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Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare

Titus Andronicus (edition 1984)

by William Shakespeare, George Peele (Author), Eugene M. Waith (Editor)

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1,521224,849 (3.7)135
Title:Titus Andronicus
Authors:William Shakespeare
Other authors:George Peele (Author), Eugene M. Waith (Editor)
Info:Oxford University Press, USA (1984), Paperback, 240 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:William Shakespeare, Shakespeare plays, early modern plays, renaissance drama 1485-1659, [New] Oxford Shakespeare, George Peele, plays

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Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare


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As the top Roman General, Titus wars with the Goths and captures their queen, Tamora, along with her three warrior sons and her secret lover, Aaron, who is a Moor. Bringing them to Rome, the eldest of the sons is ritually and brutally killed, while Tamora is forced to marry the soon-to-be Emperor. The Romans assume the Goths are now resigned to become Roman subjects, but Tamora, her sons and Aaron set about repaying Titus and Rome.

Not only the most violent and bloody of Shakespeare's plays, this is the most violent play I've ever come across, period. Beheadings, limbs chopped off, rape, tongues cut out... it's a bloodbath. ( )
  mstrust | Nov 28, 2014 |
It may not say much for me as a person, but this is my absolute favorite Shakespearian play. I saw it performed at The Shakespeare Tavern in Atlanta, and I own the Julie Taymor film version and I still fall in love with it every time. Which is disturbing if you've read it or have any idea what it's actually about. So...yeah. ( )
  mlyons1 | Feb 12, 2014 |
Ever wish Shakespeare had written something incredibly dark and violent? Well lucky you, he did! In Titus Andonicus fans of the Bard can get their Quentin Tarantino fix in old English. This is one of Shakespeare’s first tragedies and by far one of the most violent. See if you can follow me as I give a quick and wildly confusing rundown of the plot...

A Roman general, Titus, is in a perpetual battle of revenge with Tamora, Queen of the Goths. Things escalate throughout the play, building to a disturbing pinnacle of violence.

Titus is appointed the new Roman Emperor but he turns the throne down, supporting Saturninus instead. He offers his daughter Lavinia to Saturnius, even though she’s already engaged to Bassianus, Saturnius’ brother. Titus sacrifices Tamora’s eldest son after taking her and her sons prisoner, which further instigates her wrath. In a surprise move Saturninus marries Tamora and Titus is furious.

Tamora’s living sons, Demetrius and Chiron, kidnap and rape Titus’ daughter Lavinia. When they’re done they cut out her tongue and cut off her hands. You can see why this one isn’t performed a lot. They also kill her original betrothed, Bassianus, which infuriates his brother (the emperor) Saturnius. Titus’ sons Martius and Quintus are framed for the murder and executed by Saturnius.

After that there are sliced hands and heads going back and forth in the mail. Let’s not forget Tamora’s lover Aaron, a moor who fathers her child while she is married to Saturnius. He’s a tricky one and causes quite a bit of mayhem.

The ultimate disturbing detail that made the play famous comes when Titus to be the Master Chef of Revenge. He kills Tamora’s remaining two sons and then uses their blood and bones to make her a fancy dinner. He then feeds it to her at a feast before revealing his secret ingredients. Gag. Then the bloody meal concludes with just about every main character being killed.

BOTTOM LINE: Cue Debbie Downer’s sad trombone noise, "wah waaah." I can’t say this is my favorite Shakespearean play, but I’m glad to know what all the fuss was about. Unlike his later tragedies, this one is missing the crucial element of emotional grounding. While we’re horrified by what happens to the characters we aren’t necessarily invested in them, which lessens the impact. Ultimately we are reminded that revenge, just like jealousy in Othello, destroys everyone in its path. ( )
2 vote bookworm12 | Feb 6, 2014 |
Never get involved in Roman politics.
  VeritysVeranda | Sep 29, 2013 |
This play is both horrific and kind of funny in a black humour kind of way... Now, the real work begins - as I will have lots to do with this - an essay, a film-review and more. ( )
  Lexxie | Apr 23, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (69 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
William Shakespeareprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shakespeare, Williammain authorall editionsconfirmed
Peele, GeorgeAuthormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Berthoud, JacquesIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brissaud, PierreIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Farjeon, HerbertEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ridley, M. R.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Waith, Eugene M.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Noble patricians, patrons of my right,
Defend the justice of my cause with arms,
And, countrymen, my loving followers,
Plead my successive title with your swords:
I am his first-born son, that was the last
That wore the imperial diadem of Rome;
Then let my father's honours live in me,
Nor wrong mine age with this indignity.
Sweet mercy is nobility's true badge.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0671722921, Mass Market Paperback)

FOLGER Shakespeare Library

The world's leading centerfor Shakespeare studies

Each edition includes:

· Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play

· Full explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play

· Scene-by-scene plot summaries

· A key to famous lines and phrases

· An introduction to reading Shakespeare's language

· An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play

· Illustrations from the Folger Shakespeare Library's vast holdings of rare books

Essay by Alexander Leggatt

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., is home to the world's largest collection of Shakespeare's printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs. For more information, visit www.folger.edu.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:02:52 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Presents Shakespeare's tragedy of the cruelties and excesses of the Roman court.

(summary from another edition)

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014071491X, 0141019662

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