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Desire For Competition In Coriolanus By Shakespeare And The Most Dangerous Game By Richard Connells

1144 words - 5 pages

Christine Dixon
christinedixxon@gmail.com

He Is a Lion That I am Proud to Hunt

To take an individuals life is deemed as one of the severest crimes that one can commit. Why is it that something comprehensively thought to be as “immoral” among others is still exceedingly common? In order to live and understand the behavior of the community that surrounds us, we plan our own thoughts, capabilities and perceptions on others. We are, as individuals, aware of our positions within a civilization, but often times allow our emotions to take control of us and blame our treacherous decisions based on others. The readings Coriolanus and The Most Dangerous Game can both be used in comparison when relating threatening crimes because of human behavior. Since Coriolanus and The Most Dangerous Game are essentially expressive ones, it is necessary to understand the emotional doctrine behind them, if one is to do justice to Shakespeare and Richard Connells’ intentions. This paper will provide a thorough overview through a stage of self-interests that led to murderous crimes, that of which is shown through competition, jealousy, and vengeance.

Both Coriolanus and The Most Dangerous Game involve characters that have a prevailing desire for competition. This competition conveys conflict, which in turn contributes to the confrontation and the initial hunt. All of the characters have a strong passion for hunting and killing, which is used as a method of justification for their actions. The theme of war as a hunt resonates through the back-story of The Most Dangerous Game. Zaroff explicitly likens his game to warfare, as a method of rationalization. He furthermore mentions the concern of the Cossacks, a racial group forced out of Russia following the fall of the Czar. The method in which they were hunted is comparable to the way Zaroff hunts his current prey, as the Cossacks were recognized as aggressive warriors. These ideas are Zaroff’s incentive for the need to hunt Rainsford and any other human that trespasses on his island. The idea of war and competition as justification for murder is also prevalent in Coriolanus. The death of Coriolanus along with many other soldiers was due to their battles, and need for competition. Aufidius desire to compete with Coriolanus is based on his background for combat and conflict, which in turn instigates inspiration to seek revenge towards Coriolanus after losing battle to him several times. Aufidius continued to pursue a hunt towards Coriolanus due to Coriolanus’ betrayal toward Aufidius after they had joined forces. This underlying need for competition that can be seen in both pieces is the cause for much conflict between the characters, and gives them justification towards their actions.

The idea of a hunt or competition within characters in both Coriolanus and The Most Dangerous Game can be seen as a source for jealousy and envy. Reputation is of great importance to all characters and it is a theme on which they rely on...

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