William Shakespeare and T.S. Eliot fighting in the Captain’s tower……..

So as I mentioned before I’ve committed a good chunk of my month’s reading time to Titus Andronicus, one of the more controversial of William Shakespeare’s dramatic tragedies. It must be the time of year for his controversial work because before this I was crossing swords with the current RSC production of “The Merchant of Venice” (see my review elsewhere on this journal) which has more than its share of attached baggage.

So I’m reading Titus Andronicus and any essays about the play that I can lay my hands on. I came across this scathingly, brilliant quote from T.S. Eliot in his essay “Seneca in Elizabethan Translation”. He describes Titus Andronicus as:

“one of the stupidest and most uninspired plays ever written”

Don’t beat around the bush, Thomas. Tell us the way you feel.

It’s commentary of this kind that I’ll be trying to avoid. I’ve already shared my thoughts on what I think Titus Andronicus is saying about Empire and I’m gathering my thoughts about its thoughts on sorrow and mourning so it seems to me that there is plenty here but where it falls short I hope to know why I think it falls short. So much modern criticism amounts to – this is not to my taste so it is rubbish. Won’t do. Try harder next time, Mr Eliot

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