"Groaning shadows that are gone": the ghosts of Titus Andronicus

Scott, Lindsey (2015) "Groaning shadows that are gone": the ghosts of Titus Andronicus. English studies, 96 (4). pp. 403-423. ISSN 0013-838X

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Abstract

Titus Andronicus is a play concerned with bodily dismemberments and other “unspeakable” acts, which, under the framework of revenge tragedy, refuse to be forgotten. What is lost from the world of the play always, in effect, seems to return, haunting characters and playgoers alike in the form of apparitions not yet laid to rest, severed body parts that return to the space of the stage, and language itself that, however inarticulate or unspeakable the act, serves to remind us of what was present before: “O, handle not the theme, to talk of hands, / Lest we remember still that we have none” (3.2.29–30). This paper examines the representation of ghosts in Shakespeare's early Roman play, exploring how perpetrators of violent acts and violated bodies are haunted by spectral returns, and to what end. Although not often commented on by critics, Titus's ghosts allow us to gain new insights on the play's textual and theatrical bodies, for, despite the centrality of Lavinia's body in the play's feminist criticism, it is in fact the male body, not Lavinia's, that is most haunted by “groaning shadows that are gone” (1.1.126).

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus, ghosts, apparitions, spectral returns
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Business & Applied Social Science > Department of Arts & Humanities
Depositing User: David Upson-Dale
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2018 15:07
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2018 14:14
URI: http://oars.uos.ac.uk/id/eprint/536

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