Titus Andronicus Analysis

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Titus Andronicus is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare. Titus Andronicus is Shakespeare’s first tragedy. The play is considered by critics and fans alike to be Shakespeare’s most distasteful work that features excessive violence and spectacle. Julie Taymor’s film adaption explores the corruption of violence as she creates many visual parallels to our modern culture of entertaining violence, paying close attention to the plays relish of spectacle. Both Shakespeare and Taymor treat the spectacle and excess of the play in their own way which highlights small differences between the two texts.
A spectacle can be defined as “a visually striking performance or display”. As Taymor’s version is an adaption, she was able to experiment with the excessive nature of the play and its spectacle. She opened the film with a cold open showing a young boy playing with toy soldiers, violently smashing them together and spraying ketchup all over them to create blood. His own fantasy game becomes a reality when an explosion outside the kitchen window frightens him under a table from which he is rescued just before it explodes. He is then transported to an area and the audience cheers, but it feels artificial just like the opening scene of Shakespeare’s play. This layering of spectacle occurs throughout the film, because it has a combination of modern pop culture and ancient Roman designs to give the impression that the Roman Empire survived into the modern era as Roger Ebert writes in
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