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Titus Andronicus is a play that was written by Shakespeare in the 1590s. The play is about set in Rome and revolves about royal families that are ready to go or do anything in order to revenge. This play is about a lady known as Tamora (Queen of the Goths) who is ready to avenge her son's (Alarbus) death by Titus Andronicus. This revenge leads to a whole circle of tragedies, death, pain and more revenge.
All this drama starts when the Emperor of Rome passes on and leaves his two sons, Saturnius and Bassianus fighting for succession. Titus, who was from campaigning against the Goths, not too long ago, is announced by his brother Marcus Andronicus as the citizen's choice for the emperor throne. Titus rejects this but gives Saturnius the opportunity with the agreement that he would marry Andronicus daughter called Lavinia. Earlier, Titus had killed Tamora's son in order to take vengeance of his sons' killings in the war. Though Tamora had begged him not to do so, he still goes ahead and commits the action and that is how she swears to revenge.
This whole story ends up with Saturnius not marrying Lavinia but marries Tamora; Bassianus is killed by Tamora's sons Chiron and Demetrius then they later rape, Amputate Lavinia's hands and cut her tongue to keep her from disclosing what she had gone through. Aaron, who had ordered the killing of Bassianus, blames Titus sons Martius and Quintus for the tragedy which leads to their execution. Titus also looses his hand as Aaron had deceived him that if either him or his sons would give up one of their hands, his sons would be pardoned. This of course was not true and so Titus was brought his sons' heads and his hand on a platter. This led to more anger and more revenge (Mullaney 36).
Andronicus later finds out what happened to her daughter. In the end, everyone ends up dead and apart from Lucius (Titus son) who ends up as the Emperor.
Both writers seem to portray the play as full of vengeance, murder, pain, rape, cannibalism, anger, just to mention but a few. In simple terms, the play is too bloody. One thing seems to lead to another in the whole story. Anger, love, pain, lust and greediness have made us see the characters in the play go to great lengths to get their way.
Due to its violence and brutality, the writers seem to doubt Shakespeare's authorship. As one reads these two writers' works, it is understood that they are not comfortable with this piece of work. The scenarios are almost unreal as it seems almost impossible for a close group of families go through such ordeals as portrayed in the play.
Parents are seen to murder their own children like in the case of Andronicus and his daughter Lavinia. There is also cannibalism as Andronicus has Tamora's sons, Chiron and Demetrius, throats slit and their meat cooked as a pie which is given to their mother to eat it without her knowledge.
The writers bring a side of Shakespeare that was not known. The play is highly criticized by not only these two writers, Mullaney and Greeblatt, but other writers too. Both writers also show that there might have been some reality as most people write from their surroundings or what they have experienced or noted. People in those days were not brutal as they were used to going into wars, killing and execution was not a big deal (Greenblatt 89).
The play shows describes the extent a human being can go to in order to revenge. It has also brought out that revenge makes things worse than better as everyone involved would want to revenge not knowing that they were the ones with the mistake to begin with. The play gained popularity back in that time.
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