Titus Andronicus | Literature Criticism Critical Essay by Stephen X. Mead

This literature criticism consists of approximately 26 pages of analysis & critique of Titus Andronicus.
This section contains 7,765 words
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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 investigates the relationship between ritual and the cycle of violence depicted in Titus Andronicus.

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 Elizabethan cosmology. In Titus, Shakespeare manifests a profound interest in the ability of sacrifice to distinguish legitimate from...

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This section contains 7,765 words
(approx. 26 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Stephen X. Mead