Titus Andronicus: The Complex Villain

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There is a type of character that the audience will wish death upon him or her at one moment, and then will feel compassion for that person on the very next scene; this character is known as the complex villain. This roller coaster of emotions that the audience feels towards this type of character is given because they are not completely evil; the complex villains have a soft spot for a few things in life. They will be cruel and shameless, but they will also have the ability to love and feel sympathy for others. In the play Titus Andronicus, by Shakespeare, Aaron is that villain. He goes through four different stages: Titus’ slave, Empress’ lover, son’s savior, and superior wretch. At every stage there is a change in behavior, and the audience’s emotion towards him shifts with each change. One can relate his alteration of conduct to his position on the wheel of fortune. This is the concept where a person’s fortune comes at random; at one moment, one can be on the top of the wheel, enjoying the good things in life, and the next moment one will be suffering at the bottom of the wheel. In this play, Aaron’s fortune modifies his behavior.…show more content…
This is a very short stage where he does not speak; therefore, the reader doesn’t know much about him, besides his present condition. The audience feels sympathy for him because he is the underdog, someone who was taken from his home to be a slave at a different land. The fact that the reader does not know anything about Aaron is another reason for the empathy towards him. If the audience knew the person he is, there would be no compassion towards his situation, but

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