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. 2013). However, in Titus Andronicus, the nature of forest bleeds into Rome through characters’ speeches and actions in violence, shifts in power, and disorder.
In Titus Andronicus, there are three different settings: Rome, Goths, and the forest. The city of Goths can be categorized with the forest because it is seen as a barbarous, wild, and ruthless place just like the forest. The initial distinction between Roman and barbarian is made clear in the beginning of the play by Marcus when he describes the Goths as “barbarous” (1.1.28). This word comes back again when Marcus and Titus’ sons are trying to convince Titus that Mutius’ body should be buried in the Andronicus tomb when Marcus declares “Thou art a Roman; be not barbarous” (1.1.375). In this sentence, Marcus is trying to tell Titus that he should take moral into consideration; he should also be reasonable and consider the fact that Mutius was a hero of Rome and he died for the freedom of his sister. For Titus to deny Mutius the proper burial means that he is being unjust and barbarous just like the Go...
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...t the nature of forest has taken over Rome and it has turned Rome into a wild and chaotic place.
The nature of forest can be seen throughout the play of Titus Andronicus. It crosses the boundary line between the wild and the civilized as it takes over the traditional rule of a cultured city and turns it into the home of revenge and slaughter. In Titus Andronicus, the nature of forest bleeds into Rome through characters’ speeches and actions in violence shown through revenge conducted by Titus, shifts in power between Tamora and Saturninus, and disorder within the city that eventually turns it into a forest-like place.
Asselin, Steve. “Contemporary views of the forests” ENGL257. Kingston, ON: Queen’s University,
11 Oct. 2013. Lecture Notes.
"Titus Andronicus." The Norton Shakespeare. Vol. I. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 399-
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