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The Prince


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PRINCE: Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace, / Profaners of this neighbour-stained steel, / - Will they not hear?
[Act 1, scene 1] The Prince's first lines on stage - full of noble authority - are totally ignored. Violence has turned the "civil" men of the prologue into "Rebellious subjects" and "enemies" worthy of punishment. Their swords are stained with the blood of the neighbours and they have committed sins (profanities)
PRINCE: What, ho! you men, you beasts, […] / On pain of torture, from those bloody hands / Throw your mistemper'd weapons to the ground / And hear the sentence of your moved prince.
[Act 1, scene 1] Shakespeare gives us an early indication of his view of violence via the metaphor: it turns "men" into "beasts". The adjective "mistemper'd" here means 'misused' but also 'uncontrolled'
PRINCE: If ever you disturb our streets again, / Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.
[Act 1, scene 1] The Prince's promise and another trap set for the tragic couple. We know, in Act 3, scene 1, that violence will break out once again: this is the cost. Note, too, that the patriarchs (head males) are given the responsibility, emphasising their patriarchal authority.