Masarykova univerzita Filozofická fakulta Katedra anglistiky a amerikanistiky Bakalářská diplomová práce



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Hecuba and Titus Andronicus are plays of blood and rituals. In Theodoridis’s translation of the former, the word ‘blood’ and its derivations appear 21 times; in the latter they appear 37 times. Rituals such as a human sacrifice or religious worship are also strong and inseparable aspects of the two plays.

Another feature shared by the plays is the imagery of a hunt. "Shakespeare was alert to more sinister possibilities and made hunting a prime metaphor in Titus. Shakespeare noticed a pattern in Virgil concerned with hunting that links it with war and sexual aggression" (Martindale in Martindale and Taylor 97). Thus, in Titus one may observe an actual hunt, as well as the metaphorical hunt for Lavinia, the "dainty doe" (Titus Act II, Scene I). In Hecuba, it is the "wild beast" itself, blinded Polymestor, who is hunting for the one who wounded him: "throwing myself at the bloodthirsty bitches, searching, like a hunter, every wall and hitting out in all directions, breaking everything in my way" (Hekabe 24). The ideas of a hunt in the plays differ but the images they create are all full of violence and cruelty.

Overall, both of the plays can be characterised as concerning bold female characters. In Euripides’ play it is Hecuba herself, whereas in Titus it is Tamora, the antagonist. However, even though their positions in the plays differ, they share a resolute mind and they both work towards reaching the objectives they have set for themselves:

Yes. With these women I shall punish the murderer of my family. (Hecuba in Hekabe 18)


I'll find a day to massacre them all,

And raze their faction and their family,

The cruel father and his traitorous sons,

To whom I sued for my dear son's life;

And make them know what 'tis to let a queen

Kneel in the streets and beg for grace in vain. (Tamora in Titus Act I Scene I)

It is above all the strength and the detailed portrayal of the female personalities that connects the two plays, and thus can be seen as evidence for the relationship between Euripides and Shakespeare.



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