Act 3 Scene 1 Essay

Act 3, scene 1 Titus’s two sons are led to execution.Titus pleads before the judges and senators, asking them to be merciful to his sons.It also provides a brief respite from violent acts and confrontations, with the fly serving as stand-in for the hated Goths, Tamora and Aaron.

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This shows just how low Macbeth has descended and also reveals his way of ruling; he corrupts others such as the murderers, implicating them with immorality, thus showing how his corrupt ways now spread through the kingdom.

In addition, we see just how corrupt Macbeth is; whereas before he was convinced by Lady Macbeth to do wrong and kill Duncan even though he admitted previously this action could not be justified, now he has to justify killing Banquo to the murderers by telling them falsely that his friend has done them wrong (that they were subject to ‘vile blows and buffets of the world’ and are ‘So weary with disasters, tugged with fortune’).

He says they are not as corrupt as they have been judged to be.

Continuing his appeal he lies down on the ground as the judges pass him, weeping and continuing to ask that his sons be spared the death sentence. He tells his father that the tribunes (judges and officials) have gone. Lucius tells his father that he tried to rescue his brothers but failed, and as a result he has been banished from Rome.

He refuses to believe that his sons are guilty of the murder of Bassianus.

He asks Lavinia to give him some sign to show how he might help her.Macbeth’s constant references to stains and blood, such as here when he tells the murderers to leave no ‘blotches’, serve to show not just that he wishes to prevent himself from being stained irrevocably due to his deeds, but also that he cannot escape the memory of what he has done, thus showing once more that Lady Macbeth was wrong when she said they could get away with the crime. wisdom that doth guide his valor/ To act in safety’ as these are the very opposite of the traits Macbeth now lives by; as a result, it seems inevitable that Banquo will be killed as he is shown in opposition to the corrupt regime that Macbeth is creating.Banquo once more acts as the moral barometer of the play, as he worries rightly that Macbeth ‘play’st foully’ in becoming king. He is opposed to the king, a very real source of power (even if the kingdom isn’t united) who can have him killed/ removed, and this seems likely as Macbeth is becoming paranoid about any threats to his crown.The heads are those of his sons; the hand is his own. Then he gives a hollow laugh and says he has no more tears to shed. He tells Lavinia to take his severed hand between her teeth and Lucius, since he is banished, to go. Analysis This scene surpasses even the previous one for horrific events, featuring the severing of a hand and two severed heads, and all the while the mutilated Lavinia remains on-stage, watching, mute.It is as if the playwright has set out to provide the bloodiest spectacle he can imagine.For a modern audience it is hard not to see as comic the earnestness with which Lucius, Marcus, and Titus insist that it should be their hand that is forfeit.To avoid the trap of inappropriate laughter from the audience, the incident, grim though it might be in terms of what is being contemplated, is often deliberately played to raise a laugh.Titus then says they should go, and he plans to take Lavinia home and read her some sad stories to cheer her up.Analysis This scene emphasizes the grief of the Andronicus’ family, especially that of Titus, the tragic hero.While there is a coronation Shakespeare’s not showing it may be his way of saying that it is not the appropriate coronation for a true king of Scotland, God’s representative in this place.The scene also shows Macbeth’s ruthlessness and further descent from his original role; whereas before he was considering about whether to act in an immoral manner now he does so without second thought, reasoning that to keep his throne he must kill his friend, which shows that he now values the crown above all else (this is further exemplified with his confirming with Banquo that Fleance will ride with him, so as to be completely successful with his plan).


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