Monday, March 21, 2011

Titus Andronicus Act 2, Scene 4


hello readers! i hope you're all having a lovely day! i've got a pretty short scene today, and i'm just going to leave it at that since i tackled such a large scene yesterday and have rehearsal tonight for Writes of Spring at Orlando REP. i also feel kind of bad that yesterday's blog was so long. i know it's a lot to try and tackle. so today i will keep it short and sweet. smaller scene=smaller blog!

it might be short, but it's a doozy. here goes:
act 2, scene 4
Demetrius and Chiron, sons of Tamora, enter with Lavinia. they have cut off her hands and cut out her tongue. she is 'ravished' and bleeding. they mock her, asking how she's going to tell or signify who did this to her with no hands or tongue. they leave and Marcus comes in from hunting. he can't believe what he sees. (see quote below.) he bemoans her fate and hopes to avenge her. they leave to find Titus.

ah! i can't even believe this stuff. i would love to hear how these things are tackled on stage. lots of blood and guts? or just suggestive? i mean, i'm sure both are done, but i'd love to hear about personal experiences. i was just saying to someone here in the grad office though that it's not even the gore that is unsettling, it's the things that are said! for instance, the way that they mock Lavinia is horrible! i feel like in every scene there's some dialogue that i find to be very shocking. was it perceived as shocking back then?

and also, why didn't they kill Lavinia? didn't Tamora basically tell them to kill her? i fell like Tamora is going to be seriously ticked off. i also feel that this is going to be their downfall. we shall see!

death count: 3. mutilation count: 2. rape count: 1.

quote of the day:
'if i do dream, would all my wealth would wake me!
if i do wake, some planet strike me down,
that i may slumber an eternal sleep!'
-Marcus; act 2, scene 4

for tomorrow: act 3, scene 1

-rebecca may

1 comment:

  1. Well...a little more complicated questions here...Awesome!

    As far as theatrical history, there have been both ways...blood and gore (in Shakespeare's day they would use goat's blood sometimes), and since then there have also been suggestive stagecraft, such as ribbons.

    It was shocking language then too, but characteristic of the was cheered on by the masses, especially the groundlings.

    Tamora made no order to kill. In fact they did worse than killing her, which is what Tamora wanted. In Rome, its myth and folklore, the rape of a virgin was more horrific than death...almost like a curse, but it also shamed the father. The rape of your virgin daughter was the most shame a father could was looked upon as a curse for the family that is not lifted, not released until ...well, you'll see. This is the best way I think I can describe it without going into a lot of explanatory detail.

    Marcus has a seemingly strange, out of place, long and poetic speech when he sees lavinia. I like to call it Marcus's dream sequence, though he is not dreaming. It is an amazing convention that Shakespeare used to draw extra attention to the gravity of the scene. This is the pivotal moment of the play...the point after which all decisions are based on the outcome of the previous scene, and Marcus has been chosen as our guide through the transition...what better than the eloquent, caring, and most humane brother and uncle. This is also part of the metaphoric struggle that I mentioned earlier. The poetry comes when the action grinds to a halt for a moment, and rightly so. This is brilliance.