The Colour Red

August 24, 2015 § 1 Comment

A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution 1891-1924 by Orlando Figes

A People’s Tragedy: The Russian Revolution 1891-1924 by Orlando Figes

The Russian words for “red” and “beautiful” share the same root; hence the colour red having the most complimentary connotations. To the Bolsheviks it signified the blood of the workers. Yet after reading A People’s Tragedy it is difficult not to imagine the very soil of Russia taking on a red hue: the amount of blood spilt is nauseating. The Bolsheviks may have considered themselves atheists and non-believers, yet the fact remains that they were religious fanatics and fundamentalists. Fervent advocates of Marxist-Leninist ideology, they believed that whatever the cost may be it was worth paying in order to build a socialist utopia. « Read the rest of this entry »


Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears

August 5, 2015 § Leave a comment


Pitted against one another, in Act III scene ii of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, are reason and sentiment; logic and emotion. Brutus’ words rely on the righteousness of his act; of having rid Rome of a tyrant. He refrains from using oratorical skill, opting instead for simpler, plainer language and wishing to appeal to his audience’s reason.

Romans, countrymen, and lovers!
hear me for my cause,and be silent,
that you may hear: believe me
for mine honour, and have respect to mine honour,
that you may believe: censure me in your wisdom, and
awake your senses, that you may be the better judge.

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