Shakespeare: Use of Animal Imagery in the Play

Topics: William Shakespeare, Kill, Titus Andronicus Pages: 2 (438 words) Published: March 18, 2011
Discuss the use of Animal Imagery in the play.
In many of Shakespeare's plays, symbolism is adopted to help explaining the theme of the play. For example, in The Comedy of Errors, water imagery is a very important tool to convey the theme of that play. In Titus Andronicus, Shakespeare again uses animal imagery to reinforce the the themes of the play.

In Act 2, Scene 2 Lines 27-28, Titus Andronicus is speaking with Marcus Andronicus about how fast his ride is. He says, "And I have horse will follow where the game Makes way, and run like swallows o'er the plain." Titus Andronicus is proud of the speed of his horse. He compares his horse running like swallows over the plain that is so fast that the horse is like flying over the land. Later in Act 4, Scene 2 Line 175, Aaron describes how badly he wants to get "to the Goths, as swift as swallow flies". Again, Animal imagery is employed here to emphasize speed and eagerness.

In Act 2, Scene 2 Lines 33-37, Aaron is talking to Tamora and expressing his anger about sharing her with the King. In this context, He compares his desire to kill the King with that the image of an adder is to kill its enemy. Shakespeare captures the commonality of anger between different spices and emphasizes how badly Aaron is eager to execute the dominator of Tamora through this cmparison. Of the commonalities between Aaron and an adder are dealy-standing eye, silence and cloundy melancholy, and fleece of woolly hair. These are the symbols of anger.

In Act 2, Scene 3 Lines 61-66, Bassianus discoveres Tamora's secret relationship with her slave Aaron. Tamora curses Bassianus to become an animal and to be chased by the hound and finally to be killed. As in the context, there is a real hunting around them. It tells us how badly Tamora wants to kill Bassianus. In Lines 223-225, Martius saw Lord Bassianus, like a slaughter'd lamb, lying in a dark and blood-drinking pit. Bassianus is killed. But we could see how cruel the killing is....
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