“Look, as I blow this feather from my face,
And as the air blows it to me again,
Obeying with my wind when I do blow,
And yielding to another when it blows,
Commanded always by the greater gust;
Such is the lightness of you common men.” (King Henry VI part 3, act 3, sc. 1)
Tips for Use. The last two lines, “Commanded always by the greater gust; such is the lightness of you common men.” well convey the concept. In a presentation you can change to ‘… such is the lightness of the common men.’ – so as not to offend the audience.
The idea of the mutability and fickleness of crowds is a frequently recurring theme in many Shakespeare’s plays. This quotation is one of about 20 on the same subject. What King Henry VI observes here during the 100 years war, (i.e. people change their mind like the direction of a feather in the wind) today has become an industry. To blow the ‘greater gust’ and to control the ‘common men’ is of course the office of propaganda. Of which Edward Bernays says, “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society (!) – the exclamation mark is mine. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the ruling power of our country…”
You can tie the two concept in a presentation, whether you agree with the idea or not. Personally, it fills me with a deep desire for rebellion.
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Of course, if you acquire the book “Your Daily Shakespeare” (click on “The book” in the menu), you will not only enjoy it but you will find it very useful. The quote in this post and more than ten thousand others will lead you to find the words that perfectly strengthen your argument(s). After all Shakespeare wrote them, I simply extracted, structured and compiled them so as to make Shakespeare both useful in your life endeavors and very “user friendly” as they say. And if you wish I will even sign the book. But this is the extreme extent of any “sales” effort, call or solicitation.
In the Play. King Henry VI has been deposed by Edward of York. Two keepers use the occasion to take Henry VI prisoner in the hope of a reward. Only a little time earlier they had been his ‘faithful and loyal’ subjects.
Image sources: http://profitable-blogging-secrets.com/blog/getting-the-crowds-in/