I know I'm a little late on this one, but last summer I decided to read one of Shakespeare’s plays. Rather than reading some of the more obvious choices, like Romeo and Juliet or Julius Ceaser, I chose Titus Andronicus.
Shortly after a war, Tamora, Queen of the Goths is subjected to heartache as her son is murdered despite her plea for mercy. The heartbroken Tamora is now on a revenge mission. Titus Andronicus’s daughter, Lavinia, was to be the new queen but another lover has carried her off leaving the position to Tamora and giving Tamora the perfect stage to exact her revenge against Titus Andronicus for the death of her son.
Titus Andronicus is forced to suffer heartache after heartache as he loses sons, his son in law is murdered, and his daughter is attacked and mutilated at the hands of Tamora’s surviving sons.
With all the bad blood between the members of this play, revenge is being plotted all around and people will get hurt.
Okay, I chose this play for particular personal reasons, but in general, I would not recommend this play to anyone. The content of the play is so gruesome and depressing that I don’t think it is a good read for the general public and ESPECIALLY not for young people. In truth, the play’s namesake, Titus Andronicus, was one of the most annoying characters in the whole play refusing to be a good role model for his surviving family members. Instead he chooses to continue to spiral down deeper into his depression and to attempt to drag anyone he can down into depression with him. The best character to me was Titus’s brother, Marcus Andronicus, who seems to be a voice of reason throughout the play, and the only character who ends the play with a shred of the innocence he had at the beginning. Frankly, I don’t recommend Titus Andronicus to anyone. If you just want to be familiar with Shakespeare’s and some of his works, look to his other plays like Julius Ceaser, the Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest, or The Merchant of Venice (mostly for the Quality of Mercy Speech).
However, I do still plan to read more of Shakespeare's works. There are some I've read in the past that I have enjoyed, so I'm not going to mark this one play against the famous playwright. Rarely does one like every book that a single author publishes. To continue my readings of Shakespeare, I was happy to add this lovely collection of all of Shakespeare's plays. (For those of you trying to save a little money, I managed to score this copy on sale for about $8)
Buy William Shakespeare: Complete Plays HERE!
Until Next Time,