Shakespeare's first foray into the revenge tragedy. Its horrors are notorious, but its powerful poetry of grief is the work of a true tragic poet.
Believed by many to be Shakespeare’s earliest work, Titus Andronicus was probably written in the 1580s or early 90s. The play is Shakespeare’s bloodiest, with rape, mutilation and 14 killings, nine of them on stage. Yet the violence and spectacle of the play never overshadows the verse – Shakespeare’s command of language and his vivid characters provide a fascinating foretaste of the great tragedies.
Published by Oxford University Press and bound in hardback buckram by The Folio Society, The Oxford Shakespeare series offers authoritative editions of Shakespeare’s plays. The early printings have been scrupulously re-examined and interpreted by eminent scholars, who also provide introductory essays covering all relevant background information, together with an appraisal of critical views and of the plays in performance. The exhaustive commentaries pay particular attention to language and staging. Reprints of sources, music for songs, genealogical tables and maps are included where necessary; many of the volumes are illustrated, and all contain an index.
Each book has an individual editor, with the whole series overseen by Stanley Wells.
Eugene M. Waith is Professor Emeritus at the Department of English, Yale University.
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