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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: Violence, Uncertainty, and Safety

Manfred J. Holler and Barbara Klose-Ullmann ()

IEL Working Papers from Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS

Abstract: The paper deals with theatre plays that serve as a substitute for social experiments. Plays can give us a better understanding of human behaviour in situations where it is impossible or even immoral to conduct experiments, for example, in cases of human suffering or violations of human rights when violence and uncertainty prevails. The quest for safety and security against violence is universal and has always been pursued by mankind. Such diverse plays as Shakespeare’s “King Lear” and “Hamlet,” on the one side, Ken Kesey’s “One flew over the Cuckoo ?s Nest,” on the other, demonstrate how human beings develop strategies to cope with outright or hidden violence and insecure situations in order to gain safety and lead a secure life. Other plays, e.g., Heinrich von Kleist’s “The Prince of Homburg” illustrate how violence is managed - also to reduce uncertainty. Schiller’s “Wallenstein” follows a different pattern: it exemplifies a paradox of power that faces uncertainty and ends in violent defeat.

Keywords: Shakespeare; Wallenstein; Prince of Homburg; Ketman; Violence; Uncertainty; Safety (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C72 D82 K00 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 23 pages
Date: 2013-02
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