Anglia Ruskin University
…descriptions of the vicious barbaric Otherness of Aaron and the Goths are called into question by the polluting savagery of the civilized Romans. Furthermore, Rome’s confrontation with, and treatment of, a barbaric culture – the catalyst for the play’s bloody furor – stages issues crucial to an early modern Europe negotiating its own barbaric encounters.Romans and Goths are here similarly savage or vicious, yet Romans remain apart because they are more like early modern Europeans. It is not surprising that critics are reluctant to disassociate Romans and Elizabethans; the resemblance is deeply entrenched. As early as 1612 Thomas Heywood claimed in An Apology for Actors that:
If wee present a forreigne History, the subject is so intended, that in the liues of Romans, Grecians, or others, either the virtues of our Country-men are extolled, or their vices reproved.More recently, Coppélia Kahn’s reading of masculinity in the Roman plays is structured around this interconnection: “…Rome was familiarized for the English by being represented in terms of its past kinship with Britain and as a model for England’s present and future.” Willy Maley similarly argues for Cymbeline that: “The solution to Britain’s Roman legacy is not to shake it off, not to renounce Rome, but to succeed it, to step into its shoes...” Following Heywood, there is a strong and justifiable tendency towards seeing the Elizabethanness of staged Romans. Yet, as I will argue, this tradition may have a distorting effect when negotiating the complex cultural dislocations of Titus Andronicus.
We might find a different kind of masculine subjectivity “at the margins” now and then; but it would have to be rare, a masculinity without masculinity, an inadequate masculinity – even though it is just such a condition, 1 Henry VI seems to argue, that leads us into civil disorder and decay and the end of both manhood and men.This article will explore the unusual, marginal masculinities that Williams and Appelbaum underline, suggesting ways that manly behaviour adapts to changing conditions of gender, including encounters with other religious and cultural groups. I further aim to show that circulations of masculinity in Titus Andronicus challenge such fixed classifications of marginal (and by implication hegemonic) manliness.
Lo, as the bark that hath discharged his fraughtTitus is a metaphorical ship, carrying his honours to port. But the idea of discharging and reloading freight suggests that honours are not intrinsic to his character or a product of his achievement, and thus may be removed from him. The metaphor for Titus and his honour is also explicitly, and very unusually, feminized. It moves from masculine, or gender-neutral, to feminine, in the transition between his to she and her, and this slip might highlight anxiety about Titus’s gendered identity. Any such effeminisation is given further visual reinforcement through Titus’s tears, especially as he later displays a gendered unease about crying by claiming that: “For two-and-twenty sons I never wept,/ Because they died in honour’s lofty bed” (3.1.10-11). Lavinia’s and Tamora’s first words, too, point to their “tears”, further effeminising the gendered position of weeping (1.1.159, 1.1.105). Although male crying does not necessarily effeminise in early modern culture (cf. Macbeth, 4.3.221ff.), most allusions to it reflect Lear’s anxiety: “…let not women’s weapons, water-drops,/ Stain my man’s cheeks” (2.2.451-2), or Aufidius’s insult that Coriolanus’s tears are: “women’s rheum” (5.6.45). Tears and weeping become characteristic of the Romans, and in act 3, scene 1 they refer to their crying 20 times in the first 150 lines. The honour and gender of Titus’s opening lachrymal discourse disclose the potential alterity of Roman masculinity, an alterity visibly reinforced through repetitive moments of weeping.
Returns with precious lading to the bay
From whence at first she weighed her anchorage,
Cometh Andronicus, bound with laurel boughs,
To re-salute his country with his tears (1.1.71-5, italics mine).
I am his first-born son that was the lastAlthough this appeal would theoretically secure rule in Shakespeare’s England, it must suffer Bassianus’s equally strong argument in favour of virtue:
That ware the imperial diadem of Rome;
Then let my father’s honours live in me,
Nor wrong mine age with this indignity (1.1.5-8).
…suffer not dishonour to approachThe important early modern debate between birth and virtue here frames a conflict of governmental form, hereditary monarchy versus limited democracy. Renaissance honour theorists tried to simplify arguments over the relative merits of blood and breeding by advocating the combination of both. For instance, Richard Brathwaite asserts that: “…vertue may receiue the first impression by means of an in-bred noble disposition, seconded by helpes of Education”. Virtue and birth, however, disjoin in Saturninus, as he is apparently less virtuous than his younger brother. A problem easily solved in Tudor England via primogeniture is complicated in Rome because the rules are not fixed, and each brother has a large mob of supporters, making the stage picture suggestive of potential civil war.
The imperial seat, to virtue consecrate,
To justice, continence, and nobility;
But let desert in pure election shine,
And, Romans, fight for freedom in your choice (1.1.13-17).
Know that the people of Rome, for whom we standOwing to his military triumph, “honour” is connected with Titus’s name as frequently as “honest” is with Iago’s (1.1.36, 39, 49, 67). He has achieved the highest military glory, and according to Renaissance and Roman theory, deserves great honour. Titus ultimately refuses the honour, yet he prevents civil unrest by deciding in favour of primogeniture, and Saturninus takes the throne. Rome’s ambivalence towards honour, in its sense of reward for virtue, is registered in the three candidates’ qualifications for rule – birth, virtue, and military skill. And difficulties in appointing the “fountaine of honour” foreshadow the instability of all honour in the play.
A special party, have by common voice,
In election for the Roman empery,
Chosen Andronicus, surnamèd Pius
For many good and great deserts to Rome.
A nobler man, a braver warrior
Lives not this day within the city walls (1.1.20-26).
These are their brethren whom your Goths beheldThe slaying of Alarbus represents one of the greatest crimes against early modern honour, as killing the captured – unless necessitated by battle-field emergency – was universally condemned by early modern military theorists. Sir John Ferne’s Blazon of the Gentrie, a guidebook for civil and military behaviour, outlines four “vices terminable… [or] such, as wil determine, and end… gentility.” One of these is “To slea [a] prysoner [who is] (humblye yeelding).” Critics have long debated to what extent Henry V’s killing of prisoners at Agincourt affects his heroic stature, but Shakespeare makes the Andronici sacrifice more grotesque, and more alien, subject, as it is, to Titus’s unusual religious directive. Even within Titus Andronicus, a gentler treatment of prisoners is advocated by the enamoured Roman Emperor, who says to the Goths: “Princely shall be thy usage every way” (1.1.266). Shakespeare offers a telling contrast between models of dealing with prisoners within Roman society, making Roman ethics seem confused or even contradictory.
Alive and dead, and for their brethren slain
Religiously they ask a sacrifice (1.1.122-24).
Marcus, even thou hast struck upon my crest,The murder of Mutius is a powerful dramatic moment, and Titus makes no question about honour being his motive. He refers to his honour seven times in this context (a high proportion of the word’s appearances in the play). But Lucius, Titus’s eldest son, maintains a different version of honour: “…what we did was mildly as we might,/ Tend’ring our sister’s honour and our own” (1.1.475-76). The family even disagree about the dead son’s right to burial, in another extended debate about honour (1.1.354ff). For this third contention of the opening scene, Romans again advocate opposed ideas of male honour (surprisingly in an inconsistent stance on sexual ownership). This honour, especially in the attempt to overturn a prior betrothal, is also strongly at variance with early modern practice. As C. L. Barber points out: “When a couple are engaged to be married, either of them loses honour by withdrawing from the engagement.” In Titus, a conflicted approach to betrothal does not affect the Andronici alone. Bassianus and Saturninus, members of another Roman family, also react differently to this point of honour. Bassianus fights for Lavinia, but Saturninus does not, saying to Titus: “go, give that changing piece/ To him that flourished for her with his sword./ A valiant son-in-law thou shalt enjoy” (1.1.309-11). The situation obviously does not grow out of Saturninus’ lack of concern for his honour, which he defends in the same scene because of the “mocks” (1.1.299-303) of the Andronici. Shakespeare pointedly represents contested Roman ideas of betrothal and revenge in a doubled dispute that divides two families.
And with these boys mine honour thou hast wounded.
My foes I do repute you every one,
So trouble me no more, but get you gone (1.1.364-7).
I haue heard some say sometimes that they cold not skyll of this thing called honour, and that they knew not what yt meant bicause they thought that indeed there was no such thing but only a name and tytle which people had taken vp.Despite the apparent difficulties of pinning down the term, most Elizabethan writers define it as “the reward for virtue.” As such, honour becomes especially problematic, if the “virtue” end of the equation is inconsistent. It therefore becomes radically destabilised in Titus Andronicus, where different versions of honour oppose one another, where dissimulation contends with display, and where the Emperor has clearly differing standards to the Andronici. Finding tensions relating to honour is to be expected, because it was not a fixed or unified code, but differences of such extremes and within such a small social group, as we find in Titus, are unusual. The honour of these Romans ranges from hyper-masculine, as in the killing of family members, to effeminacy, as in their tears. In both cases otherness is represented through the contradictory extremes of masculinity. Romans find it honourable to hack apart a captive, stab a son, and leave his body unburied. These deep-rooted violations of Elizabethan mores make Roman honour in the play particularly alien.
Given Titus’s kaleidoscopic depiction of cultural insiders and outsiders, just where would Shakespeare’s audience have located its loyalties? It is not surprising that Titus Andronicus invites its viewers to identify with the Romans – England traced its origins to the Trojan Brut and represents Goths as well as Moors as barbaric, uncivilized, and racially other.Given the peculiarities of Roman masculinity, it is difficult to see how such early modern identification might function. The discontinuity of Roman honour makes their masculinities not only difficult to pin-point, but also difficult to connect to early modern gendered behaviour. In Shakespeare’s first portrait of Roman honour, we might expect to find a hint (although perhaps an embryonic one) of his conception of stage Romanitas. In this one respect, however, the play should be separated from Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, and Coriolanus, as Roman honour in Titus Andronicus is alien not only to the early modern, but also to the more identifiably Roman traditions of masculinity that Shakespeare stages later in his career. 
Not I, till I have sheathedThe lie in the throat was an emergent early modern form of insult, providing the entire basis for Vincentio Saviolo’s theory of duelling justification (and Saviolo is probably Shakespeare’s eventual source on matters of the duel). Pierre La Primaudaye reveals the typical response that the new fashion for giving the lie would provoke:
My rapier in his bosom, and withal
Thrust those reproachful speeches down his throat,
That he hath breathed in my dishonour here (2.1.53-56).
nothing but the death of the one, or of both together, and oftentimes of their dearest and best friends is able ... to repaire the preiudicate and supposed offence….“The lie,” therefore, as Chiron and Demetrius’s impetus to fight, provides a powerful early modern register here.
…all memory doth consent that Grecia and Rome were the most valiant and generous Nations of the world, and in that which is more to bee noted they were free estates, and not vnder a Monarchy, whereby a man would thinke it a great deal the more reason that perticuler persons should haue righted themselues; and yet they had not this practise of Duells, nor any thing that bare shew thereof.Shakespeare recognises the anachronism of using inappropriate weapons on stage in Henry 5, when the Chorus excuses the “...four of five most vile and ragged foils,/ Right ill-disposed in brawl ridiculous” (4.0.50-51). In that play the dramatic context requires that the anachronism be ignored. This happens fairly frequently in the histories (for instance, rapiers are mentioned twice in 3 Henry 6), but their use in Shakespeare’s other plays is not connected with a specific group (say, the French or English) like it is in Titus. It is also interesting that the Goths are associated with the poniard (2.3.120). The play’s reference to this edgeless, stabbing dagger, provides the first citation of the word in the OED. Aaron’s cry for “Clubs, clubs!” is also a common Elizabethan call to suppress a brawl (2.1.37). These early modern material markers of male honour are, like the lie, tied specifically to the Goths and Aaron.
…know ye not in RomeBut Saturninus never seems jealous, even though his wife’s infidelities, according to Lavinia: “have made him noted long” (2.3.86). “No greater shame to a man than to be a cuckold” was proverbial, yet Shakespeare’s Romans do not become very exercised about this basic tenet of Elizabethan and historical Roman values, while the Goths are consistently alert to it. Such Goth anachronism is balanced against the Romans having non-contemporary, yet also ahistorically brutal, honour.
How furious and impatient they be,
And cannot brook competitors in love? (2.1.75-77).
there is a decreasing tendency to attribute ‘men’s honour’ to women, for whom honour becomes more and more exclusively concerned with chastity; in other words, the men’s and women’s codes became more strictly differentiated…Even though social historians Laura Gowing and Garthine Walker have worked to show how female honour could sometimes extend into an asexual domestic sphere, the constraints placed upon female behaviour meant that the articulation of a range of femininity, and particularly degrees of feminine difference, was not as sophisticated as the equivalent discourses of manliness. This division of gendered honour seems to be one reason why it was difficult to formulate national or racial identity through femininity, in part explaining the phenomenon Lynda Boose has labelled the “unrepresentable black woman”. Nabil Matar offers an additional possible explanation:
…the Muslims who were seen in England were all men. In all the surviving records of captured Moors and Turks, there is not a single reference to a Muslim woman. While numerous British women were captured and sold in North Africa, no Muslim woman seems to have ever set foot on English soil, either as a refugee or a prisoner.Although this claim might require qualification in the light of recent work by Imtiaz Habib, it was difficult for early modern England to imagine the existence of the rarely encountered female other.
In the Shakespeare plays that include prominent outsiders, the disqualifying features that define men like Othello, Aaron, Shylock, and Caliban as aliens are not likewise invoked to disinclude the women marked as belonging to the outside. The Otherness of Jessica in The Merchant of Venice or of Tamora in Titus Andronicus is presumed to be convertible, as it would have to be if such women were to be incorporated into the group of insiders and go on to bear Lorenzo’s or Saturninus’s sons within that enclosure.Tamora is certainly convertible to an extent, or at least Saturninus thinks she is, because she is made Empress of Rome. I would like to extend and complicate Boose’s argument, however, by suggesting that othered women are acceptable also because they would find it difficult, in early modern thinking, to generate the threat of excessive or alien masculinity that the period was using to delimit the other. Instead of being “convertible”, othered women were difficult to imagine outside of strict gender roles.
… why should men glory so much in high dignities and honorable estate, whether they haue attained the same by their owne vertue, or by their parents, as a matter in their opinion proper to their sex, when there hath not bene so high a dignitie or honourable estate, how great soeuer that hath bene gotten by the vertue and valour of any man, but by the same vertue the like hath bene gotten and kept by women: whom we seeme to haue in contempt, as insufficient and vnworthy to atchieue so great matters, in respect to the opinion we haue of ourselues.The duelling-master Saviolo provides another example of recognizing female potential, saying “women can learne whatsoeuer men can”. Alongside their validation of female potential, these examples reflect a cultural anxiety in relation to the boundaries of male and female honour. Barckley and Saviolo’s arguments, especially in their contextual discussions of violent masculinity, are made in the face of larger cultural claims for women’s separate sphere.
Demetrius: By this our mother is forever shamed.It is particularly interesting here that Demetrius and Chiron seem to think that Tamora’s infidelity is a greater crime than her instigated rape and murders. Romans seem to share this belief. When Marcus justifies the deaths of the Emperor and Empress, at the end of the play, he holds up Aaron’s child and says:
Chiron: Rome will despise her for this foul escape.
Nurse: The Emperor in his rage will doom her death.
Chiron: I blush to think upon this ignomy (4.2.112-15).
Of this was Tamora deliverèd,These words are the only clear statement of Tamora’s crime, which is represented to the Roman citizens simply in terms of her infidelity. Marcus and Lucius situate all other misdeeds as the product of Chiron, Demetrius, and, mainly, Aaron. This characterisation highlights how the dichotomising of femininity in the period works towards a more simple strategy of othering. Chaste versus sluttish, or Lavinia versus Tamora, figures neatly in the early modern bifurcation of female sexuality, rather than working as an expression of otherness here.
The issue of an irreligious Moor,
Chief architect and plotter of these woes (5.3.119-21).
As for that ravenous tiger, Tamora,The recollection of pity points back neatly to Lavinia’s injunction that Tamora should “show a woman’s pity”; it seems to be a feminine trait in Rome. And the rejection of pity had been a masculine stance associated with Titus and the Tribunes earlier in the play. That Tamora is punished for adopting a masculine role hints that she is taken to have transgressed gendered boundaries. This hint does not change the fact that her greatest crime is seen as her lust, but it does reinforce the idea that her demonization relates most strongly to her gender. The male characters tend to re-write Tamora’s moral, masculine violations into more typical female transgressions, yet masculinity for both male and female characters remains the central field for contesting barbarism and civilisation. The conceptual limitations for identity in the early modern period are disclosed in the attempt to redefine Tamora’s successful manipulation of aggressive masculine tropes within the narrow confines of sexual excess and lack of pity.
No funeral rite, nor man in mourning weed,
No mournful bell shall ring her burial;
But throw her forth to beasts and birds to prey;
Her life was beastly and devoid of pity,
And being dead, let birds on her take pity (5.3.194-9).
Come, take away. Lavinia, go with me;Three generations reading bedtime stories together, with such overt intimacy, closes an altogether novel depiction of compassion and interconnection in the Andronicus family.
I’ll to thy closet, and go read with thee
Sad stories chancèd in the times of old.
Come, boy, and go with me; thy sight is young,
And thou shalt read when mine begin to dazzle (80-84).
…and this was it which, I profess, I loved dearly in him, and still shall be glad to honour in the great men of this time – I mean that his heart and tongue went both one way, and so with every one that went with the truth, as knowing no other kindred, party or end.With truthfulness so important to honour, dissimulation could be taken as its opposite. Montaigne, for instance, argues: “…touching this new-found vertue of faining and dissimulation, which now is so much in credit, I hate it to the death: and of all vices, I finde none that so much witnesseth demissenesse and basenesse of heart”. Gilles Corrozet has similarly strong words: “Honour ought to be gotten by vertue, and not by deceipt: for the one is the office of wicked and leude persons, and the other of good and honest men”. Titus’s ability to favour appearance demonstrates a marked rejection of the honour that had compelled him earlier in the play. Brian Gibbons says of Titus Andronicus that “Persecution educates”. Titus receives his education in a new masculinity from his enemies, Tamora and Aaron, and begins to dissimulate in Act 3.
Marcus: …swear with me…Marcus advocates an open revenge, where the Andronici “prosecute by good advice”. But Titus is more wary of Tamora’s ability to win such a public competition with her secretive methods, and he sees the necessity of deploying dissimulation himself. Young Lucius simply wants to attack Chiron and Demetrius directly “with [his] dagger in their bosoms”, but Titus instructs him otherwise: “No, boy, not so; I’ll teach thee another course” (4.1.117-18). Titus apparently does teach Young Lucius “another course,” and the boy employs his new-found tactical knowledge while delivering a message from Titus. Young Lucius covers his true feelings in an aside-filled courtly speech to Chiron and Demetrius, saying “And pray the Roman gods confound you both” only under his breath (4.2.6). This speech offers the first instance of any member of the Andronicus family speaking in aside. Such indirection, though potentially opposed to honour, is at least a recognisable masculine strategy of the period, as typically adopted by the revenge hero.
That we will prosecute by good advice
Mortal revenge upon these traitorous Goths,
And see their blood, or die with this reproach.
Titus:’Tis sure enough, an you knew how;
But if you hunt these bear-whelps, then beware:
The dam will wake an if she wind ye once;
She’s with the lion deeply still in league,
And lulls him whilst she playeth on her back;
And when he sleeps will she do what she list (4.1.88-99).
...attend him [Titus] in his ecstasy,Titus realises what Marcus does not: the direct opposition employed on the battlefield will not work when confronted with dissimulation. So Titus further belies his true feelings by feigning madness:
That hath more scars of sorrow in his heart
Than foemen’s marks upon his battered shield,
But yet so just that he will not revenge.
Revenge the heavens for old Andronicus! (4.1.124-28).
I knew them all, though they supposed me mad,To begin staging this “madness”, Titus shoots arrows carrying pleas to the gods. These represent an indirect means of confrontation, yet are a strange enough conveyance to have Saturninus think him crazy:
And will o’erreach them in their own devices,
A pair of cursèd hell-hounds and their dame (5.2.142-4).
And what an ifTamora, outwitted by Titus’s pretended “madness”, rejoices: “Now will I to that old Andronicus/ And temper him with all the art I have” (4.4.107-8).
His sorrows have so overwhelmed his wits?
Shall we be thus afflicted in his wreaks,
His fits, his frenzy, and his bitterness? (4.4.9-12).
I am the turned-forth, be it known to you,Sounding very much like Titus at the beginning of the play, Lucius claims honour because of the wars he has fought for Rome. And there is a danger that Lucius will disrupt his new union with the Goths (much as Coriolanus does at Corioles), by mentioning the wounds he has suffered at their hands. The play has been working throughout to unify the Romans and Goths, but this is potentially a very fragile union.
That have preserved her welfare in my blood,
And from her bosom took the enemy’s point,
Sheathing the steel in my advent’rous body.
Alas, you know I am no vaunter, I;
My scars can witness… (5.3.108-13).
Drafts of this work have benefited from the responses of Sarah Annes Brown, Ian Donaldson, Paul Edmondson, John Jowett, Barbara Ravelhofer, Elke Schuch, Catherine Silverstone, Ann Thompson, Martin Wiggins, and audiences at the Renaissance Graduate Seminar, English Faculty, Cambridge University; the ‘Shakespeare and the Barbarians’ conference, University of Surrey Roehampton, 26 October 2002; and The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham.
 In Geoffrey Bullough, Narrative and Dramatic Sources of Shakespeare, 8 vols. (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1966), 6: 35.
 E.g. at 1.1.28, 1.1.131, and 2.3.78, William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus (Oxford Shakespeare), ed. Eugene M. Waith (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984, 1994). All references to the play cite this edition.
 For an analysis of the rhetorical construction of barbarism in the period, see Ian Smith, in “Barbarian Errors: Performing Race in Early Modern England,” Shakespeare Quarterly 49 (1998), 168-86.
 Ronald Broude, “Roman and Goth in Titus Andronicus,” Shakespeare Studies 6 (1970), 27-34, 27.
 John Rooks, “Mental and Moral Wilderness in Titus Andronicus,” Shakespeare and Renaissance Association of West Virginia: Selected Papers 16 (1993), 33-42, 33.
 Dorothea Kehler, “Titus Andronicus: From Limbo to Bliss,” Shakespeare Jahrbuch 128 [East] (1992), 125-31, 126. See also: Broude, passim; J. A. Bryant, Jr., “Aaron and the Pattern of Shakespeare’s Villains,” Renaissance Papers 1984 (1984), 29-36; and Douglas E. Green, “Interpreting ‘her martyr’d signs’: Gender and Tragedy in Titus Andronicus,” Shakespeare Quarterly 40 (1989), 317-26.
 Louise Noble, “‘And make two pasties of your shameful heads’: Medicinal Cannibalism and Healing the Body Politic in Titus Andronicus,” ELH 70 (2003), 677-708, 689.
 Thomas Heywood, An Apology for Actors (London, 1612), sig. F3v.
 Roman Shakespeare: Warriors, Wounds, and Women (London and New York: Routledge, 1997), 4.
 “Postcolonial Shakespeare: British Identity Formation and Cymbeline,” in Shakespeare’s Late Plays: New Readings, ed. Jennifer Richards and James Knowles (Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 1999), pp. 145-57, 150.
 Here I follow Homi K. Bhabha’s assertion that: “The representation of difference must not be hastily read as the reflection of pre-given ethnic or cultural traits set in the fixed tablet of tradition”, in The Location of Culture (London and New York: Routledge, 1994), p. 2.
 Andrew P. Williams, “Introduction,” The Image of Manhood in Early Modern Literature: Viewing the Male, ed. Andrew P. Williams (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1999), pp. xi-xv, xi.
 Robert Appelbaum, “‘Standing to the wall’: The Pressures of Masculinity in Romeo and Juliet,” Shakespeare Quarterly 48 (1997), 251-72, 260.
 The collection, Masculinity Studies and Feminist Theory: New Directions, ed. Judith Kegan Gardiner, also works to destablise such binaries of ‘victims and oppressors, difference and dominance, and hegemonic (or socially validated) and alternative masculinities’ (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002), p. 2.
 Elizabeth A. Foyster, Manhood in Early Modern England: Honour, Sex and Marriage (Longman: London and New York, 1999), p. 5.
 For a detailed discussion of the tensions surrounding honour gained through birth or virtue, see Mervyn James, Society, Politics and Culture: Studies in Early Modern England (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1996), 375ff.
 The English Gentlewoman (London, 1631), 191.
 Francis Bacon situates the monarch as the “fountaine of honour” in his argument that no individual has honour that is not derived from the king. Cf. The Charge of Sir Francis Bacon Touching Duells (London, 1614), p. 36.
 The Blazon of Gentrie: Deuided into two parts. The first named The Glorie of Generositie. The second, Lacyes Nobilitie (London, 1586), 96-7.
 For a good analysis of the historical legal and moral positions on killing prisoners, see Theodor Meron, Henry’s Wars and Shakespeare’s Laws (Oxford: Clarendon P, 1993), esp. ch. 9.
 For an attempt to see the relevance of this sacrifice in terms of Elizabethan culture, see Nicholas R. Moschovakis, “‘Irreligious Piety’ and Christian History: Persecution as Pagan Anachronism in Titus Andronicus,” Shakespeare Quarterly 53 (2002), 460-86, esp. 463-5.
 Eugene Waith notes how Titus stands alone in justifying this deed: “To everyone else it is a piece of wilful violence based on a hideous error of judgement,” “The Ceremonies of Titus Andronicus,” Mirror up to Shakespeare: Essays in Honour of G. R. Hibbard, ed. J. C. Gray (Toronto: U of Toronto P, 1984), pp. 159-70, 163.
 James C. Bulman notes: “…Titus lets a point of honor supersede even a bond of blood: he kills his son Mutius in order to confirm his loyalty to the emperor,” The Heroic Idiom of Shakespearean Tragedy (Toronto and London: Associated UP, 1985), p. 45.
 The Theme of Honour’s Tongue: a Study of Social Attitudes in the English Drama from Shakespeare to Dryden (Göteborg, Sweden: Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis, 1985), p. 38. The sanctity of betrothal pertains in Roman tradition as well. See Niall Rudd, “Titus Andronicus: The Classical Presence,” Shakespeare Survey 55 (2002), 199-208, 201.
 Aaron and the Goths, too, do not appear to be sexually possessive. Aaron discloses no anxiety about Tamora’s relationship with the Emperor, and Demetrius and Chiron agree to “share” Lavinia in their brutal double rape.
 Robert Ashley, Of Honour, ed. Virgil B. Heltzel (San Marino, CA: Huntington, 1947), p. 31.
 That honour is the reward for virtue is proverbial, and the typical justification for systems of honour. See Morris Palmer Tilley, A Dictionary of Proverbs in England in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 1950), H571; Francis Markham, The Booke of Honovr, or Five Decads of Epistles of Honovr (London, 1625), 1; and Annibale Romei, The Courtiers Academie, trans. John Kepers, 1595 (Facsimile; Jerusalem: Israel UP, 1968), 82.
 Francesca T. Royster, “White-limed Walls: Whiteness and Gothic Extremism in Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus,” Shakespeare Quarterly 51 (2000), 432-55, 436.
 Here I’m working against Jane Carducci’s assertion that: “…Titus is a thoroughly representative Roman play, anticipating the masculine code of military honor embodied in all of Shakespeare’s Roman men,” “Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus: An Experiment in Expression,” Cahiers Élisabéthains 31 (1987), 1-9, 2.
 In Vincentio Saviolo his Practise (London, 1595). For Shakespeare’s knowledge of Saviolo, see Joan Ozark Holmer, “‘Draw if you be men’: Saviolo’s Significance for Romeo and Juliet,” Shakespeare Quarterly 45 (1994), 163-89.
 Peter [Pierre] De La Primaudaye, The French Academie, trans. T. B[owes] (London, 1586), 380.
 The Longleat House Peacham drawing gives a rapier to Titus, probably not in an accurate reflection of staging.
 Methods and Practice of Elizabethan Swordplay (Carbondale and Edwardsville, IL: Southern Illinois UP, 1990), 10.
 Paradoxes of Defence (London, 1599), leaf inserted between A4 and B1.
 Cf. John Lyly’s Sapho and Phao, ed. David Bevington (Manchester: Manchester UP, 1991), 1.2.80.
 Jennifer Low, Manhood and the Duel: Masculinity in Early Modern Drama and Culture (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2003), p. 22-23.
 Saviolo, Y2v.
 The Charge of Sir Francis Bacon Touching Duells, p. 22.
 All quotations from Shakespeare’s works, with the exception of Titus Andronicus, cite The Oxford Shakespeare, ed. Stanley Wells, et al. (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1986).
 But there are earlier uses. The weapon appears in Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy. It is also used anachronistically in an earlier Roman play, Thomas Lodge’s The Wounds of Civil War, in The Complete Works of Thomas Lodge, ed. Alexander B. Grosart, vol. 3, (1882; New York: Russell and Russell, 1963), 3.1.42.
 Lawrence Stone, The Crisis of the Aristocracy, 1558-1641 (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1965), 232.
 William Segar and Richard Jones, The Booke of Honor and Armes: wherein is discovered the causes of Quarrel, and the nature of Injuries, with their Repulses (London, 1590), sig. C2v.
 Tilley, S270.
 This resemblance of Elizabethans and Goths is in keeping with Samuel Kliger’s argument for a tradition of viewing the Goths positively in early modern England. See The Goths in England (1952), esp. 72-79.
 Bruce R. Smith points to a connection between being effeminised and being other in Shakespeare and Masculinity (Oxford Shakespeare Topics) (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2000), pp. 105ff.
 Charles Barber notes that “for women, the main demand of honour remains the preservation of their chastity and of their reputation for it” (47). And Romei argues that the only route towards honour for a woman was by preserving her chastity (126).
 Barber, 47-8.
 Cf. Laura Gowing, “Women, Status and the Popular Culture of Dishonour,” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 6, 6th series (1996), 225-34; and Garthine Walker, “Expanding the Boundaries of Female Honour in Early Modern England,” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 6, 6th series (1996), 235-45.
 Matar, 40. Ian Smith argues that barbarism and racialization were inherently masculine because they were products of a perceived lack of eloquence: “…the nation’s validated subjects, mostly at educated, male (and in many cases urban) elite, come to identify with the English nation and its racialized correlative, whiteness, through a range of linguistic performatives. Inseparable, then, from this intersection of language, race, and color is masculinity, or the Lacanian hommosexual regulation that excludes women from the enterprise of eloquence…” (173). For the attempt to recover the wider European iconography of the early modern black woman, however, see Kim F. Hall, “Object into Object?: Some Thoughts on the Presence of Black Women in Early Modern Culture,” in Early Modern Visual Culture: Representation, Race, and Empire in Renaissance England, ed. Peter Erickson and Clark Hulse (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000), 346-79.
 See Imtiaz Habib, Black Lives in the English Archives, 1500-1677: Imprints of the Invisible (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007).
 Boose, 40-41.
 Carolyn Asp argues that: “...Tamora, operating from within the Imaginary Order of maternal power, functions as a subject, i.e., as an agent within the patriarchal order. Because agency is coded ‘masculine,’ she is seen as ‘usurping’ power and creating disorder in the highly patriarchal Symbolic Order”, “‘Upon her wit doth earthly honor wait’: Female Agency in Titus Andronicus,” in Titus Andronicus: Critical Essays, ed. Philip C. Kolin (New York and London: Garland, 1995), 333-46, 335.
 “Tamora may be seen as a particularly vicious representation of a stereotype soon to become a major presence in Jacobean drama—the lusty widow,” Dorothea Kehler, “‘That Ravenous Tiger Tamora’: Titus Andronicus’s Lusty Widow, Wife, and M/other,” Titus Andronicus: Critical Essays, ed. by Philip C. Kolin (New York and London: Garland, 1995), 317-32, 317.
 Emily C. Bartels discusses Tamora and Aaron’s classical allusions at length in “Making More of the Moor: Aaron, Othello, and Renaissance Refashionings of Race,” Shakespeare Quarterly 41 (1990), 433-54, 444-5.
 Sir Richard Barckley, A Discovrse of the Felicitie of Man: Or His Summum Bonum. (London, 1598), 257-8.
 Saviolo, LL1v.
 Bruce R. Smith is thus able to position Tamora with Shakespeare’s other exemplars of tragic female agency: “Tragedy portrays the female other as a destructive force. With respect to male protagonists Desdemona keeps company with a disparate group that includes Eleanour Duchess of Gloucester and Queen Margaret in the Henry VI plays, Tamora Queen of the Goths in Titus Andronicus, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Gertrude…Helen and Cressida…Goneril and Regan…Lady Macbeth…Cleopatra…and Volumnia…” (113).
 As Kehler argues, “her very overdetermination allows us to understand Tamora as a simulacrum modeled out of a patriarchal society’s fears and to note the fissures in her construction” (1995, 328).
 C. L. Barber and Richard P. Wheeler read this scene differently: “Titus in response to her keeps turning from her and her mutilated body, her sighs and tears, to himself, his body, his tears,” The Whole Journey: Shakespeare’s Power of Development (Berkeley, CA: U of California P, 1986), p. 152.
 This movement from public to private fits Brian Gibbons’s argument that: “In Titus Andronicus… the scope of the action and its focus shrink progressively” in Shakespeare and Multiplicity (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1993), p. 113.
 These figures include “honour,” “honoured,” “honours,” “honourable,” and any of these forms with the “dis” prefix. As John Jowett has pointed out privately, these figures may have implications for the authorship of the play. Certainly, such a huge shift occurs here that it may be authorial. There is little difference, however, in the occurrence of “honour” in Peele’s (the most likely candidate’s) and Shakespeare’s canons. Brian Boyd suggests nonetheless that such repetition may be indicative of Peele’s “preferred verbal putty, always at hand to fill any gap”, “Common Words in Titus Andronicus: The Presence of Peele,” Notes and Queries 240 (1995), 300-7, 302.
 Gilles Corrozet, Memorable Conceits of Diuers Noble and famous personages of Christendome of this our moderne time (London, 1602), 394.
 Fulke Greville, A Dedication to Sir Philip Sidney. The Prose Works of Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke, ed. John Gouws (Oxford: Clarendon P, 1986), 22.
 Michel Montaigne, Essays and Belles Lettres, trans. John Florio, 1603, 3 vols. (London: Dent, n.d), 2: 373.
 Corrozet, 315.
 Gibbons, 80. Gibbons also touches upon the idea that Titus learns dissimulation but does not develop it: “He is taught by Tamora’s tortures to be double, ironic, witty, instead of slow, orderly, and pious” (115).
 “…if Othello aspires after ‘cultural whiteness,’ then Iago is conceived indeterminately according to stereotypes of ‘blackness’” (Ian Smith, 178).
 Peter Erickson makes a similar argument for patriarchy, which I take to be a sub-set of masculinity, but one which applies particularly to my argument here about negotiations of power: “patriarchal control has to be negotiated each time, and the outcome is variable and uncertain… [P]atriarchy is not monolithic but multivalent. Even within a historical period it has multiple versions rather than one version”, in “The Order of the Garter, the cult of Elizabeth, and class-gender tension in The Merry Wives of Windsor,” in Shakespeare Reproduced, ed. Jean E. Howard and Marion O’Connor (London: Methuen, 1987), pp.116-40, 116.
Responses to this piece intended for the Readers' Forum may be sent to the Editor at M.Steggle@shu.ac.uk.
© 2011-, Annaliese Connolly and Matthew Steggle (Editors, EMLS).