Chaos In Order: Nature Of Forest

1263 words - 5 pages

Chaos in Order
It is important to understand the nature of forest in Shakespeare plays because it plays a major role in differentiating the purpose of multiple settings in varies plays. Forests have historically been special because they are lands that belonged to the king as a place for leisure (Asselin 11 Oct. 2013). The idea of carnivalesque usually comes to mind when something is associated with forest as it is also a place for inversion and reversal of hierarchy (Asselin 11 Oct. 2013). Forest in Elizabethan era is seen as a place in which there is a distinct difference with the city as the former is considered to be wild and the latter to be civilized (Asselin 11 Oct. 2013). However, in Titus Andronicus, the nature of forest bleeds into Rome through characters’ speeches and actions in violence, shifts in power, and disorder.
In Titus Andronicus, there are three different settings: Rome, Goths, and the forest. The city of Goths can be categorized with the forest because it is seen as a barbarous, wild, and ruthless place just like the forest. The initial distinction between Roman and barbarian is made clear in the beginning of the play by Marcus when he describes the Goths as “barbarous” (1.1.28). This word comes back again when Marcus and Titus’ sons are trying to convince Titus that Mutius’ body should be buried in the Andronicus tomb when Marcus declares “Thou art a Roman; be not barbarous” (1.1.375). In this sentence, Marcus is trying to tell Titus that he should take moral into consideration; he should also be reasonable and consider the fact that Mutius was a hero of Rome and he died for the freedom of his sister. For Titus to deny Mutius the proper burial means that he is being unjust and barbarous just like the Goths. However, as the play goes on, the line between civilized and barbarous slowly gets blurred as revenge slowly takes over different characters. After the rape and mutilation of Lavinia and the execution of Martius and Quintus, Titus realizes that Rome is no longer a state with law and moral. Before his assembled group shoots arrows towards the sky, he quotes from Metamorphoses “Terras Astraea reliquit” (4.3.4). Through this line, readers can see that since the goddess of justice has abandoned the earth, Titus decides that he is going to seek justice through acts of revenge. After Chiron and Demetrius is captured and bonded, Titus tells them “Hark, villains, I will grind your bones to dust, / and with your blood and it I’ll make a paste, / and of the paste a coffin I will rear, /…/ and worse than Progne I will be revenged” (5.3.185-194). Titus reveals to Chiron and Demetrius his plan that not only is he going to kill them, but he is also going to turn their bones and flesh into pies and serve them to their mother. This speech is spoken in iambic pentameter which shows that idea is planned and well thought out by Titus. However, the detailed description of his plan shows that even though the character’s mind is still...

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