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Shakespeare’s passionate defence of refugees celebrated on his 400th anniversary

As the world celebrated the matchless legacy of Shakespeare this month, on the 400th anniversary of his death, Ian McKellan has brought to the attention of the world this little known speech in defence of ‘strangers’ and refugees, preserved in Shakespeare’s own handwriting for all to see. Like much of the bard’s writing, it is just as relevant today.
“You’ll put down strangers,/ Kill them, cut their throats, possess their houses,/ And lead the majesty of law in lyam/ To slip him like a hound. Alas, alas! Say now the King/ As he is clement if th’offender mourn,/ Should so much come too short of your great trespass/ As but to banish you: whither would you go?/What country, by the nature of your error,/ Should give you harbour? Go you to France or Flanders,/ To any German province, Spain or Portugal,/ Nay, anywhere that not adheres to England:/ Why, you must needs be strangers.”