William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus

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The title page of the 1594 quarto of Shakespeare's

Titus Andronicus

describes it as having been performed by the Lord Pembroke's and the Earl of Sussex's servants. Because Shakespeare is believed to have been associated with Pembroke's Men during the early 1590s, most scholars date the play between 1592 and 1594, though some would date it as early as 1589. Shakespeare drew upon the revenge tragedies of the Roman playwright Seneca as well as Thomas Kyd's

The Spanish Tragedy

(ca. 1589) for the conventions that shape his bloody spectacle, but the play is also informed by Ovid's


, particularly the description of Procne and Philomela's terrible revenge against Tereus, who raped his sister-in-law and cut out her tongue.

Although the tragedy depicts no historical emperor, it takes

2882 words

Citation: Vaughan, Virginia Mason. "Titus Andronicus". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 July 2001; last revised 27 January 2019. [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=8370, accessed 03 March 2024.]

8370 Titus Andronicus 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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