William Shakespeare.

The Tudor Shakespeare (Volume 33) online

. (page 1 of 8)
Online LibraryWilliam ShakespeareThe Tudor Shakespeare (Volume 33) → online text (page 1 of 8)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

This book is D* T F ^ the last date stamped below


XTbe Uufcor Sbaftespeare








MACMILLAN & CO., Limited




XTbC ZTUfcOr SbafKSpearC w published ra thirty-nine

volumes, including all of
the plays and poems, each under the special editorship of an American
scholar. The general editors are William Allan Neilson, Ph.D.,
of Harvard University, aud Ashley Horace Thorndike, Ph.D.,
L.H.D., of Columbia University.

Romeo and Juliet — The General Editors.

A Midsummer-Night's Dream — John W. Cunliffe, D.Lit., Profes-
sor of English, Columbia University.

Macbeth — Arthur C. L. Brown, Ph.D., Professor of English, North-
western University.

Henry IV, Part I — Frank W. Chandler, Ph.D., Professor of Eng-
lish and Comparative Literature, University of Cincinnati.

Troilus and Cressida — John S. P. Tatlock, Ph.D., Professor of Eng-
lish, University of Michigan.

Henry V — Lewis F. Mott, Ph.D., Professor of English, College of the
City of New York.

The Merchant of "Venice — Harry M., Ph.D., Assistant Pro-
fessor of English, Columbia University.

As You Like It — Martha H. Shackford, Ph.D., Associate Professor
of English Literature, Wellesley College.

Coriolanus — Stuart P. Sherman, Ph.D., Professor of English, Uni-
versity of Illinois.

Henry VI, Part I — Louise Pound, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Eng-
lish, University of Nebraska.

Henry VIII — Charles G. Dunlap, Litt.D., Professor of English Lit-
erature, University of Kansas.

Comedy of Errors — Frederick Morgan Padelford, Ph.D., Pro-
fessor of English, University of Washington.

King John — Henry M. Belpen, Ph.D., Professor of English, Uni-
versity of Missouri.

King Lear — Virginia C. Gildersleeve, Ph.D., Dean of Barnard

Much Ado About Nothing —William W. Lawrence, Ph.D., Associate
Professor of English, Columbia University.

Love's Labour's Lost — Jamer F. E oyster, Ph.D., Professor of Eng-
lish, University of North Carolina.

Henry IV, Part II — Elizabeth Deering Hanscom, Ph.D., Pro-
fessor of English, Smith College.

Richard III — George B. Churchill, Ph.D., Professor of English,
Amherst College.

The Winter's Tale — Laura J. Wylie, Ph.D., Professor of English,
V lax College.

Othello — Thomas M. Parrott, Ph.D., Professor of English, Prince-
ton University.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona — Martin W. Sampson, A.M., Gold-
win Smith Professor of English Literature, Cornell University.

All's Well that Ends Well — John L. Lowes, Ph.D., Professor of Eng-
lish, Washington University, St. Louis.

Richard II — Hardin Craig, Ph.D., Professor of English, University
of Minnesota.

Measure for Measure — Edgar C. Morris, A.M., Professor of Eng-
lish, Syracuse University.

Twelfth Night — Walter Morris Hart, Ph.D., Associate Professor
of English, University of California.

The Taming of the Shrew — Frederick Tupper, Jr., Ph.D., Pro-
fessor of English, University of Vermont.

Julius Caesar — Robert M. Lovett, A.B., Professor of English,
University of Chicago.

Timon of Athens — Robert Huntington Fletcher, Ph.D., Pro-
fessor of English Literature, Grinnell College, Iowa.

Venus and Adonis, and Lucrece — Carleto>: Brown, Ph.D., Pro-
fessor of English, Bryn Mawr College.

Henry VI, Part III — Robert Adger Law, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor
of English, the University of Texas.

Cymbeline — Will D. Howe, Ph.D., Professor of English, Indiana

Merry Wives of Windsor — Fred P. Emery, A.M., Professor of Eng-
lish. Dartmouth College.

Titus Andronicus — Elmer E. Btoll, Ph.D.,

Pericles — C. Alphonso Smith, Ph.D., Edgar Allan Poe Professor of
English, University of Virginia.

The Sonnets — Raymond M. Alden, Ph.D., Professor of English,
University of Illinois.

Hamlet — George Pierce Baker, A. B., Professor of Dramatic Lit-
erature, Harvard University.

Henry VI, Part II — Charles H. Barnwell, Ph.D., Professor of
English, University of Alabama.

The Tempest — Herbert E. Greene, Ph.D., Professor of English,
Johns Hopkins University.

Antony and Cleopatra — George Wyllys Benedict, Ph.D.. Associate
Professor of English, Brown University.

Z\)t Qttxt ugefc is tty Nrilson VUxt ropgrigijtrti m 1906
bg $2SiIitam &llan Neiison

£opgrtgJjt, 1913
33s 3H) £ fHacmtllan (£ompang

/frst rtitton of tfjts issue of " Cfif Erageoo of £ttua Sntromcus,
pcfefeD «pril, 1013



rr\ Text. — Under date of January 23, 1594, Henslowe

r* makes note in his diary of a new play, "titus & ondroni-

v 'cus," performed by the servants of the Earl of Sussex.

On February 6 of the same year there is entered to John

Danter in the Stationers' Register a book entitled A Noble

t. Roman Historye of Tytus Andronicus. An edition pub-

^ lished in 1594 was mentioned by Gerard Langbaine in his

H. Account of English Dramatic Poets , in 1691, and a copy

of it was at last discovered at Malmo, Sweden, in 1905.

It bears the title : " The most Lamentable Romaine

Tragedie of Titus Andronicus: as it was Plaide by the

Right Honorable the Earle of Darbie, Earle of Pembrooke

and Earle of Sussex their Servants, London. Printed

j by John Danter, etc., 1594."

The Second Quarto (1600) gives a like account of itself
on the title-page except for the name of another company
Ji still, the Lord Chamberlain's, and the name of another
printer. Though the changes in this text are on the whole
few and slight, there are two omissions, one of six lines in
the first scene of the play and another of five lines in the
last. From the Second Quarto a third was printed in
161 1, and from this, but for the addition of a scene in the
third act, was printed the First Folio. The text of the
present edition is based on the Second Quarto, amended
at some points by the substitution of readings from the


viii 3|ntrotiuction

Date and Versions. — There is every reason to believe
that the play as we have it is not only that entered in the
Stationers' Register in February but also that mentioned
as new (" ne ") by Henslowe in January. Before the
discovery of the First Quarto, Henslowe's memorandum
was thought by some to refer to the English original —
from another hand than Shakespeare's — of a Dutch play
by Jan Vos, entitled Aran en Titus, printed in 1641, and of
a lost German play, acted at Linz in 1699, of which only
a program remains. Another play, " tittus and vespacia,"
also marked " ne," mentioned by Henslowe as performed
on April 11, 1591, was thought to be a still earlier version
of the story, the original of another German play, entitled
Tito Andronico, published in 1620, in which Lucius appears
under the name Vespasianus. " Ne " often means no
more than newly revised, and a previous version (if not
two such) of the play there probably was. Very likely this,
and not the present text, was carried over into Holland
and Germany by English actors, known to have played
there in the last year or so of the sixteenth century. For
the Dutch and German pieces betray likenesses to each
other and differences from the English text that point to a
common source beyond it, as well as traits of an Eliza-
bethan dramatic art of a more old-fashioned type. 1

But we cannot hope to discover a previous version in
Henslowe's entry in 1594. Later than the first days of
1594 the man who probably had already penned The Two

1 For a comparison of the Dutch and German with the Eng-
lish version see an article by H. de W. Fuller in Publications of
the Modern Language Association of America, vol. xvi, 1901.


Gentlemen of Verona and Richard III could hardly have
written our play without writing it better, and if it was
new in January of that year, it would not have required re-
touching for several years to come. Much earlier than the
middle of the year before he could not have written it, be-
cause he has echoed phrases and passages from Peele's
Honour of the Garter, which was written to celebrate an
event that took place on June 26, 1593. The only trace
of an early version is " tittus and vespacia." Although
these symbols may have to do rather with the Flavian
emperors, they seem to furnish evidence, otherwise miss-
ing in Henslowe, of the known popularity of the play. Of
the later version there are recorded in his diary only five
performances, and of the older ten.

Authorship and Style. — Few now maintain that Shake-
speare wrote the play at first hand, and most English
critics in the last two centuries stoutly aver that he did no
more than Edward Ravenscroft in 1687 said that he did :
" I have been told by some anciently conversant with the
stage that it was not originally his but brought by a private
author to be acted, and he only gave some master touches
to one or two of the principal parts or characters." But
the wisest of these, setting little store by Ravenscroft,
whose sincerity of purpose, by the way, Langbaine dis-
credits, take their stand upon an un-Shakespearean quality
in the style, the unmitigated horror of the fable, and the
absence of Shakespeare's name on the title-pages of the
quartos. This last circumstance seems outweighed, how-
ever, by the explicit mention of the play in the catalogue of
Shakespeare's tragedies by Francis Meres in 1598, the

x ^Introduction

inclusion of it in the First Folio by Shakespeare's friends
and fellow-actors, Heminge and Condell, and the fact that
the poet's name is missing on several of the other early
quartos, as doubtless not yet commercially valuable.

In enforcing their impression of the un-Shakespearean
quality of the style the critics have had recourse to argu-
ments derived from vocabulary, phrasing, and metre.
With the last no case has been made. But there are words
in Titus Andronicus which appear nowhere else in Shake-
speare, though found in Peele, Greene, Kyd, and Lodge.
There are phrases which resemble those of these poets,
and a very few which may have been directly borrowed
from Peele and possibly from the others. Hence has been
inferred the authorship of Peele, or, according to some
critics, of all the four. By this process of reasoning, as
has been said, every man's hand may be found in every
other man's play. 1 In Elizabethan times collaboration was
no rare thing, but at the same time it must be borne in
mind that poets then were all of one flock and fold, moved
as by one impulse, drew from one common stock of senti-
ment, phrase, and figure, and wrote like other poets, not
like Browning to suit themselves. Their whole vocation
was endless imitation. Hence recurrence of word or
phrase, as of character and situation, is to be thought due,
if not to a closer communion of spirits than poets now enjoy,
to the imitation of another poet rather than to that poet's
actually putting in an appearance for himself.

1 For an extreme, though scholarly, example of this method
Bee Did Shakespeare Write "Titus Andronicus' 1 ''? by John M.
Robertson, London, 1905.

31ntroDuctton xi

Peele's, moreover, was not the hand to delineate the
M splendid lunacy" of Titus, with his "miserable, mad,
mistaking eyes," or the burly villainy of Aaron. Peele's
Moor, Muly Mahamet, is but a shadow of Marlowe's
Tamburlaine, and Tamburlaine and the Jew Barabas
themselves are phantoms when put in the scale with
Aaron. Like Barabas a mythical Machiavel, that is, a
gloating, swaggering murderer, egoist, atheist, and limb
of Satan, supposed, in accordance with the inflamed Eliza-
bethan fancy of the way things were going in the world,
to be living by the rule of the Florentine Machiavelli, not
of Christ, he is nevertheless no fawning, sentimental son
of Belial like the Jew of Malta, or mere mouthpiece for
bragging hyperbole and frenzied mythological rant. He
keeps cool like Richard Crookback and Iago, and is some-
what more — or, rather, less — than ogre or hobgoblin.
His humour is, if the apparent pun be allowed, good-
humoured, not confined, like the grinning malice and gleeful
hypocrisy of Barabas, to the base considerations of profit
and loss ; and he gives it play, not unlike a man of this
world, in easy-going, colloquial terms :

Come on, you thick-lipp'd slave, I'll bear you hence :
For it is you that puts us to our shifts.

. . . their mother,
As sure a card as ever won the set.

As he speaks of the mother, so of the child. Shakespeare
is the first Elizabethan, perhaps the first of dramatists, to
conceive and cope with that interesting situation, the
villain with the new-born child of his body in his arms.

xii 3Intro0uctton

Barabas speaks of Abigail and to her in lofty tones and ten-
der cadences :

whom I hold as dear

As Agamemnon did his Iphigen,

And all I have is hers ;

later to curse her with all the fury of a demon. When
he loves her he is not Barabas ; but Aaron takes up his
thick-lipped brat with a chuckle of paternal complacence
quite in his vein:

Here's a young lad fram'd of another leer :
Look how the black slave smiles upon his father,
As who should say 4 Old lad, I am thine own.' l

No Agamemnonian hero this, but a dog — a brute — of a
man, fondling his whelp. Unlike Barabas, unlike Tamora
in the play, and nearly all of the other fierce men and
women in the early Elizabethan drama when they stoop to
the language of love and affection, he does not drop into
sentiment too delicate and mincing for his lips.

Aaron and Titus apart, however, not much can be said
for the originality of the characters, or for their likeness
to others of Shakespeare's. Titus himself is not much
like Lear, nor Tamora like Lady Macbeth. But surely
there is something in the suggestion that the Clown is one
of the characters who are Shakespeare's own, not because
of his quibbling and reckless confounding of words, but

1 The situation, crudely treated, is to be found indeed in the
German Tito Andronico, whether derived from Shakespeare
we cannot say.

3]ntroDuetion xm

because of his saying to Titus when he takes him for an
angel: "From heaven! alas, Sir, I never came there.
God forbid I should be so bold to press to heaven in my
young days," or, in more familiar phrase, " I would be
loath to pay him before his day." The man who wrote
either was not Peele, Greene, or Marlowe, if we know
them, but the man who wrote : " Now I to comfort him
bid him he should not think of God ; I hoped there was no
need to trouble himself with any such thoughts yet : " — a
man who above all others took delight in a rude and
cheerful soul who is loath to enter into the kingdom.

Another character not in Peele's vein but decidedly in
Shakespeare's is Young Lucius. The youth in The Battle
of Alcazar has no character at all, but Lucius is like Prince
Edward in Marlowe's Edward II y and in his affection-
ateness and intrepidity, his eagerness to fight or to revenge
his family's wrongs, and his somewhat plaintive and self-
conscious pathos he is still more like Prince Arthur in
King John and the young princes in Richard III.

As for the blood and thunder and the parade of Latin
and classical allusion at which the critics stumble, are
they more than is to be expected, being part of the current
tradition in the Senecan type of tragedy then in vogue?
Titus Andronicus is no more unlike Shakespeare's other
earliest histories and tragedies than Love's Labour's Lost or
The Comedy of Errors is unlike his other comedies. Here
he but outdid Marlowe and Kyd as there he outdid Lyly
and Plautus. A god come down among men, he eclipses
them all, in their vices as in their virtues. With no such
excuse for it as in a Roman play, all of Shakespeare's

xiv JlntroUuction

early work is sprinkled with Latin and abounds in classical
allusion; purely classical in subject are his two long
poems, and one of them has two lines of Latin for a motto.
Likewise his early histories and tragedies, Henry VI and
Richard III, as for that matter Hamlet and King Lear
(witness Gloster's eyes!), abound in blood. In the Epi-
logue to Selimus, a play which belongs to the same year
as Titus, the hero holds out the promise of " greater mur-
thers " in the Second Part. In 1581 Robert Wilson was
thought to be the man to write a play then desired, " full of
all sorts of murders, immorality, and robberies." Such a
desire was in that day no base and degenerate one either,
for not otherwise Scaliger, one of the authoritative critics
of the Renaissance, had denned the scope of tragedy.

Source. — The source of Shakespeare was, as we have
seen, an old play or plays. The author of one of these may
have been Peele, and if it was, some tricks of style could
be explained, as well as some Senecan traits of narration
(instead of Shakespeare's direct presentment) which
appear in the Dutch and German versions. However that
may be, the main features of Shakespeare's story, not to
be found in the Dutch or German versions, are : the rivalry
between Saturninus and Bassianus for the throne; the
funeral of Titus's sons killed in war ; the sacrifice of Alar-
bus: the kidnapping of Lavinia by Bassianus, with the
death of Mutius ; the sending of young Lucius with pres-
ents to the sons of Tamora ; and the whole of the second
scene of the third act, which appears only in the First
Folio and is perhaps a later addition. Perhaps there is
more significance in what Shakespeare suppresses —

31ntroDuction xv

the gross obscenity of the Moor's confessions concerning
his past life, and the burning of him alive on the stage, in
the Dutch version. These may indeed be the additions
of the travelling actors or of the Dutch and Germans them-
selves, but it would be like Shakespeare to suppress ob-
scenity when there is no joke at stake, or tortures like
these penal fires, which remind us, by the way, of the boil-
ing cauldron of Barabas, and are one of the most striking
evidences of the existence of an earlier play. 1

Other Versions of the Story. — At the same time as our
play there was entered in the Stationers' Register "alsoe the
ballad thereof," and if it be the same as that entitled Titus
Andronicus's Complaint, in Percy's Reliques, the play is
the source of it. Another ballad, in the Roxburghe col-
lection, entitled A lamentable Ballad of the Tragical end
of a Gallant Lord and a Vertuous Lady, with the untimely
end of their two Children, wickedly performed by a Hea-
thenish Blackamoor their Servant: the like never heard of,
tells practically the same story as the twenty-first novel
in the third book of Bandello, a translation of which was
entered in the Stationers' Register on July 22, 1569-1570.
The story is of a black slave who, beaten by his master,
revenges himself by ravishing his mistress, killing one of
the children, inducing his master to cut off his nose on the
promise of saving the lives of the others, and killing them,
with a laugh, nevertheless. In a manuscript of the thir-
teenth or fourteenth century in the Erlangen Library there

1 In Ravenscroft's version (see below, p. xvii) Aaron is again
burned on the stago. This may have been due to Ravenscroft's
knowledge of the older play.

xvi 3|ntroDurtion

is a collection of exempla which contains a similar story,
that of a slave who gets his master's son in his power and,
on the strength of a hypocritical promise to save his life,
induces his master to pluck out his own eyes.

Other indebtedness has been traced to various classical
sources. The name Andronicus was borne by an emperor
of Constantinople, surnamed Comnenus, who, like Titus,
shot arrows with missives attached, not up to the gods but
over the walls of Prusa. Tamora, Queen of the Goths, is
probably a reminiscence of that Tomyris, Queen of the
Getae (Goths they were to Touchstone) who revenged the
death of her son on Cyrus. And the story of Lavinia is
much the same as that of Philomela and Progne, con-
stantly referred to in the text, which Ovid's verse spread
far and wide in the Middle Ages and ^he Renaissance.

Relations to Contemporary Drama* — Two influences
presided at the making of the play — that of Kyd and that
of Marlowe. The latter's influence is almost confined to
the character of Aaron, analyzed above, and to the style
and versification. Throughout the play Marlowe's thun-
dering line and high-astounding terms prevail over the
crabbed and pedantic bombast of Kyd. But to Kyd is
due the type of the play as a whole, the Senecan species
which he domesticated and popularized in The Spanish
Tragedy and probably in the earlier Hamlet. In this
the motive is revenge, not revenge for personal satisfac-
tion, but as a sacred duty and in obedience to the powers
above. Ghosts, indeed, there are none, yet in orthodox
fashion the hero appeals for justice to the divinities
supernal and infernal and to earth and heaven. There are

31ntroDuction xvii

Senecan omens and premonitions, murder and mutilation,
and a Thyestean cannibal banquet. And as in Kyd, a
father is engaged in avenging his murdered children, goes
mad from passion and mad in craft, and himself falls
under the avalanche of ruin which he precipitates at the

Stage History. — Of all Elizabethan tragedies the most
popular, it would seem, were the bloody four — Kyd's
Spanish Tragedy, the Hamlet of Kyd and of Shakespeare,
Marlowe's Jew of Malta, and Titus Andronicus. Fifteen
times the play is entered in Henslowe's book (if all the
Titus and Andronicus plays be taken together), and accord-
ing to Henslowe and the title-pages five 1 different compa-
nies played it. Contemporary allusions to it were numerous
and the popularity of the play is shown even by the later
scornful allusions, as that of Jonson, in Bartholomew
Fair (1614), to those playgoers " who swear leronimo and
Andronicus are the best plays yet."

In 1687 Ravenscroft published his revision, acted in
1678, which bears the sub-title " the Rape of Lavinia."
Although he boasts of having " refined the language,
heightened the characters, and increased the plot," he
seems to have added vastly to the horror of it, in so far
as to have Tamora kill her child herself, and Aaron, who
thereupon offers to eat it, racked and burned on the stage.
It is this version only that found favour henceforth in

1 Actually they were three in number, for four of the names
were borne by two companies at differont periods of their career.
But the point is that they kept on playing Titus.



the theatre. Revived at Drury Lane in 1717, it was said
in the advertisement to have been acted " but twice these
fifteen years." James Quin was Aaron, and he played
him again in 1720 and 1721. In 1852-1856 the piece was
acted in London and Dublin by Ira Aldridge, the " African
Roscius," and as it was then announced to be the first
performance in two hundred years the text was probably
that of Shakespeare, though, according to the testimony
of spectators, much curtailed. Aldridge had difficulty in
persuading his company to play it, and he thought good to
follow it with a farce called " Mummy " and a song called
" Possum up a gum tree." And that was the end of Titus
and Aaron on the stage.


C^e Cragta? of Cttujs anDromcuss


Batuuninub, son to the late Emperor of Rome, and afterwards declared


Bassiaxus, brother to Saturninus; in love with Lavinia.

Titus Andronicus, a noble Roman, general against the Goths.

Marcus Andronicus, tribune of the people, and brother to Titus.

Lucius, ]

Qutntus, I . _.. , ,

. . f sons to Titus Andronicus.


Mutius, J

Young Lucius, a boy, son to Lucius.

.Emilius, a noble Roman.

Publius, son to Marcus the Tribune.

Sempronius, "J

Caius, >- kinsmen to Titus.

Valentine, J


Demetrius, V sons to Tamora.
Chiron, J

"Aaron, a Moor, beloved by Tamora.
A Clown.

A Captain, Tribune, and Messenger.
Goths and Romans.

Tamora, Queen of the Goths.
Lavinia, daughter to Titus Andronicus.
A Nurse, and a black child.

Senators, Tribunes, Officers, Soldiers, and Attendants..

Scene: Rome, and the country near it.]

€^c CrageD? of CttitjS au&romcuss


Scene I

[Rome. Before the Senate-house. The Tomb of the
Andronici appearing.]

Enter the Tribunes and Senators aloft, and then enter
Saturninus and his Followers at one door, and
Bassianus and his Followers at the other; with
drums and trumpets.

Sat. Noble patricians, patrons of my right,

1 3 4 5 6 7 8

Online LibraryWilliam ShakespeareThe Tudor Shakespeare (Volume 33) → online text (page 1 of 8)