Shakespeare - Titus Andronicus
Shakespeare - Titus Andronicus EH 403
Jacksonville State University
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kimberly Burke on Sunday February 21, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to EH 403 at Jacksonville State University taught by Dr. Gates in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 12 views. For similar materials see Shakespeare I in Foreign Language at Jacksonville State University.
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Date Created: 02/21/16
Shakespeare – Titus Andronicus • Characters o Titus Andronicus – tragic hero, Roman general who returns to Rome from war with the Goths at the beginning of the play, b/c of his heroic deeds people want him to be emperor (but he does not), loyal to Rome & emperor Saturninus, has Tamora’s son Alarbus killed as revenge for the deaths of some of his sons in battle o Lavinia – Titus’ daughter, passive, given away in marriage § Demetrius & Chiron rape her, cut out her tongue & her hands – mute as a result § Contrasted with Tamora (powerful, clever, wicked, cruel) § Killed by Titus b/c she has lost her honor, chastity, & virtue o Lucius – Titus’ son, only one to survive entire play, exiled from Rome § Goes to the Goths & raises an army to challenge Saturninus § Popular support of the Roman people, promise to return Rome to former greatness o Young Lucius – Titus’ grandson, Lucius’ son, survives the entire play, innocent bystander o Quintus & Martius – Titus’ two sons who are framed for murder of Bassianus § Executed by Saturninus for the crime – this turns Titus against Saturninus o Mutius – Titus’ son, tries to prevent Lavinia & Saturninus’ marriage § Angry at betrayal of the emperor, killed by Titus § Mutineer, stands up to father’s wish of Lavinia marrying Saturninus & not Bassianus o Marcus Andronicus – Titus’ brother & a Roman tribune (elected official), advises Titus throughout the play, survives the entirety of the play, assures the Roman people along with Lucius that they will bring stability back to Rome o Publius –Marcus Andronicus’ son o Saturninus – oldest son of recently deceased Roman emperor, current emperor, Titus’ sons & Bassianus claim that he cannot marry Lavinia, angry at the Andronicus family, marries Tamora instead (she is lying to & manipulating him) o Bassianus – Saturninus’ younger brother, does not allow Saturninus to marry Lavinia b/c she was betrothed to him, killed by Demetrius & Chiron (but Titus’ sons Quintus & Martius are framed for murder & executed) o Tamora – queen of the Goths, brought as prisoner to Rome by Titus (who kills her son Alarbus & she swears revenge), wife to Saturninus, § Helps (Aaron, Demetrius, & Chiron) avenge Alarbus by raping & mutilating Lavinia, killing Quintus & Martius, & exiling Lucius o Alarbus – Tamora’s oldest son, killed by Titus to avenge his children’s deaths Demetrius & Chiron – Tamora’s sons, carry out Aaron & Tamora’s revenge plan against Titus, heartless & cruel, mock Lavinia after raping & disfiguring her o Aaron the Moor – Tamara’s secret lover & father of one of her children, African, villain § Abused by the Andronicus family, Demetrius & Chiron b/c he’s black § Arranges for Quintus & Martius to be framed for Saturninus’ murder § Encourages Demetrius & Chiron to attack Lavinia § Feels no regret when he is caught by Lucius except he wants to live longer to commit more crimes o Aemilius – Roman messenger who helps propel the plot along • Earliest Shakespeare Tragedy – evidence that he collaborated with others • Several “givens” in comparison/contrast of Titus & Shakespeare’s later tragedies o Senecan values – early career o Later – developed tragedy beyond Titus level • Handout Questions o 1 & 2 – Hamlet & Othello vs. Titus § Aristotle tragedy – catharsis, self-recognition o 3 – Titus’ mental condition evolves later in the play § Hamlet pretends madness, extreme grief from loss of father § Titus does strange things – attributed to madness • Pretends to not know who his family is § Shakespeare sometimes lets the audience in on the ploy o 4 – Immature playwriting or brilliant scheme § changes orientation of the scene § Lavinia – Titus’ daughter, victim § Triggers in the play – touches you closely, like PTSD • Titus feels entitled to kill Tamora’s son to avenge his child’s rape & dismembering (trigger) o In turn, triggers revenge from Tamora § At the time Shakespeare wrote Titus, he also wrote The Rape of Lucrece which is mentioned in Titus • Normally - Vigilante justice – kill attacker • The Rape of Lucrece – 1 time crime is taken to state instead of person- person or family-family § Lavinia as victim/mute – crude scene when she names her rapist • She writes names with her arm stumps with a stick in the sand & points out a classical rape story • Victimized, uncomfortable stage time o 5 – last scene, ploy by Andronicus family who put up a case for their family to take over st § In the 1 scene – Titus comes home from war & is asked to name the next general § Titus has blind spots o 6 – divided by the consciousness of Aaron § Iago wanting to bring Othello down, Othello’s black power attitude § Titus – a mixed race child is brought to Aaron who refuses to get rid of the child • Family allegiance – even though the child is illegitimate • Caught – he pleads for child’s life, Lucius has to make the decision • Aaron – very important character, more than just the bad guy o 7 – Shakespeare’s development beyond Titus § Early - obvious allusions; later - uses literary style § Titus – not in control of allusions o 8 – Titus’ aside – tells audience & not Tamora that he is pretending madness § Hamlet – able to turn on his pretend madness o 9 – deaths o 10 – list of mistakes § Summary of article – Hammersmith too severely translated ‘hamartia’ to mean tragic virtue • Misguided in pursuits of what he thinks is right • Tragic pride over excessive pride § Father thinking he can make husband choice for his daughter – seen in several plays • Bassianus & Lavinia – she is given to Saturninus § Ending in problematic – Titus has to publicly kill (honor killing) to revenge his daughter • Cuts up Tamora’s sons & feeds them to her in a pie – taken straight from Seneca play • What becomes of Aaron’s child – not clear – Lucius agrees to let it live but may be faking it • Scene 1 o Titus is war hero, could be emperor • Romans & Goths are both barbaric o Goths defeated by Romans o Tamora’s 1 son sacrificed for Titus’ sons deaths o Goths – nebulous force o Lucius leaves to get on army to march against Rome • Titus kills Tamora’s sons & puts them in a pie to feed to Tamora • Titus plays along with people thinking he’s mad but tells audience in aside that he is not • Masque presentation – play figures have come to Titus’ window in costume o Tamora, Chiron, & Demetrius = Revenge, Rape, & Murder o Sympathize with Titus – really knows who they are • Aaron’s nationality – race is a big part of the play o Comes forward out of nowhere – on his own o Associated with Goths o Titus picture on pg. Plate 9 – Aaron to the side • Weirdness of Titus’ response to Lavinia’s rape – laughs b/c he can’t cry anymore – iron leader • Honor killing – raped woman killed o Private killings – rapist killed – private justice • Final scene – death, too rapid killings o Shakespeare’s early take on tragic endings o Titus kills Lavinia, Lavinia kills Saturninus • Psychotic Grief Illusion – Titus & Hamlet – so wrapped up in not getting over grief of a loss • Titus shoots messages in arrows to Empress – make sure Saturninus knows how he feels • Clown visits Titus – Clown goes to Saturninus & Tamora with note in Titus’ knife • Is Titus a full tragic hero?
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