After centuries of vilification and neglect by both scholars and actors, Titus Andronicus has at last come to be recognized as one of Shakespeare's early masterpieces. In this powerful and ground-breaking edition, Bate offers a complete and radical reappraisal of Shakespeare's bloodiest tragedy, seeing it as one of the dramatist's most inventive plays, a complex and self-conscious improvisation upon classical sources. Bate's introduction does full justice to the play's artfulness and sophistication, puts forward new arguments regarding the play's date, sources and early stage history, and devotes extended discussion to great modern productions such as those of Peter Brook and Deborah Warner.In an age in which dramatic representation of violence has become an issue of enormous controversy, Titus Andronicus is the essential play; Bate's seminal edition indicates just how far, with this early work, the young Shakespeare has already travelled towards the masterpiece of his maturity, King Lear.'a great edition of a great play'Julie Taymor, Director TITUS, 20th Century Fox, 1999"Bate makes a really positive virtue of his treatment of the play in performance...putting a vigorous account of Titus on stage at very stage-centre in his Introduction.
Using this section as a means for raising fundamental questions as to the play's style, coherence, and meaning, Bate achieves a remarkable fusion between performance history and criticism." John Jowett, Shakespeare Survey'impressive and exciting'Barry Gaines, University of New Mexico, Shakespeare Quarterly'This is an outstanding edition of Titus, especially for its treatment of textual questions and of recent performance history. It supersedes all previous editions'Dr P Hartle, St Catherines College, Cambridge