Wildy the Journeyman (into_the_wild) wrote,
Wildy the Journeyman
into_the_wild

Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war


Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war



While watching Season Two of The House of Cards
(and yes, I am strangely drawn to the House of Cards,
perhaps by its fast pace and great writing),
I chanced upon, at episode 25, this following phase:
“cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war”
which was uttered by Frank as he got
cornered by opposing forces,
yet continued to put up his fight.
I was intrigued by this phrase and did some reading up.
In English, the dogs of war is a phrase from
William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar:

“Cry Havoc! and let slip the dogs of war”.
Based on Wikipedia, in a literal reading, “dogs” are the familiar animals,
trained for warfare. Hence “havoc” is a military order
permitting the seizure of spoil after a victory and “let slip” is to release from the lease.
From another perspective, the “dogs of war” are the
political and societal restraints against war that operator
during the times of peace, and when there is no peace,
and only war, there can only be chaos and havoc 
— and here havoc would mean rape,
pillage and plunder.
Tags: dogs of war, house of cards, shakespeare
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