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Abstract

In his paper, "Reality and Metaphor in Jane Howell's and Julie Taymor's Productions of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus," Lucian Ghita looks at how Jane Howell's 1985 BBC production of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus and Julie Taymor's film 1999 adaptation Titus re-fashion the image of Young Lucius. In Ghita's interpretation this happens by structuring the boy as the nexus of a cycle of violence that disturbs not only Andronicus's household, but also the moral and socio-political structures of ancient Rome. Ghita shows how the two directors politicize and ritualize their films by using cinematic techniques to distinguish, on the one hand, the real from the imaginary, and on the other hand, private morality from the psycho-political dynamics of a particular cultural environment: Shakespeare's representation of Roman absolutism. Ghita's interdisciplinary treatment of the audiences' reception and involvement in the filmic sequence reflects his belief that the cinematic shift of perspectives represents not only the directors' desire for novelty but also an effort to defamiliarize Shakespeare's play in order to uncover what Titus can teach contemporary audiences about personal and public morality.

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