Hamlet: “One of the recurring themes of Shakespeare is the idea that power doesn’t just corrupt, but that the corruption continuously repeats itself.”- Kurt Sutter
The above quote seems to be an almost perfect explanation of what Son’s of Anarchy was all about. Throughout the show, we see Jax Teller (played by Charlie Hunnam) turn from a ruthless, murdering outlaw who only has love for his motorcycle club (MC) and his family into a, well, even more ruthless, murdering outlaw who only has love for his MC and his family as he gains more power in the club. In the beginning, Jax is no good guy, by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s interesting to watch him be molded and sculpted into the monster he inevitably becomes .
Kurt goes on to finish his quote by saying, “So, motorcycle clubs: They began as these organizations by war vets—pilots who were used to a very adrenaline-filled lifestyle and were dropped into this post–World War II Eisenhower, simple lifestyle. So they started getting together. It was this fraternity of heroic dudes who’d get together and ride their bikes, then maybe have a few too many beers and kick the shit out of each other. Soon they became what the federal government classified as an organized-crime syndicate. So I envisioned the first guy that put on that leather jacket and said, “Let’s get on our bikes and have a few beers.” How does that guy feel about his guys’ becoming outlaws? That guy for me became John Teller, the founder of the club. Then I thought,What if that guy is the father in Hamlet? What if that guy is the ghost of John Teller? That archetype enabled me to establish the prince, our lead guy, Jax Teller. I loosely based all my characters on ones from Hamlet. I winked at it with Gemma as Gertrude and Clay as Claudius. Opie was Horatio. And the ongoing question was: Would the prince find out? We take these sort of huge tragic turns at different points in the series that feel Shakespearean to me, and at times we veer a little bit more towardMacbeth.”
I think this is absolutely amazing. I personally have never been a fan of Shakespeare, anytime that I have been forced to read it for school, I did everything in my power to not actually read it and just get by on the bits and pieces of the information about it that was just lying around, it was just so dense, unentertaining and uninspiring to me. Then, to find that one of my favorite shows was based off of one of the plays that I fought so hard against is kind of aw inspiring, it makes me feel like I should go back and give it a second chance, and see if I am able to make these connections that Sutter was able to make. It blows my mind.
Kurt closes the interview by saying hilariously, “[Sons of Anarchy’s] Tig is Jughead[Archie Comics]. A really dark, fucked-up Jughead.”