Violence and Its Forms

1776 WordsJun 16, 20188 Pages
Violence was, and remains today, a versatile concept in theatre. Violence is something we desire to see as an audience, yet simultaneously a majority of people would never commit the atrocities found in “Macbeth.” There exists a thin line between acceptable violence and violence that turns an audience away from sympathizing with a character. In this essay we will evaluate the differences between the various forms of violence found within “Macbeth,” and analyze why the audience can accept some acts of violence, while deeming others inhumane. The clearest breeds of violence found in the play are; war violence, law breaking violence, sociopathic violence, and descriptive violence. Shakespeare places these different forms of violence…show more content…
And even now, To crown my thoughts with acts, be it thought and done: The castle of Macduff I will surprise, Seize upon Fife, give to th' edge o' th' sword His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls That trace him in his line. No boasting like a fool. (IV.i.1726-1733) Macbeth addresses the difference between fantasy and actuality. Shakespeare may have been suggesting that it is a human element to have demons for daydreams and that it is part of the human consciousness to fantasize horrible acts such as murdering for power, but that it is only unheavenly violence when these thoughts are acted upon. War violence is the most publically accepted form of violence. Macbeth is introduced as a courageous man because he was able to win the war for the Scottish. For brave Macbeth—well he deserves that name— Disdaining fortune, with his brandish'd steel, Which smoked with bloody execution, Like valour's minion carved out his passage Till he faced the slave; Which ne'er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him, Till he unseam'd him from the nave to the chaps, And fix'd his head upon our battlements. (I.ii.35-42) The play “Macbeth” is introduced with violence, but unlike the violence that follows this battle, the future gore is unacceptable. Macbeth is explained to have cut a man from his navel to his jaw, and then place his head on a castle wall. As violent as this is, it is the only act Macbeth does in the entire play that is noble. The opening
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