Double Double Toil & Trouble

If someone you loved was killed in front of you, but someone created a copy of them that was perfect right down to the atomic level, would they be the same person and would you love them just as much?

Deck: The Shakespeare Tarot

Card: 7 of Crowns Banquo

crowns 7  banquo.jpg

Answer: As luck would have it, there isn’t to my knowledge a game in which the objective is to pull the same card twice – if there were, I ‘d be an ace. Luckily, the tarot is incredibly flexible and forgiving. Come to think of it, pulling the same card twice is a variation on the question itself.

Would they (the replaced person) be the same person? In some ways, the 7 of Crowns says both yes and no, it’s a matter of wait and see. Simply, if the 2nd person were exactly the same as the 1st, then yes; but since no 2 things can ever be exactly the same, then the answer is no. That said, as far as the abilities of mere humans to discern minute differences goes, this nuanced fact is moot and, for all intents and purposes, the replaced person would be, for the one who loves them, the exact same. After all, a person is minutely different from one day to the next and who can tell? Things without all remedy should be without regard: what’s done is done.

Would you love them just as much? Again, the 7 of Crowns suggests we have to wait and see – and there’s the rub! This is exactly where the indiscernible difference and the seed of the deed itself start to matter. Within the play, Macbeth and his wife were indeed the most adept couple in the kingdom. However, when they killed King Duncan, something changed. The horror of the incident haunted them, and they not only outwardly changed their behavior – killing Banquo, for instance – but their inner psyches changed too – they became fearful and wracked with guilt. On the 7 of Crowns card, we see the bloody boy who tells Macbeth of no one born of woman, Banquo’s ghost, Macbeth’s exposed brain, and a ring of kings so reflected that they create a lemniscate. Just as Macbeth chose to accept certain aspects of the fate the 3 sisters foretold him and reject others only to become haunted by his own deeds, a person would love the exact replica made of their loved one and overlook the fact this duplicate simply cannot be the exact same – only, over time, they would experience misgivings, become haunted by the incident, and possibly come to suspect and resent the replacement. Foul, in short, would be fair, and fair foul. Consider the superstition which has developed over time about The Scottish Play, where merely speaking Macbeth’s name spells disaster: that the play is cursed and the act of calling it by its name invokes this curse is analogous to the ill-fated premise of the question and its iteration – what’s done cannot be undone.

The eye which looks out from the summit of the card symbolizes the observance of the “If someone you loved was killed in front of you” aspect of the question. Sure, the replaced loved-one may indeed be exactly same, but it’s the one who watched their loved one being killed in front of them – the you of the question – who will be ineluctably changed.

Published by Chas Tringham

Chas Tringham wasn't so much born on February 26 1969, as he was raised in absentia. He is the son of J.J. Bieber and a discounted sack of millet. Chas' mother was 17 years old when she became 18. His parents would never marry, or merry, Queen of Scots, but maintained a close call and the common cold regarding their son's personal acne and professional malfeasance. Growing up, Chas taught those closest to him to resent the trumpet. On or about September 9/11, Chas' step-uncle's memoir, the eminently readable "Chaps", was publicly ignored. The book tells of his/her early dinners and reads it a story before bedtime. Looking back, Chas maintained contacts with his optometrist, who later married two women and an unemployed bird enthusiast. Interested in honkies, soccer, and ice-chests, Chas keeps his aspirations in a sweat sock.

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