William Shakespeare's first tragedy Titus Andronicus is a bloodthirsty tale of revenge and manipulation in Ancient Rome. The titular Titus is a Roman general, leading his army in war against the insurgent Goth tribe, led by their fearsome Queen, Tamora. He is strongly favoured by much of the establishment of Rome, and is considered a candidate for Emperor. However, the repeated cycle of revenge between Titus and Tamora is a distraction which entails much bloody death, to the point where Titus is eventually thought insane. For its graphic violence, the play has fallen in and out of favour of the centuries. On first appearing, the Elizabethan audience found its unstinting bloodiness appealing, with popular demand spurring many performances. However by the time of the Regency and Victorian eras, the play had fallen decisively out of favour and was much less commonly staged. However, the embracing cultural attitudes of the later 20th century brought Titus Andronicus back to popularity and acclaim. It has now been rehabilitated in the eyes of Shakespeare scholars and theatregoers, not least for offering giving readers an example of a young Shakespeare as yet unversed in writing tragic drama. This edition of Titus Andronicus is adapted from the First Folio of 1623, and is arranged into two columns for ease of reading.
William Shakespeare (c. 26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616) was an English playwright, renowned by many as the world's greatest writer in the English Language. Among his plays are Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Macbeth to name but a few.