Or am I discussing Shakespeare’s play with its complicated behind the scenes gossiping directed to changing opinions around serious decision making? Shakespeare really didn’t mean ‘nothing’; he meant noting which in his time could be translated as gossiping. What to do about gossip? How dangerous is it? When I was a child my Nana said that if someone listened at a closed door, then that someone would get what he or she deserved. I think she meant secrets should be kept secret, so don’t put yourself into the position of hearing secrets. As a curious child, I thought that any information I heard would set me forward in my ‘path toward enlightenment’; a concept I surely didn’t completely understand then.
I thought at that time, that Eve in eating the apple had not sinned, at least not committed a big sin. After all why wouldn’t you want to know everything? Why is knowledge bad? Can you tell me from your life stories when early or secret knowledge was given to you and that it lead to disaster. I personally am able to remember when information was withheld and it led to disaster.
Well in Shakespeare’s play, gossiping or noting is more in line with trying to direct lives with whispering of ideas not founded on truth. So let’s say my character tells her brother that the beautiful girl who lives in the apartment upstairs is secretly in love with him. My character is lying and maybe for the best of reasons. Perhaps she sees a spark between them and how could a little ignition from her hurt anyone? Or maybe my character is angry with her brother and is setting him up to fail by pushing him into a more agressive approach to the beautiful neighbor. Either way the white lie could hurt and at the very least is the start of a comedy or a tragedy or just a good little cocktail tale. It may not even be a white lie; perhaps she heard some gossip, and gossip changes its form just like a changeling; grows bigger or littler depending on the gossiper.
How often have you started a little social problem with a story that is not completely true in its source? Tell me about it. I’m guilty. I think many of you out there are probably guilty. My characters are guilty of the little while lie or a little bit of gossip.
K. B. Pellegrino