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Titus Andronicus Act III Scene I - Analysing and Evaluating Dramatic scenes

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Introduction

Titus Andronicus Act III Scene I - Analysing and Evaluating Dramatic scenes When Titus prostrates himself and makes a plea to a non-existent audience, he represents the ultimate demise of Rome: its greatest hero reduced to an unsuccessful supplicant to the soil. In his speech to the banished Lucius, the "civilized" rivalry between Romans and the savagery and bloodlust of beasts converge: "Rome is but a wilderness of tigers" Together with the "consuming sorrow" of the abused Lavinia, this scene lays the foundation for a plot that increasingly concentrates on a circle of revenge that is rapacious and all-consuming. This all-consuming cycle ultimately finds concrete form in Titus's final scheme for retribution, in which the consuming of men is transformed from the metaphorical to the literal, and Titus's enemies are forced to eat their offspring. At the same time, so great are Titus's troubles that he is overwhelmed by them: "Like a drunkard must I vomit them" The play has reached a point of gross excess that even those involved cannot help but note: "These miseries are more than may be born". ...read more.

Middle

/ Let fools do good, and fair men call for grace; / Aaron will have his soul black like his face" This statement can be taken in two contrasting ways. It can be seen as locating Aaron's evil within his blackness, as popularly accepted in racial stereotypes. Alternatively, it can be taken as proof that his villainy is a deliberate choice rather than the natural characteristic of a Moore. Either his soul is inherently black because he is black, or he decides to make his soul black because he has been treated so badly for simply having black skin. The second scene is one of the most dramatic. In it, Titus enacts his first role as cook/feeder, in this case to his daughter Lavinia (later he will feed a horrendous feast to Tamora). This marks the only time in Titus when eating is portrayed as a natural and even nurturing act, as opposed to the ravenous, corrupt appetites portrayed in other parts of the play. ...read more.

Conclusion

I would say that it boils down to who has more authority: Aristotle or the playwright writing the tragedy. Shakespeare does not follow many of Aristotle's dictums, but he definitely has the authority to flout them and still be taken seriously. Aristotle sets forth many criteria for tragedy. The most prevalent were the unities of time, place, and action. Shakespeare flouts this criteria, I would say, especially in Titus. Hamartia is also often erroneously described as a fatal flaw." It is more correct to describe it as an excessive quality (good or bad) that is inappropriate or out of context with the situation at hand. Titus is a good example of this. He is set in a situation which calls for him to exact revenge, yet unlike the protagonists of typical revenge tragedies of the time he is too humane and principled to rush out and do it. but rather is taken on a whirlwind of emotion before finally doing it. The play is not about revenge, but about his coming to grips with what the situation requires of him. Samuel Dean 11BH Mrs Darbyshire ...read more.

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