Titus Andronicus

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Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare has often been defined by it’s over excessive displays of violence, mutilation, and death. Throughout the years since this play’s inception, the play has lauded and scrutinized for the frighteningly determined convictions behind the minds of the Titus Andronicus’s brutal and gory story arc. Even today, it is doubtful that many people can recall a piece that so accurately depicts the butchering of the human form better than this work by Shakespeare. Thus, it is of utmost importance in this work to learn the psychoanalytic perspective with which the main characters -- especially the title character, Titus Andronicus -- view and carry out their actions. It is curious to examine the motives of the man who…show more content…
He declares that a hand from a man of Andronicus blood will free the two of the same that are being held in custody by the state. Titus wastes no time reacting to this or mulling over the possible consequences of this circumstance. Almost with child like glee and enthusiasm he offers up some of his own flesh to please this hollow request given by a shadow emperor. He proclaims, “Good Aaron, wilt thou help to chop it off?” Again, Titus’s unholy desire for suffering rears it’s head at the audience. To this scene, Elizabeth Griffith offers her view of the situation by saying: “Here our detestation and abhorrence … serves to heighten our reinforcement of the injury.”2 Indeed, the reader is pulled into this realm, like Titus, of wanting more blood, more hewn body parts to be added to the protagonist’s belt. It is interesting that, while he was so determined when killing his earlier son and causing the death the beloved son of a vulnerable and helpless, he is so desperate to save his sons from possible death. The answer is obvious: his sons are not dying by his command. Thus, it exposes the hidden desires of control and power within Titus’s heart despite his apparent submission to the tradition of the emperor in Act I. In truth, Titus’s sadistic and controlling attitude is deeply rooted in his unconscious, much more deeply that his supposed persona of…show more content…
Rather, he is eager to jump to the conclusion of pain and suffering -- even when that pain is his own. Albert H. Tricomi notes the oddness of this scene as well, commenting “Thus, in a vain effort to save his two imprisoned sons, Titus render’s up his own hand to the ravenous emperor of Rome. The words he speaks at this time precisely explain the bizarre relationship between language and events that typifies the method of the play.”3 Titus’s need to feel the feeling of controlled hurt to satisfy his violent desires is present even in his “bizarre language” as he converses with the Moor. Therefore, he makes the tribute part of himself in order to regain that control that he does not have over the impending doom of his captured (and soon to be executed)
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