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"O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend. . . !"

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In this Prologue (above) to Shakespeare's Henry V, The Chorus speaks:

O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention,
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!

Has there been a moment in recent history like the "swelling scene" which struck with such force May 9?

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The headlines shouted, "Trump Fires FBI Director".

The Chorus speaks of France and Henry's England. We speak here of the American states, red and blue. We speak of Rachel, Chris and Lawrence against the Mighty Fox. We speak of the Times and the Post. We speak of The Nation confronting Breitbart and Conway.

And let us, ciphers to this great accompt,
On your imaginary forces work.
Suppose within the girdle of these walls.

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Are now confined two mighty monarchies,
Whose high upreared and abutting fronts
The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder:

The chorus knows you can't re-enact a battle within a "cockpit" (theater), and so he calls upon us to rely on imagination.

. . . can this cockpit hold
The vasty fields of France? or may we cram
Within this wooden O the very casques
That did affright the air at Agincourt?"

We seek our muse here among the experienced, the respected, and the learned.

Muse the First, the Editorial Board of the New York Times:

By firing the F.B.I. director, James Comey, late Tuesday afternoon, President Trump has cast grave doubt on the viability of any further investigation into what could be one of the biggest political scandals in the country's history.

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The explanation for this shocking move -- that Mr. Comey's bungling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server violated longstanding Justice Department policy and profoundly damaged public trust in the agency -- is impossible to take at face value.

Muse the Second, the more conservative Chicago Tribune editorial board:

President Donald Trump took office with half of Americans expecting greatness and the other half gravely suspicious of the presidency that would unfold. Generously feeding that suspicion: an FBI investigation of Trump's moot presidential campaign. That probe is ongoing, but James Comey will not be the FBI director who completes it. And whatever its conclusions, droves of citizens will see them as dubious. All because on Tuesday the president fired Comey -- a drastic, legal but highly problematic action.

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James Wall served as a Contributing Editor of The Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, Illinois, from 1999 through 2017. From 1972 through 1999, he was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine. Many sources have influenced (more...)
 

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