Cruelty

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Cruelty

See also Brutality.
Achren
mean, spiteful enchantress of Spiral Castle. [Children’s Lit.: The Castle of Llyr]
Allan, Barbara
spurned her dying sweetheart because of a fancied slight. [Br. Balladry: Benét, 78]
Blackbeard
nickname of pirate, Edward Teach (d. 1718). [Am. Hist.: Hart, 84]
Bligh, Captain
tyrannical master of the ship Bounty. [Am. Lit.: Mutiny on the Bounty]
Bumble, Mr.
abusive beadle, mistreats Oliver and other waifs. [Br. Lit.: Oliver Twist]
bull
symbolizes cruelty in Picasso’s Guernica. [Span. Art.: Mercatante, 99]
Cipolla
magician who hypnotizes and brutally humiliates members of the audience. [Ger. Lit.: Mario and the Magician in Benét, 636]
Conchis
his psychological experiments cause repeated emotion-al anguish among his subjects. [Br. Lit.: John Fowles The Magus in Weiss, 279]
Creakle, Mr.
headmaster at Salem House; enjoys whipping boys. [Br. Lit.: David Copperfield]
cuscuta
symbol of cruelty. [Flower Symbolism; Jobes, 399]
Diocletian
Roman emperor (284–305); instituted general persecutions of Christians. [Rom. Hist.: EB, 5: 805–807]
Guilbert, Brian de Bois
dissolute and cruel commander of the Knights Templars. [Br. Lit.: Ivanhoe]
Job’s comforters
maliciously torment Job while ostensibly attempting to comfort him. [O.T.: Job]
Legree, Simon
harsh taskmaster; slavetrader. [Am. Lit.: Uncle Tom’s Cabin]
leopard
represents meanness, sin, and the devil. [Animal Symbolism: Mercatante, 56]
Margaret
of Anjou hard, vicious, strong-minded, imperious woman. [Br. Lit.: II Henry VI]
Mezentius
Etrurian king put his subjects to death by binding them to dead men and letting them starve. [Rom. Legend: Benét, 664]
Murdstone, Edward
harsh and cruel husband of widow Copperfield. [Br. Lit.: David Copperfield]
painted bird, the
painted by peasants and released, it is rejected and killed by its original flock. [Pol. Tradition: Weiss, 345]
Slout, Mr.
punished Oliver for asking for more gruel. [Br. Lit.: Oliver Twist]
Squeers, Wackford
brutal, abusive pedagogue; starves and maltreats urchins. [Br. Lit.: Nicholas Nickleby]
Totenkopfverbande
tough Death’s Head units maintaining concentration camps in Nazi Germany. [Ger. Hist.: Shirer, 375]
Vlad the Impaler
(c. 980–1015) prince of Walachia; called Dracula; ruled barbarously. [Eur. Hist.: NCE, 2907]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Let him who has been deceived complain, let him give way to despair whose encouraged hopes have proved vain, let him flatter himself whom I shall entice, let him boast whom I shall receive; but let not him call me cruel or homicide to whom I make no promise, upon whom I practise no deception, whom I neither entice nor receive.
Instantly a score of cruel fangs and keen talons were sunk into my flesh; cold, sucking lips fastened themselves upon my arteries.
To be thus blocked by nature, who had had all the arts and wiles of cunning man pitted against him, seemed a cruel fate, and as I staggered back into the warmth of the tunnel's end I was as near hopelessness as I ever have been.
Your mother and your brother have been false and cruel; they have been so to me, and I am sure they have been so to you.
But they presently regained their courage sufficiently to cross this chamber too and enter the short passageway that led to the ancient sleeping apartment of O-Mai the Cruel. They did not know that this awful chamber lay just before them, or it were doubtful that they would have proceeded farther; but they saw that those they sought had come this way and so they followed, but within the gloomy interior of the chamber they halted, the three chiefs urging their followers, in low whispers, to close in behind them, and there just within the entrance they stood until, their eyes becoming accustomed to the dim light, one of them pointed suddenly to the thing lying upon the floor with one foot tangled in the coverings of the dais.
Bukawai, with an inarticulate scream, rushed upon them, striking cruel and heavy blows with his knob-stick, for there might still be life in the apparently lifeless form.
How then may we keep our frail blossoms from his cruel spirits?
In the lead was Kala, for she had recognized the tones of her best beloved, and with her was the mother of the little ape who lay dead beneath cruel Sabor.
"Read the Trial." For the third time he said those cruel words, and said no more.
But all boys are not cruel. I have seen some as fond of their pony or donkey as if it had been a favorite dog, and the little creatures have worked away as cheerfully and willingly for their young drivers as I work for Jerry.
This inevitability alone can explain how the cruel Arakcheev, who tore out a grenadier's mustache with his own hands, whose weak nerves rendered him unable to face danger, and who was neither an educated man nor a courtier, was able to maintain his powerful position with Alexander, whose own character was chivalrous, noble, and gentle.
The doctor remonstrated to him privately concerning this behaviour, but could obtain no other satisfaction than the following plain declaration: "If you dislike anything in my brother's house, sir, you know you are at liberty to quit it." This strange, cruel, and almost unaccountable ingratitude in the captain, absolutely broke the poor doctor's heart; for ingratitude never so thoroughly pierces the human breast as when it proceeds from those in whose behalf we have been guilty of transgressions.