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Titus Andronicus by Shakespeare - Essay Example

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28 November 2013. Titus Andronicus by Shakespeare: The Lamentable Tragedy of Titus Andronicus is the first among many tragedies written by William Shakespeare and is often overshadowed by other more popular tragedies like the Tragedy of Hamlet, King Lear, and Othello…
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Titus Andronicus by Shakespeare
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Download file to see previous pages But, its popularity picked momentum later in the 20th century. Despite being considered most violent and traditionally perceived as quite controversial, Titus Andronicus still digs with acute intelligence into the theme of honor and constructs a riveting framework to cast a spell on the readers. Honor plays a very prominent role in shaping events of the story and also plays a steering role in making different characters act in a revengeful manner. Restoration of honor is perceived as the most valuable objective by every character. This essay seeks to explore at length how the theme of honor is handled by Shakespeare in this tragedy and in how many different ways it influences the structure of the story. In the play, the revered Roman general Titus returns home after a ten year long war having lost most of his sons. He has bodies of two dead sons with him and some important barbarous Goths who are now made prisoners. The harrowing general is exceptionally dishonored by the damage done to his family in the form of death of his sons during the war (Delahoyde) and he in turn after reaching home brutally sacrifices the eldest son of Tamora, empress of the Goths, to pacify the souls of his dead sons. This was certainly a heinous way of restoring honor but plays a momentous role in shaping the future events. Later, when the new ruler of Rome makes Tamora his empress instead of Lavinia, Titus again feels dishonored (McGoodwin) and also Tamora vows to destroy Titus’s life to reestablish her lost honor. It is the influence and driving motivation of honor basically which makes Tamora convince her two spared sons to ferociously rape Lavinia and also disfigure her. Blinded with revenge, the dishonored Goth family agrees on this vicious plan and Lavinia is badly harmed with her tongue and both hands cut off so the culprits could not be named. This extremely cruel act strikes a staggering blow on Titus’s pride because he adores his daughter and the state she is left in by his enemies leaves him anguished beyond possibility. All his life Titus has expected respect from others being a man in high position and the brutality to which his daughter is exposed makes him realize with plain clarity that his prized prerogative of being honored is tarnished. This acknowledgement of infringements on his self-esteem serves as a propeller to seek vengeance, but unfortunately he has no idea who is behind the crime of rape, so an anguished Tamora very cunningly further goes on her secretive plans to demolish Titus’s inflated sense of self-respect by sending him severed heads of his sons. It is easy to realize how myriad inhumane acts are committed in Titus Andronicus in the name of honor. This suggests that Titus has a really warped perception of honor (Annareese). The entire plot revolves around this theme from the beginning till the end and compels the characters who are broken from inside and have no respect for humanity to engage in vicious plans. Every single character has an enigmatically twisted approach to restoring honor. The portrayal of violence in this tragedy is unparalleled and it is deliberately kept so to make the theme of honor emphatic. This is why scary acts of violence keep haunting the readers in every act to convey the message how drastically the idea of honor can penetrate the minds of people compelling them to break all barriers to get back this prodigious wealth if snatched by anyone. History is full of events like ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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