Titus out of Joint
Cannibalism, severed hands and severed heads, rape, murder, tragedy and - of course - the Classics. These are a few of the delights audiences have to look forward to in Titus Andronicus. It's a play of extremes, as likely to provoke severe discomfort as severe delight. Titus has claimed its fair share of critical attention. In particular, its florid violence and the striking, tragic figure of Lavinia have proven a potent touchstone of modern Shakespearean criticism. But, for critics, the play is often just that: a touchstone, a way station to bigger and better things. In it, critics find portents of Lear in intransigent Titus or premonitions of Richard and Iago in Aaron. We believe, however, that Titus deserves a more sustained and eclectic analysis. This collection - the first full length work devoted to Titus in a decade - does just that. Rather than seeking a unifying vision in the play, Titus out of Joint: Reading the Fragmented Titus Andronicus approaches the play as inherently dissonant, a text that draws our attention directly to how it pulls apart rather than coheres. The essays in this volume examine Titus from a wide variety of theoretical and critical perspectives including: disability studies, history of the book, psychoanalysis, gender studies, and theater history. A conversation emerges in these pages between these different and often contrasting approaches to the play, a conversation that we hope will continue outside the covers of our collection.
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