Relationships In Shakespeare'sTitus Andronicus And Henry IV Part 1

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Shakespeare lights a candle of conflict in the beginning of his plays and appeals to individual opinions throughout his plot, only to cause the fire of confusion to engulf the reader’s mind at the end. He uses the themes of violence, bravery and lust in his plays, the Titus Andronicus and Henry IV Part 1, to show the masculinity of the characters. Moreover, he portrays societal expectations and the father’s prejudices as the main culprits for the ill understanding between the father and the son. How can a father’s personal prejudice overpower his love for his child? Is it the father’s greed for respect and societal grandeur that causes a clash between him and his son? In Titus Andronicus and Henry IV Part 1, Shakespeare sculpts unique and convoluted Father-Son relationships, which are a result of the fathers’ expectations and their perception of masculinity. Titus Andronicus introduces the reader to a multifaceted relationship of a father and a son. In the very first scene of the play, just after Titus says, “What, villain, boy / Barr’st me my way in Rome?” (1.1.295-96), he kills Mutius, his own son. Titus is not concerned about his daughter eloping with Bassianus, rather he believes that the ten-year long war has won him the ownership of Rome. His pride cannot let anyone, even his son, stand between him and his prized possession. Shakespeare uses violence to depict the masculine character of Titus. Titus’ ego shines more brightly in these lines than his love for his son.

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