Shakespeare's Culture of Violence by Derek Cohen

By Derek Cohen

During this e-book, Derek Cohen experiences the connection of Shakespearean drama to the Western tradition of violence. He argues that violence is an inherent function and kind of patriarchy and that its construction and keep watch over is without doubt one of the dominant factors of the political approach. Shakespeare's performs provide examples of how during which the patriarchy of his performs - and for this reason, possibly, of contemporary Western tradition - absorbs, naturalizes, and legitimizes violence in its makes an attempt to take care of political keep an eye on over its topics.

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In these images, Hal imagines himself stained with Hotspur's blood and presenting himself to his father as the conqueror of his father's - and of 'right' society's - enemy, and thus the saviour of the nation. The bloody mask is a token or a ritualistic symbol of his effort on behalf of established order and will publicly proclaim him as hero and publicly demonstrate that the salvation of the nation has been won through the exercise of sanctioned and needed violence. Thus, The Legitimation of Violence in 1 Henry IV 37 not only is Hal to be celebrated as a saviour, but also violence itself is mystified as his almost holy means of salvation.

His desire for death is patterned upon the powerful myth of martyrdom in which he presents his own demise as more tragic and lonely than that of Jesus - 'But he, in twelve, / Found truth in all but one; I, in twelve thousand, none' (170-1). In doing this, in hyperbolizing his own betrayal, he makes a palpable use of mythology. Having 'undecked' himself, Richard seems to search through the ruins for a remaining self which he finds on his own 'sour cross' (241). 2o The undoing leads to the almost literally blinding perceptions of the mirroring effect that his tears create.

In Hal's brilliantly infuriating image we and, more important, Hotspur are presented with the image of Hotspur as an unresisting plant and the prince as a carefree courtier in search of a garland. Hotspur's single line of reply is reasonably one of powerful anger: his only possible reply to Hal's 'vanities' is the testing action of combat. 13 This insight helps to explain the tragic element of this character in the coalescence of his comic and tragic selves into mutually supporting images of comedy and tragedy whose very extremism lends intensity to the character.

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