The Avenger as Social Dissembler Analytical Essay by cee-cee

The Avenger as Social Dissembler
A discussion of the contrast between public and private personas in William Shakespeare's play, "Titus Andronicus."
# 115165 | 1,575 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2009 | US

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This paper discusses how, from the Greek "Oresteia" on, becoming an avenger in drama is a social role often distinct from the avenger's previous social role, suggesting a conflict between a public social persona and a private, familial persona motivated by revenge.The writer describes how, in Shakespeare's "Titus Andronicus," the title character assumes a mad identity to conceal his murderous intentions against Tamora, former Queen of the Goths, just as Tamora pretends to forgive Titus for killing her eldest son. Both characters cast off their previous identities and take on a secret role of avenger, even while they play more compliant false, social roles while they wait for the right time to realize vengeful purposes.The paper concludes that for an avenger like Titus or Tamora, truthfulness and moral codes mean little in a society that has failed to protect their family's safety, thus they feel justified in taking primitive revenge against those who have wronged them.

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Helms, Lorraine. "'The High Roman Fashion': Sacrifice, Suicide, and the Shakespearean Stage." PMLA. Vol. 107. No. 3. Special Topic: Performance. May, 1992. pp. 554-565.
  • Sacks, Peter. "Where Words Prevail Not: Grief, Revenge, and Language in Kyd and Shakespeare." ELH. Vol. 49. No. 3. Autumn, 1982. pp. 576-601.
  • Shakespeare, William. "Titus Andronicus." Shakespeare Homepage. MIT. 21 Mar 2008

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