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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: December ::
Re: Titus Andronicus
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.1331  Tuesday, 22 December 1998.

[1]     From:   Stevie Simkin <
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        Date:   Monday, 21 Dec 1998 22:22:53 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1321  Re: Titus Andronicus

[2]     From:   Belinda Johnston <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 22 Dec 1998 11:05:05 +1100 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1321  Re: Titus Andronicus


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stevie Simkin <
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Date:           Monday, 21 Dec 1998 22:22:53 +0000
Subject: 9.1321  Re: Titus Andronicus
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1321  Re: Titus Andronicus

Jason Mical wrote:

>I read Titus as part of an undergraduate research course I took this
>last semester, the object of which was to focus on ethical issues in
>Shakespeare.  We read Titus more as a joke than anything else ....

and

>There seems to be no ethical lesson to the play.

Why does this make it necessarily a bad play?  Fine if you want to focus
on ethical issues in Shakespeare.  Don't blame Shakespeare if you find
some of his drama doesn't fit the system of ethics you have chosen to
use as an interpretive framework, which I assume (by your reference to
an Aristotelian middle path) is a broadly liberal humanist one.  There
are other ways in which one might judge the play "worthwhile",
"interesting" or even, dare I say it, "good".  I think it's a shame to
dismiss the play as a joke.  As a number of other members have already
testified, it can be a powerful piece in performance when it's done
right.

Stevie Simkin

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Belinda Johnston <
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Date:           Tuesday, 22 Dec 1998 11:05:05 +1100 (EST)
Subject: 9.1321  Re: Titus Andronicus
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1321  Re: Titus Andronicus

In response to Jason Mical's posting, all I can say is here we go
again!  I don't think ethical/Aristotelian criteria are the only way of
judging the 'value' of a play.  Amongst others, Leonard Tennenhouse
offered a fascinating reading of <italic>Titus</italic> through a
consideration of the female body and the iconography of state
(<italic>Power on Display</italic>).  Jason, I don't know if you're
missing something "profound" but I might venture to suggest that you are
missing some really intersting ways of reading Shakespeare.

Cheers, Belinda
 

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