Answer TWO of the following:
Q1: In Alexander Leggatt’s brief essay on the play, he writes that “The extravagance of the play’s action takes it to the edge of grotesque comedy. For Aaron, peering through the wall that signifies his detachment, it is a comedy” (249). How does Act 5 seem to underline Aaron’s view of the play—or life itself—as a comedy staged for his benefit? Why might this prove that Aaron could actually be played by the comic actor of the troupe?
Q2: How would you advise the actors play the elaborate meeting between Titus and Revenge in Act 5, Scene 2: as a tense, thrilling drama or as farcical slapstick? Is Titus cunning to see through the disguises of Tamora and her sons, or are the disguises really so bad that anyone could see through them? How does the language help us understand how to stage this extremely bizarre scene?
Q3: In one page—or more accurately, 6 lines—all the major characters are murdered by one another’s hand. It is a chaotic minute of murder, so fast that even the characters can’t keep up with it, saying little more than “Die, frantic wretch!” or “death for a deadly deed” (197). Is this revenge cathartic? Is it a satisfying pay off for all the planning and scheming going on since Act 3? Do you feel the audience would be satisfied by this grand bloodbath...or is it strangely anticlimactic—or even comic?
Q4: Leggatt, writing about Lavinia’s death, notes that “The last we hear of Lavinia is Lucius’ command to bury his father and sister in the family tomb. She is released from an intolerable life, but she is also absorbed into the patriarchal world that was implicated in her suffering” (246). How do the men in the play speak about the deaths of both women in the play, allowing them to be “absorbed” in the same manner?