The fifth of November,
The Gunpowder treason and plot;
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!
Guy Fawkes and his companions
Did the scheme contrive,
To blow the King and Parliament
All up alive.
Threescore barrels, laid below,
To prove old England's overthrow.
But, by God's providence, him they catch,
With a dark lantern, lighting a match!
A stick and a stake
For King James's sake!
If you won't give me one,
I'll take two,
The better for me,
And the worse for you.
A rope, a rope, to hang the Pope,
A penn'orth of cheese to choke him,
A pint of beer to wash it down,
And a jolly good fire to burn him.
Holloa, boys! holloa, boys! make the bells ring!
Holloa, boys! holloa boys! God save the King!
Hip, hip, hooor-r-r-ray!
Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Day, Bonfire Night and Firework Night, is an annual commemoration observed on 5 November, primarily in Great Britain. Its history begins with the events of 5 November 1605, when Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested while guarding explosives the plotters had placed beneath the House of Lords. The Gunpowder Plot of 1605, in earlier centuries often called the Gunpowder Treason Plot or the Jesuit Treason, was a failed assassination attempt against King James I of England and VI of Scotland by a group of provincial English Catholics led by Robert Catesby.
Celebrating the fact that King James I had survived the attempt on his life, people lit bonfires around London, and months later the introduction of the Observance of 5th November Act enforced an annual public day of thanksgiving for the plot's failure.
V for Vendetta is a graphic novel written by Alan Moore and illustrated by David Lloyd (with additional art by Tony Weare), and was published by Vertigo, an imprint of DC Comics.
The story depicts a dystopian and post-apocalyptic near-future history version of the United Kingdom in the 1990s, preceded by a nuclear war in the 1980s, which has left much of the world destroyed, though most of the damage to the country is indirect, via floods and crop failures. In this dystopic future, a fascist party called the Norsefire has exterminated its opponents in concentration camps and now rules the country as a police state. The comics follow its titular character and main protagonist, V, an anarchist revolutionary dressed in a Guy Fawkes mask, as V begins an elaborate, violent, and intentionally theatrical revolutionist campaign to murder his former captors, bring down the government, and convince the people to rule themselves, while inspiring a young woman, Evey Hammond, to be his protégé.
In 2006 an American-German political thriller film directed by James McTeigue and written by the Wachowskis, based on the 1982 graphic novel of the same name was released. Hugo Weaving portrays V—an anarchist freedom fighter who stages a series of terrorist attacks and attempts to ignite a revolution against the brutal fascist regime that has subjugated the United Kingdom and exterminated its opponents in concentration camps. Natalie Portman plays Evey, a working class girl caught up in V's mission, and Stephen Rea portrays the detective leading a desperate quest to stop V.
The film was originally scheduled for release by Warner Bros. on Friday, November 4, 2005 (a day before the 400th Guy Fawkes Night), but was delayed; it opened on March 17, 2006, to positive reviews.
The film has been seen by many political groups as an allegory of oppression by government; libertarians and anarchists have used it to promote their beliefs. Lloyd is quoted saying: "The Guy Fawkes mask has now become a common brand and a convenient placard to use in protest against tyranny – and I'm happy with people using it, it seems quite unique, an icon of popular culture being used this way."