Mass violence and the continuum of destruction: a study of C. P. Taylor’s Good

Hardie-Bick, James (2020) Mass violence and the continuum of destruction: a study of C. P. Taylor’s Good. International Journal for the Semiotics of Law, 33 (2). pp. 477-495. ISSN 0952-8059

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There are important studies that have directly focused on how, in times of conflict, it is possible for previously law abiding people to commit the most atrocious acts of cruelty and violence. The work of Erich Fromm (Escape from Freedom), Hannah Arendt (Eichmann in Jerusalem), Zygmunt Bauman (Modernity and the Holocaust) and Ernest Becker (Escape from Evil) have all contemplated the driving force of aggression and mass violence to further our understanding of how people are capable of engaging in extreme forms of cruelty and violence. This paper specifically addresses these issues by focusing on C. P. Taylor’s play Good. This provocative play examines how a seemingly ‘good’ and intelligent university professor can gradually become caught up in the workings of the Third Reich. Taylor highlights the importance of appreciating how people can be steadily incorporated into an ideologically destructive system. I argue that the theatre is a powerful medium to explore these complex issues. The audience of Good find themselves confronted with the following question - ‘What would you have done?’

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 07 May 2020 08:37
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 15:45

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