Essay about Analysis Of Titus Andronicus By William Shakespeare

Essay about Analysis Of Titus Andronicus By William Shakespeare

Length: 1648 words (4.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

There are only two female characters in the entire play Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare. These two women, Tamora and Lavinia, seem to be complete opposites. Tamora appears to give up her femininity in the name of revenge and power, while Lavinia’s femininity and value as a woman is taken from her. Tamora has power outside of men, but Lavinia only has power when men aid her. The play portrays Tamora as a sensual strong being, whereas Lavinia encompasses the more traditional virtuous, passive role that a woman would be expected to take. By creating this dichotomy between the two women, the play is able to explore female sexuality and power.
When Tamora and Lavinia first appear in the play they seem to be quite similar. Both the women are treated like property to be traded between men. Lavinia is traded between Saturninus and Bassianus and at one point Bassianus says “this made is mine” (1.1.279). In this moment Lavinia is not her own person, but is the property of a man, and she appears to have no will of her own. Slightly later in the same scene, Tamora seems to be in the same position as Lavinia. Saturninus, after losing Lavinia to Bassianus, decides “I choose thee, Tamora, for my bride and will crate thee Empress of Rome” (1.1.322-23). Tamora does not seem to have a choice in the matter of marrying Saturninus, just like Lavinia did not seem to have a choice in marrying Bassianus. The men are the ones who are making the choices for the women’s future in this part of the scene. This fits into the idea of traditional femininity of the time. It would have been seen as the right and feminine thing to do to give the power to the men. However, it is soon shown that Tamora is not the helpless being that Lavinia appears to be a...


... middle of paper ...


...ore of a difference between her and Lavinia.
When presenting these two characters, Shakespeare is giving two versions of femininity that exist on two completely different ends of the spectrum. Tamora is full of power and sexuality, while Lavinia is passive and virtuous. While working with these two different stereotypes of femininity, Shakespeare is able to explore two extreme opposites. These two women do not seem to represent a middle ground between being completely sensuous and completely virtuous. Tamora gaining too much power is what leads to her downfall and Lavinia loosing the only thing that is valued about her is what leads to hers. Shakespeare could be making a comment about how in extremes, the qualities these two women possess are not good, and women need to possess aspects of both Lavinia and Tamora, but in moderation, instead of living as n extreme.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Analysis Of Titus Andronicus By William Shakespeare

- There are only two female characters in the entire play Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare. These two women, Tamora and Lavinia, seem to be complete opposites. Tamora appears to give up her femininity in the name of revenge and power, while Lavinia’s femininity and value as a woman is taken from her. Tamora has power outside of men, but Lavinia only has power when men aid her. The play portrays Tamora as a sensual strong being, whereas Lavinia encompasses the more traditional virtuous, passive role that a woman would be expected to take....   [tags: Woman, Gender, Femininity, Women]

Strong Essays
1648 words (4.7 pages)

Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare Essay

- Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus is the most brutal and violent play written between 1590 and 1593 (Shakespeare and McDonald xxviiii). It is considered to be one of his earlier attempts to tragedy as it foreshadows many themes for his later plays. Themes of love, family relations, death, and power in Titus Andronicus emulates in plays like King Lear, Hamlet, and Macbeth; however, Titus Andronicus makes readers’ question the authorships of this play as, the later plays are compared to be well written....   [tags: love, family relations, mcdonald]

Strong Essays
1706 words (4.9 pages)

Essay on Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare, Film Version

- Background: 1. The movie is based on the play Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare, which is also the original source. There are a few differences between the play and movie adaptation and one of the most obvious is the added character of the young boy. Taymor also adds some newer technology as she incorporates cars, guns, and modern costuming into the movie. These did not exist during the time it was written by Shakespeare around 1593, with the first performance being in early 1594. (Shakespeare in quarto) 2. The characters in the movie are Young Lucius, Titus Andronicus, Tamora, Chiron, Demetrius, Aaron, Lucius, Saturninis, Bassianus, Marcus Andronicus, and Lavinia....   [tags: characters, scene, original source]

Strong Essays
1361 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on William Shakespeare 's Othello And Titus Andronicus

- There is something about Shakespeare that entices people to feel venomous towards his work. When reading or viewing adaptations of his work, the audience is compulsively drawn into the story. Especially in his early works, Shakespeare is blatant with violence, which is disturbing to the audience. Yet, the audience is entranced even more as they try to find out how Shakespeare creates his plays to be so tyrannical. Shakespeare is an effective playwright because of one simple fact: he is a tyrant....   [tags: Othello, William Shakespeare, Moors, Iago]

Strong Essays
1078 words (3.1 pages)

Chaos in Order: Nature of Forest Essay

- Chaos in Order It is important to understand the nature of forest in Shakespeare plays because it plays a major role in differentiating the purpose of multiple settings in varies plays. Forests have historically been special because they are lands that belonged to the king as a place for leisure (Asselin 11 Oct. 2013). The idea of carnivalesque usually comes to mind when something is associated with forest as it is also a place for inversion and reversal of hierarchy (Asselin 11 Oct. 2013). Forest in Elizabethan era is seen as a place in which there is a distinct difference with the city as the former is considered to be wild and the latter to be civilized (Asselin 11 Oct....   [tags: William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus, Rome]

Strong Essays
1010 words (2.9 pages)

Honor in the Play Titus Andronicus Essay

- With so many words making up the content of plays, it is difficult for one, single word to make much of an impact. However, the word ‘honor’ does just that in the play Titus Andronicus. Honor means different things to different people, and this is quite evident in the tragedy that is Titus Andronicus. The definition of honor has changed throughout the history of man. The character for which the play is named, Titus, puts his honor and the honor of Rome before anything else. In the play, honor is used as justification for wrongful actions....   [tags: honor, titus andronicus, shakespeare]

Strong Essays
834 words (2.4 pages)

Titus Andronicus - Appearance Versus Reality Essay

- Titus Andronicus - Appearance Versus Reality As appearances play an important role in society, so they also play an important role in William Shakespeare's play Titus Andronicus. From the first scene to the last, Shakespeare elaborates on the theme of appearance versus reality through plot and character. The play’s plot is full of incidents and events that are not what they appear to be: from Titus' “mental breakdown” and Tamora's extended deceitfulness, to Aaron's declared deeds. Each case presents a contrast between what the senses perceive and what reality presents....   [tags: Titus Andronicus Essays]

Strong Essays
1350 words (3.9 pages)

Titus Andronicus: An Anachronistic Obsession over First Born Sons Essay

- ... He exclaims, “Plead my successive title with your swords/I am his firstborn son that was the last,” in an effort to remind the Romans that he is in the rightful position to succeed his father as he is the eldest (Shakespeare 1.14-5). The fact that Bassianus attempts to take the throne from his older brother, Saturninus, creates immediate friction and intrigue, even in present times, because society continues to accept the elevated position of first born sons. After Saturninus is established as emperor, the relevance of first born sons in Shakespeare’s play is further magnified because of the sacrificial killing of Alarbus, Tamora’s first born son....   [tags: William Shakespeare, literary analysis]

Strong Essays
1264 words (3.6 pages)

Essay about ‘Titus Andronicus

- ‘Titus Andronicus ‘is a play by William Shakespeare that went to become very popular during his time. The play was performed in Rome after the defeat of the Goths by the Romans. The Goths were people from German who invaded their country. Throughout the play, violence can be seen inform of brutal murders, sexual violence and mutilation, suicide, wars and conflicts. This is normally heightened by the urge of the characters to revenge. Examples of such cases include: the raping and mutilation of Lavinia, Titus’s daughter and the killing of Alarbus....   [tags: Play Analysis, Shakespeare]

Strong Essays
1015 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Analysis of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus

- Analysis of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus William Shakespeare's earliest tragedy entitled Titus Andronicus is one of much action and spectacle. The majority of the characters' actions are motivated by revenge which is an essential theme throughout the work. Titus Andronicus, unlike all of Shakespeare's later plays, falls in line with Aristotle's six elements of tragedy putting plot before character. Characters are developed through the use of action in this work rather than the character determining the plot....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
354 words (1 pages)