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Titus Andronicus

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Objectification of animate characters in the play is playing a crucial role in that characters refer to other characters from a third person perspective inspite of the fact that they are in the same setting. The objectification of an animate character means taking the aspect of life from the character and treating them as objects. On the other hand, inanimate objects have been treated as if they have life in the play. The use of objectification and animation plays the role of transforming characters to appear as though they had no sense of humanity or that objects, under animation, had the sense of humanity in them. In the first scene, Titus addresses a crowd of subjects or his audience as Romans of five and twenty valiant sons. The meaning of this remark is that the Romans were animate subjects but the adjectives used for the sons make them inanimate. The objectification in this case is used to portray the role the sons played in bringing up the Romans. The intention of the remark is to separate the Romans from their lifeless fathers who are considered sons of Rome.

Titus in the play is seen as an outspoken leader or contestant who does not hesitate in making a point concerning how things seem to him. In various occasions, he does not seem to attach life to subjects he is addressing or referring to. In this case, it can be said that Titus does not want to be associated with villains or people with a differing opinion. For the fallen army of soldiers that returns home from battle, Titus says to his people that they should behold the poor remains alive or dead. The meaning of this remark is that the dead or the living should be honored. However, the use of poor remains is an objectification language aimed at sorting out the warriors from other subjects. On the other hand, given that the soldiers managed to die in battle and some returned home, the use of objectification language, poor remains, is useful in the portrayal of how prepared the opposing armies were.

In peace and honor, rest you here, my sons; this is a remark made by Titus in honor of the dead soldiers who could not make it alive from the battle. However, in this case, he puts life in lifeless bodies by referring to them as sons. To honor those who could not make it back with their lives, he uses the term sons to mean that they still are part of Rome. The use of the terms peace and honor means that he is respectful of the soldiers’ courage to die in battle. In this case, the use of animate language in addressing inanimate bodies is significant concerning the role played by the late soldiers. On a different setting but the same scene, Rome is a term used to represent the Romans but in an opposing tone, it is also used to mean a location. In this case, when Titus says that kind Rome that hast lovingly reserved he animates an inanimate object. However, the use of the term Rome could mean two different things; one would be the people and two would be the composition of people and the location. In an opposing note, Saturninus says that he will not resolute to the streets of Rome. If Titus and Saturninus were referring to the same object or location, then Titus would be animating it with regards to Satuninus. On the other hand, if Rome stands for the people or the composition of people and the location, then Saturninus is objectifying her.

Marcus, in his speech includes the following sentence “and triumphs over chance in honor’s bed.” The use of this sentence does not necessarily mean there was a bed that honor deserved; however, it means that honor is considered an animate object and is portrayed to possess life. On the same note, Tamora uses similar language by saying that he would use his sword to keep this door safe. The safety of the door does not mean that the door had life but meant that it represented people who needed safety. However, the safety of the door and the role to be played by the sword means that the door is considered as inanimate as the sword, but has to be protected from harm. This aspect puts life on the door and therefore disqualifies the aspect of representation (door’s safety to mean people’s safety).

Marcus is seen in the play as a vibrant contestant of the emperor’s position when he says that Romans need to help in putting a head in headless Rome. The use of this remark goes against every other aspect of animation and objectification. For example, Titus had previously termed Rome as representation of people while Saturninus referred to it as location that he would not resolute to. In the current case, Marcus brings out an entire new aspect that blends objectification and animation. By referring Rome as headless, he means that Rome was previously living but now she is dead. On the other hand, he says that Rome needed a head; this means that Rome is both alive and dead at the same time. For this case, Shakespeare tends to give readers or the audience freedom of translation.

Finally, objectification is seen in the remarks by Bassianus and Saturninus when they say that, “Lord Titus, by your leave, this maid is mine” and “Rather than rob me of people’s hearts” respectively. The use of the two stanzas shows that life is taken as an object that can be possessed by anyone regardless of who it belongs to.

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