Essay Example on Violence and Power

Published: 2021-08-11
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University of Richmond
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Power and violence are two interrelated concepts examined both in the past and present. As such, there are wider perspectives on the relationship between the two concepts with many pundits emphasizing that they go hand in hand in influencing social concepts. Power and politics go hand in hand in interfering with the various sides of the society such as relationships, political leadership, and economy. The writings on the relationship between power and violence have been evident in various circumstances to evaluate the two topics. As a clear example, violence may occur in the instance that there is a level of threat to personal power. The book by Sara Kane reveals various elements of violence its relationship with power in the instance of any form of threat. The cycle of violence is as a result of power, which remains a catalyst to undertaking various inhuman actions. Therefore, the following context examines the relationship between violence and power through an evaluation of various writings.

Any threat to power can translate into extensively violent actions. As a clear example, Shakespeares Titus Andronicus exposes the audience to the nightmarish level of violent actions coupled with an increase in ferocity coupled with inhuman actions are as a result to a personal threat to power. As such the culmination of the threat to power is evident in the instance that Titus, a Roman general opts to feed Tamora, a Queen of the Goths her sons (Bate and Rasmussen, 2007). Accordingly, the emphasis of the writing is towards the depiction of how power transforms a leader and leads to unspeakable acts emanating from any external threat. Of utmost importance is the manner of violence in the writing that is overlooked in the determination of the influence of power to transform the Roman General.

It is imperative to comprehend that power is a symbol of personal position in the society. Therefore, in the instance of any threat to power, specifically among leaders, the use of violence is usually an approach to inculcate to restore personal power (Park, 2014). As such, in Titus Andronicus, the main focus is on depicting the evident interrelationship between power and violence in the instance that an individual seems to lose control. As per various pundits, there prevails a violent clash between two facets of violence and power as provided by Bate and Rasmussen in the evaluation of the play. The play provides insight into how the growth of power ought to exude some level of violence. As such, the analysis of the various writings emphasizes on the concept that the symbolic depiction of Rome as a primitive society shows how a nation rises based on power and violence (Bate and Rasmussen, 2007). In Shakespeares most gruesome play, the graphic analysis is a depiction of the two groups, Romans, and Goths who adopt extreme acts of violence in the instance that any threat to power is evident. Therefore, it is imperative to consider that the focus of Shakespeare in the play Titus Andronicus is towards the development of an avenue whereby we can recognize and judge the most pertinent issues in the analysis of violence and power.

Further, in a different perspective, plays such as Andronicus are a depiction of the consequences of the State losing power and using violence as the only option. Much like the work of Shakespeare, its adoption in the contemporary environment is of utmost importance. Power occupies a central position among the governments. Power as the central aspect, violence is the tool that the government deploys to ensure state control. Nonetheless, the evaluation of violence as per diverse critics remains a fundamental toll towards comprehending the disparity between violent acts and the interpretation of power. Violence can become a force to reckon with from the public perspective towards establishing and sustaining the various efforts to regain power among the people. Suggestions by individuals emphasize that in the instance of a protest, there prevails a form of protest that is fuelled by the need for power concerning a given issue (Bate and Rasmussen, 2007). Individuals may protest with the aim of reducing the government power, relinquishing the power to the people and asserting their power over the government on various issues. Therefore, to understand the interrelationship between power and violence, subjective and systemic or symbolic violence provides a unique insight. Subjective violence emanates from clarity in the agent through which an individual would like to handle effectively. Symbolic or systemic violence exudes extensive consequences in the functioning of the economic and political system due to its repercussions on the power hierarchy in the society. The forms of violence interplay and power remain the central aspect of the parties involved. Therefore, through the evaluation of the significance of power in the diverse writings, the nightmare of violence is its implications on the society. Violence as per diverse pundits is intrinsic where any notion of disrespect or personal disregard for power can lead to conflicts. As a clear example, the significance of family relations forms an important aspect of the hereditary process (Kaura and Allen, 2004). Non-conformity to the stipulation of a will or any other issue can pose a threat to power, therefore, leading to the emergence of violence. Plays such as Titus Andronicus provide an excellent example of violence propagated by family relations. Accordingly, Saturninus and Bassianus whom are brothers fight over power for succession following the demise of their father. The two brothers opt to kill Tamora's eldest son Alarbus with the aim of showing allegiance and respect to Titus's power (Kaura and Allen, 2004). The elements of violence in the play are a mirror reflection of the contemporary aspects of power and violence and how they are linked to translate into a distinctive society.

The concept of power and its interplay is not only evident in the political avenue but also in the relationship avenue. Sara Kane in her play Blasted has been effective towards showing violence and how men adopt it to assert their power over women (Lin, 2012). As such, the emphasis on power among men is towards the development of a patriarchal society whereby women are submissive and conform to the authority of men. Through the use of theories by individuals such as Antonin Artaud, Kane has been effective towards creating a new style in the analysis of power and violence to generate an understanding of its influence in relationships. Despite criticism over the excessive use of violence in the plays, Kane was effective in developing the various cultural constructs on the interrelationship between violence and power towards creating the "other" in the society. Among the "other" include homosexuals and women who are submissive due to the interplay between violence and power (Kane, 2001). Kane aims to use violence to force the audience to understand that power has been significant towards the construction of gender. The interplay between power and violence denotes the emphasis on generating an avenue whereby power is an important tool towards generating a social structure. In the present environment, violence has been prevalent across relationships with the aim of men or women asserting their position of power.

The excessive use of violence through acts such as sodomy and rape have transformed the social structure and led to the public to view violence differently. As such, violence in its archetypal form plays an inherent role towards asserting the position of power in the society. Escaping violence in the social environment is a daunting prospect since it is a tool to assert power over women or the inferior in the society (Saunders, 2002). Individuals feel the implications of power through exercising violence on their fellow individuals. Therefore, power as an intrinsic concept has been impactful towards the increasing violence in the society. As such, individuals such as Kane have been effective towards showing the interplay between violence and power and how the media has been ineffective towards handling gender roles (Saunders, 2002). Gender roles emanate from the exercise of power through violence in an extensively male-dominated society. It is important to open up discussions on the implications of violence to develop power in the gendered society.

In conclusion, in the present environment, violence and power interplay in the different social and political settings. From the above analysis, plays by Kane and Shakespeare provide insight into the relationship between violence and power. Any threat to power translates into the use of violence in the political avenue. Governments have been using violence to reassert themselves to power. On the other hand, the use of violence in the social environment has been effective towards generating the social structure and asserting power among men.

Reference List

Finn, J., 2006. The relationship between sex role attitudes and attitudes supporting marital violence. Sex Roles, 14(5), pp.235-244.

Bate, J. and Rasmussen, E., 2007. William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus in the RSC Shakespeare: The complete works. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Kane, S., 2001. The Complete Plays of Sarah Kane: Blasted. Phaedra's Love. Cleansed. Crave. 4.48 Psychosis. Skin. Methuen.

Kaura, S.A. and Allen, C.M., 2004. Dissatisfaction with relationship power and dating violence perpetration by men and women. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 19(5), pp.576-588.

Lin, E.T., 2012. Artful Sport: Violence, Dismemberment, and Games in Titus Andronicus, Cymbeline, and Doctor Faustus. In Shakespeare and the Materiality of Performance (pp. 135-165). Palgrave Macmillan US.

Park, H., 2014. Staging the Fool and the" Stage of Fools": King Lear by Shakespeare and Kozintsev. Trans-Humanities Journal, 7(3), pp.5-20.

Saunders, G., 2002. 'Love me or kill me': Sarah Kane and the theatre of extremes. Manchester University Press.

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