SWEET MERCY IS NOBILITY’S TRUE BADGE-SHAKESPEARE AND TIRUKKURAL – 3 (Post No.4429)

SWEET MERCY IS NOBILITY’S TRUE BADGE-SHAKESPEARE AND TIRUKKURAL – 3 (Post No.4429)

 

Written by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 24 NOVEMBER 2017

 

Time uploaded in London- 17-55

 

 

Post No. 4429

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.

 

 

This is part 3 where I compare Shakespeare’s sayings with Tiruvalluvar’s Tirukkural, which is praised as Tamil Veda by his contemporaries.

 

 

ON MERCY AND COMPASSION

Shakespeare in his play Titus Andronicus (Act 1, Scene 1) says ‘Sweet mercy is nobility’s true badge:’

 

Tam.  Stay, Roman brethren! Gracious conqueror,
Victorious Titus, rue the tears I shed,         110
A mother’s tears in passion for her son:
And if thy sons were ever dear to thee,
O! think my son to be as dear to me.
Sufficeth not that we are brought to Rome,
To beautify thy triumphs and return,         115
Captive to thee and to thy Roman yoke;
But must my sons be slaughter’d in the streets
For valiant doings in their country’s cause?
O! if to fight for king and commonweal
Were piety in thine, it is in these.         120
Andronicus, stain not thy tomb with blood:
Wilt thou draw near the nature of the gods?
Draw near them then in being merciful;
Sweet mercy is nobility’s true badge:
Thrice-noble Titus, spare my first-born son.

 

 

Tiruvalluvar has a whole chapter with ten couplets on Compassion

Temple of Tiruvalluvar in Chennai

Tiruvalluvar in Tirukkural says,

 

“Even as happiness in the world wholly depends on material possessions

Happiness in the world beyond will surley depend on compassion” (Kural 247)

 

“Men with hearts, overflowing with gentle compassion, will never

Have to go to the nether-world of darkness” (Kural 243)

 

“The vast and flourishing wind-blown earth is witness to the fact,

That those who practise compassion will never be subjected to suffering” (Kural 245)

 

 

ON LYING AND LIARS

William Shakespeare says in Cymbeline

Cadwal,
I cannot sing: I’ll weep, and word it with thee;
For notes of sorrow out of tune are worse
Than priests and fanes that lie.
Cymbeline
[IV, 2]
Imogen
2791
Richard du Champ.
[Aside]
If I do lie and do
No harm by it, though the gods hear, I hope
They’ll pardon it.—Say you, sir?
Cymbeline
[V, 5]
Posthumus Leonatus
3638
Shall’s have a play of this? Thou scornful page,
There lie thy part.

 

In All’s Well That Ends Well
[IV, 3]
Parolles
2332
He will steal, sir, an egg out of a cloister: for
rapes and ravishments he parallels Nessus: he
professes not keeping of oaths; in breaking ’em he
is stronger than Hercules: he will lie, sir, with
such volubility, that you would think truth were a
fool:
drunkenness is his best virtue, for he will
be swine-drunk; and in his sleep he does little
harm, save to his bed-clothes about him; but they
know his conditions and lay him in straw. I have but
little more to say, sir, of his honesty: he has
every thing that an honest man should not have; what
an honest man should have, he has nothing.

Statue of Tiruvalluvar in London University (SOAS)

Tiruvalluvar has a whole chapter on Truthfulness; here are some parallel couplets:

 

If a man should utter a lie consciously, his own mind would torture him for the lie he uttered. (Kural 293)

If it will produce pure, unmixed good, even falsehood may be considered truth (Kural 292)

 

If one lives true to one’s inner mind

That person lives in the hearts of all mankind (Kural 294)

 

ON ANGER

 

Shakespeare says,

Wrath makes him deaf.
3 Henry VI (1.4.54), Queen Margaret, speaking of Clifford

xxx

 

Never till this day
Saw I him touch’d with anger so distemper’d.
The Tempest (4.1.159-60), Miranda speaking of Prospero

xxx

 

But men are men, the best sometimes forget.

Though Cassio did some little wrong to him,

As men in rage strike those that wish them best,

Yet surely Cassio, I believe, received

From him that fled some strange indignity

Which patience could not pass. (Iago in Othello, Act 2, Scene 3)

xxx

 

This tiger-footed rage.
Coriolanus (3.1.311), Menenius to Brutus

xxx

And Valluvar says in Tirukkural,

 

Anger not only destroys those whom it affects, like fire, but it will also burn

Those kindred souls, who step in to help (Kural 306)

 

If you would protect yourself, guard against your own anger;

For anger not controlled would lead to self-destruction (305)

 

Even where it cannot hurt others, anger is bad;

But where does it hurt, there is nothing worse. ( Kural 302)

 

to be continued………………….

 

–SUBHAM–

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