How is honour the driving force with the texts The Godfather and Romeo & Juliet?
The Godfather and Romeo & Juliet are complex texts which the readers of them barely see pass their superficial meanings. The Godfather on the surface is about the mafia underworld in the Italian American underworld, however underneath the facade it is also a fantastical tale of many types of honour. Romeo and Juliet is superficially a tale of two lovers whose families are torn apart by hatred for one another, but it too is a tale of honour. The four main types of honour in these texts are family, enemy, female and community honour. 95
In The Godfather, family honour is one of the main themes of the text. The don says to his son Sonny when the family talk with Sallazo about a drug deal after Sonny's outburst "don't ever let anyone outside the family hear what your thinking". After Michael who becomes the new don and finds out that his brother in law was disloyal to the family he has him killed. Before he kills Carlo, to reassure him that he wont be harmed he says "I would'nt make my sister a widow". Sustaining the family honour is more important to michael than his own sister. Michael says to his brother Fredo after he took sides against the family, "Your my oldest brother and I love you but don't ever take sides against the family" The family's honour supersedes all things because the family is nothing without its honour. In Romeo & Juliet too, honour is also a main theme. When the Montagues bite their thumbs at the Capulets, the Capulets quarrel and fight with them so that the family name is not digraced. Gregory of the Montagues says to Sampson "I will bite my thumb at them which is a disgrace to them if they bare it". Something as small as a rude gesture to the families is seen as disgrace or dishonourable if they bare it. Tybalt of the capulets after seeing Romeo of the house of Montague at their feast is furious at seeing him there. Tybalt says "By the stock and honour of...
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