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Titus Andronicus

by William Shakespeare, George Peele (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,396405,223 (3.67)188
"I feel that I have spent half my career with one or another Pelican Shakespeare in my back pocket. Convenience, however, is the least important aspect of the new Pelican Shakespeare series. Here is an elegant and clear text for either the study or the rehearsal room, notes where you need them and the distinguished scholarship of the general editors, Stephen Orgel and A. R. Braunmuller who understand that these are plays for performance as well as great texts for contemplation." (Patrick Stewart) The distinguished Pelican Shakespeare series, which has sold more than four million copies, is now completely revised and repackaged. Each volume features: * Authoritative, reliable texts * High quality introductions and notes * New, more readable trade trim size * An essay on the theatrical world of Shakespeare and essays on Shakespeare's life and the selection of texts… (more)
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» See also 188 mentions

English (38)  Swedish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (40)
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
My godfathers, this is bloody! The cast count at the end is barely a fraction of the beginning. I can imagine actors eyeing up how far they survive rather than a measure of how many lines they get.
Titus Andronicus returns to Rome with the Queen of the Goths and her sons as prisoners. He has lost 21 sons in the 10 years at the wars, and his first act is the sacrifice the Queen's eldest son to the gods and honour his own dead. It doesn't really get a lot better from there on in.
I listened to this and it was actually really easy to follow because the characters have a habit of announcing themselves by name, so that it's usually pretty clear who our of this predominantly male cast was speaking. The subject matter is so very grim that I can't imagine that this is easy to watch (I barely coped with seeing the King Lear eye scene, this would have been worse). Difficult to rate, it's so terribly violent that it almost becomes cartoonish. I suggest some of the others as better plays and more enjoyable subject matter. ( )
  Helenliz | May 19, 2022 |
The play’s crude, melodramatic style and its numerous savage incidents led many critics to believe it was not written by Shakespeare. Modern criticism, however, tends to regard the play as authentic. Although not ranked with Shakespeare’s other great Roman plays, Titus Andronicus relates its story of revenge and political strife with a uniformity of tone and consistency of dramatic structure. Sources for the story include Euripides’ Hecuba, Seneca’s Thyestes and Troades, and parts of Ovid and Plutarch. More important, an 18th-century chapbook titled The History of Titus Andronicus, though clearly too late to have served as Shakespeare’s source, may well have been derived from a closely similar prose version that Shakespeare could have known.

Titus Andronicus returns to Rome after having defeated the Goths, bringing with him Queen Tamora, whose eldest son he sacrifices to the gods. The late emperor’s son Saturninus is supposed to marry Titus’s daughter Lavinia; however, when his brother Bassianus runs away with her instead, Saturninus marries Tamora. Saturninus and Tamora then plot revenge against Titus. Lavinia is raped and mutilated by Tamora’s sadistic sons Demetrius and Chiron, who cut off her hands and cut out her tongue so that she will be unable to testify against them. She nonetheless manages, by holding a stick in her mouth and guiding it with the stumps of her hands, to reveal the names of her ravishers. Titus now emerges as the revenger who must bring Tamora’s brutal family to account. Tamora takes as her lover a black man named Aaron the Moor; between them they produce a mulatto child of whom Aaron is intensely proud. Titus’s garish revenge begins as he puts on the guise of madness. He pretends to accept Demetrius and Chiron as the personifications of Rape and Murder, invites them into his house, and murders them, with Lavinia holding a basin to catch their blood. Titus then prepares a feast in which, acting as cook, he serves up to Tamora her own sons baked in a dish. Titus kills Lavinia to end her shame, stabs Tamora, and is cut down by Saturninus, at which Titus’s son Lucius responds by delivering Saturninus a fatal blow. Aaron the Moor is to be executed as well for his villainies. The blood-filled stage is presided over finally by Lucius and Titus’s brother, Marcus, as the sole survivors of Titus’s much-wronged family. ( )
  Marcos_Augusto | Jan 20, 2022 |
Jaw-dropping. Unrelentingly violent. It's basically the slasher/tragedy counterpart to Comedy of Errors, where Shakespeare decides on the one thing he's doing and then just really packs it in there over and over again. I do see how someone could get enjoyment out of this on a first, surprised, read, and I did.... kind of. But mostly I didn't. The fact that my favorite scene was when Quintus fell in the hole shows you I'd rather have the slapstick of A&C. ( )
  misslevel | Sep 22, 2021 |
My secret favorite Shakespeare play! You can really see the clear inspiration from "The Spanish Tragedie" as Shakespeare adapted the plays and the ideas into "Hamlet." ( )
  dianahaemer | Apr 27, 2021 |
Harold Bloom wanted to see Titus Andronicus performed as a comedy; it's easy to imagine Shakespeare as a 16th-Century Tarantino with this play, fanboying out with classical tragedy rather than schlock films. ( )
  poirotketchup | Mar 18, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (69 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Shakespeare, Williamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Peele, GeorgeAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Bate, JonathanEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Berthoud, JacquesIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brissaud, PierreIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Farjeon, HerbertEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Massai, SoniaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ridley, M. R.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Waith, Eugene M.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, John DoverEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Witherspoon, A. M.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
First words
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.
Quotations
Sweet mercy is nobility's true badge.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This work is for the complete Titus Andronicus only. Do not combine this work with abridgements, adaptations or simplifications (such as "Shakespeare Made Easy"), Cliffs Notes or similar study guides, or anything else that does not contain the full text. Do not include any video recordings. Additionally, do not combine this with other plays.

George Peele has been demonstrated to have been Shakespeare's collaborator in this play. Peele wrote Act 1 and probably a bit of Act 4.
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"I feel that I have spent half my career with one or another Pelican Shakespeare in my back pocket. Convenience, however, is the least important aspect of the new Pelican Shakespeare series. Here is an elegant and clear text for either the study or the rehearsal room, notes where you need them and the distinguished scholarship of the general editors, Stephen Orgel and A. R. Braunmuller who understand that these are plays for performance as well as great texts for contemplation." (Patrick Stewart) The distinguished Pelican Shakespeare series, which has sold more than four million copies, is now completely revised and repackaged. Each volume features: * Authoritative, reliable texts * High quality introductions and notes * New, more readable trade trim size * An essay on the theatrical world of Shakespeare and essays on Shakespeare's life and the selection of texts

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Average: (3.67)
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1 16
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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014071491X, 0141019662

 

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