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Shakespearian plays and Nigeria: The consequences of murder

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Shakespearian plays

By Osa Amadi

Murder, as grim as it is, sometimes appears as a convenient option for some people for the exercise of their anger, envy, or avarice. But murderers, by their own volition, descend to the abyss on earth. There are countless examples that validate this truth from ancient times to Shakespearean and modern times, and from fictions to facts. Nigeria

In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, we saw Brutus, after taking part in the murder of Caesar, convince a servant to hold his sword as he threw himself upon it, knowing he had lost the battle with Antony and Octavius. Similarly, Cassius, one of the conspirators in the assassination of Caesar, certain he would soon be captured by Antony and Octavius, killed himself with his sword.

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It is hard to imagine the type of differences one may have with another that would warrant one to murder the other person.

Today, in Nigeria, more than ever before, innocent people are murdered almost on a daily basis for various reasons. To be sure, however, shedding of blood has dire and frightful consequences for both the land and for spillers of the blood. The now late Arthur Nwankwo whose book we reviewed on the previous page wrote:

“We cannot expect to be joyous when the blood of the innocent cries out against our land. Nigeria has become a killing field of the innocent, and God’s judgement is upon the land. The killing of the innocent in any circumstance is a sin and the consequence is far-reaching. Nigeria is presently on that path.”

Murderers and their accomplices may believe they have escaped justice simply because they carried out their bloody deed in secret, but the maker of the universe and everything in it, through the story of Cain and Abel in the Holy Bible, teaches us that murderers have no hiding place. The poetic lines of the iconic English playwright, William Shakespeare, in The Merchant of Venice further lay credence to that truth:

The truth will come to light

Murder cannot be hidden long.

We are entitled to our rights to life only because we accord others their own right to life.

Today, the crime pages of our national newspapers are filled with news and stories of people who took the path of murder in their quest for money, power and otherworldly attainments. Needless to recount how these people’s lives ended. And yet, their eternal punishments had barely begun.

The land called Nigeria is so much soaked with the blood of the innocent that one is doubtful if there is any sacrifice capable of cleansing it. Every day, we receive news of mass killings in northern Nigeria; of herdsmen attacking communities and almost wiping out its inhabitants, sparing only a few souls to recount the gory tale of what they saw to people in other communities.

Human life is sacred. And the sanctity of life should not be limited to the lives of humans. We have duties to extend it too to animals and other living things around us. The Scripture says in 1 Corinthians 10: 26 and Psalms 24: 1 that “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” And again in 1 Timothy 6: 7, it says, “For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.”

So, ‘live and let live’ is the rule of engagement in the business of life on earth.


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