Essay on Violence in Entertainment and Its Effect on Society

Words: 1977
Pages: 8

Does entertainment influence society's attitude towards violent behavior? In order to fully answer this question we must first understand what violence is. Violence is the use of one's powers to inflict mental or physical injury upon another, examples of this would be rape or murder. Violence in entertainment reaches the public by way of television, movies, plays, and novels. Through the course of this essay it will be proven that violence in entertainment is a major factor in the escalation of violence in society, once this is proven we will take all of the evidence that has been shown throughout this paper and come to a conclusion as to whether or not violence in entertainment is justified and whether or not it should be censored. …show more content…
The ancient Greeks believed that violence should never be shown on stage, because people imitated what they saw. Because of this they would only show the results of violence in order to deter any violent activity. The Greeks slowly but surely moved away from this idea as did other playwrights, and by the late 1500's a new writer with a new view on violence was beginning to write plays. His name was William Shakespeare. Many critics were bothered by Shakespeare's failure to follow the rules of the ancient Greeks, especially the rules concerning violence, but they also objected to Shakespeare's comic sexual passages, which they considered vulgar. Shakespeare was a writer during what has historically been called the Elizabethan era. Shakespeare's plays reflect the shift from optimism to pessimism in Elizabethan society. "Elizabethans were keenly aware of death and the brevity of life" (Info Find), but death and violence fascinated the Elizabethans. "They flocked to the beheadings of traitors whose heads were exhibited on poles and watched as criminals were hanged, and they saw the rotting corpses dangle from the gallows for days" (The Student Handbook 2: 591). Elizabethans, literature and lives were very violent. In Shakespeare's play Hamlet all the main characters die through murder or suicide, all of which is shown on stage. Those critics who say excessive violence has only become a common occurrence in today's entertainment, should watch Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus