Act 3 Scene 1 Essay

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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.

Titus tells him he is lucky, since Rome is nothing more than a “wilderness of tigers” and he and his family are the tigers’ prey. Titus says his grief was at its height before he saw her, but now it is even greater.

He asks for a sword so he can chop off his own hands, which have done service to Rome and been held up in prayer, but all has been in vain.This seems appropriate on two levels, first of which being that Duncan’s murder was not shown and thus the result of this not shown provides symmetrical harmony.Secondly, it might be seen to symbolize that while Macbeth has removed God’s representative from the kingdom, and himself from the Christian realm in the process, he has not removed Scotland from the Christian realm.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.But he changes his tune when Marcus likens the black fly to Aaron, who is black.Titus takes Marcus’s knife and strikes at the dead fly.Lucius tells his father to stop weeping because it only causes Lavinia to weep, seeing his distress. He says that if Titus, Marcus, or Lucius chops off a hand and sends it to the emperor, Titus’s sons will be spared and sent to him.Titus is willing to cut off his hand and ask Aaron to help. The three men argue again, each insisting that his own hand should be cut off.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.


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