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Titus Andronicus (Arden Shakespeare: Third Series) [Paperback]

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Item description for Titus Andronicus (Arden Shakespeare: Third Series) by William Shakespeare...

Jonathan Bate is Professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature at the University of Warwick, an honorary Fellow of St. Catharine's College Cambridge, and a Fellow of the British Academy. He has written several books on Shakespeare, including Shakespeare and Ovid and The Genius of Shakespeare. Well known as a reviewer and broadcaster, he is also the author of Romantic Ecology and a novel, The Cure for Love.
After centuries of vilification and neglect by both scholars and actors, Titus Andronicus has at last come to be recognized as one of Shakespeare's early masterpieces. In this powerful edition, Bate offers a complete and radical reappraisal of Shakespeare's bloodiest tragedy, seeing it as one of the dramatist's most inventive plays, a complex and self-conscious improvisation upon classical sources. Bate's introduction does full justice to the play's textual and technical artfulness and sophistication, putting forward new arguments regarding the play's date, sources and early stage history, including the technical descriptions and illustrations. He devotes extended discussion to great modern productions (with black and white photographs) such as those of Peter Brook and Deborah Warner. In an appendix, patterns and precedents in plot and speech are addressed and sources (MetamorphosesThe Spanish Tragedy, The Jew of Malta, and others) transcribed.  A reference guide including abbreviations, references, and citations is also provided.
In an age in which dramatic representation of violence has become an issue of enormous controversy, Titus Andronicus is the essential play; Bate's seminal edition indicates just how far, with this early work, the young Shakespeare has already travelled towards the masterpiece of his maturity, King Lear.
The Arden Shakespeare has developed a reputation as the pre-eminent critical edition of Shakespeare for its exceptional scholarship, reflected in the thoroughness of each volume. An introduction comprehensively contextualizes the play, chronicling the history and culture that surrounded and influenced Shakespeare at the time of its writing and performance, and closely surveying critical approaches to the work. Detailed appendices address problems like dating and casting, and analyze the differing Quarto and Folio sources. A full commentary by one or more of the play's foremost contemporary scholars illuminates the text, glossing unfamiliar terms and drawing from an abundance of research and expertise to explain allusions and significant background information. Highly informative and accessible, Arden offers the fullest experience of Shakespeare available to a reader.
"This is an outstanding edition of Titus, especially for its treatment of textual questions and of recent performance history. It supersedes all previous editions."—Dr. Paul Hartle, St. Catharine's College, Cambridge
"Bate makes a really positive virtue of his treatment of the play in performance . . . putting a vigorous account of Titus on stage at very stage-centre in his Introduction. Using this section as a means for raising fundamental questions as to the play's style, coherence, and meaning, Bate achieves a remarkable fusion between performance history and criticism."—John Jowett, Shakespeare Survey

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Item Specifications...

Pages   324
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5" Height: 7.75"
Weight:   0.75 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 16, 1995
Publisher   Arden
ISBN  1903436052  
ISBN13  9781903436059  

Availability  0 units.

More About William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon." His extant works include some collaboration, consisting of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, the authorship of some of which is uncertain. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

William Shakespeare lived in Stratford-Upon-The Avon. William Shakespeare was born in 1564 and died in 1616.

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1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > English > British Literature
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > History & Criticism > Criticism & Theory > General
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > British > Shakespeare

Reviews - What do customers think about Titus Andronicus (Arden Shakespeare: Third Series)?

Titus is the play for our day of crumbling and self-destructing empire; this fable has much to teach us now. As the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. warned us: Either we learn to live together as brothers or we die apart as fools.

Here we find fool brother killing brother, citizen killing citizen, the extreme abuse of the most vulnerable and pure, the excessive cruelty of wealth and power, a fable for our age.

Here in the Third revision series from Arden (the first presentation nearly one hundred years old and thus this represents one of the most ancient, traditional and continual series of Shakespearean texts, unlike certain far more recent and much less reliable usurpers of the "traditional" crown) we may discover a nearly impeccable edition of this four hundred year old much maligned and frequently orphaned text, a fable for our present times.

The editor Jonathan Bate presents strong and nearly undeniable reasons for his selection of readings from Quarto, Folio and emended editions, including of course Theobald and Capell but also the most recent scholarship and productions. His use, for example of "Muly lives" rather than "Mulietus" is admirable, as is his conflation of false starts, later additions, and other lines always clearly indicated in other typeface and explained fully in the footnotes and introduction.

Nevertheless, I found some of his interpretation unfortunate. I believe this play not a comedy but an exposure of the absolute corruption to which power and wealth lead us. It is not comedy but an exposure of our depravity. It is not to laugh but to weep, and to repent, and to resolve to live in peace and communal cooperation and compassionate concern, to learn to live together as brothers, although not as these. It is thus a morality play, not a comedy; yet we now have no concept of such a thing, and thus laugh where we must repent, and revolt.

His continual praising and uncritical reference in the footnotes to the televised BBC and to the Warner productions also calls into question his judgment. I cannot imagine, for example, admiring bringing in the cannibal banquet table singing as did the Warner = "Heigh ho it's off to work we go!" as anything other than an inappropriate, anachronistic indulgence.

In short about half of the footnotes might easily and gratefully find blue pencil from a compassionate and wise editor of this edition who can distinguish personal interpretation and opinion from scholarly fact. As well, a basic rule for those who wish to define or explain words is never to make the definition more complex nor obscure than the word being defined, nor make the definition so general as to be useless. Thus we find the terms suffrages and tyrannies in Act Four defined completely as "key terms in the political lexicon" rather than explaining their significance in terms of Act One. This is neither helpful nor necessary.

In short, about half of the footnotes may be eliminated to the benefit of this great book, as they cast doubt upon the reliability of the edition itself, and this edition seems nearly impeccable.
wild ride for a shakespeare play  Jan 25, 2008
this is a very violent play, but there are actually a lot of crude humor (think of it as a Quintin taratino film, except it's a book). it takes on ancient dicotomy between civilization and wilderness. the movie is good as well
Titus  Dec 26, 2007
I'm a shakespeare fan and I love the story that this one tells.
Sure, gore, blood, and a great deal of depression around the middle, but what story now-a-days isn't?
Great story, love it!
The First Wizard of Gore  Sep 25, 2004
This is perhaps The Bard's least well known work, but a classic nonetheless. If H. G. Lewis had been a playwrite living in Old England, this is no doubt the kind of drama he might have produced. It has more blood & violence than the most exploitive exploitation film. Heads severed off, murdered children baked into a stew & served to their father, rape, vengeance, mayhem, insanity... all served up in the guise of classic literature. PERFECT!
!!! LOVE IT !!!  Jun 7, 2004
OH MY GOSH!!! "Titus Andronicus" is one of the best plays ever written, especially when played for the comedy. DEFFINATELY READ THIS BOOK!!!

The whole play basically revolves around the action of the evil Tamora marrying another evil guy. Tamora gets really angry, and lets her two sons, Chiron and Demitrius, rape Titus's daughter, Lavinia. Ever hear that old Greek legend about how two guys raped a girl, and cut off her tounge so she could never tell the tale? In that version, the girl is, fortunately, able to miraculously weave her story into a coat and send it off for help. But Lavinia in "Titus Andronicus" is not quite so lucky. Chiron and Demitrius cut off her tounge AND her hands (I can tell THEY read there nighttime fairytales).

After this everyone runs around like madmen and there are a few casualties. Finally Lavinia is able to communicate to her father and remaining brothers using a book, etc. Eventually Tamora pretends to be a spirt-type-thing called 'Revenge' and her sons pretend to be 'Murder' and 'Rape'. But Titus Andronicus is even smarter. He pretends that he beleives there stupid bluff, and eventually captures Chrion and Demitrius after their mother leaves. Then, to make a long story short, Titus 'plays the cook' and cuts off the guys' heads and has his daughter use her stubs to gather their blood. Then he goes and cooks their guts into a pie.

That night at dinner, he serves the pastry to Tamora, who thinks she has won. After the people have eaten about half of the meal, Titus gets up and basically says, 'Look, Lady, you just ate your own sons, you idiot.' Then there is a huge blood bath and few are spared. The guy who IS spared becomes king, etc. Hehehe. Great, huh?

Seriously, though, I would deffinately recommend this edition of the book because it has REALLLLLLLLLYYYYYYY good footnotes. No joke. Hope you will take some time to read this cool book!!! :-D


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