READING LIKE THE JAPANESE: THE GOTHIC AESTHETICS OF HORROR IN SHAKESPEARE’S TITUS ANDRONICUS

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Abstract

Shakespeare’s plays have been universally praised for centuries. However, Titus Andronicus was not included in this positive evaluation until the second half of the 20th century, when mainly feminist criticism contributed to an academically kinder re-assessment of this generally gory play. This paper, focusing on the issues of aesthetic value and the deletion of empathy, proposes a defamiliarized, a different reading of this Shakespearean play, from the perspective of the Japanese people, ‘famous’ for aesthetically enjoying the cathartic showing of gratuitous violence.

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