The 48 Laws of Power
Robert Greene
Contributed by Jack Shields
Chapter 36

Law Thirty-Six: Disdain Things You Cannot Have: Ignoring Them Is the Best Revenge


Where an individual acknowledges that a small problem exists, he gives it credibility and existence (Greene 300). An enemy that receives a lot of attention ends up attaining a lot of power. The virtue, thus, lies in denying the enemy the acknowledgment by ignoring him. Where a person wants something he cannot have, he needs to show contempt for it. The lesser interest a person shows, the more superior he becomes. In the 1500s, King Henry decided to divorce his wife because she could not bear a child and marry a young lady called Anne Boleyn (Greene 301). Catherine refused to acknowledge the annulment and continued to throw herself at Henry. King Henry continually refused her until she died of a cancerous tumor in 1536. She needed to have avoided him, once the marriage was annulled. 

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