Tuesday, June 27, 2017

A Tale from the Mirror

It is not unusual for those who are steeped in evil to lose perspective, and in the end, cause their own demise. Consider the recent scandal- yes, that of a witch, a murderer, a stepmother, and a queen- which has proved to be a popular study in certain circles. In several of these circles, the discussion focuses upon her means of murder, and on how she could have succeeded if she had employed more effective tools. Certainly, that is true, but it only proves my point- that those who are steeped in evil often lose perspective.

The first mistake is to presume a necessity for murder as a means of achieving one's goals. The Queen desired to remain the fairest in the land, and with her stepdaughter proving yet more beautiful, she saw the solution of murder. Admittedly, this would achieve her objective, but was disproportionately risky. It is a trivial exercise for those with vision to see more benign alternatives.

An early death is rather unnatural, and thus difficult to arrange. Good and willing help is problematic to find, and executing the deed personally only serves to increase the chance of failure, as well as to incriminate oneself. But if the crime was less severe, both of these issues could be circumvented. What if the Queen staged some sort of accident, but instead of causing death, merely caused disfigurement? And it needn't be a severe disfigurement, only a mild one- perhaps a small scar? It would achieve the same ends, which was to remove the stepdaughter as a candidate for the fairest.

But even this alternative demonstrates a lack of vision. It only modifies the means, but does not question the motive. Villains are villains not because they have the means, but because they are driven by the wrong motives. Now, why then did the Queen desire to be the fairest, a Sisyphic goal at best? Here I move to speculate: she valued herself by such a metric, and this was reinforced by her becoming Queen by virtue of her beauty. Under the circumstances, she saw her beauty as the cause, and the method, of her remaining Queen. Not an entirely unreasonable thought, for kings that once chose their wives on the basis of beauty are wont to do so again. Insecurity turned to madness, and tragedy followed.

It is here that I lament the loss of perspective that madness brings. She saw only one means to perpetuate her position, and she took it. But what if she had other means of proving herself invaluable to the king and kingdom? For instance, a tool that could scry and discern the truth? By using such a device to assist in the fair administration of the country, her assessment would not only no longer be reliant on her ultimately ephemeral beauty, but be based on her contributions and virtues.

But alas, that is not what happened.