titus andronicus

Music is an integral part of theatrical production, even among plays not designated as musical theater. Music (much like lighting) sets the tone and tenor of a given scene, enhancing the themes and motifs prevalent to the work.

For the purpose of the assignment, you will develop a soundtrack for Titus Andronicus, employing songs that embody a particular motif within the piece.

Possible motifs:

  • revenge
  • sacrifice
  • loyalty and betrayal
  • water
  • filial piety and disobedience
  • exile
  • invasion
  • black and white (dark and light)
  • silencing/loss of voice
  • parental responsibility and devotion
  • dismemberment
  • tigers/wilderness
  • spectacle and performance
  • female autonomy and authority
  • primogeniture

This assignment will require you to select three motif-driven songs and apply them to three distinct scenes/sequences within the play. In order to make the connection between motif, song, and scene clear, you must analyze the text of both source pieces with the motif in view.

Here is a step by step example of how you might approach the essay:

  1. Select a motif.
  2. Select three scenes in which this motif is prevalent.
  3. Identify on which lines the motif occurs.
  4. Analyze how the motif operates within the lines.
  5. Select a song that reflects the motif’s function within the lines.
  6. Analyze the lyrics of the song to evidence how the song reflects the motif.
  7. Discuss what larger implications the selected motif has in the work and how the songs you have selected collectively highlight those implications.


  • Meet 4-5 pages in length.
  • Use MLA formatting standards.
  • Incorporate a works cited page.
  • Employ textual evidence from all sources (play and songs).
  • Type and submit in hard copy.
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