Geddes, Joseph (2017) '...roll to your rifle and blow out your brains and go to your gawd like a soldier': An Examination of Masculinity, Violence and Soldier Culture and its Influence on the Directing of a Production of Macbeth. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This is a written thesis detailing research that I undertook between June 2015 and January 2017. The research ran alongside directing a production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, using the findings and questions raised to inform my decisions.

There were three areas that I researched: masculinity and the masculine culture of the military, violence and the justification of violence, and soldier culture – defined in my research as ‘the immersion in the hyper-masculine culture of the military combined with the damaging effects that exposure to violence can lead to (which become apparent when reintegrating with civilian society), and how the combination of these three affected my directing of Macbeth.

My research into masculinity examined the hyper-masculine culture that exists in the military and the traits that make it so. I then used those hyper-masculine traits to build the character of Macbeth, and deconstructed his masculinity throughout the play to expose his masculine façade for what it was during Act 3 Scene 4.

I researched into violence and violent acts that the military encourages, and used my research to examine public perception of justifiable and non-justifiable acts of violence. I then asked the question – who decides which type of crimes are justifiable? Examining Macbeth as a King, and posing the question: can anything done by a king be considered a crime when he makes the law?

I combined those two areas of research, masculinity and violence, and examined the damaging effects a combination of the two can have on a person’s psyche. The results of the combination of the two is one of the factors leading to high rates of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which in turn leads to issues like alcohol dependency and problems with reintegration.

FINAL THESIS - GEDDES.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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