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Lyrical Violence

The cruelty that characterizes Titus Andronicus is established in the first scene. Tamora's cry, “O cruel, irreligious piety!” captures the style of what follows in this play – the juxtaposition of religious language, an idyllic setting and barbarity. In many passages the descriptions of horror are cast in lyrical or pastoral language, e.g. Aaron explaining to Tamora's sons the setting appropriate for raping, maiming and mutilating Lavinia. That passage is dense with overlapping figures of speech, both schemes and tropes. Aaron's lyrical verse encouraging the brothers to gang-rape Lavinia heightens the ugly evil of characters and the impending violence.

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The forest walks are wide and spacious

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Noble patricians, patrons of my right, Defend the justice of my cause with arms

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