Dignity and battlefields
The other day I chanced upon a comment on a blog about re-enactments of historical battles. Someone who participated in re-enactments described the event as dignified, and that got me thinking about battles and dignity. The more I thought about it, the less they seemed to go together.
See, it seems to me that a proper historical re-enactment of a battle shouldn’t be dignified. Not even a little. It should be confusing, frightening and horrifying. There shouldn’t be people just falling over quietly to play dead, they should lie in a pool of blood screaming while they try to hold in their intestines with their one hand that still works. Spectators should have nightmares after watching it. I’ve been to re-enactments and battle pageants many times, and I don’t ever remember seeing a grown man crying for his mother right before he starts convulsing into his death throes, does that really sound historically accurate to you?
I imagine a really accurate re-enactment would be far more traumatic than entertaining.