Daily Micro: Yesterday’s Visionaries in Today’s World ~ Lajos Egri

Acknowledging Lajos Egri (The Art of Dramatic Writing)

Every story must have a Premise;

 

Romeo and Juliet

The play starts with a deadly feud between two families, the Capulets and the Montagues. The Montagues have a son, Romeo, and the Capulets a daughter, Juliet.

The youngsters’ love for each other is so great that they disregard the hatred between the two families. Juliet’s parents try to force her to marry Count Paris.

Distraught, she goes to the good friar who tells her to take a strong sleeping draught on the eve of her wedding which will make her seemingly dead for forty-two hours. Juliet follows his advice.

Onrushing tragedy nears. Romeo, believing Juliet is dead, drinks poison and dies beside her. When Juliet awakens and finds Romeo dead, without hesitation she decides to unite with him in death.

Though Romeo and Juliet deals with love, there are many kinds of love. No doubt this was a great love, since the two lovers not only defied family tradition and hate, but threw away life to unite in death.

The premise, then: “Great love defies even death.”

 

King Lear

The King misplaces his trust when he listens to the flattery of his two oldest daughters who conspire to strip him of all authority and to degrade him. He dies insane, a broken, humiliated old man.

Lear trusts his oldest daughters implicitly. In believing their glittering words, he exposes his faults.

A vain man believes flattery and trusts those who flatter him. But flatterers cannot be trusted and those who believe flattery court disaster.

Lear’s Premise holds true, for “Blind trust leads to destruction.”

 

Macbeth

Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, in their ruthless ambition to achieve power, kill King Duncan. To strengthen their position, Macbeth hires assassins to kill Banquo, whom he fears.

Later, Macbeth commits more murders in order to entrench himself more securely in the position he secured through murder.

Finally, the nobles and his own subjects, aroused and fearful of Macbeth’s rage, rise against him. Macbeth perishes as he lives – by the sword – and Lady Macbeth dies, haunted by fear.

What can be the story’s premise? The question is, what forces motivate Macbeth?

No doubt, ambition. What kind of ambition? Ruthless, so drenched in blood. Macbeth’s actions foreshadow the means by which he achieves ambition.

The premise, then;

“Ruthless ambition leads to its own destruction.”

 

The Contemporary World – 2013

In choosing the above examples to identify Premise, I relied upon work I previously published in The Art of Dramatic Writing.  IF you look at the book, you’ll recognize that the same examples formed the opening to the 1st Chapter which I entitled Premise.

In the Art of Dramatic Writing, I claimed that Art is not the Mirror of Life, but the Essence of Life.

I will now show you what I mean.

To understand, you must realize that, though I do not inhabit your earthly plane, having passed in the linear time of February, 1967, I exist continually in spirit, in soul and in other dimensions of non-linear time on your Earth.

Picture me as inexhaustible energy with a bent towards the arts. I dip in and I dip out.

Consider this – Productions of Romeo and Juliet, King Lear and Macbeth, 400 linear (earthly human) years after the author’s death, totaled in the thousands in dominant culture (Gregorian Calendar) 2012. And in all, the above Premises guided story.

If my claim is true, that Art is not the Mirror of Life, but the Essence of Life, the above Premises which like a seed grew into a plant called Art, their very essences must be as true in your contemporary world as they were in the Bard’s, as they were in my analysis.

So let’s take the three of them and tell your story;

“Great love defies even death.”

“Blind trust leads to destruction.”

“Ruthless ambition leads to its own destruction.”

In the first Premise, we see the relationship between two seemingly contrasting visions (love and death). If we review the intent of Yesterday’s Visionaries in Today’s World, was it not to explore the two contrasting visions that shape the Contemporary World;

In one, conquerors traverse the world as a series of endless privileges secured through material means and patriarchal oppression.

In the other, conquered and oppressed individuals and groups perceive that consciousness animates nature, humanity and the spirit of a Living Earth.

Do not those two visions, in revealing patriarchy and oppression, consciousness and spirit, delineate death and love?

Is that not the contemporary world? Do not those two visions form the parameters of your world?

Now, let’s look at the two remaining Premises;

“Blind trust leads to destruction.”

“Ruthless ambition leads to its own destruction.”

When the oppressors come, when patriarchy approaches, do they not come with promises? Of finances and security. Do they not first flatter?

Do they not first dispatch explorers and missionaries, life eternal and, in the contemporary world, great financings, loans from institutional organizations to destitute nations or asset finance to those who seek to climb societal ladders in the developed nations and safety from terror?

And in accepting those offerings, does not that trust befoul when the gods of compound interest be served? Do not nations, even developed, adopt measures of Austerity? Must not payback commence? Does not ruin and foreclosure, theft of resources and grinding poverty follow cyclically? Does not safety become invasive? Must not terror exist behind every lamppost?

Doesn’t “Blind trust (among those conquered and oppressed individuals and groups that perceive that consciousness animates nature, humanity and the spirit of a Living Earth) in the oppressors lead to destruction?”

And what of those that traverse the world as a series of endless privileges secured through material means and patriarchal oppression?

In securing privilege at the expense of others, do they not, as Macbeth, murder and, to hide those deeds, murder again and again? Do not drones fly over the skies? Are not all communications monitored, stored and catalogued? Are not prisons overflowing? Are not debtor’s prisons in vogue?

Will not, as extinction of specifies intensifies, as water becomes privatized, as death cultures proliferate, nature and spirit becomes so aroused that, in unison with the oppressed, they rise against the oppressors who will die as they lived — by the sword, through degradation of life, because “Ruthless ambition leads to its own destruction.”

This then, the story of the Contemporary World – 2013 – and these the Premises;

Two contrasting visions, equally mounted antagonists, occupy a singular space that evinces destruction made out of love they can neither escape nor articulate in the physical plane but that remains true in essence, ever-living in the cosmos, in the soul and in the spirit.

 

~ Stephen J. Bergstrom

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