To tell the truth: to be upright, honorable, just, sincere, blunt, outspoken, fearless, plain-dealing, constant, steadfast, honest, candid, faithful, forthright and unrestrained.
These qualifications, admirable as they are as human traits, do not by themselves make a truth-teller. A truth-teller simply tells the truths but those endowed with this inclination usually have one or more of the other attributes.
Living in a corrupt world is at best very precarious. Topping the list of dangers are:
2. Sorting out the truth, and
3. Telling it out loud.
We are conditioned by the social systems to avoid them; and in that order.
In the long ago, Fools and lack-wits, incapable of the first (thinking) were forgiven on the other two counts. Truth has never enjoyed popular
currency. It has, in fact, been more like a Cinderella in human society. Yet there are exceptions, like the Prince Charming who will go to great efforts to find her.
Shakespeare is full of thinking people, but they are not necessarily involved with truth-telling. They may be intellectual, brave, intelligent and even villainous.
There are those thinkers who have reached the second plateau, through circumstances tragic and otherwise, but they expire with their knowledge.
The third stage is the toughest. Society would sooner acquit one for obscene exposure than for exposing a truth. The church for example, will forgive commitment of any of the deadly sins, on repentance, but will not tolerate a confession of agnosticism, even by the most honest and virtuous person.
Expressing a truth may be good for one's integrity and self-image, but it sure is hard on one's safety and security. If the latter
are considerations, the best advice is, if you have to tell the truth, be discreet in the dosage.
That Shakespeare may have used these characters for his own voice is a speculation that will keep scholars off the street for some time.
The characters are, therefore, surveyed from my point of view, as reflections of real-life people, that I would like to emulate or maybe like to know.
Copyright © 1982 Hannah Tompkins. All rights