Interviews on Free Will: Pastiche of Antigone, The Taming of the Shrew, and Pride and Prejudice

The modern woman enters the scene. She is a top journalist, sometimes anchor, for CNN, having won several awards, and acquainted with many influential people, such as the president and other world leaders. She arrives in a woman’s business dress, cut at the knees, tinted with rose red. She sits on a wooden chair, across from another empty chair, and beckons for the first interviewee, who is Creon, who enters appearing dejected, but composed enough to sit, then wait for her questions.

Modern Woman: So… Creon, getting straight to the point of this interview: why did you condemn Antigone to death when she disobeyed your law?

Creon: Because I will not be defied, nor overruled by a woman. And my Thebians: they would have questioned my integrity, thus doubted my ability to lead, speaking their defiance in dark corners, then wreaking chaos. As I said: “I will not make myself a liar to my people”.

Modern Woman: But what about the “will of the gods,” the immaterial laws set by Olympus? Do they not overrule your mortal law? As the leader of the chorus said: “Wisdom is the supreme part of happiness, and reverence towards the gods must be inviolate”. And did not Antigone follow these godly rules in burying Polyneices, to prevent their curse?

Creon: Polyneices deserved to be eternally cursed. He would have enslaved me and all of Thebes, degrading us to an animal, or even less! He was wicked, and the gods do not cherish the wicked. Just as I said: “the good desires not a like portion with the evil.”

Modern Woman: True. But could you have exercised some diplomacy? You could have used more reason, and noted that the whole town disagreed with your action of condemning Antigone to slow, but sure death, could you not?

Creon: No! My decree is in the town’s best interest, even if they do not understand it! There must be order! There must be obedience! It was the gods that forced the consequences of my just law!

Modern Woman: Okay, chill. Keep that sword in your hilt. So you are saying you do not have control over your fate?

Creon: Yes. I do not control my fate. I said this upon my family’s destruction, thus my own: “a crushing fate hath leapt upon my head”.

Modern Woman: Why?

Creon: Because the gods sow my life tapestry. Truly, because Antigone’s despicable father, Oedipus, copulated with his mother, to create that female fiend, to damn my life, curse my family with her inflexible pride.

Modern Woman: But you said, after both your son and wife committed suicide: “I, even I, was they slayer, wretched that I am-I own the truth”. You adamantly acted the role of the inflexible lawmaker. You had a choice to prevent your tragedy by listening to the Thebians, and most of all, to your son. You could have given her a lesser sentence, say a year of solitary confinement without any interaction with anybody.

Creon: Fate forced my hand. I already told you that if I submitted I would be perceived as weak, even if the Thebians disagree with your policies. I have to be the man, be the leader, the god of men!

Modern Woman: But, Creon, again, you said yourself, that you forced your own fate, after you realized your family died by your action.

Creon: I was wrong. I realize, from long contemplation, that my oppressive impulses deceived me in that moment of inexplicable devastation.

Modern Woman: Okay. So you are saying you have absolutely no say in your fate, even when other choices, wiser choices, are clearly available? It sounds like rationalization: you are blaming fate to avoid taking responsibility for your own tragedy. To escape suicidal despair, it seems.

Creon: No! My fate is carved and charred into stone by Zeus’s lightning! Son’s are carved into obedience, women charred into subjection of men!

Modern Woman: (thinks: Zeus also must have zipped lightning up his ass!) Oh-kay, well, thank you for this excellent interview.

They both stand up and she extends her hand for a shake. Creon looks at it with resenting disgust, clasps his sword on his right hip, fighting back the impulse to impale her, and abruptly spins. He paces off stage while she smirks with her hand still extended for the shake.

She drops her hand, and calls for the next interviewee.

Petruchio enters donning a scarlet detroit tigers los angeles clippers t shirt revealed underneath a azure, glossy dress shirt, legs attired in navy blue jeans, and treading on red los angeles dodgers sweatshirt , a lighter shade than the red undershirt. Modern Woman is taken back, slightly, as she believed it likely that he would wear this attire to abash her.

They sit across each other.

Modern Woman: Greetings, Petruchio.

Petruchio (donning a plain poker-face): Hello dear lady.

Modern Woman: Yes, such a gentleman (she smirks). To the point: do you believe in fate?

Petruchio: I am captain of my fate. But some people, they are fated to be fooled by fortune.

Modern Woman: What do you mean?

Petruchio: Well dear. I chose to be a man of wealth, but some people, they unconsciously seek happiness through thoughts not their own, but owned by Fate. But you, of course, an angel who decided to be a woman of influence and beauty, a businesswoman version of Venus (he says this with curled chaps, for a few moments, yet flattens them, back to the poker face).

Modern Woman (slightly annoyed, yet composed): So you are saying, basically, that we all choose our fate, our life position, before we enter into this life?

Petruchio: Yes, and no. All of existence is like an onion. Before we arrive into this world, we live in another realm, less dense than this one. Yet, another realm exists beyond that realm, lesser dense, to even less dense realms to infinitely more realms, layers upon layers, call it the Onion Theory.

Further, in the lesser dense realm, before the one we are in now, the finite being may be chained by Fate, as dictated by the choice in the realm less dense before that realm. Overall, I know that I had the choice to choose my life position before arriving in this densest realm. So I control my destiny here. As I said before: “my fortune lives for me”.

Modern Woman (knowing his BS, switches the subject): Okay. To another, though related subject: concerning Katherine’s purpose, you said: “I am he am born to tame you, Kate.” Do you mean, by this, that it is Kate’s fate to be “tamed” by you?

Petruchio: Yes, and as I said before, I chose in the Beforelife, that I am one of those who chose to be king, and she so happened to be one of those who were subject to her own unconscious rule in the Beforelife. I must have done something in the Before-before life to earn such liberty to own Fate.

But, enough of that, what about you super-dainty princess. How does my fellow, dear sapien feel about her fate and…

Modern Woman (pointing her finger, stern, burned expression): I’ll stop you right there. I give you questions, or, you will have to leave.

Petruchio: So it must be your unconscious fate to be the super-burnt princess in this case, right? (he curls the lips again, appearing to be unaffected, cold still).

Modern Woman (shoots up, and tosses her finger to the door): That’s enough. Goodbye.

Petruchio stands, though in a casual, unaffected manner, and smiles gleefully at Modern Woman.

Petruchio: Thank you, it will always be a mystery how you knew I had to go to the potty to excrete.

He grins more devilishly, spins, and brisks out the door holding his rear as if he has to go to the bathroom.

Though irritated, Modern Woman quickly chills her nerves, for she knows she is about to interview another, not as obnoxious, version of Petruchio: Mr. Wickam. She sits down, then calls him in. He briskly enters with lightness of foot, then sits.

Modern Woman (sighing a bit): Okay, Mr. Wickam…

Mr. Wickam: Are you okay?

Modern Woman: Yeah. Anyways, jumping on the purpose, do you believe you weave your life tapestry?

Mr. Wickam: Well, that’s is a clever way of putting it… (she grins) I would say no.

Modern Woman (still grinning): Why?

Mr. Wickam: Because I, from infancy, was born to a father, who died, and then left to the hands of Mr. Darcy, sr. Though he loved me, and gave me a large portion of his fortune, his son, Mr. Darcy, disregarded his wish and cast me away from the inheritance. Hence, I could not have avoided this event due to some one’s else will, that I also can not control.

Modern Woman: So you blame Darcy for your fate?

Mr. Wickam: Yes, but I am not saying that I could have done absolutely nothing. Maybe some of my nature conflicts with his, and I could have been more aware of this nature, to then reconcile with him, but that is highly unlikely, noting my human nature restrict my available actions.

Modern Woman (sassy-tongue in cheek): So you are saying that you could not prevent yourself from disregarding ole Mr. Darcy’s wish, and receiving money anyways, to then gamble it away?

Mr. Wickam: Mostly: I was young, still foolish to my own ways. But, it was fated to be so, a force beyond my knowing pulled the strings there.

Modern Woman: Are you sure you are not just abdicating responsibility? Blaming an unknown force to you can feel less guilty for doing unethical things, especially eloping with silly Lydia for the purpose of extract money from her dear ones?

Mr. Wickam: Though I understand how it can be seen negatively, I, nonetheless, followed my interests, and hers, for she did love me; she did willing marry me. As I loved her.

Modern Woman: Sure. So, overall, you are confined to your basest nature?

Mr. Wickam: Mostly, yes.

Modern Woman: Okay, thanks for your time. You may go.

Mr. Wickam stands up, slight bows his head with a charming grin, and leaves.

She calls in Darcy. Darcy enters, wearing a sharp casual attire, not too flashy, nor not too toned own. She senses great difference in this man, and actually shakes his hand, with the typical “Hi, how are you.” and the “Fine, thank you.” They sit.

Modern Woman: Mr. Darcy, this concerns your belief about destiny and free will. Do you believe you have complete control, some control, or absolutely no control over your destiny?

Darcy: Some control.

Modern Woman: Could you explain that.

Darcy: As I said before, we have the “tendency” to fallaciously behave. That is, faults of character that cannot be avoided, a natural propensity to exhibit some blemish without the possibility of eliminating all faults with free will.

Modern Woman: Can you do nothing about these fallacious traits?

Darcy: You can amend them, but only if you carefully examine yourself, daily, and admit any definite, or even possible blunders of behavior, and adjust accordingly.

Modern Woman: But what about the environment you are born into? Has not your inherited environment allowed you to adopt this belief?

Darcy: That is true. Certainly something along my life influenced me to adopt this doctrine of self-examination for self-amendment. However, if one submits to the dogma of being Fate’s pawn, then one will, inevitably, enslave oneself to the whims of environment, and to one’s own unconscious, basest self.

Modern Woman: So, you are saying that, even if everyone does have a destiny, a fixed fate, it is best, nonetheless, to adopt the conviction that one happens to their environment, and not the other way around? If you firmly believe you are a victim, then that belief will become a fact from a self-fulfilling prophecy, when you could actually exercise more control by defying Fate by disbelief?

Darcy: Yes. Only futility arises from devoting oneself to the notion of an absolutely fixed life. However, sometimes you must allow yourself, your fated nature, to guide you, in a few cases, such as finding your romantic partner, as I could not fight the temptation to gradually adore Elizabeth more and more.

Modern Woman: You mean follow your heart?

Darcy: Yes, but one has to have seasoned wisdom to discern the heart’s truth.

Modern Woman: Well, Darcy, this has been a pleasure. You certainly are the most noble person I have interviewed today. Do you mind a hug?

Darcy (reluctant):… Okay.

They stand up. She gently and warmly hugs him while he hesitantly hugs her back. He still needs to practice the art of interaction with strangers.

write by peterson