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The Aesthetics of Violence in Selimus

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Abstract

The logo of Francis Ford Coppola’s massively successful 1972 American mob film The Godfather depicts a disembodied hand holding the strings of a marionette (Illustration 9).1 The Godfather offers a grim meditation on the transition of power from father to son. Refusing, like his father before him, ‘to be a fool, dancing on a string held by all those big shots’, Michael Corleone demonstrates a ruthless autonomy as the film’s master-puppeteer. The film’s title carries crucial significance; being the Godfather is about playing God. This association is made all the more explicit in Mario Puzo’s novel, where Vito assumes a God-like omnipotence:

My old man. The Godfather. If a bolt of lightning hit a friend of his the old man would take it personal. […] That’s what makes him great. The great Don. He takes everything personal. Like God. He knows every feather that falls from the tail of a sparrow or however the hell it goes.2

Keywords

Hand Gesture Aesthetic Experience Inanimate Object Stage Convention Human Body Part 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972); Jon Lewis, The Godfather (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010)Google Scholar
  2. Gene D. Phillips and Rodney Hill (eds.), Francis Ford Coppola: Interviews (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2004).Google Scholar
  3. 2.
    Cited in John G. Cawelti, Adventure, Mystery and Romance (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976), p. 64.Google Scholar
  4. 3.
    For further discussion of the analogy between the ‘overreaching Machiavellian anti-hero’ and the archetypal gangster, see James N. Loehlin, ‘“Top of the World, Ma”: Richard III and Cinematic Convention’, in Lynda E. Boose and Richard Burt (eds.), Shakespeare the Movie: Popularizing the Plays on Film, TV and Video (London: Routledge, 1997), p. 75.Google Scholar
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  20. 26.
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    All quotations are derived from Leah S. Marcus (ed.), The Duchess of Malfi (London: Arden Shakespeare, 2009).Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Jenny Sager 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of NottinghamUK

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