Titus Andronicus Analysis

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Inscribed Bodies in Titus Andronicus “what it is to know that others, that we, have bodies” –Stanley Cavell Dr. P. Prayer Elmo Raj Assistant Professor, PG & Research Department of English Pachaiyappa’s College, Chennai-30 Abstract Titus Andronicus is packed with tormented, mutilated and disfigured bodies. The rape of Lavinia is central to the plot of the play. Bodily disfigurement metaphorically reflects the state of (a headless) Rome. Bodies in this play embody political significance. Systematic violence and torture impregnated against bodies are performative of an overarching power of an empire that foresees a downfall. Patriarchal and vengeful nature of power strategically uses female body as a tool to exert authority over the subjects. This paper examines the nature of violence and the (political) role bodies play in an empire. Key Words: body, violence, Shakepeare, Lavinia, Andronicus Shakespearean plays are significant not only with the choice of words but also with the manner in which Shakespeare exhibit bodies. Bodies, in Shakespearean plays, are mediumof expression. Writing and language are intangible, “as if language were in the head, and the body were simply a convenient tool for chattering [or scribbling] out its messages” (Sheets-Johnstone 12). To eliminate body from the process of creativity, writing makes it a problematic to write the body. Gallop observes that the “theorizing is precisely endless, an eternal reading of the “body” as an authorless text,

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