Titus In Shakespeares Titus Andronicus English Literature Essay

October 7, 2017 English Literature

The Tragedy in its dramatic signifier comes from the poetic and spiritual traditions of Ancient Greece ; it is an art-form that shows human enduring in order to raise an intense feeling of commiseration in the audience. In his book ‘Poetics ‘ , Aristotle analyses the calamity genre and suggests a theoretical account for what he believes makes the best signifier of calamity. Harmonizing to Aristotle ‘s theoretical account, Sophocles ‘ ‘Oedipus Rex ‘ shows a good representation of a tragic hero, as Oedipus is a King of great wisdom-he lickings a sphinx by work outing her riddle- whose hubris ( inordinate pride ) leads him to unwittingly kill his male parent. After a series of ill-conceived and bad determinations which are influenced by the anticipations of an prophet, Oedipus recognises that he is responsible for his ain ruin and scratches out his eyes. He is exiled and although he originally resents this, leaves with bravery.

Titus Andronicus is a Roman war hero who turns to avenge after his girl is raped and mutilated ; two boies are wrongly executed, another is exiled, and after altruistically giving up his manus to salvage his boies he is made a jeer of by the Emperor: ‘Thy grief their athleticss, thy declaration mocked’-Messenger, 3·?† , line 237. He in cold blood plots retaliation and for its purpose appears to hesitate on lunacy, killing five people before he is slain. His ruin is initiated by three bad picks at the beginning of the drama ; he allows his boies to give Tamora ‘s first Born, he refuses the empery and chosens Saturninus, over Bassianus to be emperor. Hubris is his tragic flaw and ground for his bad picks as it fuels his nationalism and diehard values every bit good as his lecherousness for retaliation: ‘ … do them ( Titus ‘s eyes ) blind with tributary cryings. Then which manner shall I find Revenge ‘s cave? ‘- 3·?† , lines 268/89.

Throughout the class of the drama we see how Titus as a character develops and alterations. In Act ?† we are given an penetration into his stature, societal rank and exceeding abilities as a Roman soldier through Shakespeare ‘s usage of phase waies and linguistic communication. Aristotle ‘s theoretical account suggests that the supporter should be of high societal rank, therefore harmonizing to the phase waies Titus arrives ‘in a chariot ‘ naming to mind visions of stateliness and stateliness. The Captain introduces him in a respectful and extremely complementary manner, inquiring people to ‘make manner ‘ for Titus, and praising him as ‘Rome ‘s best title-holder ‘ . We see from this infusion that Titus ‘s exceeding abilities lie in his combat accomplishments, as the Captain says he is ‘successful in the conflicts that he fights’-1·?† , line 66. The fact that Titus has been received from conflict so ceremonially is indicant in itself of his place in society ; he arrives like a male monarch and is announced with self-respect, regard and magnificence: ‘ … The good Andronicus, Patron of virtuousness, Rome ‘s best title-holder, ‘-Captain, 1·?† , lines 64/5.

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‘Long unrecorded Lord Titus, my darling brother, Gracious triumpher in the eyes of Rome! ‘- 1·?† , line 169/70. Here Marcus speaks really extremely of Titus. Although he is his brother, he addresses him as ‘Lord ‘ and makes it clear that he is viewed extremely by all of Rome. In add-on, during Act 1, Scene ?† , Marcus asks Titus to go emperor of Rome, and says how it is non merely his desire, but ‘the people of Rome ‘ themselves. Marcus besides says how Titus is seen as the people ‘s ‘friend in justness ‘ , foregrounding Titus ‘s accomplishments in war and the people ‘s gratitude. The really fact that Titus ‘s celebrity stretches every bit far as the civilians of Rome is highly stating of his influence and place in the societal hierarchy.

Aristotle ‘s theoretical account lineations that all tragic heroes should possess a tragic defect, or tragic flaw which finally causes their death, the most common is hubris and Titus ‘s first address shows that he portions this common trait as he is really complimentary towards himself: ‘Thou great guardian of this Capitol ‘ . The fact he is talking of himself in the 3rd individual shows haughtiness: ‘Cometh Andronicus, edge with laurel boughs ‘ . During Act 1 Scene ?† , lines 123/6 Shakespeare shows how Titus ‘s diehard values are driven by his hubris when he explains to Tamora why her first born boy must decease. He says that for his boies brothers killed-‘brethren slain’-out of piousness to the dead-‘Religiously’- ‘they ask for a forfeit ‘ . Shakespeare ‘s usage of the word ‘religiously ‘ here suggests usage and rite, which is reinforced when Titus continues, stating that Tamora ‘s boy must decease to do certain his boies are decently laid to rest ; ‘T’appease their groaning shadows that are gone ‘ . In lines 127/9 Lucius explains how Alarbus will be killed. The tone Shakespeare employs when Titus and Lucius are speaking of the ritual is grave and sombre. The undertaking is non undertaken in choler or for an evil cause ; it is barbarous but serious, demoing that for them this is an act of faith non retaliation.

Harmonizing to Aristotle ‘s theoretical account the tragic heroes downfall should include a possible ne’er fulfilled. This thought is exhibited in Act ?? , nevertheless in a different manner to what one might anticipate. Titus is non a immature adult male, in fact by his ain admittance rather old: ‘ … his that shakes for age and infirmity. ‘-1·?† , line 188. He refused the place emperor ; hence he has had his opportunity to make his potency, nevertheless did non take it. Turning down the chance to go Emperor was a possible lost by his ain pick, non because of his ruin. Therefore one could reason that the thought of lost potency is deflected onto his kids and it is in Lavinia that we see a possible truly lost. Lavinia is a good respected adult female for her celibacy and beauty, in add-on there is grounds to propose her thoughts were well-regarded and valued. In Act 3 Scene ?† Marcus describes Lavinia ‘s stolen lingua as ‘ … that delicious engine of her ideas, ‘-line 82- the word ‘engine ‘ is normally synonymous with engineering, mechanics and scientific discipline, subjects non normally linked to adult females at this clip. Therefore, from this I believe one can infer that Marcus is congratulating Lavinia on her intelligence. Before he was killed and she raped and mutilated: ‘Who ‘t was that cut thy lingua and ravished thee. ‘-Demetrius, 2·IV, line 308, Lavinia had late married the adult male she loved. Although the colza was non her mistake, at that clip she would still hold been seen as corrupt. Therefore, even before Titus kills her at the terminal, her life is over ; therefore her potency of populating a long meaningful life has been lost.

The katharsis is provided at the terminal when most of the adversaries are killed in speedy sequence. The high-octane provokers of the convulsion are now dead and we are left with Saturninus and Marcus- the voices of ground throughout the play- and a sense they will take Rome into a brighter hereafter: ‘Thanks, soft Romans. May I govern so, To mend Rome ‘s injury ‘s and pass over off her suffering! ‘-Lucius, 5·?? , lines 146/47. However this is once more non purely in conformity with Aristotle ‘s theoretical account, as the katharsis is non brought approximately by Titus ‘s acknowledgment that it is his tragic flaw that has caused his ill-fate. Therefore to purely stay by Aristotle ‘s theoretical account for calamity would intend that Titus Andronicus could non wholly be deemed a tragic hero, as his failure to recognize that his tragic flaw has caused the calamities that befall his household means that he can non accept his destiny: ‘They would non tag me ; if they did grade, They would non feel for me, yet plead I must, ‘- Titus, 3·?† , lines 34/5. Therefore every bit far as the Aristotelean theoretical account is concerned Titus is non a good illustration of a true tragic hero, as he merely does n’t suit. However many of Shakespeare ‘s dramas were make bolding and broke non merely literary regulations but regulations of society. The really fact that they do n’t suit neatly into extremely specific genres, allows the audience to link with them as it reflects the undependability of existent life.

Peoples in the existent universe react to state of affairss harmonizing to their personality, their environment, their past experiences and non harmonizing to a set theoretical account. What I find most interesting in Titus Andronicus is the subtle, underlying subject of the parent-child relationship. Losing a kid is one of life ‘s greatest calamities as some of our rawest emotions are connected with our maternal or paternal inherent aptitudes, and Shakespeare uses this along with his genius for linguistic communication to present a relentless assault on the emotions of the audience. I believe that Titus does non recognize his tragic flaw because his paternal inherent aptitudes will non allow him ; his household is hurt to an extent that is far beyond normal fortunes or comprehension, hence he feels it is his responsibility to set things right, even if it means his ain death, which in my sentiment makes him a hero irrespective of any theoretical account.


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