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|Title:||The Rhetoric of Revenge The Use of Forensic Rhetoric in The Spanish Tragedy, Titus Andronicus and The Jew of Malta|
|Authors:||Eland, Graham Cynthia|
|Keywords:||English Language and Literature;Literature in English, British Isles;English Language and Literature|
|Abstract:||<p>The thesis examined is that the authors of The Spanish Tragedy, Titus Andronicus and The Jew of Malta are making a case for and against the protagonist as in a revenge trial, not as it would be conducted in an Elizabethan court, but as it might be constructed from the works of the Roman rhetors studied in the schools. The method is first to consider the advice given to orators by the Roman rhetors most commonly studied in the schools, which reveals that they emphasise the forensic oration and the dramatic quality of rhetoric, and all give instructions for conducting a case of revenge. Secondly, examination of the system of teaching rhetoric in Elizabethan schools supports the probability that rhetorical precepts would be applied to writing plays. Thirdly, scholarly opinion suggests that forensic rhetoric was already employed in pre-Elizabethan drama, although not in the form of a trial. Lastly, consideration of Elizabethan opinions on blood revenge suggests that its legal status as criminal homicide may have appeared over-simplified to a generation trained in the Roman rhetors' view of revenge as an issue meriting an equitable decision according to the circumstances of the case. This inference is supported by the sophisticated defence provided for the revenger in the plays which would not have been available in an Elizabethan court. Analysis of the plays according to the precepts revealed by the background material indicates that many structural, persuasive and argumentative features of The Spanish Tragedy and Titus Andronicus conform to the rhetorical techniques of the revenge trial. The same method of analysing the elements of the revenge trial apparent in The Jew of Malta highlights Marlowe's variations on Kyd's approach. The most important of these is his argumentative method which employs the resources of both rhetoric and logical dialectic to turn consideration of the case of the revenger into an attack on the audience.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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