Titus Andronicus

a play by William Shakespeare and possibly another writer, written about 1591. It is a tragedy that takes place in ancient Rome and there are many murders in it.

* * *

▪ work by Shakespeare
      an early, experimental tragedy by William Shakespeare (Shakespeare, William), written sometime in 1589–92 and published in a quarto edition from an incomplete draft in 1594. The First Folio version was prepared from a copy of the quarto, with additions from a manuscript that had been used as a promptbook. 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.

      For a discussion of this play within the context of Shakespeare's entire corpus, see William Shakespeare: Shakespeare's plays and poems (Shakespeare, William).

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Titus Andronicus — may be Shakespeare s earliest tragedy; it is believed to have been written sometime between 1584 and the early 1590s. It depicts a Roman general who is engaged in a cycle of revenge with his enemy Tamora, the Queen of the Goths. The play is by… …   Wikipedia

  • Titus Andronicus — американская рок группа из Глен Рока (штат Нью Джерси), образованная в 2005 году[1]. Она была названа в честь одноимённой пьесы Шекспира. По словам музыкантов, на их творчество повлияла музыка Neutral Milk Hotel и Pulp[2]. Их дебютный альбом The… …   Википедия

  • Titus Andronicus — [Titus Andronicus] a play by William Shakespeare and possibly another writer, written about 1591. It is a ↑tragedy that takes place in ancient Rome and there are many murders in it …   Useful english dictionary

  • Titus Andronicus — Daten des Dramas Titel: Titus Andronicus Originaltitel: The Most Lamentable Roman Tragedy of Titus Andronicus Gattung: Tragödie Originalsprache: Englisch …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Titus Andronicus — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Titus Andronicus (groupe) et Titus. Titus Andronicus …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Titus Andronicus — Ti|tus An|dron|i|cus a play by William Shakespeare, which people think is his first ↑tragedy. It is set in ancient Rome and is full of shocking violence and murder …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Titus Andronicus / Iphigenie — Titus Andronicus / Iphigenie, oft auch als Iphigenie / Titus Andronicus, war eine Kunstaktion des deutschen Künstlers Joseph Beuys (1921−1986) bei der Experimenta 2 in Frankfurt am Main 1969. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Die Aktion 2 Reaktionen 3… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Titus Andronicus (groupe) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Titus Andronicus (homonymie). Titus Andronicus Pays d’origine Glen Rock, New Jersey …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Titus Andronicus (band) — Infobox musical artist Name = Titus Andronicus Img capt = Landscape = yes Background = group or band Origin = Glen Rock, New Jersey, USA Genre = Punk Indie Folk rock Shoegaze Years active = 2005–Present Label = Troubleman Unlimited URL =… …   Wikipedia

  • Titus Andronicus (homonymie) — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Titus Andronicus est une pièce de théâtre (tragédie) de William Shakespeare (titre entier La Très Lamentable Tragédie romaine de Titus Andronicus), (Titus …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.