William Shakespeare | Critical Essay by Stephen X. Mead

This literature criticism consists of approximately 26 pages of analysis & critique of William Shakespeare.
This section contains 7,763 words
(approx. 26 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Stephen X. Mead

Critical Essay by Stephen X. Mead

SOURCE: Mead, Stephen X. “The Crisis of Ritual in Titus Andronicus.Exemplaria 6, no. 2 (fall 1994): 459-79.

In the following essay, Mead contends that the ritual slaying of Alarbus in Titus Andronicus, intended as a means of appeasing the dead Andronici and forestalling further violence, instead initiates a cycle of retaliatory bloodletting.

Shakespeare's first tragedy has often been defined as a spectacular tragedy of blood that is shed for its own sake.1 Frank Kermode writes in the introduction to the Riverside edition of the play,

there is small point in denying that an exhibition of horror … is a prime motive of Titus Andronicus.2

Certainly Titus is a tragedy of blood, but to attribute this fact to an Elizabethan taste for grotesque violence is to ignore the profound role ritual, often violent ritual, played in ordering...

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This section contains 7,763 words
(approx. 26 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Stephen X. Mead
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