Titus Andronicus 1591–1592
In Shakespeare in Love, the young John Webster claims that Titus is his favourite Shakespeare play and he wasn't the only one. Elizabethan audiences loved the extreme violence and social historians soometimes start here when. trying to decide wheth violence in entertainment reduces or increases violence in society. There is a tremendous film version called Titus (1999) with Anthony Hopkins in the title role but Vincent Price's revenge on a bad review of his version in Theatre of Blood still rivals it for the top celluloid memory of the original.
- Wikipedia chronology
- First official record: Philip Henslowe's diary, 24 January 1594. On 6 February 1594, the play was entered into the Stationers' Register as a booke intitled a Noble Roman Historye of Tytus Andronicus.
- First published: version of the play published in quarto in February 1594 as The Most Lamentable Romaine Tragedy of Titus Andronicus. There are only minor differences between the 1594 quarto text and the later 1623 First Folio text (i.e. the 1594 text is not considered a bad quarto or a reported text). The Folio text appeared under the title The Lamentable Tragedy of Titus Andronicus.
- First recorded performance: on 24 January 1594 at the Rose Theatre in Southwark.
- Evidence: According to the title page of the 1594 quarto, the play had been performed by Pembroke's Men, a company which ceased performing in September 1593. As such, the play must have been composed some time prior to September. Additionally, it is unlikely to have been written later than June 1592, as that was when the London theatres were closed due to an outbreak of plague. The theatres would remain shut for the better part of two years, not fully reopening until March 1594 and Shakespeare concentrated most of his energies during this period on poetry. As such, the play was most likely composed sometime between late-1591 and early 1592.
- Full text of play