June 25: On Othello

Though Hamlet’s Mousetrap shows a regicide
By deadly poison dribbled in the ear,
Far crueler is toxicity implied
By cunning tongue believed to be sincere,

A weapon won’t discriminate; a knife
Will slay without regard for class or wealth,
But slander visited upon a wife
Is an attack by proxy via stealth.

For Shakespeare knew the greatest tragedy
Was hurting those whose standings were precarious
By goading paramours to jealousy;
The innocent destroyed by the nefarious.

Four hundred years ago he understood
That bad thoughts grow more easily than good.

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