(Elements: a Malevolent Kinsman; a Hated or Reciprocally Hating Kinsman)

Antithesis, which constituted for Hugo the generative principle of art,—dramatic art in particular,— and which naturally results from the idea of Conflict which is the basis of drama, offers one of the most symmetrical of schemes in these contrasting emotions. "Hatred of one who should be loved," of which the worthy pendant is the Twenty-Ninth, "Love of one who should be hated." Such confluents necessarily give rise to stormy action.

It is easy to foresee the following laws:

First: The more closely are drawn the bonds which unite kinsmen at enmity, the more savage and dangerous their outbursts of hate are rendered.

Second: When the hatred is mutual, it will better characterize our Situation than when it exists upon one side only, in which case one of the relatives becomes Tyrant and the other Victim, the ensemble resulting in Situations V, VII, VIII, XXX, etc.

Third: The great difficulty will be to find and to

Antithesis: An opposition or contrast of words or ideas especially one emphasized by the positions of contrasting words, as when placed at the beginning or end of a single sentence or clause, or, in corresponding positions in two or more sentences or clauses. (Measures, not men. The prodigal robs his heir; the miser robs himself.) Here the reference, of course, is to ideas.

represent convincingly an element of discord powerful enough to cause the breaking of the strongest human ties.

A Hatred of BrothersEdit

One Brother Hated by SeveralEdit

(the hatred not malignant): "The Heliades" of Aeschylus (motive, envy); "The Labors of Jacob," by Lope de Vega (motive, filial jealousy). Hated by a single brother: The "Phoenissae" of Euripides and of Seneca; "Polynices" by Alfieri (motive, tyrannical avarice) ; Byron's "Cain" (motive, religious jealousy); "Une Famille au Temps de Luther" by Delavigne (motive, religious dissent); "Le Duel" (Lavedan, 1905).

Reciprocal HatredEdit

The "Seven Against Thebes," by Aeschylus, and "Les Freres Ennemis" by Racine (motive, greed for power); an admirable supplementary character is added in this Theban legend, the Mother, torn between the sons; "Thyestes II" of Sophocles; "Thyestes" of Seneca; the "Pelopides" by Voltaire; "Atreus and Thyestes" by Crebillon (motive, greed for power, the important role b3ing that of the perfidious instigator).

Hatred Between Relatives for Reasons of Self-InterestEdit

"La Maison d'Argile" (Fabre, 1907). Example from fiction: "Mon Frere" (Mercereau).

B—Hatred of Father and SonEdit

Of the Son for the FatherEdit

"Three Punishments in One," by Calderon. Historic example: Louis XI and Charles VII. A part of "La Terre" by Zola and of "Le Maitre" by Jean Jullien.

Mutual HatredEdit

"Life is a Dream," by Calderon. Historic instance: Jerome and Victor Bonaparte (a reduction of hatred to simple disagreement). This nuance appears to me to be one of the finest, although one of the least regarded by our writers.

Hatred of Daughter for FatherEdit

"The Cenci," by Shelley, (parricide as a means of escape from incest).

C—Hatred of Grandfather for Grandson Edit

Metastasio's "Cyrus"; the story of Amulius in the beginning of Titus Livius (motive, tyrannical avarice). Hatred of uncle for nephew: "The Death of Cansa," by Crichna Cavi. One of the facets of "Hamlet."

D—Hatred of Father-in-law for Son in-lawEdit

Alfieri's "Agis and Saul" (motive, tyrannical avarice). Historical example: Caesar and Pompey. Hatred of two brothers-in-law, ex-rivals: "La Mer" (Jean Jullien, 1891)—the only modern drama, I may note in passing, in which one finds emotion increasing after the death of the principal character. In this respect it conforms to reality, in which we may experience shock or alarm, or cry out in dread, but in which we do not weep, nor feel sorrow to the full, until afterward, all hope being forever ended.

Hatred of Mother in-law for Daughter-in-lawEdit

Corneille's "Rodogune" (motive, tyrannical avarice).


"Conte de Noel" (Linant, 1899). A part of the "Powers of Darkness."

Agnes of God (John Pielmeier, 1982).

I will not repeat the list of degrees of relationship into which this situation might be successively transferred. The case of hatred between sisters, one frequent enough, will offer,—even after "Le Carnaval des Enfants" (de Bouhelier)—an excellent opportunity for a study of feminine enmities, so lasting and so cruel; hatred of mother and daughter, of brother and sister, will be not less interesting; the same may be said for the converse of each class which has furnished our examples. May there not be an especially fine dramatic study in the deep subject,—heretofore so vulgar because treated by vulgar hands,—the antipathy of the mother and the husband of a young woman? Does it not represent the natural conflict between the ideal, childhood, purity, on the one hand. . *

and on the other, Life, vigorous and fertile, deceptive but irresistibly alluring ?

Next the motive of hatred, changing a little, maj vary from the everlasting "love of power" alleged in nearly all extant examples, and, what is worse, invariably painted in the strained attitudes of noe-classicism.*

The character of the common parent, torn by affection for both adversaries in these struggles, has been little modified since the day when Aeschylus led forth, from the tomb to which tradition had consigned her, his majestic Jocaste. The roles of two parents at enmity could well be revived also. And I find no one but Beaumont and Fletcher who has drawn vigorously the instigators of such impious struggle?" characters whose infamy is sufficient to be well worthy of attention, nevertheless.

With the enmities of kinsmen are naturally connected the enmities which spring up between friends. This nuance will be found in the following situation


The closer the bonds, the greater the thing that cuts them, and the greater the resulting hatred.

Example: Kramer vs. Kramer

A sadly common theme through many societies is the family feud, where two people not only do not get on with one another but their dislike blossoms into full hatred and all that that entails.

The problem with family is that love them or hate them, you can't escape them. Just because you do not agree with what they may say or do, they do not stop being family. This can make things worse, as you share the family name and when a relative does something you consider bad it is, in some respects, as if you have done that thing in some way. This can also leak beyond the walls of the family home, for example, where a criminal's family may suffer socially, all being branded as somehow criminal. They might thus be forgiven for hating the black sheep of the family.

Family hatred can also have deep, psychoanalytic roots, for example where the Oedipus Complex is not navigated successfully, and enmity between parents and and children becomes an ingrained pattern. Likewise early sibling rivalry for parental attention can morph into long-term grudges.

Infanticide is still alive today, for example in cultures where having a baby girl is less desirable than having a boy, or where teenage mothers are just unable to cope.

There is much in real-life about family hatred that translates into stories. Soap operas, for example, often rotate around family friction. Such disputes can also lead to grander adventures, for example where a child achieves great things in order to 'show' parents or relatives what he or she is made of.

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