HomeTrending TopicsEmma González and the wordless act that moved a nation – Washington Publish
Posted in Trending Topics on 25th March 2018

“The remaining is silence,” the dying Hamlet declares within the last moments of Shakespeare’s biggest tragedy. The mortally wounded prince, conscious that these breaths are his final, recounts for his devoted good friend Horatio occasions he is not going to see: “I can’t stay to listen to the information from England,” he says. “However I do prophesy the election lights on Fortinbras.”

The scene was delivered to thoughts Saturday, on that spectacular out of doors Washington stage earlier than the numerous faces on the March for Our Lives demonstration, as Emma González, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas scholar who has turn out to be one of the vital outstanding voices within the #NeverAgain motion, went on along with her speech — after which, for a couple of minutes, didn’t.

It was one of many day’s most provoking moments, and a reminder of how little we admire on this Tower of Babel tradition that probably the most highly effective on the spot may be the one we don’t attempt to put into phrases. After naming the lifeless within the Parkland, Fla., bloodbath, and figuring out, like Hamlet, experiences they by no means would get to see, González merely stopped speaking. The remaining actually was silence.

The absence of language, the prolonged pause for contemplation, stays a uncommon factor in public discourse, and even rarer on the stage. A second of silence is the ritualized type of respect we make use of on many events to mark tragedy, but it surely’s normally solely a second. González’s silence was an act that felt, in its method, radical. It was as if she dropped the mic — and a mic was nonetheless in entrance of her. The silence went on for about 5 minutes, and, as cable information cameras swept the gang, you can inform that some individuals didn’t know fairly what to do with themselves. Gonzalez fastened her gaze into the gap, as if she have been concentrating on one thing out of our regular vary of notion; at occasions, she trembled and wiped away a tear. Within the crowd, some individuals began to chant, or applaud, maybe as a result of the rule on this society appears to be that if there’s a vacuum of noise, somebody has to make some.

The interruptions have been respectful, although, and ultimately, as González steadfastly held her tongue, the hubbub died down. And we have been left with the picture of a younger, grieving lady, drawing our consideration to not herself, however to one thing extra summary: to time — the quantity it took for a killer to mow down her classmates and lecturers.

I’d prefer to imagine that this heartbroken scholar was reaching into dramatic literature for inspiration; because the New Yorker’s Michael Schulman wrote final month, a number of of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas college students on the forefront of the gun-control activism take part within the college’s drama membership. “All these youngsters are drama youngsters, and I’m a dramatic child, so it actually meshes effectively,” one other New Yorker author, Emily Witt, quoted González as saying. If González’s astonishing presentation was presumably meant to sink in any deeper, channeling Shakespeare’s account of a younger man lower down in his prime would definitely be the significant conduit.

“Phrases, phrases, phrases,” Hamlet declares sarcastically, at an earlier second of the play. González touchingly reminded us profound dialogue doesn’t at all times require them.

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