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Cruelty

Lyrical Violence

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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,
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Where hast thou sent the King?

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Cornwall
Where hast thou sent the King?
Gloucester
To Dover.
Regan
Wherefore to Dover? Wast thou not charged at peril—
Cornwall
Wherefore to Dover? Let him answer that.
Gloucester
I am tied to th’ stake, and I must stand the course.
Regan
Wherefore to Dover?
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Source:
Act 3
Scene 7
Line 62

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