WANTED: Complex Characters on the Loose
For our Shakespeare class, as a group we wanted to explore the complexity of humans shared in Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus. We decided the most effective way to do this was through wanted posters. They will convey all of the reasons why the characters were wrong in the play but also include a ‘don’t be fooled by:’ section where we also share the characters better attributes and good deeds that they have done. This way we are able to effectively communicate this idea of complexity that intrigued us.
We believe that many people perceive William Shakespeare’s work as ancient and not integral to understanding the complexity of literature. This thought, however, is not the case. Shakespeare was responsible for many of the complex ideas seen in modern character arcs today. Specifically, we wanted to explore some of his key ideas which are linked to the complexity of humans:
- Individuals are not innately good or bad.
- Nature vs. Nurture
- Being a victim does not mitigate an individual’s actions.
These three key ideas create multi-dimensional characters within the play and draw light to the complexities of fellow classmates and individuals around us day-to-day.
We want those seeing these posters to ask the question of ‘how are these posters connected’ which may inspire an investigation of our audience into the play itself.