<i>The Most Lamentable Roman Tragedy of Titus Andronicus</i>: Shakespeare and Tudor Theatre

Thomas Betteridge

in The Oxford Handbook of Tudor Drama

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199566471
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 The Most Lamentable Roman Tragedy of Titus Andronicus: Shakespeare and Tudor Theatre

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This article analyzes Shakespeare's The Most Lamentable Roman Tragedy of Titus Andronicus. The play is a key work in the scholarship on Tudor theatre, the only play of Shakespeare's for which there is a contemporary illustration, a work whose textual peregrinations have kept editors happy for years and a drama that fully, indeed almost obsessively, exploits the potential of the Elizabethan public stage. At the same time, however, Titus Andronicus is a profoundly uneven, ambiguous work. It is set in pagan Rome but also has some kind of fraught relationship to Christianity, and in particular to the Reformation; it is concerned with political authority and seems to suggest that all power is performative; and it contains masque-like moments of formality, comic playful handling of language, and horrific tragic events.

Keywords: Tudor theatre; plays; public stage; pagan Rome; Christianity; Reformation; political authority

Article.  7677 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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