This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Titus Andronicus By William Shakespeare Essay

2112 words - 8 pages

Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus is the most brutal and violent play written between 1590 and 1593 (Shakespeare and McDonald xxviiii). It is considered to be one of his earlier attempts to tragedy as it foreshadows many themes for his later plays. Themes of love, family relations, death, and power in Titus Andronicus emulates in plays like King Lear, Hamlet, and Macbeth; however, Titus Andronicus makes readers’ question the authorships of this play as, the later plays are compared to be well written. Yet, the word “black” appears numerously in Titus Andronicus, especially with the character of Aaron, a Moor. “Black” is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as “Designating the darkest colour possible, that of soot, coal, the sky on a moonless night in open country, and a small hole in a hollow object; of or having this colour; (also) so near this as to have no recognizable colour, very dark” (black, adj. and n).
This “black” character is well written and well characterized in Titus Andronicus. This character is not expressed in any other plays written by Shakespeare. In Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, “black” associates itself with Aaron, a Moor, whom plays a minor character but is the topic of discussion amongst himself and other characters because of his dark and “black” coloured skin, hence, associating his character to be malevolent through the various racist remarks using animal and mythological imagery towards him, as being barbarous, his transformation to a “black” character, and numerous Judeo-Christian emblems with suggestions to the word “black”.
Racist remarks towards Aaron a Moor using animal imagery in Titus Andronicus expresses his character as a savage figure because he is different. A moor is “Originally: a native or inhabitant of ancient Mauretania, a region of North Africa corresponding to parts of present-day Morocco and Algeria” (Moor, n.2.). Just by the definition we can characterize Aaron as being different from the Romans and the Goths in Titus Andronicus. At the end of Act 3 Scene 2, Marcus finishes killing a fly (Shakespeare 3.2.53), yet the black- humour against Aaron, a Moor, is apparent when Marcus says, “Pardon me, sir; it was a black ill-favored fly, / Like to the empress’ Moor; therefore I killed him” (3.2.66-67). This comparison of Aaron a Moor to a black coloured fly characterizes him as weak and feeble. When Marcus says “black ill-flavored” (3.2.66) he means black and ugly. Marcus suggests Aaron a Moor is unimportant and less powerful in status amongst the Goths and Romans. He is seen as a fly on a wall that cannot do anything but follows Tamora’s orders. Titus heightens the humor when he says,
Give me thy knife, I will insult on him,
Flattering myself as if it were the Moor…
Yet, I think, we are not brought so low
but that between us we can kill a fly
That comes in likeness of a coal-black Moor. (3.2.71-78)
Titus makes fun of Aaron a Moor by saying they are better than him, and that they...

Find Another Essay On Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare

"Macbeth" by William Shakespeare Essay

635 words - 3 pages MACBETH ESSAYThroughout Macbeth William Shakespeare uses many symbols to highlight major themes in the play. One of these symbols is blood, and the theme that it reinforces is murder and the fear associated with killing. Many scenes in the play involving murder also have blood mentioned, although not necessarily during the act itself. The use of blood as a symbol is very important when connected to the theme of murder, and is used as a

Hamlet by William Shakespeare Essay

1683 words - 7 pages The expression “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” is never taken literally in the modern day, as it only exaggerates the idea of payback or karma, but this saying took a whole new meaning in the famous tragic-revenge play of Hamlet, written by William Shakespeare in 1601.What is so appealing about this masterpiece, to audiences of many decades, is the fact that revenge plays a rather large role throughout the play, motivating not only

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

1889 words - 8 pages William Shakespeare is a work that directly relates the significance of madness. Not only the manifestation of madness, but also the impersonation of madness as well. To impersonate a persona, is to become that persona over time. “Hamlet” begs the question: How long can you wear a disguise before you become it? Although Hamlet is the first mad character to spring to mind, Ophelia cannot be overlooked. ““Or that the Everlasting had not fixt / His

"Othello" by William Shakespeare

1670 words - 7 pages The theme of racism runs throughout the text Othello by William Shakespeare. Racial prejudice was a vital component to the play and contributed to the tragedy. Constant snide references to the main character Othello's race are made in the duration of the play. The colour of the main characters was also used to symbolize heaven and hell and to create feelings of unease. Despite this, Othello can be interpreted on a much deeper level and is

Hamlet by WIlliam Shakespeare

1776 words - 8 pages Hamlet’s confession to him of his deceased father who has appeared to him as a ghost and is sworn to secrecy, Horatio implies that it is against the Lord by stating "I'll speak to it but though Hell itself should separate And bid me hold my peace" (Shakespeare). It was known at the time that Christianity forbade followers to communicate with the deceased, contributing to Hamlet’s struggle with his faith. The struggle Hamlet faced on whether or not to

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

1629 words - 7 pages Macbeth by William Shakespeare Macbeth, one of William Shakespeare’s famous tragedies, is set in Scotland. Returning from battle with his companion Banquo, the nobleman, Macbeth meets with three witches. They predict that Macbeth will initially become the Thane of Cawdor and then king of Scotland. Macbeth privately has ambitions of being king and enjoys the ideas of becoming the head of the country. After the first part of the witches

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

748 words - 3 pages Hamlet In the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare, two of the character's fathers are brutishly murdered. The first executed character is King Hamlet who is supposed to be reprisal by his son prince Hamlet. The subsequent murder is Polonius who is supposed to be revenged by his son Laertes. Both Prince Hamlet and Laertes go to take revenge for the death of fathers; on the other hand they will each use diverse methods to achieve their deeds

Othello by William Shakespeare

1354 words - 5 pages character developed by Shakespeare. Although one may not notice at first glance, she is possibly the most vital, thought-provoking character Othello. When she betrayed the sisterhood by giving Iago the handkerchief that was so important to Desdemona and Othello, she completely shifted the dynamic of the play. With the visual proof that Emilia supplied to Iago she helped Othello to see the most untrustworthy character as honest, and the most loving

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

1403 words - 6 pages In human society there are different rank and class systems that distinguish groups of people. Ambition -- the quest for power – is an internal drive that is embedded in every one of us. It motivates us to improve ourselves. Ambition can lead to corruption as in the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare, where the main character Macbeth is driven by his ambition and eventually becomes corrupt. Macbeth chooses to let ambition override his humanity

Hamlet by William Shakespeare - 1848 words

1848 words - 7 pages . 17 Feb 2014. . Hamlet by Shmoop. Shmoop, 2013. Film. 17 Feb 2014. . Hamlet by Shmoop. Shmoop University, 2014. Web. 15 Feb 2014. . HAMLET: a translation into modern English. 7 May 2007. 17 Feb 2014. . Hamlet Study Guide. Absolute Shakespeare , 2000-2005. Web. 17

Macbeth, by William Shakespeare

1356 words - 5 pages death of Duncan. He becomes a conduit for evil, a means for evil to wreak its destruction upon all those closest to him. Macbeth becomes “a wolf to man,” (48) as Lance Morrow writes. “Evil is a disease,” (Morrow 51) William James once said. As Shakespeare demonstrates in Macbeth, madness evolves from evil, and evil can grow unchecked within madness. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are tempted and charmed by the driving forces of evil. Their own

Similar Essays

Theme Comparison In Titus Andronicus And Hamlet By Shakespeare

1041 words - 5 pages ludicrous loyalty for Rome. Titus character is barbaric, prejudiced and powerful and believes in Roman culture and customs that despite of Saturninus’ threatening to Titus, he advocated the crowning of Saturninus as the king since he was the late Roman emperor’s oldest son. Titus has been made a revenge hero by Shakespeare. The hero started out as a rule abiding and Roman’s most committed general who was on a quest to set right all the wrong

Hamlet By William Shakespeare Essay 1335 Words

1335 words - 5 pages (Shakespeare 14). This early declaration in soliloquy establishes the prodigal son’s primary goal and the overall trajectory for the story: to return home from his wayward departure of responsibility. Related to that objective is killing Hotspur, who has organized a rebellion against the King. After being rebuked by his father in Act III, Hal seizes the opportunity to begin his reformation with a rousing oath of atonement and reparation: And

Hamlet By William Shakespeare Essay 1631 Words

1631 words - 7 pages outcome and tragedy, Shakespeare wished to show, would happen for one were to give in to the temptations of power. Vastly different from the tragedy of Macbeth, The Tempest is a comedy, making the protagonist, Prospero entirely unlike Macbeth. As the audience experiences Tempest, the lightness of the play begins on an island where Prospero and his daughter Miranda have lived for twelve years. Prospero was overthrown by his own brother who had

Macbeth, By William Shakespeare Essay

1300 words - 5 pages The famous playwright William Shakespeare used symbolism throughout all of his thirty-seven plays. Light and dark are used as powerful symbols of good and evil in his tragedy Macbeth. Shakespeare uses these themes of light and dark or day and night to form an actual image of the play's ongoing conflict for the reader or viewer. The meaning behind this specific symbol essentially creates the story of Macbeth. William