“The story of David’s taking of Bathsheba and murder of Uriah (chaps. 11-12) and the subsequent story of rape, murder, and rebellion (chaps. 13-20) tell us….it is a threat from within, a corruption that grows from within himself and his own family, that most menaces David’s exercise of power. From this point on, despite enlivening moments, David’s story becomes increasingly bleak.”
–The HarperCollins Bible Commentary, 2000. David M. Gunn “II Samuel”. pp 267-8)
Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast,
With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts-
O wicked wit and gifts, that have the power
So to seduce!- won to his shameful lust
The will of my most seeming-virtuous queen.
But that I am forbid
To tell the secrets of my prison house,
I could a tale unfold whose lightest word
Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,
Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,
Thy knotted and combined locks to part,
And each particular hair to stand on end
Like quills upon the fretful porcupine.
—-Hamlet Act I, Scene 5