Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Arts and Science
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
English Language and Literature
This project explores Shakespeare’s treatment of rape and sexual violence in Titus Andronicus and The Rape of Lucrece through close reading, analysis, and discussion of relevant source material. Critiques of Shakespeare that center around his perceived anti-feminist convictions tend to focus on his morbidly comical depictions of rape and violence against female victims. However, despite their position as victims, Lavinia in Titus Andronicus and Lucrece in The Rape of Lucrece reclaim revenge on their attackers. Shakespeare deliberately lends his literary eloquence to Lavinia and Lucrece, enabling them to partly avenge the crimes done unto them. By representing these characters as literate women, Shakespeare allows Lavinia and Lucrece to become more than abject victims. Lavinia and Lucrece fight back against the patriarchal structures which would deny them the capacity to resist the wrongs done unto them.
Sarkisian, Lily, "The Treatment of Sexual Violence and Reclaimed Agency in Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus and The Rape of Lucrece" (2017). Honors Capstone Projects - All. 1013.
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