shakespeare play Titus1. Governance and authority are themes in many of our texts. Discuss (check for the help you need) how kingly/ducal power andauthority are constructed and/or dramatized in any one of the plays we have studied, payingparticular attention to the kinds of problems that occur and how the play turns them into dramaticevents.2. Many of the plays we have studied dramatize problems of allegiance, obligation, or obedience ?between ruler and subject, parent and child, friends, lovers, soldiers. Discuss (check for the help you need) how this topic ? or anaspect of it ? is treated in any one of the plays.3. Gender relations, both as a God -given (ide al) order and as a social reality, form a frequent thematicpreoccupation in many of the plays on the syllabus. Discuss (check for the help you need) how one of them sets up patterns ofexpectations for male and/or female behavior, and how transgressions or unexpected deviations fromthose norms are treated, both by other characters and by the play at large: are violations tolerated?Condoned? Punished? And what does that suggest about the play?s attitude towards the conventionsit portrays?4. Analyze the function and significance of se tting in one of the plays, and Discuss (check for the help you need) its relation to a largerreading of the play. Some possible contrasts you might want to consider include: urban/rural,night/day, court/city, England/Europe; you could also consider the use of stage directions, bothimplicit (contained in the dialogue) and explicit (printed in italics and set apart from the dialogue).Finally, remember that setting is as much a function of place (Rome, Athens, Verona , etc.) as ofhistory (Republican Rome, ancient Athens , contemporary V enice ); you might want to consider ifthese two kinds of setting work differently from each other, and if so, how.5. Discuss (check for the help you need) the function of violence, either comical or horrific, in one play studied this term. Does stagedviolence invite the audience to identify with the perpetrator, with the victim, or are we alienated byboth? How do narrative descriptions of violence affect our reaction to these acts? Is the violencegratuitous? How do we know how we are supposed to feel about that ? How does the play go aboutframing or positioning violence ? and the audience?s reactions to it?

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