No, Not Noble

Well, Brutus, thou art noble; yet, I see

Thy honourable mettle may be wrought

From that it is disposed; therefore it is meet

That noble minds keep ever with their likes;

For who so firm that cannot be seduced?

William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act I, Scene II

How many times have you heard the word “noble” in recent times? Used, I mean. How many times have you used this word or have heard the usage of this word. This is a dying word. Dead, actually; awaiting a post-mortem. The word and its meaning will die; evaporate in nothingness, with you and me.


As an adjective, ‘noble’ means, “Having or showing qualities of high moral character, such as courage, generosity, or honour,” and in Chemistry it means, “Inactive or inert”. And at the same time, chemically, “A metal or an alloy, such as gold, that is highly resistant to oxidation and corrosion.”

Nobility, if you haven’t figured out by now, has a curse of loneliness. Not all gases are inert, not all metals are gold. How long does a ‘noble’ hold high moral character, demonstrate courage, grant generosity, or display honour? How long does the ‘noble’ hold these demonstrable values as the vanguard of the self – acquired or imposed?

A nobleman’s emotions and wishes die with him; buried with him in his magnificent grave. All the kings he served, pay homage, and all maids that he rescued, pine for him. Mind you, pine for him only after his death, posthumously, I think is the word.

A nobleman is as human as you and I are. He hurts and bleeds blood as red as you would. His nobility is for the outside world. He is “resisting” oxidation and corrosion – from the world outside. It is easier for you and me to see the nobility, commend this attribute of the human. From where we stand and where we see, we can’t see the scars and bruises of the acid that couldn’t corrode his nobility.

Stand at a nobleman’s grave; ask a question – were you also a human? Like me? Maybe you were just a little more resilient than me but are as human as me? Did you pine for the same that I pined for? Did you wish to be treated as a human, also? While you resisted the corrosion, did the acid burn you, did the melting metal scar you? Did you bear the pain, but were pained after all? Were you lonely on that pedestal?

What does the grave answer?


Your questions are just as corrosive as the acid. Nobility is such a character, such an attribute, it remains that – noble.

A noble curse.


15 thoughts on “No, Not Noble

  1. This is a beautiful post Atul! It is curious that “noble” means something else in chemically :-)!

    But, I am an idealist! Would not want to question the nobility of nobility! I hope, it never dies!


  2. All I can is fantastic post!!
    Your questions are just as corrosive as the acid. Nobility is such a character, such an attribute, it remains that – noble. Wow..nice lines..
    And Atul,
    A very happy new year!!


  3. Somehow, I still see modern-day “nobility” in those who work full-time for free (or at a minimum wage)to help other disadvantaged people. If nobility is dead, I’d say this world is in quiet chaos.

    Happy New Year, Atul.


  4. –Ganga: Thank you very much. Wish you a peaceful year!

    –abaniko: yes, there is nobility around. my allusion was not so much to the death of nobility as much as the character itself. i dont believe nobility will ever die. recognizing the value of nobility may diminish, however.

    –Het: Agree totally @ wont die. 🙂 Happy new year!


  5. Nobility does have a curse of loneliness. The steeper the peak, the lonelier the path that leads upto it. It is so because the others make the easier (?) choice of bargaining their souls.

    It hurts like hell to be noble. It hurts even more to have that nobility go unnoticed – during one’s lifetime, after that – such a tragic uncompensated waste!

    I like this post!


  6. ==Explorer:
    thought @ “It hurts even more to have that nobility go unnoticed – during one’s lifetime”

    that would be a bit vain? would that qualify under nobility? does nobility recognise itself as such?


  7. My reference was to the loneliness that nobility is espoused to. Nobility does not recognise itself except as discrete qualities – courage, generosity, honor. A noble person wouldn’t look for recognition. But it sure does hurt to live that way, every day of one’s life, in a world where there’s no understanding.


  8. ==Explorer:
    That’s what I meant when I talked of the ‘curse of being noble’. It is intrinsic to being noble. I believe the nobleman knows about it anyways – but it doesn’t deter from being noble. Or something like that 🙂


  9. You said, “It’s a mile long”. I replied, “Yeah, it is surely
    1.6 km long.” Then again, you said, “That’s what I said”. Now I say, “Agreed! :)”.


  10. Pingback: Art of the Warrior « Gaizabonts

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