Group Aggression Essay, Research Paper
What happens when people come together and express emotions of aggression as gangs or groups? Items such as plays, magazine articles and scientific journals all suggest that each individual s emotions of aggression are increased and this ultimately leads to a dramatic exhibition of aggressive emotions. In the play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, characters such as Mercutio and Tybalt are undoubtfully devoted to honoring their family s name, and are not hesitant in using violence to do so. This particular devotion is also seen in the article in the Bulletin titled Bondi, Beirut and the big lie published on page 30 where young Lebanese gangs are being blamed for a series of attacks and brawls. Also, with the age of technology advancing, scientists such as Konrad Lorenz are now able to prove the connection between intense aggression and groups of people, through particular experiments such as that of the rats.
When Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet four hundred years ago, he gave no or little consideration to the future. However, what he did not realize was that the aggressive attacks displayed by the Montague s and the Capulets in the seventeenth century would span generations, to encompass youths of the contemporary worlds and their behaviours. As Tybalt, a violently fierce character, said to Mercutio what, drawn, and talk of peace! I hate the word as I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee. (Act I scene I) Tybalt s own aggression fuelled the aggression of the whole Capulet family, which resulted in various outbreaks of violence. Therefore, it is obvious to see how one character s aggression can encourage others to become aggressive also, as seen in Mercutio s response to Tybalt s aggression And but one word with one of us? Couple it with something; make it a word and a blow. (Act III scene I)
The text that I have studied during the course of this unit also shows aggression is the poem Friendly Match by Edward Dyson. This poem displays aggression in the form of racism, in the sense of two different teams coming together for a friendly game of football, The Dingoes and the Gyp s Diggings we were challenged by the Dingoes to a friendly game of football on the flat of Devil s Trap. Although the poet uses the word friendly , he does not mean it as it sounds, but in a way of sarcasm meaning something else. We had Chang, and Tucker Hogan, and the man who licked the plug, and Peter Scott the pug. The man who licked the plug signifying toughness with in the team, for somebody to be able to lick oil that is well over 100 degrees, also the pug, other words the fighter. So it is evident that this text displays aggression. Fitzpatrick tipped McDougal in a handy patch of mud, and the hero rose up, chewing dirt, and famishing for blood. This quote meaning that the player that was tripped over by the opposition rises seeking for revenge in a violent way, a thirst for blood. Therefore violence is beginning to become an issue arising from aggression. The relation between this poem and the play Romeo and Juliet is that they both deal with racism and tend to lead to violence. An example of this is the fight between Tybalt and Mercutio, which occurs as a result of the household grudge. As a Capulet, Tybalt feels the need to upload his family s name and protect his honor: what, drawn, and talk of peace! I hate the word as I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee. (Act I scene I) This quote reflects Tybalt s aggressive nature and the way in which his irrational behaviour leads him to provoke fights. A similar case occurs in the poem where a fellow footballer trips his opposition into a patch of mud on purpose, leading to violence.
Group aggression is not an instinctual occurrence, but rather something that develops through the aggressive feelings of other individuals.
The article Bondi, Beirut and the big lie also provides evidence that when people come together, their aggression is increased. It does this by stating that groups of young Lebanese males were behaving quite aggressively, and were very assertive about their identity. This article, by Catherine Lumby, claims: a series of attacks and brawls to wider antisocial behaviour by groups of younger Lebanese men. As they form groups. Each individual brings with them their own aggression whether it be psychological, physical, or even verbal. As this aggression increases. It creates a foundation on which to build a very unstable and dangerous relationship. Gang violence, particularly if it involves guns, is a matter of grave concern.
The connotations associated with gang are automatically thought of as being violence, aggression, dangerous, brutal, and other such words. It is fair to assume such words because it is evident that group aggression is much more significant than individual aggression.
Similarly, Konrad Lorenz was able to provide scientific evidence which proved that groups were much more aggressive. In a discussion about animal behaviour, Lorenz claimed that rival fights are necessary to select the strongest individuals to be the parents. However, what was most important was the experiment he conducted with the groups of rats. Even though they were wary at first, the rats later bonded together to protect their territory, and in order to do this, they had to be very aggressive towards others. It was a matter of honor , where the rats, which were quite passive at first, had to defend what was theirs, no matter the consequences. This type of drastic action reflects the high levels of aggression that were present between this particular group of rats. It also reflects the idea that when people come together in groups, the amount of aggression evident is increased.
Honor is the relation between this article and Romeo and Juliet. An example, which caught my eye, is the fight between Mercutio and Tybalt. As a Capulet, Tybalt the need to uphold his family s name and protect his honor: what, drawn, and talk of peace! I hate the word as I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee (Act I, scene i). On the other hand, the rats will do anything, no matter what the consequences to protect their territory.
Another text, which deals with aggression and can be related to the text Romeo and Juliet, is the article Martin Bryant the murder of the Port Arthur Massacre published in The Sunday Telegraph. This article deals with the bullying of the young boy Martin at the age of the seven. The aggression slowly kept on building and building up. All this aggression kept within him over so many years led to his violent outbreak murdering a series of people. It seems that revenge has taken over him and led him to become a murderer killing many people.
On the other hand, the scene from Romeo and Juliet, where Tybalt kills Romeo s friend for honoring a member of the Capulets anger and violence arises. When Romeo seeks the death of Tybalt, he is seeking revenge for the murder of his friend. Aggression then replaces maturity and common sense as we see Romeo s anger rise unexpectedly through the words: Away to heaven, respective sanity, and fire eyed fury be my conduct now! (Act III scene I). Romeo now follows Tybalt s actions as he is filled with hatred and anger, which reinforces the idea that aggression in the community affects those around us.
In conclusion, group aggression is a learned emotion, with its origins springing from each individual s instinctual aggression. Just as members of groups or gangs learn tricks or tips on certain things, they also learn aggression and how to use it to their advantage. The Capulets and Montagues used aggression to fight their enemies, Lebanese youths used it to protect the territory and national identity, and the Lorenz s rats used aggression to defend their territory. No matter which way it is viewed, aggression will always be increased when it is present in a group or gang, hence the fact that there will always be greater strength in greater members.
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