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MonkeyNotes-Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare
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CONFLICT

Protagonist

Titus Andronicus, a Roman general, is the protagonist of the play. The whole action revolves around him and the fate of his family. He sets the main chain of actions rolling by creating Saturninus king. As a result he indirectly empowers his enemies Aaron and Tamora, who in turn, set out to destroy his family. As a victim of their unrelenting cruelty he loses two of his sons, witnesses the grief of his ravished and mutilated daughter, and is made to chop off one of his hands in a cruel trick played by Aaron. The second half of the play focuses on the effect of this grief on him and the subsequent vengeance he takes on his enemies.

Antagonist

The chief antagonists of the play are Tamora and Aaron with Saturninus, Demetrius and Chiron playing secondary roles. By telling Lucius to sacrifice Tamoraís eldest son Titus creates a powerful enemy, Tamora, who then becomes totally against him as he completely disregards her plea for mercy. After she is made the empress of Rome, she assures her husband that she will destroy the whole clan of Andronici. She sets out to achieve this goal with the aid of Aaron. He is the one responsible for Bassianusí murder, the rape and mutilation of Lavinia, the unfair execution of Martius and Quintus and the loss of Titusí hand. He does this not because of any grudge against Titus but purely because wickedness, evil and causing harm to others is natural to him. Demetrius and Chiron are the once who execute Aaronís scheme against the Andronici and Saturninus does damage by refusing to listen to Titusí pleas and not trying to find out the real truth behind Bassianusí murder.


Climax

The climax of the play occurs with Titusí insanity. The rapid succession of tragedies leads to the unhingement of his mind. This is seen in Act III Scene I where in response to Marcusí lamentation of his (Titus) losses Titus just laughs. This, marks the moment of his metamorphoses from a noble and upright Roman warrior to a man obsessed with the idea of vengeance so much so that he becomes inhuman in his quest for vengeance. It is this change in Titus that finally leads to the tragic outcome of the play: the deaths of Lavinia, Tamora, Paron, Chiron, Demetrius, Saturninus ad of Titus himself. These deaths clear the Roman political scene and Lucius comes to power as an emperor to restore political stability to Rome.

Outcome

The play has a tragic outcome with all the principle characters, including the protagonist and antagonists dying. The presence of violence throughout the play and its climax where the protagonist is transformed into a vengeful beast makes this outcome inevitable. To avenge the wrongs done into him, Titus kills Tamora and is in turn killed by Saturninus. Lucius avenges Titusí death by killing Saturninus and by ordering Aaron to be starved to death. Chiron, Demetrius and Lavinia are also killed by Titus; the two Goths because of the wrongs they have done and Lavinia because Titus wishes to end the misery that is her life. One positive note found in the outcome is the creation of Lucius as the Roman Emperor and the promise of political stability that he brings.

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