Abstract

This paper relates the four Latin quotations in Shakespeare and Peele’s Titus Andronicus to the play’s broader themes of communication and comprehension. In all four cases the characters’ superficial understanding of the meaning of the quotation contrasts with the striking implications of the original Latin context. The resulting irony is augmented by Peele’s changes to Seneca’s Latin, which add layers of meaning by rearranging and conflating multiple source texts. This technical conceit represents in miniature the allusive character of the entire work, in which various literary models are cited, inverted, and spliced together to create a play that is both recognizably classical and unrecognizably disfigured.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6547
Print ISSN
0013-8304
Pages
pp. 787-810
Launched on MUSE
2014-09-03
Open Access
No
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