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January 10, 2011

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Remind me to never resolve to read all of Shakespeare, because then I will have to read this. I have a feeling I would get to the point where I would be laughing at the violence, as I was at a movie that my dh and son wanted to see, but oh, the violence, it just kept going until I burst out laughing because it was just SO unbelievable...

and this sounds worse than what I was kind of watching (it was on in the room I was in, but I was on the computer, for once glad to lose myself in the internet!).

but good for you for making your way through it. Onward to the rest - it has to get better from here!

LOVE. THIS. POST. Titus Andronicus is one I've never read--have never much wanted to, after hearing Scott give a similar review of it in college. You might enjoy the Midsummer Night's Dream issue of Neil Gaiman's Sandman run (it's anthologized http://www.amazon.com/Sandman-Vol-Dream-Country/dp/156389016X)---it opens, as I recall, with an amusing bar scene in which a young Will Shakespeare is lamenting the monstrosity he has just penned--Titus--and yearning for *real* talent like his friend Kit Marlowe. Hee.

(That issue is my favorite of the entire Sandman run---when Shakespeare's troupe gives a command performance of Dream for an audience of faerie folk, including the real Oberon & Titania, the real Puck trades places with the human actor playing his part, and many hijinks ensue. Kind of a brilliant conceit.)

But I do confess to enjoying the Coen Bros. :)

Great post! I put Titus Andronicus on my 2011 Shakespeare Reading Challenge list mostly for the blood! This made me giggle. The Reduced Shakespeare Company has referred to Titus Andronicus as Shakespeare's "Tarantino phase," and I think that description is apt. I'm still looking forward to reading it :) Thanks for the review!

Titus is indeed a very bloody play. At a performance I attended, during the intermission I observed a young women holding an obviously distressed woman saying, “it is just a play mother. It is just a play.” It was just a play but the intimacy of the theater, the visual effect of the stage blood spraying across the scene and the sound of the blood spattering on floor made it all so much more real than any violence that I have ever seen in a Coen Brothers movie.

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