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Titus Andronicus Essay Examples

Titus Andronicus Summary Essay Sample

❶Around he left his family The only shakes The only shakes William Shakespeare William Shakespeare was a great English playwright, dramatist and poet who lived during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. From when Shakespeare died there has been lots of books written about Shakespeare and his works.


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His plays remain highly popular today and are constantly studied, performed, and reinterpreted in diverse cultural and political contexts throughout the world. Shakespeare is hailed, presciently, as…. Due to the actions of Othello, in the…. There, he became a successful landowner, moneylender, glove-maker, and dealer of wool and agricultural goods.

In , he married Mary Arden. John Shakespeare lived during a time when the middle class was expanding in both size and wealth, allowing….

William Shakespeare was born on April 26, William Shakespeare was the son of John Shakespeare, an alderman and a successful glover originally from Snitterfield, and Mary Arden, the daughter of an affluent landowning farmer. He was born in Stratford-upon-Avon. He was the third child of eight and the eldest surviving son. For example, in The Comedy of Errors, water imagery is a very important tool to convey the theme of that play.

In Titus Andronicus, Shakespeare again uses animal imagery to reinforce the the themes of the play. The plays in those categories have much in common,…. The age of Shakespeare was a great time in English history. The reign of Queen Elizabeth I saw England emerge as the leading naval and commercial power of the Western world. European wars brought an influx of continental refugees into England, exposing the Englishman to new cultures.

In trade, might, and art, England established…. In , a man was born by the name of William Shakespeare. He was born to a poor family, was given little education, and had no interaction with sophisticated society. Thirty-eight plays and over sonnets are not attributed to this ignorant man.

Those who believe that Shakespeare was the author have no definitive proof…. In the eminent Austrian psychologist Sigmund Freud produced a seminal work entitled The Interpretation of Dreams which contains the idea that dreams allow psychic exploration of the soul, that dreams contain psychological meanings which can be arrived at by interpretation.

If it was written much after that date, it was a belated specimen of the type. Passing from even such circumstantial evidence to internal evidence is like entering a carnival fun-house with its distorting mirrors. In the light of that remark, it is surprising to find him playing it himself.

Coincidences and common sources are both difficult to rule out, the latter especially when we recall how much Elizabethan literature we have lost. Even when a parallel is as clear as such things may be, we often cannot know which author wrote first, or how much time separated first writing from imitation.

Wilson uses this coincidence to argue that Peele not only wrote both passages, but did so at very nearly the same time, and that the play must be slightly the earlier of the two because he thinks the word is better suited to its context there than in the poem.

Furthermore, since the play shows signs of revision, a parallel may belong to either a first draft or a revised version. The same hazards attend any hope of using recent archaeology to date the stagecraft in Titus Andronicus.

Like a verbal parallel, however, this stage business could as easily date from a revision as from the original draft. The only real evidence for the date of the play, then, is external, but it is scanty and not beyond question: Henslowe might have been mistaken, perhaps Danter lied. With these caveats, we can say that Titus Andronicus was probably established on the stage by mid , and possibly earlier.

Circumstantial evidence suggests that it might have been first written several years before: In the end, we can only conjecture or despair. Thus, discarding all pretence of objective proof, I shall base a conjecture upon my subjective assessment of style.

As I have shown, Titus Andronicus resembles several sensational plays which were all written somewhat earlier than Moreover, the writing seems stylistically uneven. Some of it is Ovidian, formal and mannered, as in Marcus's speech to the ravished Lavinia 2. These passages feel like the work of a young poet. Other portions more closely resemble Shakespeare's mature style: The stagecraft, on the other hand, is as dexterous as anything Shakespeare ever accomplished, which suggests a working familiarity with the theatre.

From these observations I conjecture that the young Shakespeare wrote a crude draft of Titus Andronicus before he turned dramatist—even as early as , when he may still have been living in Stratford; that it accompanied him to London, where nobody would produce it; and that having established himself to Robert Greene's dissatisfaction in , 18 he revised it and offered it either to Strange's or Pembroke's Men.

They may have played it in the provinces. But by the summer of the latter company, being bankrupt and currently in possession of the play, sold it to Sussex's Men, who played it at the Rose in early , and subsequently sold the copy to Danter when plague closed the playhouses. The scene of Titus's mad banquet, which appears only in the First Folio, was added later. This complicated hypothesis must await the discovery of new, reliable evidence to be tested. It may wait long.

It is uncertain whether Shakespeare's major source for Titus Andronicus has survived. The context of the story is the decline of the Roman Empire, but the events are fictional: Shakespeare is unlikely to have invented the story; his only original plots are found in comedy: For tragedy and history plays, he and his fellow dramatists turned to historians such as Livy, Plutarch and Holinshed; to old plays like King Leir or The Troublesome Raigne of John King of England; or to the Italian novella, which the Titus story resembles.

Adams announced his discovery, in the Folger Shakespeare Library, of a volume containing a short prose History of Titus Andronicus and a line ballad, Titus Andronicus' Complaint. Nevertheless, some scholars believe they have found it in either the ballad or the History. Dicey, is known to have reprinted old works on other occasions. It is possible that Johnson merely reprinted a ballad that was old enough to be Shakespeare's source. No early edition of the History is known, but while spelling and punctuation follow eighteenth-century practice, the diction is archaic.

The ballad and the History are linked by an identical couplet, which Lavinia writes with her staff to identify her assailants:. The History is unlikely to have been the source of the ballad.

The latter narrates the incident 5. This is not in the History. Since the ballad is original in no other respect, this incident may be drawn from a lost source, or from the play. The latter seems more likely. Marco Mincoff 21 argues that the ballad is the source of the History, but his case has been exploded by G. Hunter suggests that the ballad was written to capitalise on the popularity of Shakespeare's play.

The History is essentially different from the play. Nevertheless, there must be some link. Since the entire story is fiction, all versions must be related to each other.

If this is enough to show that there was a direct link between the play and the History, what is its nature? If we rule out the ballad as a source, only three possibilities remain: Shakespeare preferred English sources, but he may have been able to read Italian and could certainly read French. No such work is known, however. Hunter argues that some details of the History seem to be drawn from ancient sources which were not available in English in the sixteenth century.

If that was the case, however, he amalgamated his historical sources with the play in an imaginative and creative manner which appears to be inconsistent with his modest literary abilities. It is easier to believe that Shakespeare worked up a dry tale like the History into drama. If we consider the creative changes he frequently made, for dramatic effect, in the narrative of his sources, it seems probable that the History or a common source came first.

Besides, there is external evidence to consider. This gave him the sole right to publish the book named in the entry, much in the manner of modern copyright. It does not prove that he exercised that right. Danter published the first quarto Q , which is dated on the title page. There is no reason to doubt the date. Had his Stationers' Register entry clearly referred to the book of Shakespeare's play, the case would be simple.

But his wording appears to refer to the History, and since the ballad is mentioned as well, it looks as though he meant to print something rather like the eighteenth-century chapbook. If this was so, the History had evidently existed long enough to permit the ballad to be written.

If Titus Andronicus was really new when it was first performed on 23 January, less than a fortnight elapsed before Danter's entry in the Register. If the History was based on the play, several people had been incredibly busy. We would have to suppose that the author of the History saw the 23 January performance and adapted the play, with major changes; that the author of the ballad then somehow saw the History, and adapted it too; and that both subsequently took their works to Danter and persuaded him to publish, all in a few days.

It is easier to believe that the History was based on an earlier version of the play, or completely preceded it. More probably, Danter took the initiative. Titus Andronicus was a playhouse success, and he intended to capitalise on it by publishing the History and the ballad. We cannot be certain that he never did so; his edition is not extant, but to argue from absence of evidence will not do.

Nevertheless, he published his quarto of Titus Andronicus in the same year, without making any further entry in the Stationers' Register. The principal flaw in this suggestion is that Danter entered his copy on the very day of the play's last performance. This is a difficult coincidence to swallow, but no other explanation readily presents itself.

We are left with the probability that the History had existed for some time before , and that it, or its Italian original, was Shakespeare's source. Unless we suppose that not only he but Danter and the author of the ballad read the History in manuscript, in Italian, or both, there must have been an earlier printed English edition which Danter proposed to reprint. There is no way of knowing how old it was in , but if it was still in print Danter was surely risking trouble with its publisher.

It follows that this lost edition must have been several years old. More probably, the publisher simply reprinted that line along with the rest of the text. In that case, the old edition was probably the first in English, but adapted or translated from an Italian source.

Since an English version was available, Shakespeare is likely to have used it instead of the original, a suspicion which the verbal parallels quoted above tend to confirm.

The History may not have been Shakespeare's only source, but if it was the major one, there is no reason to argue that he went elsewhere for details that could be found in the book that lay open before him. Possible secondary sources might be the story of Philomel in Ovid's Metamorphoses, and Seneca's Thyestes; but since a copy of the former actually figures in the action of Titus Andronicus 4.

Perhaps Shakespeare knew both works so well that he did not need to open either as he wrote; but Ovid was fresher in his memory. The external evidence that Shakespeare wrote Titus Andronicus rests upon two solid facts. They would hardly have included a play they believed to be spurious, and as senior partners in the same company of players as Shakespeare they were in a position to know.

Meres may have lacked inside knowledge, but he was an educated man who was living in London by The only evidence that the play might be spurious comes from Edward Ravenscroft, who was born almost 25 years after Shakespeare's death. The address to the reader published with his adaptation of Titus Andronicus excuses Ravenscroft of plagiarism, claiming. I have been told by some anciently conversant with the Stage, that it was not Originally his, but brought by a private Author to be Acted, and he only gave some Master-touches to one or two of the Principal Parts or Characters; this I am apt to believe, because 'tis the most incorrect and indigested piece in all his Works; It seems rather a heap of Rubbish than a Structure.

In view of the relative authority of the evidence, it seems odd that so many scholars have agreed with Ravenscroft. In the eighteenth century Theobald, Johnson, Steevens and Malone all declared against Shakespeare's authorship, with Capell the only significant dissenter.

The nineteenth century followed suit, with the exception of the Germans apart from Gervinus. In fact, Titus Andronicus simply offended their literary taste, and they wished to absolve Shakespeare of the responsibility for perpetrating it.

Scholars in the twentieth century have turned to internal evidence. Robertson used verbal parallels to propose George Peele as principal author. Despite the demolition of Robertson's reputation by E. Chambers in The Disintegration of Shakespeare , 34 some still find Shakespeare's sole authorship a difficult proposition to accept. Dover Wilson mustered an impressive list of parallels which he believed show Shakespeare's hand in every act except the first.

He proposed a complicated hypothesis in which Peele wrote an early version for a touring company and was subsequently commissioned by Sussex's Men to expand it for performance in London, with aid from a reluctant Shakespeare. In his scheme, Act I is entirely by Peele. There have been several attempts to apply objective tests to the text.

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Titus Andronicus study guide contains a biography of William Shakespeare, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a .

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Sep 05,  · Suggested Essay Topics. Evelyn Waugh said, "Titus is an arduous part. He is on stage almost continuously as heroic veteran, stoic parent, implacable devotee of barbarous pieties, crazy victim, adroit revenger.".

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- 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 . Titus Andronicus literature essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Titus Andronicus.

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Titus Andronicus was the first tragedy written by Shakespeare in It is on of his most gruesome and ambitious plays. It has many recognizable motifs and themes which one will continue to see develop is his later works, but Titus Andronicus is very different from the later plays by Shakespeare partly due to the strong female presence throughout . Titus Andronicus Summary Essay Sample. After ten long years of fighting a war against the “barbarous” Goths, Roman general Titus Andronicus returns home with the bodies of his two dead sons and a crew of important war prisoners, including Tamora (queen of the Goths), her sons (Demetrius and Chiron) and Aaron the Moor.