Titus Andronicus | Literature Criticism Critical Essay by S. Clark Hulse

This literature criticism consists of approximately 15 pages of analysis & critique of Titus Andronicus.
This section contains 4,389 words
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Critical Essay by S. Clark Hulse

SOURCE: "Wresting the Alphabet: Oratory and Action in 'Titus Andronicus,'" in Criticism, Vol. XXI, No. 2, Spring, 1979, pp. 106-18.

In the following excerpt, Hulse suggests that in Titus Andronicus Shakespeare dramatizes the inability of rhetoric to communicate passionate emotion, which can find adequate expression only in a "language of action."

Even among revenge tragedies Titus Andronicus is especially brutal. It has 14 killings, 9 of them on stage, 6 severed members, 1 rape (or 2 or 3, depending on how you count), 1 live burial, 1 case of insanity, and 1 of cannibalism—an average of 5.2 atrocities per act, or one for every 97 lines. While to its sheer license the play owes much of its power, this "aesthetic of mutilation" keeps Titus at a distance from Hamlet, with which it shares so many stage conventions. The action of one seems so starkly external...

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This section contains 4,389 words
(approx. 15 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by S. Clark Hulse