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Act II of Titus Andronicus Essay

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In contemporary prose, but creating a voice and style which is suitable for the character write a dramatic monologue in the style of Aaron reflecting on the motivation for his actions at one point in Act II of Titus Andronicus.

Act 2.3 Line 1 (page 114)

Enter Aaron alone

Hiding a bag of gold is not an act of absurdity; it is an act of retribution that I, Aaron have kindly donated to the spiteful Andronicus. The smell of sweet vengeance under my black second class citizen nose travels up through my right nostril and straight into my wisdom.

My wisdom constantly conquering the smell of seduction that passes via the left nostril. Aaron’s mind trapped into achieving revenge. Whatever happens after this bag of gold vanishes, I promise to thee beautiful Tamora I am a man of my word. However a word may not be possibly used to characterize me. Rome’s beloved ornament metamorphosed into the Goths rape hole. The hole in which many men fall into.

The day of doom is soon to commence, blood will emerge from these holes. Many years of untouched love will soon experience forced pleasure. Once this deed is done, the empress of my soul will have to be dealt with, the same way ornament of Rome’s chastity will be branded.

Aaron digs up a hole and hides the bag of gold

The wilderness surroundings are perfect this morning, hardly a bird in sight, the cold wind brushing green leaves past the buried treasure, covering its abused soil.

Aaron takes a seat on a shallow tree stump

The letter is ready to be sent; the tongue will soon be dealt with. Oh the way these dark tree’s would look more attractive with a hint of Andronicus blood splattered around it, Titus himself has slain his children so I may aswell join him! What sociopath slays there own children? Off with their heads! Here’s to villainy, and here’s to headless Rome. Oh if only headless Rome had Aarons charming eyes there would be no problem!

Aaron mounts a big boulder, arises high

After this day of doom commences, my lightning will have struck down Bassianus. One step closer to clutch my empress by her waist, her tender soft skin grasping onto my cold rough arms, many years of passionate love, yet so many years left to discover the wilderness of her body, the holes to drill by and the power to enforce to the people of Rome. My avidity towards my very own newborn, to cherish and love. A child to follow Aaron’s footsteps, a child whom will shine in pearl and gold. A child that will also put shame to the name of Andronicus. Alas! The smell of seduction overwhelming me through these thoughts going on through my mind. Time is ticking, vengeance is my priority. Aaron shall go and continue observing ensuring this lightning will strike Bassianus without any witnesses to sabotage this genius plan.

Halt. Who continues to approach the great Aaron and interfere with his master plans?

Enter Tamora alone with Aaron (466 words)

The commentary:

Within the first few sentences of the monologue I have used an extended metaphor. “Constantly conquering the smell of seduction that passes via the left nostril,” this is showing what Aaron is mainly focusing on throughout this monologue. The seduction being Tamora which is clashing with his drive to vengeance, “The smell of sweet vengeance.” I have used this metaphor to recreate what happens in act 2.3 when Tamora tries to seduce Aaron when she enters, which is showing how driven Aaron is to vengeance.

I have put this monologue in before Tamora actually walks in to foreshadow the state of mind of Aaron, this is further backed up by “smell of seduction overwhelming me” and “Time is ticking, vengeance is my priority.” The repetition I have used here is used to enforce Aaron’s drive to vengeance. Shakespeare has used alliteration of ‘h’ to enforce Aaron’s drive to vengeance in act 2.3, “Blood and revenge are hammering in my head” this is what provoked me to repeat the idea of vengeance and seduction in the structure of my monologue; it reflects what Aaron is trying to conquer.

I have repeated the word “hole” throughout this monologue because I realised a lot of the main events that occurred during Act 2.3 revolved around the idea of a hole/pit/ditch; “Metamorphosed into the Goths rape hole. The hole in which many men fall into.” Bassianus is found dead in a pit followed by Quintus and Martius who also fall into this “unhallowed and bloodstained hole.” Lavinia also having her ‘hole’ violated by force. The constant reference to a hole represents a mark of death; “blood-drinking pit.” It also can refer to the two fertile holes in this act which is both shown, the rape of lavinia and the seduction from Tamora. “Blood will emerge from these holes” this quote continues to symbolise the inevitable rape and death events due to take place soon in the act.

“Hiding a bag of gold is not an act of absurdity; it is an act of retribution” by using this quote this is showing that Aaron is seeking retribution. I used the word ‘retribution’ due to Aaron’s stature in 1593 where Titus Andronicus was set; throughout the play he is referred to “Moor” and looked as a “devil” due to his “hue.”

“Ay, like a black dog as the saying is” “Aaron will have his soul black like his face” here he is embracing what has been forced upon him. He has referred himself to a ‘black dog’ it’s almost as if he is doing these heinous deeds to fit his stereotypes. Shakespeare has referred black people to animals; ‘a toad.’ Throughout the book Aaron gets agony over the coulor of his skin. This can explain the motivation of his evil, as he has been treated like a second class citizen for far too long; he has been a victim of society. This is why this “bag of gold” is going to help him redeem retribution; the bag of gold is also referred to “buried treasure” which shows this bag has meaning, the stage direction of him burying in a hole shows this as well.

In the start of act 2.3 he orders Tamora around, “Now question me no more; we are espied” from analysing this quote it goes to show that Aaron spends a lot of time planning his actions before executing them which shows he is very organised. I have reflected this in my monologue by using directional hypothesis in his words. “Tongue will be dealt with” “lightning will have struck down” by using the word “will” it is showing his determination in his planning. “Continues to approach the great Aaron and interfere with his master plans? The rhetorical question used here shows that Aaron’s character is much organised, it is also meant to show the hubris of him as a character as he has referred to him in 3rd person aswell as calling him “the great” and that his plans are “master plans.” All of the planning ahead and self belief in his words reflect his arrogant, self confident mind frame.

“Sociopath slays there own children?” I have used these exact words to debate on how a character of such pure evil can contrast to the hero of the play. Titus having slain his son is looked down upon by Aaron, who from my eyes of the play is the sociopath. Me using the word ‘sociopath’ in this way shows that Aaron himself may not know that other people may class him as the sociopath; to him he is just that “second class citizen.” This could be the reason for his motivation of evil as throughout the play he is known as Aaron the ‘barbarous moor.’ Shakespeare has used stereotypes to Aaron’s skin coulor which suggests he is nothing but a typical evil black man; funnily enough his character reflects this throughout the play.

I have used the quote “However a word may not be possibly used to characterize me” to suggest even Aaron himself does not know what he is; he has a richly complex and ambiguous appeal. In at 2.3 when he tells Tamora “Blood and revenge are hammering in my head” but does not tell us any specific reason why apart from the war against the Goths and Rome suggests his actions are all evil. When it comes down to children he seems to have an interesting contrast to parenthood compared to Titus. I have foreshadowed Aaron’s kindness to children because later on in the play he himself has a child. “A child whom will shine in pearl and gold. A child that” this quote is meant to show Aarons desperation to children, this is also the reason why I have mentioned Tamora’s seduction to be on his mind as much as revenge, revenge is his priority yet it makes sense why Tamora could is his second priority.

The stage directions used in this monologue is also briefly showing Aaron is up to something, Enter Aaron alone, Aaron digs up a hole and hides the bag of gold, Aaron takes a seat on a shallow tree stump, Enter Tamora alone with Aaron. From these stage directions the structure of them is leading to something inevitable, I have used the stage directions in this effect because Shakespeare uses a lot of stage directions throughout Titus to structure the scene chronologically so it is much more effective.

Overall Aaron can be interpreted as this loathsome, diabolical character with an obnoxious attitude. However I ultimately think those who are brought up in a society where being a different coulor is basically illegal influences the way the character undertakes life later on. I think the evil that lurks inside Aaron is innate, and it is there not to inflict pain, but to deliver an act of retribution due to the way he has been treated in early life.

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