Friday, January 10, 2014

If It Were Done

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well
It were done quickly…
--- W. Shakespeare, Macbeth 1-7


When you try something difficult, you would remember the first two lines of the Scottish assassin’s soliloquy told at Act 1 Scene 7 of Macbeth. Whether your action is fair or foul, you need your motivation & resolution to do it. If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done quickly --- I render it simply: “if I can do it well, I have to do it quickly.” But Macbeth hesitates his action worrying about karma, because he can recognize that his ambition is foul that he will murder the king, who believes him:

MACBETH
If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well
It were done quickly: if the assassination
Could trammel up the consequence, and catch
With his surcease success; that but this blow
Might be the be-all and the end-all here,
But here, upon this bank and shoal of time,
We'ld jump the life to come. But in these cases
We still have judgment here; that we but teach
Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
To plague the inventor: this even-handed justice
Commends the ingredients of our poison'd chalice
To our own lips.


か難しいことをやろうとするとき、『マクベス』第一幕第七場で語られるスコットランドの暗殺者の独白の最初の二行を思い出してみてもよいだろう。行動が正しいことかまちがっていることかにかかわらず、やるとなれば、やる気や決断力が必要である。If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done quickly --- この文は簡単に翻訳できる。「うまくやれるんなら、急いでやるにかぎる」 しかし、自分を信頼する王を謀殺しようとする野望がまちがいであることを認識しているので、マクベスは因果応報を苦にして行動をためらっている。

マクベス
成して成せば成るのなら
早く成されるべきだ。もしこの暗殺が
うまい具合に、貫徹して
成果をすくえるのなら、この一撃のみで
一事が万事片付くなら。
こうなれば、時の岸と砂州の上の我ら、
来世はなくなるかもしれぬ。
しかも、こういうものには
審判がつきもの。血なまぐさい教えを教えれば、
教えたとおりそのまま、思いついた者に
災いとなって帰って来るのだ。この公正な
審判は我らの毒杯の中身を我らの唇に運ぶよう
促すのだ。


Footnotes:
trammel up原義は「網ですくい上げる」
his surcease success: his = of this assassination; surcease success = successful accomplishment 「貫徹、上首尾」
the be-all and the end-all: Shakespeare also wrote a comedy entitled All’s Well That Ends Well. シェイクスピアは喜劇『終わりよければすべてよし』を書いている。
bank and shoal of time: this life「この世、今世」
We’ld: we (my wife & I) would.
jump the life to come: hazard the next life 「来世を危険にさらす」

About "Life is a Joke"
Macbeth Quotes
Nemesis (karma)

秘められた癖の宝の鑰 (空海が語る輪廻)

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