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MonkeyNotes-Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare
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STYLE

The language is characterized by a deliberate formality that influences the response it draws from the readers. The tone of cool detachment precludes any emotional involvement with the heroine or villain. This creates a detachment in the reader so that he can neither lose his heart to the victim nor sit in judgment over the moral spectacle presented before him.

In Marcus speech to the deflowered, lopped, and hewed Lavinia, the formal elaboration of fountain and conduit, distances the actuality of the wounds and almost turns her to stone. It makes an emblem out of the situation, rather than just giving a narrative description of it. The decorative style in which Marcus describes the mutilated Lavinia is essentially Ouidian. Shakespeare has used the same style. It allows the reader to glimpse the horrifying events but it keeps him aware of a detached quality. The language of the play makes it a presentation for intellectual interest and thought, and not for the heart.

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