Royal Beatings by Alice MunroCan someone explain what is meant by this " How is a beating royal?she came up with a tree-lined avenue, a crowd of formal spectators, some white horses and black...

Royal Beatings by Alice Munro

Can someone explain what is meant by this " How is a beating royal?she came up with a tree-lined avenue, a crowd of formal spectators, some white horses and black slaves. Someone knelt and the blood came leaping out like banner. "

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accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

What is interesting about this quote is the way that the beating seems to be endured and accepted because of its "royal" nature. Note the way that the blood is described as exiting the victim "like a banner," making what is on the face of it a violent and deplorable act something that becomes part of a socially acceptable activity.

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

It can also be interpreted to mean the attackers are privileged over the victim. Consider the attackers as being able to get away with it because they are bigger, stronger, or have the advantage of being in a group. I agree with the above, but I think it can have a double meaning.
literaturenerd's profile pic

literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I think the best way to describe this is to look at the word royal apart from the phrase "royal beating." The word royal, in regards to its use, means of superior magnitude, size, or quality. Therefore, the beating referred to in the text is one which succeeds a "normal" beating. A royal beating simply means a huge beating.

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