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Titus Andronicus and the Roman World

A research paper on Titus Andronicus may note setting is important in Shakespeare’s plays because setting is one determinant of both mood and of behavior.  Research papers illustrate to a much greater degree than we are, the Elizabethans had an awareness of the classical world, and they attributed to it, particularly the Roman world, a characteristic set of virtues and characteristic modes of feeling and thought.  Titus Andronicus and the Roman WorldTitus, in Titus Andronicus, is “a Roman.”  That means that he embodies a set of values which the Elizabethans believed to be typical of men of the Roman type. Because of that Titus would not fit well if he were transported into a different setting; he would be totally out of place in, say, the world of Falstaff and Hal, or the world of Elsinore.  On the other hand he would fit fairly well into the world depicted in Coriolanus because that play deals with the Roman world and Roman virtues.

Research papers on Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, then, have a great deal to say about the nature of the Roman world.  The research papers posit a set of characteristic Roman virtues and it shows the audience how the opposites of those virtues—we can call them the Gothic vices—make order and civilization impossible.  Despite the fact that Titus himself is a rather wooden person, and one not easy to sympathize with, he does have admirable qualities, qualities which Tamora, her sons, and Aaron are totally devoid of.

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