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ENG220 Titus Andronicus Act 1

Course Code
Elizabeth Harvey

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Monday, October 4, 2011
Titus Andronicus - Act 1 Scene 1
repetition of word “arms”
trained up in arms.... cause of Rome and chastised with arms... renowned Titus,
flourishing in arms
scene of political chaos
come into play just after death of Caesar
Bassianus: handing election to Romans, “let desert in pure election” because deserve
title more
Marcus -> chosen Andronicus, surnamed Pius
devoted to duty
Titus too devoted to duty, terrible obsession, out of control
monstrous sense of duty
goths: Germanic tribe, invaded Eastern and Western empires and founded kingdoms
in Italy, France and Spain
Rome invaded, period of darkness
Titus embodies allegiance to crumbling empire (ethically, physically)
no need for outside enemy; seeds of fall of Rome sown from within making it possible
for barbarians to invade and conquer
power of government and empire through prisoners of war, parading Goths in chains
mark their servitude, mark power of Rome
Titus comparing self to Priam; both fathers of troops of sons (from Troy)
Titus’s comparable indifference to sons’ losses, as if they were meant to die for the
empire... there is no difference between living and dead
eagerness to sacrifice own flesh and blood in glory of empire
unkind -> working against own nature
Lucius -> ad manes fratrum sacrifice his flesh (brothers in arms)
taking eldest son of Tamora, taking his limbs
Tamora’s pleas opposite of Titus’s regard for his sons
literal disintegration of body
severing of part of body from another
fragmentation physical sign of ideological/governmental chaos afflicting Rome
Titus’s answer: “Patient yourself, madam, and pardon me”
patient -> suffer
having to put sons in monument so dont wander around and be unhappy
exchange between Titus and Tamora: question between ritual
barbarian: specific term referring to specific people, reference to speech, confusion of
language; foreign nationality, non-Christian, problematic rituals
attribution of one culture by another for being barbarous in comparison to self
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