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Titus Andronicus

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Overview

Titus Andronicus is still regarded by many as a bad play of dubious authorship. Its adversaries have abhorred the violence of the action and the apparent lapses in the quality of the verse. Since 1945, however, the play has been taken increasingly seriously in both the theatre and the study: the violence and cruelty it depicts were disconcertingly matched by the events of two World Wars. Hughes joins those critics who take the play seriously, arguing for its unity of theme and its grim humour, and demonstrates ...

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Titus Andronicus

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Overview

Titus Andronicus is still regarded by many as a bad play of dubious authorship. Its adversaries have abhorred the violence of the action and the apparent lapses in the quality of the verse. Since 1945, however, the play has been taken increasingly seriously in both the theatre and the study: the violence and cruelty it depicts were disconcertingly matched by the events of two World Wars. Hughes joins those critics who take the play seriously, arguing for its unity of theme and its grim humour, and demonstrates that it is the work of a brilliant stage craftsman, confident in his mastery of space, movement and verse. The text is based on the first quarto, supplemented by crucial additions and stage directions from the Folio. For this updated edition, a new section is included on recent stage, film and critical interpretations by Sue Hall-Smith. An updated reading list completes the edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Review of the first edition: 'The great strength of Hughes's edition is its attention to the theatrical aspects of the play … his discussion of the play in performance is illuminating.' Studies in English Literature
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781605126197
  • Publisher: Akasha Publishing
  • Publication date: 2/12/2010
  • Pages: 124
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.29 (d)

Meet the Author

William Shakespeare (26 April 1564 (baptised) - 23 April 1616) was an English poet, playwright and actor, 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, including some collaborations, consist 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.

Shakespeare was born and brought up in Stratford-upon-Avon. At the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway, with whom he had three children: Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. Between 1585 and 1592, he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part-owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later known as the King's Men. He appears to have retired to Stratford around 1613 at age 49, where he died three years later. Few records of Shakespeare's private life survive, and there has been considerable speculation about such matters as his physical appearance, sexuality, religious beliefs, and whether the works attributed to him were written by others.

Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1589 and 1613. His early plays were mainly comedies and histories and these works remain regarded as some the best work produced in these genres even today. He then wrote mainly tragedies until about 1608, including Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, and Macbeth, considered some of the finest works in the English language. In his last phase, he wrote tragicomedies, also known as romances, and collaborated with other playwrights.

Many of his plays were published in editions of varying quality and accuracy during his lifetime. In 1623, John Heminges and Henry Condell, two friends and fellow actors of Shakespeare, published the First Folio, a collected edition of his dramatic works that included all but two of the plays now recognised as Shakespeare's. It was prefaced with a poem by Ben Jonson, in which Shakespeare is hailed, presciently, as "not of an age, but for all time."

Shakespeare was a respected poet and playwright in his own day, but his reputation did not rise to its present heights until the 19th century.

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations; Preface; List of abbreviations and conventions; Introduction: Date; Sources; Authorship; Early stage history; The Longleat manuscript; From the Restoration to the nineteenth century; Twentieth-century performance and criticism; Recent stage, film and critical interpretations by Sue Hall-Smith; Note on the text; List of characters; The Play; Textual analysis; Appendix 1. Titus Andronicus at the Rose; Appendix 2. Performance by a small company; Reading list.

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Customer Reviews

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