ENG 4U: A Talk About Violence is Like a Kick in the Teeth

Today, we are going to create a media text on the fly. How? I am not really sure. Let’s see what happens.

Before we begin, however,  I’d like you to consider the following: a famous Canadian named Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase the medium is the message, meaning that the medium (film, digital, print) of a text is indivisible from its message; or put another way, the form of the text is part of the message itself.

Let’s see where the following question takes us:
Is violence in one medium (say, print) more permissible than violence in another?
As you address the question, consider the following quotations from Macbeth, a play you studied in Grade 10:

Disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel,/ Which smoked with bloody execution

As Macbeth’s blade cuts into his opponents, the heat from their bodies escapes as vapour, making his blade “smoke”

Till he unseamed him from the nave to th’ chops

Macbeth cuts his opponent from his navel to his jawbone, or chops, unseaming him (think of stitching…).

Is there something about Shakespeare’s violence that makes it permissible?


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