Remember, Remember the 5th of November: Guy Fawkes Day

On November 5, 1605, 13 men conspired to blow up the British Parliament, in an attempt to overthrow (kill) the oppressive King James.  This failed mission is known as the Gunpowder Plot.  The man guarding the gunpowder was named Guy Fawkes.  On that night… the night that could have changed History, Fawkes and his compatriots were caught.  For his part in the conspiracy, Fawkes was arrested, tortured, and executed.

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After the plotters were captured and their plans foiled, citizens burned bonfires in celebration of the thwarting of the assassination of their King.  To this day, November 5th is commemorated by British citizens with gold viagra pilland fireworks.  Many people burn effigies of unpopular political figures on what is now known as Guy Fawkes Day.  Whether people are celebrating the rescue of the King from certain doom, or the perceived bravery of Fawkes in his bold attempt to annihilate Parliament, is really up for debate.

For most people outside of Great Britain and her Commonwealths, Guy Fawkes Day was an obscure holiday that we’d never really paid much attention to, if we’d ever heard of it at all.  But all of that changed with the release of the film, Read More.

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In this movie, Guy Fawkes is a hero.   He represents a man’s duty to stand up to an oppressive government, by any means necessary.  Mirroring the Gunpowder Plot, V for Vendetta, revolves around the planned explosion of Parliament.  Having been released during the Bush years, this movie was incredibly potent, and reflected back to us the consequences of an out of control central government. The film lashed out against Government sponsored terror attacks on its own citizens, and struck a chord with movie goers who were becoming increasingly skeptical of what they were being told.

Perhaps it is just as potent, if not more so today.  I must admit to weeping upon hearing V’s speeches.  The final scene of the film is particularly moving.  I will be observing Guy Fawkes Day by watching Read More.  I hope you’ll at the very minimum take the time to listen to the televised speech that V delivered to his Country.  It makes me emotional every time I see it.

Verily I invite you to view the video of V’s vocalization of his vision for victory.

In the film, V often invokes imagery of the Guy Fawkes Gunpowder Plot.  In one of his eloquent speeches, he quotes an old British folk poem.

The entire poem can be seen below.

Remember, remember, the 5th of November
The Gunpowder Treason and plot;
I know of no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.

Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes,
‘Twas his intent.
To blow up the King and the Parliament.
Three score barrels of powder below.
Poor old England to overthrow.
By God’s providence he was catch’d,
With a dark lantern and burning match

Holloa boys, Holloa boys, let the bells ring
Holloa boys, Holloa boys, God save the King!

Hip hip Hoorah !
Hip hip Hoorah !

A penny loaf to feed ol’Pope,
A farthing cheese to choke him.
A pint of beer to rinse it down,
A faggot of sticks to burn him.
Burn him in a tub of tar,’
Burn him like a blazing star.
Burn his body from his head,
Then we’ll say: ol’Pope is dead