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Essay Paper on Violence

by Paige Bell

From the ancient times violence has been a defensible mean to attain one’s goals. It used to be justified by the dictates of the time and society as acceptable behavior. Nowadays violence is a widespread phenomenon in practically all societies. It occurs in all spheres of life and takes many forms – religious and school violence, state terrorism, street fighting, violence at the sports event stands to name just a few of its manifestations.

Almost anyone of us has experienced the situation when our rights were violated, when we were unfairly accused, when someone was getting on us while we wanted nothing but piece at the time, when we wanted to do one thing and believed it right, but were made to do as other wanted. No one can remain indifferent when being assaulted and harmed; we are trying to find a way out to protect ourselves. The problems of Shakespeare’s heroes affect us as if they were our own; we equally worry about the Montagues and the Capulets. What Shakespeare wrote about in his tragedy seems to be appealing and related to us as it has a ring to civil strife, terror, ruthless fight for power, vulnerability of a human life, and self-destruction in our modern world today.

Life will not be itself without disease, wars, and violence, both in Shakespeare’s times and nowadays. So much as in medieval times when the foundations of the feudal society began to fall apart, with one clan fighting against another, and thus agitating the masses, aggression and violence are a wide-spread phenomenon of modern societies, and they seem to be inevitable. The centuries to come after the time when Shakespeare wrote his tragedies and comedies brought us a great deal of violence manifestations, with the two world wars happening in just the twentieth century itself. Violence seems to constantly be in the air – there are revolutions, civil wars, class antagonism going around in the world, and people fear the nuclear Apocalypses. In the modern world of technology and huge flows of information, human beings are more vulnerable to unprecedented outbreaks of violence that at times have no obvious understandable background.

The reason of the feud between the two noble houses cannot be remembered over time, but both sides keep vigorously loathe each other, and the old misunderstanding inadvertently involves the next generations into the conflict. The lovers cannot express their love openly, and have to secretly fight for their love. Violence in a form of suppression makes one rebel against it. So does Juliet by drinking the sleeping drug as an act of  rebellion against her parents; insisting on her getting married according to their will. Violence begets violence, although at times there is hidden obedience.

While many cultures propagate humility and non-violent resistance, obedience will not lead to liberation. One may be a believer in peaceful means of living and achieving the goals, but it is defensible to be tough and violent at times. It is hard in a situation when you are being attacks and assaulted to remain calm and level-headed. This is especially true when someone is insulting the nearest and dearest people in your life. Romeo tried not to get involved into a quarrel with promised to lead to no good. Only when his friend was killed he was all out for the offender’s blood and wanted to avenge his friend. The social dictates required cruel actions from him and he behaved violently. (“Romeo and Juliet (Vol. 33): Introduction”) By being violent Romeo tries to defend his family reputation.

Conflicts started from an individual strife can affect the whole society; abuse made by one national of a country can be projected to the whole nation of that country. Cases are well known in history when a war began from a desire of one person to avenge oneself. As we can see in the play, sharp remarks are quick to spark hostility in the hearts of the enemies. Words can hurt stronger that actions at times. One offensive word uttered by a sworn enemy is sure to make a person go in to the attack. Violence causes violent feedback. Those spiteful words being said by one side of the fighting clans hit the blood in both servants and masters and lead to numerous bloody fights. It is difficult for those who are involved in a conflict to reason wisely. There seems to be a vicious circle where people keep insulting each other and die for no purpose. As a single match can start a big fire, one carelessly dropped remark can initiate a whole international conflict. Let us take the Muslims accusations that appeared in the Danish newspapers and caused so much response in the Asian world as an example. The outcome of such conflicts can be unpredictable.

By the time an individual matures from a child he experiences violence a number of times. Many psychologists believe that the explanation for the violent behavior of a grown-up should be sought in the person’s childhood. Ppsychologist and scientist James W. Prescott argues that the lack of true understanding between a mother and a child, and suppression of affection manifestations in childhood are the reasons that lead to violence demonstrations in the future (“The Origins of Peace and Violence”). Scientific research has shown that even the widely spread violent games increase aggressive behavior (Brooks). The play shows the two young people as the victims of way of life existed in their society. The circumstances in which the young unfortunate people grew up and the fact their parents refused to understand their inner selves drove to fatal circumstances.

In the aggressive world of nowadays a person has to constantly defend himself, and that implies being fully armed with violence awareness and violence combating techniques. A number of organizations exist that support peace and non-violence movements and make attempts to achieve the public awareness of the destructive sides of violence. The dramatist suggests that Romeo and Juliet triumph after death by making the feuding families to be finally reconciled. With attempts being made by world communities to treat the causes of violence, a hope exists that there will be less of such tragedies as the Romeo and Juliet’s.

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Works Cited
Brooks,Aaron. “Violent Video Games Lead to Real World Violence”. 16 May 2007. Web
The Origins of Peace and Violence: Deprivation of Physical Affection as a Main Cause of Depression, Aggression and Drug Abuse. 16 May 2007. Web
Romeo and Juliet (Vol. 33): Introduction.16 May 2007. Web

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