Titus Andronicus And Twelfth Night

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In this essay I will attempt to uncover whether it was patriarchy or a sense of the fluidity of sexual identity and sexual roles that had a greater influence on renaissance sexuality. In order to do this, I will be comparing ‘the lamentable tragedy of Titus Andronicus’ and ‘Twelfth Night’, which are both plays by William Shakespeare. Renaissance sexuality was marked by various factors and I will attempt to answer this question accordingly to my reading of English Renaissance literature and culture. The term ‘sexuality’ is a broad concept and from the Oxford dictionary we can gather that it could be the “capacity for sexual feelings”, “a person’s sexual orientation or preference” or “sexual activity”. Initially, one way in which renaissance sexuality is marked by patriarchy can evidently be seen in ‘Titus Andronicus’. The play is set in Ancient Rome where society was based on patriarchal ideology. In act five, scene three, we can tell that the male perspective was more important than the views and opinions of women. This is highlighted when…show more content…
Saturninus agrees that it was the right thing to do “because the girl should not survive her shame”. This implies that rape is something that is considered shameful to the extent that the victim shouldn’t survive after it. This is because her chastity and honour has been stripped and she has lost her value and appeal as she is no longer a virgin. Lavinia is subjected to male dominance and authority throughout the play and is treated like a second class citizen. Although she was the one who was raped, her thoughts and feelings are completely disregarded and not taken into consideration. We are shown that Renaissance sexuality is marked by patriarchy as Lavinia faces the consequences and punishment of male sexuality (by being a victim of rape). This is heightened in this

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