obviously mad and could, therefore, be discounted, the malefactors dropped their guard, enabling him to bring his plan of retributive justice to fruition.

No comments :

Post a Comment