William Tell


William Tell and the iPhone

Hear the words ‘William Tell’ and probably the first thing that comes to mind is the apple on a head and Tell shooting his arrow through its centre.  Well, at least, that’s how it is for me. But after drawing this cartoon I realised I knew very little of this Swiss folk hero.

Tell was a 14th century crossbow marksman who assassinated Gessler, the tyrannical Austrian bailiff of Habsburg (royal house of Europe).  Gessler’s demise unwittingly started with the very first action he took when first placed into power. Symbolically, he put his hat on a tall pole and demanded all that pass bow to show their respect. When William Tell and his son visited the town, Tell refused to bow. Outraged, Gessler set a punishment. A choice of execution or Tell could shoot an apple from the top of his son’s head. Tell suceeded and was granted pardon. However, the plot thickened, as Gessler was curious as to why Tell had two arrows, instead of one. Tell indicated it was a spare, should the first miss, but later the truth was revealed. The second arrow was marked for Gessler, in the event Tell missed the apple and killed his son instead.

Upon hearing this, the pardon was overruled and Tell was captured. A ship was to take him to the castle Küssnacht dungeon. However, a storm broke and the seaman fearing their own safety allowed Tell, an accomplished sailor to steer the ship to safety. Naturally, he chose to return to a ‘dungeon free’ shoreline, where he jumped ship. Gessler tried to hunt him down, but was assassinated by Tell.  This spurred others to start a rebellion to the Austrian rule. Eventually, the Swiss won and formed the Old Swiss Confederacy.

So, a rather long preamble, but I’m interested in understanding…

How far would you go to save your phone?


  • Carrie Rubin says:

    I didn’t know the details to the story either, so thanks for sharing them. Interesting to learn. As for as how far I’d go to save my phone, I’m not sure. But I know not as far as shooting it off my son’s head!

    • Marti says:

      Ok, then maybe swap it round and he can shoot it off your head 😉
      Phew, good to know I wasn’t the only one out there not knowing the history – it felt like such an obvious story I should know, apart from that one scene
      PS. thanks for popping by. Have a great Christmas and happy new year!

  • Jen Martin says:

    I don’t reckon I’d go too far to save my phone, but I’m so glad you told the story. I’d never heard any of that before!

    • Marti says:

      It’s a relief to hear I’m not the only one and can share good company on this topic. Just watch out for the next pub trivia night – there will be no stopping us!

  • Perpetua says:

    That is an excellent depiction for the modern day Tell. I will save myself first before that darn iPhones Apple 🍎 or not. Don’t buy one nor I care to have one. I take hand me downs free without the worms 🐛.

    • Marti says:

      Just quietly, like my iPhone, but love my iPad. Good thing I wouldn’t be left in the same dilemma as Tell – it has cloud back up! 😉

  • I like the story and the cartoon. Since phones have are a link to a lot of personal info, it may be a good idea to try to save it. Or, let the arrow hit it and get a brand new one!

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