Titus Andronicus Essay

Titus Andronicus Essay

Length: 1268 words (3.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Good Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Titus Andronicus has had a fair share of mixed reviews over the last centuries but has still remained a work of fascinating symbolism as well as a violent, poetic story. The story was meant to entertain the lower classes of England at the time who enjoyed such activities as bear baiting, where a bear would have its claws and teeth pulled out before being tied to a post where savage pitt-bulls would bite it to death (White). The people of sixteenth century England were also very accustomed to public hangings and torturous punishments. Colin Burrow, a researcher of early Tudor literature, noted that, "Cruelty is part of Shakespeare's World and it generates a high proportion of the energy into his drama." (Smith 4). When the play was first published, it received exceptional reviews, but later it was spat on as one of the most disgustingly violent and worse written Shakespeare play. How did the reviews turn so sour so quickly? The culture at the time had the most to do with it. With such violent epics such as The Godfather, Scarface, Natural Born Killers, and Pulp Fiction, it is no wonder that Titus Andronicus has once again revealed itself to the masses as an entertaining piece of work. The idolization of violent entertainment in recent years is the reason for the increase of appeal towards Shakespeare's play Titus Andronicus.

The reviews of this play from the 1930's show us that most people did not like violent literature. It was around this time that America fell into the Depression. Reading Titus probably did not amuse them because of the heavy burden of poverty. In 1934 T.S. Eliot dismissed the play as "one of the stupidest and most uninspired plays ever." If only he had known that stupidest wasn't a word, he probably would'...


... middle of paper ...


...r the raping of Lavinia, Titus kills Tamora's sons, bakes them into a pastry, and serves it back unto Tamora's stomach, where they came from. Titus also kills her after letting her know that she ate her two remaining sons, so for this Saturninus, in a fit of rage, murders Titus. To top it off, to avenge his father, Lucius kills the Emperor, Saturninus. "Revenge has the final grim chuckle, having wracked havoc on fractured human psyches and the Roman state." (Smith 32).

Works Cited

Smith, Henry. Shakesphere's Tragedies. New York: Mcgraw-Hill, 1984.

Nightingale, Joesph. Symbolism in Shakesphere. Boston: Delmar, 1995.

Shakesphere, William. Titus Andronicus. England, 1596.

White, Janet. "From the Gallows to the Stage." 6/17/99. Ebsco host. Accessed at HCC lib., MA. 12/03/04.

Titus. Julie Taymor, Jody Patton, Shakesphere. VHS. Fox Searchlights, 2000

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Essay on The Real Hero of Titus Andronicus

- The Real Hero of Titus Andronicus I found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble -Augustus Caesar (63 BC - 14 AD) In his essay, Titus Andronicus and the Mythos of Shakespeare's Rome, Robert Miola uncovers and explores the myths Shakespeare uses as bedrock for the background and plot of his first Roman tragedy, Titus Andronicus. Most notably, Miola discusses two Ovidian myths, The Rape of Philomela and The World's Four Ages. The Rape provides Shakespeare with his basic characters and the events involving Lavinia, his Philomela, while Ovid's fourth age of iron describes Shakespeare's physical Rome, "a quintessentially iron city," writes Miola, "a military establishment protecte...   [tags: Titus Andronicus]

Good Essays
1809 words (5.2 pages)

Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus - A Powerful Tragedy Essay

- Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus - A Powerful Tragedy Titus Andronicus is a play marked by acts of horrific violence and littered with death and the destruction of others. Each violent act, however, serves to explain and sometimes encourage the motives of the play's memorable characters and impart a very tightly knotted plot. The structure of the play employs well-defined heroes and villains. Revenge is their key motivating factor. All of these elements combine to form a cohesive plot and contribute to the overall success of the story....   [tags: Titus Andronicus]

Good Essays
1680 words (4.8 pages)

Words and Spectacle in Shakespeare’s "Titus Andronicus" and Julie Taymore’s "Titus"

- Shakespeare’s earliest tragedy is a play infamous for its gore and spectacular violence. Within the play there are multiple murders and lopped limbs aplenty, but the chief victim of the play – the primary spectacle – is Lavinia. Her ill fate is first conveyed to the reader through the ornate words of Marcus, and from this point on Lavinia is seen, but heard only through the words of the other characters. Indeed, in Titus Andronicus Lavinia is the spectacle of the play, and her manifestation is created only through the words of the other characters....   [tags: Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus, Julie Taymore]

Good Essays
2398 words (6.9 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]

Good Essays
1350 words (3.9 pages)

Essay about William Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus

- William Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus Titus transforms into a character of carnival in Shakespeare’s “Titus Andronicus.” Carnival is a concept described by Michael Bristol in his paper “Funeral Bak’d-Meats.” In the paper, Bristol describes carnival as a period before the beginning Lent in early modern Europe, characterized by “hedonistic excess and transgression.” (Bristol 351) Carnival characters place special emphasis on food, disguise and a reversal of the social order or “uncrowning.” The lower classes usually celebrate Carnival and they dismiss rules or decorum....   [tags: William Shakespeare Titus Andronicus Essays]

Good Essays
3096 words (8.8 pages)

Julie Taymor’s Titus Andronicus Essay

- Julie Taymor’s Titus Andronicus Shakespeare's first tragedy has been a topic of discussion since the day it was written. Titus Andronicus "was staged on 24 January 1594 by the Earl of Sussex's Men at the Rose Theatre" (Welsh 1). Though this tidbit of information seems somewhat irrelevant to Titus, we must note that there are certain standards and practices established by a play from its first performance. It is also important to establish the general attributes that audiences attribute to Shakespearean performance....   [tags: Titus Andronicus Essays]

Good Essays
2758 words (7.9 pages)

Essay on Titus Andronicus - Act III, Scene ii, Lines 53-80

- The Behavior Of Titus Andronicus In Act III, Scene ii, Lines 53-80     In this part of the play, we encounter the intense inner struggle of Titus Andronicus and the extent to which his hardship and anguish have affected his perception and behavior. The need for revenge has reached an extreme level, very close to madness, expressed by his ever-changing mood and inadequate way of reasoning. Shakespeare further develops the character of Titus, adding new features, achieving a remarkable evolution that presents us with an interesting personality and mentality....   [tags: Titus Andronicus Essays]

Good Essays
1982 words (5.7 pages)

Ancient and Modern Elements in Julie Taymor's Adaptation of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus

- Ancient and Modern Elements in Julie Taymor's Adaptation of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus Roman coliseum . . . Formica kitchen Armored warrior . . . Armored tank Gregorian Chant . . . Hard Rock White toga . . . Metallic business suit Ancient Rome . . . Modern America At first glance, these categories appear entirely incompatible, unable to exist together. However, in Julie Taymor's adaptation of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, we find that they are compatible after all. With elaborate sets, stunning costumes, and a remarkable film score, Taymor blurs the boundaries that divide them and creates a world that accommodates both ancient Rome and modern America....   [tags: Titus Andronicus Essays]

Good Essays
1396 words (4 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]

Good Essays
1015 words (2.9 pages)

Titus Andronicus Essay

- Titus Andronicus has had a fair share of mixed reviews over the last centuries but has still remained a work of fascinating symbolism as well as a violent, poetic story. The story was meant to entertain the lower classes of England at the time who enjoyed such activities as bear baiting, where a bear would have its claws and teeth pulled out before being tied to a post where savage pitt-bulls would bite it to death (White). The people of sixteenth century England were also very accustomed to public hangings and torturous punishments....   [tags: European Literature]

Good Essays
1268 words (3.6 pages)