against his concept of divine violence. Mythical violence, for Benjamin, is
that violence which is both law-preserving and law-making. In Benjamin's analysis,
mythical violence thus inevitably relates to existing state structures that
prescribe, though laws, codes and norms, either a reaffirmation (preservation) of
existing political structures or indeed the making of new laws and codes, thus
also prescribing or reaffirming the normativity of
– perhaps by offering shelter or food – were subject to the same punishment. The Icelandic lawcode, Grágás , provided for similar consequences, equating the status of the newly outlawed to that of a wolf: ‘hann skal sva vida vargr heita, sem vidast er verold byggd, ok vera hvarvetna raekr ok rekinn um allan heim’ [‘he shall be known as a wolf, as widely as the world is inhabited, and be rejected everywhere and be driven away throughout all the world’] (Barraclough 2010 ).
The use of animalistic metaphors to communicate the status of the outlaw is significant and