I had the feeling that Unforgiven's anti-violence statement was more on Clint's screen persona than on the real modern world. I never had the idea that the film was a comment on today's society.
Some people seem to love the movie, others don't. Given the subject, it's no wonder that it devides us. I mean, in a way it is some kind of anti-western. This doen't mean that Clint hates westerns (or characters like No Name or Dirty Harry), he just felt the urge to reflect on some aspects of them, and that isn't a bad thing. (And an anti-western is a western too!).
An yes, Unforgiven is more down-to-earth than most spaghetti westerns. For this reason, I didn't really like the metaphor of the crooked house Phil mentioned. With their baroque splendour and operetic visual style the spaghetti's have always seemed to me typical outings of a catholic culture; in a way the catholic faith, with its gothic and baroque architecture and sculpture, its grim rendition of christ's life in paintings, is one vast collection of strong, visual metaphores. I was raised in the catholic faith and know it's more a faith of images than of words.
I have read Clint's biography some twenty years ago, but I don't remember anything about his religious feelings. But the down-to-earth Unforgiven seemed to me a typical protestant western, sober, not sumptuous, reflective and introverted, not operetic and extroverted, more closer to the spirit of, let's say, a Bergman than a Fellini. I don't think visual metaphores are very appropriate in such a context. But that is, of course, of minor importance.
But another aspect of protestantism, or its supporters, is that it/they tend(s) to become preachy, and it was this aspect of Unforgiven I didn't like.
Very often I have the feeling that Clint has too much control over his films. At least three of his four westerns as a director are overlong. Like Valenciano, I like Pale Rider best.