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Friday, 16 April 2010

Tragic Heroes...

Have you ever seen scientists dissecting 'finds' from archaeological digs? They probe and cut and dip things into test tubes and DNA testers and come out with all kinds of discoveries about diet and ways of life in bygone ages. In such circumstances, a scientist must be objective but it isn't always easy to be objective unless we are totally aware of ourselves and our motives. If, for example, a scientist had a toothache, s/he might well concentrate on the dental problems of people in the past.

On a psychological level, it seems much more of a free for all. Anyone can look at famous people of the past and project their own awareness (or lack of) onto that person and I am so anxiously trying not to do that in this post. All the same, don't you think that the more you think about life, the more clearly you see how people are authors of their own destiny? It might be unfortunate to have been famous, since you then become the projection of so many other personalities who wish to dissect you in order to make sense of their own lives, but there are many different ways and objective ways of looking at people and gratefully learning from them.

Archduke Franz Ferdinand remains, in some ways, a complete enigma. Angry with everyone, he saw anger everywhere. Seeing himself as a victim, he became a victim. Marrying 'beneath' (what a silly term!) him, he was murdered by a mere boy. Here was a man who was so unpopular within his own country and yet his voice, had it been heard, was the voice of reason....perhaps the voice which might have prevented WWI. A man who was seen as unfriendly and yet was so loving to his children and wife; a stickler for tradition but at the same time a rebel against that tradition What a bundle of brilliant contradictions...and, like a Shakespearean tragic hero, he had his 'fatal flaw' - he was so angry and, Hamlet-like, saw himself as the victim...and inevitably became that victim. Ah...so much to think about, so much to learn....

4 comments:

Heart of the wood said...

One can imagine his reasons for being angry. Catapulted into public life from comfortable obscurity by the suicide of Rudolph and the abdication of his father. Marrying for love and scorned by the snobbish court of Vienna. Surely only a dogged sense of duty kept him from walking away from it all! So he was a victim of his sense of duty, and angry with the world which robbed him of his private joys.

Christina said...

Oh yes, I agree he had his reasons to be angry and, as you so perfectly wrote, the anger was really at himself and his 'dogged sense of duty' but he projected it onto the world. Comparing him, for example, with the Russian Grand Dukes who were stripped of their land ad forced into exile for marrying for love, he came out of it rather well - kept his titles, his commissions, and remained heir...and married the woman he loved.
Interesting though that he didn't want that responsibility and 'got out of it' before it happened...albeit in extreme circumstances!

Heart of the wood said...

Yes, they say there's no such thing as an accident!

Christina said...

...and I agree. I don't believe in 'accidents'!