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12 days of Christmas ‘Heresies’ in Shakespeare

DAY ONE: ROMEO & JULIET: THE VIRGIN BIRTH

Act 1, Scene 1 is where many a cryptic foreshadowing can be seen. Here, two low-level Capulet gang-bangers joke about decapitating and raping innocent Montague virgins – seemingly in that order! Does it really belong in our list of 12 days of Christmas allusions? There’s some pretty lofty, challenging, theology to attune to but that’s what goes with this territory.

SAMPSON: ‘Tis all one, I will show myself a tyrant: when I have fought with the men, I will be civil with the maids, I will cut off their heads.

GREGORY: The heads of the maids.

SAMPSON: Ay the heads of the maids, or their maidenheads, take it in what sense you wilt.

These sort of ‘blink-and-you’ll-miss-it’ pun-driven incidents are neither incidental, nor coincidental. In the greater context of Shakespeare’s works, there’s little doubt this is yet another one of his thematic allusions to the rape of Eve by the serpent (tyrant). Given the nature and outcome of this play we need to consider Shakespeare is nudging us in the direction of understanding what ancient scripture was being fulfilled by the mother of Jesus’s needing to have been a virgin.

In the beginning, in Shakespeare’s theology, the serpent raped and contaminated Eve and Adam, planted his seed (the knowledge of ‘good and evil’) into the soul’s energy field, sired the monstrous hybrid birth Cain and Abel, banished the soul from the heart of God, and supplanted them. Instead of the soul being the centre of consciousness, and our walking in the joy and bliss of the divine; the ruler of our consciousness became the power-and-control crazed ego.

For a virgin to give birth is not just a random miracle. It was the first of many hundreds of steps in the Christ action of repairing and renewing the damage done by Satan to the Creation – all accumulating to enable God/ the Christ to reclaim the lost kingdom. The virgin birth symbolises how the birth of the sons of Adam & Eve would have been in the beginning (as God originally intended) had the serpent (Satan) not rebelled against God, and violated and contaminated our consciousness.

Christmas allusion? Gets my vote. Let me know what you think.

SHAKESPEARE’S SECRET COMPASS:  
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