Titus Andronicus – The Shock of the New

Titus Andronicus is rarely read, seen, or heard, but it does not deserve this lack of reputation. Not only does it have much to recommend it artistically, it is also crucial to an understanding of Shakespeare’s development as a writer.


  1. A great presentation – thank you. I have perhaps one little quibble: you mentioned Marlowe and Kyd. Now they’re not only rivals but possibly also friends. Their earlier work assured Shakespeare that’s his own contribution to that revenge genre was sure to have a positive reception. My good friend dr Tom Merriam is right now doing some in-depth research into the play. I believe he will shortly publish his findings, probably in Oxford’s Notes&Queries where he has been publishing his scholarly findings for several decades.
    Keep up the good work!


    1. Thank you kindly for your response Teresa. I couldn’t agree more with your quibble. I am indeed in the very early stages of co-writing a book on Shakespeare’s direct theatrical influences, and both Kyd and Marlowe will feature heavily. The way I see it, it is a question of emphasis. All Shakespearean works have both elements that are borrowings and elements that are innovations. On this occasion, I thought that it was the experimental aspect of the work that needed stressing. In other plays, the amount that Shakespeare owes to his predecessors is undoubtedly the salient critical point. Thank you for keeping me on my toes! J


  2. Neither seen nor read this one and following this informative podcast, I would be very interested to see a modern production and how they tackle the various challenges inferred. Look forward to the next one!


  3. Great stuff! I heard you speak when you visited RGS a while back and never got round to thanking you/ giving you a well earned slap on the back. It’s always such a treat to listen to someone talk about something they both love dearly and know deeply- especially when it’s my beloved English Literature. You are a natural broadcaster, by the way, keep it up! Will these be/ are these available on iTunes?


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