There’s a lot of unjustifiable hate out there for Titus Andronicus, I think.
Jonathan Bate introduces the play by saying that:
‘Even those who have approached Titus in a spirit of scholarly enquiry rather than critical judgement have been prejudiced by their distaste for the play […] nearly all scholars suppose that it is a very early work, a piece of crude and embarrassing juvenilia. I believe that every one of these arguments is wrong.
I’m with Prof. Bate. This was a rollercoaster ride. Although it does sketch issues we’ll see fleshed out in Lear and other ‘greats’, it’s a remarkable Revenge play, with a strong tragic journey and an utterly evil villain that surpasses any other I can readily think of. It also spoke strongly to me about public service, and the rewards thereof – especially for our armed forces.
So here’s my soundtrack album for the play. What’s missing?
- Abba: The Winner Takes It All (I’m sniggering at joining Abba to Titus)
- Guns N Roses: I Used To Love Her (But I Had To Kill Her)
- Bad Company: Feel Like Makin’ Love (Tamora to Aaron)
- Starland Vocal Band: Afternoon Delight (Tamora to Aaron, again)
- Manic Street Preachers: If You Tolerate This (Then Your Children Will Be Next)
- Don MacLean: American Pie (there had to be one pie reference!)
- Kate Bush: Pi (and here’s another, tortured into coming along!)
- Oasis: Don’t Look Back In Anger
- The Smiths: I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish
- Iron Maiden: Bring Your Daughter (To The Slaughter)