Titus Andronicus Research Paper

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Within many of William Shakespeare’s plays, the relationship between parents and their children are crucial to the development of the plot because it influences the fate of the characters. However, as the dynamics of power in these relationships are predominantly held by the parents of Shakespeare’s plays, it has destructive consequences on the lives of their children. In Titus Andronicus, the relationship between Titus and Lavinia is seemingly portrayed by Shakespeare as one that is filled with love and honour, but is actually one that is detrimental to Lavinia because she is never in control of her own fate. It is this imbalance of power found within Titus and Lavinia’s relationship that grants Titus exclusive authority to make decisions for Lavinia that destroys her agency, prompts the defilement of her virtue, and ultimately, leads to her own untimely death. In Titus…show more content…
As Saturninus is indebted to the honourable Titus, he rewards Titus by “advance[ing] / thy name and honourable family” (Shakespeare 1.1.241-242) by offering a marriage between himself and Lavinia. However, despite the current marriage arrangement between Lavinia and Bassianus, Titus recognizes the political power associated with Saturninus’ proposal “[will] hold [him] highly honoured” (1.1. 248) and agrees. To analyze the relationship between Titus and Lavinia, this decision is critical because it reveals precisely where the power resides within their relationship. Even though Lavinia is present during this exchange between Titus and Saturninus, she is never called upon to accept Saturninus’ proposal herself or even asked whether “this motion please[s] [her]” (1.1. 246). Instead, it is Titus who “it doth” (1.1. 247) pleases and agrees to the marriage proposal upon her behalf. The symbolic, “it doth” (1.1. 247), conjures the image the matrimonial vow. In its

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