His readers do not want to hear about Freud or Kafka or Sartre; they want to sleep better." (6) But for an intellectual of such prominence, who championed liberal voices of the past, some of whom, like Herzen, did not hesitate to man the barricades, Berlin appeared to be a grand equivocator
, not so much out of intellectual hesitation but out of a need not to ruffle the feathers of those in power.
Johnson as Equivocator
: The Meaning of Rasselas." Modern Language Quarterly 31 (1970): 195-208.
The Satanic Porter, whose greatcoat covered a suicide bomber's belt full of fireworks, handed one to an old man in the front row of the stalls yard; and he located an "Equivocator
" in the second row on the right.
Mackenzie King was a weasel and an equivocator
who had an unbreakable power base in isolationist Quebec, but he would not abandon Britain.
One sees from Kastner's talk that he is a skilled equivocator
. He already proved that in his books on the Greek war and the war in North Africa.
While this reference may relate the title character to an unpleasant Elizabethan memory (that of Father Garnet, the Great Equivocator
), the obscure and cultist samples are likely to entertain.
According to Alvin Kernan, the Porter's joke--"an equivocator
that could swear in both the scales against either scale, who committed treason enough for God's sake, yet could not equivocate to heaven" (2.3.8-10)--is a "grim and unsympathetic" jest for the simple reason that "pity for the king's enemies is not wise in his friends." Garnet's equivocation and other topical matters are therefore "handled in the play in a way to please the king." (45)
What's more, the "equivocator
" of the drunken Porter's speech, who "could swear in both the scales against either scale," has long been seen as a reference to the alleged doublespeak of Father Henry Garnet, a Jesuit priest tried and executed for his supposed role in the plot.
represents a process of self-examination with Armah as the enigmatic equivocator
. The soul, or psyche in him is that philosophical and messianic quality which seeks nothing less than the pure (or beautiful) while the body is the interior or less national part which welcomes immediacy and mundane pleasure.
Unlike Radcliffe's morally steady narrator, Dacre's is an equivocator