This chapter examines the treatment of identity in Mervyn Peake's work. For Peake, the act of making a drawing or painting is an existential statement of identity, an expression of his self. He is in search of his ‘elemental name – [his] root name as an artist’. This core activity of seeking to establish, affirm, and maintain a sense of identity runs throughout Peake's work, especially the Titus books. However, as Peake did not manage to take his hero into adulthood, his main emphasis falls on the adolescent stage of this quest.
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