Why I Teach

For a good few years I’ve been asking my students the question, ‘How do you kill God?’ It’s part of the study of Macbeth and precedes the students putting crimes of deicide, regicide, genocide, parricide, matricide, infanticide etc. into an order of horridness. They have to construct that order both for our time and for Shakespeare’s thereby understanding that our moral landscapes are rather different to those of Shakespeare’s audiences. Additionally, it leads towards understanding the gravity of Macbeth’s crime. I’m looking for students to display understanding of the fact that regicide was the closest you could get to deicide in the corporeal world and that, consequently, God, as the stated owner of vengeance (it is his, you see), is likely to take retribution. My lovely student, Isabelle, however, saw it rather differently.


“To kill God you have to stab him. You need the sharpest knife you can find and you cannot do it alone – you must go with at least four other people. On person pins one arm down, the second person pins his other arm down and the two other people pin down his legs. The leader of the group must stab him in the heart.


“Then you all run away.”


Thank you Isabelle. Compared to marking your book, most things are rubbish.

Added Sat, 27 Jan 2018 19:14

web site by island webservices