Author(s): William Shakespeare
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'
William Shakespeare was born in late April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon and died in 1616. He is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. Stanley Wells is Emeritus Professor of the University of Birmingham and Honorary President of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Jacques Berthoud was Professor of English at the University of York. Sonia Massai is a Lecturer at King's College London.