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Abortion and the Columbine High School Massacre

Abortion and the Columbine High School Massacre

I am sure all of us have been affected in some way by the horrific tragedy that occurred at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado (April 1999). Certainly, our entire country grieves at the death of the many High School teens and faculty who were victims of meaningless violence. Sadly, the bullets of two Columbine students took the lives of thirteen people away.

“This tragedy is an outrage”, cries the public! . . . “These teens were innocent young men, and women who had their whole lives ahead of them.” . . . “They will never have the opportunity to enjoy adulthood, and the wonders of life.” . . . “There must be something done to curb this violence!” These types of comments, along with many others, are surfacing in our nation, as our country cries out in disgust and frustration. “What are we to do?”, we now ask of each other.

I am convinced that the answer to “What are we to do?” is rooted in the current situation in our country that permits and encourages “legalized abortion”. Whether we realize it or not, “legalized abortion” attributes to the great loss of “respect for life” which shows its ugly face in so many ways in our country. The shooting at Columbine High is one of these “ugly faces”.

Sadly, as “legalized abortion” continues, Pope John Paul II says, “There will be a darkening of our conscience, making it increasingly difficult to distinguish between right and wrong, – especially in regard to the respect of human life”.

Is it a wonder that when mothers are able to freely kill innocent babies within their wombs, that others will also begin to think, “it is all right to kill innocent human beings?” Is it a wonder that when a child in a mother’s womb is treated as an “object” instead of a “person”, that other people in turn, will begin to treat others as “objects”, using them only as a “means” to accomplish some end?

“What are we to do about this violence?”, cries our nation.

In order to “curb violence” and protect innocent lives, our nation must come to understand that every individual is known and loved by God; that every individual has been willed by God and made in His image and likeness; that “human life” is under the special protection of God; and as a result – that every individual must be afforded the first and most fundamental of all human rights – the right to life.

Reality and Illusion in Shakespeare’s Hamlet – Reality, Appearance and Deception

Reality and Illusion in Hamlet

Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, begins with the appearance of a ghost, an apparition, possibly a hallucination. Thus, from the beginning, Shakespeare presents the air of uncertainty, of the unnatural, which drives the action of the play and develops in the protagonist as a struggle to clarify what only seems to be absolute and what is actually reality. Hamlet’s mind, therefore, becomes the central force of the play, choosing the direction of the conflict by his decisions regarding his revenge and defining the outcome.

Shakespeare begins Hamlet’s struggle with recognition of Hamlet’s sincere grief and anger following his father’s untimely death. A taste of the conflict is expressed in the dialogue between Hamlet and his mother, Gertrude. Here Hamlet forcefully declares his pain and adds a discerning remark that defines seems as “actions that a man might play.” (I.2 ln 84) By acknowledging Hamlet’s comprehension of the separation between appearances and truth, Shakespeare gives the audience a reasonable belief in Hamlet’s eventual success despite the obstacles he creates for himself.

Developing a convincing scheme by which to determine the goodness of the ghost and to achieve revenge is Hamlet’s first action. Hamlet asks his friend Horatio to refrain from commenting on any strange behavior he may exhibit in the future. (I.5 ln 170-179) Later in the play, Hamlet alludes to his actual sanity when conversing with his school friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. “I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw.” (II.2 ln 377-378) After adequately concealing his intentions, Hamlet begins to doubt his own character. He compares himself to an actor who…

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…struggle for revenge. Nevertheless, the central driving force of the play remains Hamlet’s mind. The new king, Fortinbras, assures the audience that Hamlet “was likely, had he been put on, to have proved most royal.” (V.2 ln 391-392)

Works Cited and Consulted:

Heilman, Robert B. “The Role We Give Shakespeare.” Essays on Shakespeare. Ed. Gerald Chapman. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1965.

Levin, Harry. General Introduction. The Riverside Shakespeare. Ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1974.

Mack, Maynard. “The World of Hamlet.” Yale Review. vol. 41 (1952) p. 502-23. Rpt. in Readings on The Tragedies. Ed. Clarice Swisher. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1996.

Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 1995.

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