‘Let him speak no more’: Trust, Censorship, and Early Modern Anti-Confession

Activity: Talk or presentation typesLecture and oral contribution


This paper looks at the peculiar form of trust displayed between Aaron and Lucius in Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, a trust between enemies. Aaron confesses his crimes in what I call an 'anti-confession', an exchange that explicitly patterns itself on religious notions of confession but is meant to further wound rather than heal those who hear it.  However painful this may be for Lucius and his Goth army, there is, nonetheless, a strange form of trust between speaker and audience which both energises Aaron's words and exacerbates his audience's vulnerabiilities. Aaron's anti-confession finally tests the limits of what an audience can tolerate, knowingly soliciting his own censorship.
Period30 Nov 20164 Dec 2016
Held atUniversity of Clermont Auvergne, France
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • anti-confession
  • confession
  • Trust
  • Aaron
  • Titus Andronicus