Thursday, 5 January 2012

Dick the Butcher

God save your majesty!
I thank you, good people—there shall be no money; all shall eat
and drink on my score, and I will apparel them all in one livery,
that they may agree like brothers, and worship me their lord.
The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.
Nay, that I mean to do.
Henry The Sixth, Part 2 Act 4, scene 2, 71–78
Dick the butcher, a character no one remembers, utters one of the few memorable lines from the entire three-part Henry the Sixth cycle. Dick's Utopian idea to kill all England's lawyers is his addition to the promises of the traitorous Jack Cade, who envisions a quasi-communistic social revolution, with himself installed as autocrat. Cade alleges that all lawyers do is shuffle parchments back and forth in a systematic attempt to ruin the common people. His demagoguery is simply a calculated appeal to simple folks' longing to be left alone.

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