His extraordinarily gory and spectacularly violent revenge tragedy, William Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus is edited by Sonia Massai, with an introduction by Jacques Berthoud in Penguin Shakespeare. 'Vengeance is in my heart, death in my hand'. Rome is in turmoil. With the Emperor dead, his two sons, Saturninus and Bassianus, quarrel over who ...
His extraordinarily gory and spectacularly violent revenge tragedy, William Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus is edited by Sonia Massai, with an introduction by Jacques Berthoud in Penguin Shakespeare. 'Vengeance is in my heart, death in my hand'. Rome is in turmoil. With the Emperor dead, his two sons, Saturninus and Bassianus, quarrel over who should succeed him; but neither are as popular as the general Titus Andronicus, returned to Rome victorious after a ten-year campaign, with Tamora, Queen of the Goths, and her three sons as his prisoners. Eschewing the throne, he endorses Saturninus as successor, and sacrifices the Queen's son Alarbus in memory of his own, lost in the war. But when the new emperor spurns Titus's amity and chooses Tamora for his wife, she quickly begins to plot a murderous revenge of barely conceivable cruelty. This book contains a general introduction to Shakespeare's life and Elizabethan theatre, a separate introduction to Titus Andronicus, a chronology, suggestions for further reading, an essay discussing performance options on both stage and screen, and a commentary. If you enjoyed Titus Andronicus, you might like Macbeth, also available in Penguin Shakespeare. "This is tragedy naked, godless and unredeemed." (Kenneth Tynan).
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This si a pretty bloody tale. Lavinia has some gruesome scenes that are plain disturbing. It is tough to like Titus. I really hated the man. He is supposed to be the hero of this play, but I ended up hating him. A mother loses her son to Titus and seeks revenge. Titus murdered her son and she is the villian for seeking revenge. Hamlet was seen as a hero when he seeks vengence for his father's death, but her the mother is the villian. I found her more sympathetic and half hoped while reading the play that she would succeed. Despite this cold attitude towards a sympathetic female character, the play is well written. Literature should be able to spark debate and this is a play worth discussing and debating with friends.
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