Titus Andronicus as a Classic Tragedy

Titus Andronicus is a classical tragedy from the beginning to the end. For instance the introduction of the characters to the play shows a clear picture of a classical tragedy. In this play, the characters are introduced by bringing them on stage without any prior notification and at the same time, at certain point, the characters are introduced by other characters at the stage (Greenblatt 98).

The play starts up with minor characters whose roles in the play are not of much importance, these characters are used to introduce the more important characters. For instance, the play starts after the death of the roman emperor and his two sons.

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The conflict is created at the beginning of the play, whereby the two sons Saturninus and Bassianus were disagreeing on, who will succeed their dead father. The act of the two sons conflicting on who will rule is an aspect of the author to bring out the need of identifying oneself with the hero (Greenblatt 250).

The roman emperor was a hero, and the two sons wanted to be identified with this hero. The aspect of identifying oneself with a hero is a good example of a classical tragedy. The conflict between the two sons turned to be violent until when the tribune came up with a final solution of making the emperors brother Titus to be his fathers successor.

In addition, at a certain point in the play, Aaron is seen persuading Demetrius to plan the murder of Bassianus, so that they can have a good opportunity of raping Lavinia. The play acts of characters planning to kill other characters and barbaric acts of raping others brought the emotional response in the play.

Unlike the comedies that does not show any aspect of emotional such as fear and pity, a classical tragedy like this one demonstrates much pity and fear in most of the incidences throughout the play. There is a sense of fear when Bassianus is murdered and his body dumped. Lavinia undergoes a painful process of a violent rape in a forest. Lavinia suffered a great deal, as the rapists cut her tongue and her hands to prevent her from telling the truth.

The act of human suffering is another aspect demonstrated in a classical tragedy. In Titus Andronicus play, human suffering is a major theme especially what Lavinia underwent. For instance, during the celebration party that took place in Titus house, Saturninus advised Titus that it was possible for a father to kill his raped daughter.

Shortly, Titus decided to murder his daughter, by breaking her neck and revealed the secret of rape to Saturninus. The play moves with a lot of solemnity and foreboding (Greenblatt 103). The play ends with rigid finality, whereby Titus murders Tamora, and Saturninus kills Titus.

After killing Titus, Saturninus is killed by Lucius out of anger of past memories of his father’s death, he did that purposely to revenge. Moreover, due to continuous murders of the characters, Lucius gets an opportunity of becoming an emperor, being a ruler, he commanded his people to give Saturninus a state burial (Greenblatt 156).

On the other hand, he ordered Tamoras body to be thrown away for the wild beasts to feast on him. Lucius the emperor ordered Aaron to be punished by hunger and thirst until his death. To Aaron that was not a big issue as he did not repent even at the end, and he wished to have done more evil in his life.

Work Cited

Greenblatt, Stephen. The Norton Shakespeare Based on the oxford Edition. New York: W.W Norton & Company, 2006.