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date: 25 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article analyzes Shakespeare's The Most Lamentable Roman Tragedy of Titus Andronicus. The play is a key work in the scholarship on Tudor theatre, the only play of Shakespeare's for which there is a contemporary illustration, a work whose textual peregrinations have kept editors happy for years and a drama that fully, indeed almost obsessively, exploits the potential of the Elizabethan public stage. At the same time, however, Titus Andronicus is a profoundly uneven, ambiguous work. It is set in pagan Rome but also has some kind of fraught relationship to Christianity, and in particular to the Reformation; it is concerned with political authority and seems to suggest that all power is performative; and it contains masque-like moments of formality, comic playful handling of language, and horrific tragic events.

Keywords: Tudor theatre, plays, public stage, pagan Rome, Christianity, Reformation, political authority

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