Sunday, June 20, 2010

This Week's Reading Assignment

So far, we've had three happy weeks of light-hearted comedy: the antics of Bottom, the wit of Rosalind and the slapstick chaos of the Dromios. We can't avoid it anymore: It's time for a tragedy. Because we're attempting a loose (very loose) chronological order, this week's reading assignment is Titus Andronicus.

I'm pretty excited about this one. I've neither read the play nor seen it performed, which is pretty unusual for me, so I'm coming to it with a clean mental slate.

As always, I'll post my thoughts at noon next Sunday, June 27, and I can't wait to hear your thoughts!


  1. After reading it I can imagine the difficulties in performing it! Although I'm sure they can be creative in not showing quite so much gore!

    A friend of mine told me that Sir Anthony Hopkins played in a film Titus Andronicus and while I'm sure it wasn't in Shakespearean verse, I can certainly see him doing it justice, bound and with a mask asking for fava beans and chianti...

    -Cherie (Ella Quirk is a blog pseudonym)

  2. I read it a few years ago and I'll read it again this week.

    Without giving away any spoilers, it makes me think of (as a character in Pyncheon's "Crying of Lot 39" said about another play) "a Road Runner cartoon in blank verse."

    I also question whether it really can be called a tragedy since, as I recall, there's not a character who you truly care about, or at least I didn't. I believe that Bloom thinks that Shakespeare actually wrote it with tongue (!) in cheek.


  3. Well, I almost always trust Bloom! I just saw "The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged)" this past weekend, and "Titus" was presented as a cooking show!

  4. That's interesting. From what I remember about how the play ends, the cooking show motif is quite a choice!

  5. The little voting results window isn't readable for me, perhaps because I use Google Chrome. What would people think about picking plays a couple of weeks in advance? This would be nice for me as there are weeks when I have a good bit of time for reading and weeks where I'm pretty pressed. I'd like to get ahead when I have the time.

    Thanks again Ashley for organizing this!

  6. Whenever I read it (and every time I do, I enjoy it more and more, as well as get ideas as to how I'd love to see it staged), I get a definite pre-Sweeney Todd feeling throughout the story. Anyone else?

  7. I got through act four last night, and I definitely have that impression, Will. Strangely, I'm also seeing some odd hints of King Lear.