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SATURNINUS, son to the late Emperor of Rome, and after
wards declared Emperor.
sons to Titus Andronicus.
kinsmen to Titus.
SCENE: Rome, and the country near it
DURATION OF TIME Four days represented on the stage, with, possibly, two intervals.
Day 1. I., II. 1.
4. IV., V.
Dramatis Persona. First supplied, imperfectly, by Rowe. The Ff mark the Acts but not the Scenes. The Qq mark neither Acts nor Scenes.
The first known edition of Titus Andronicus appeared Early
Literary in 1600, with the following title-page :
History"The most lamentable Romaine Tragedie of Texts. Titus Andronicus. As it hath sundry times been playde by the | Right Honourable the Earl of Pembrooke, the | Earl of Darbie, the Earle of Sussex, and the | Lorde Chamberlaine theyr Seruants. | AT LONDON, | Printed by I. R. for Edward White and are to be solde at his shoppe, at the little | North doore of Paules, at the signe of the Gun. 1600. 1
Another Quarto (Q2), printed from this, appeared in 1611.
The First Folio text was printed from a copy of the Second Quarto, in which a few MS. alterations and additions seem to have been made for stage purposes. The Folio text also contains a whole scene (iii. 2.) not found in the Quartos, and probably, since it does not contribute to the action, omitted in performance.
An adaptation of the play by Ravenscroft was published in 1687 under the title Titus Andronicus, or the Rape of Lavinia.
Our first explicit evidence of an 'Andronicus' play Date of belongs to the year 1594.
On January 23 Henslowe Composirecorded the performance of a 'tittus and ondronicus' as a 'new' play. In February a play Titus Andronicus was entered in the Stationers' Register, as well
as a ballad, doubtless occasioned by its success, A noble Roman historie of Titus Andronicus.' It is very probable that this may be identified with the play of 1600; for Langbainel records an edition of this printed in 1594. The play is there declared to have been played by the servants of the Earls of Derby, Pembroke, and Essex. Henslowe has however certain earlier entries which possibly relate to an Andronicus' play; thus: Tittus and Vespacia, 11 April, 1591-2, and repeatedly afterwards during the following May and June; as well as Titus (tittus) on January 6, 15, 29, 1592-3.
Little reliance can be placed on these entries; but we have other evidence that towards the close of the eighties the story of Titus Andronicus was embodied in a popular play which long remained a landmark in the annals of
'He that will swear Jeronimo or Andronicus are the best plays yet, Jonson could write in 1614, “shall pass unexcepted at here, as a man whose judgment shows it is constant, and hath stood still these twenty-five or thirty years.' 2 We may infer that, in 1614, only one play currently known as Andronicus existed, and that this dated from 1584-9. This favours the view that there never had substantially been more than one play on the story, whatever slight variations in detail it may have undergone. The series of Andronicus tragedies in German and Dutch indicate no variation in any point of the plot. The most important of them for the student
German and Dutch Andronicus plays.
1 Account of English Dra. dige actiones gefunden ; (2) Jan matick Poets, 1691, p. 464. Vos, Aran en Titus, of wraak en
2 Induction to Bartholomew weer-wraak ('or Vengeance and Fair.
counter-vengeance') (performed 3 These are: (1) Eine sehr 1641); (3) German versions of klägliche Tragoedia von Tito Vos. One of these, performed Andronico und der hoffertigen at Linz in 1699, is known to us Kayserin, darinnen denckwür- by the detailed programme.
of Shakespeare is the German comedy played about 1600 by the English actors abroad under the title: 'A very lamentable tragedy of Titus Andronicus and the haughty empress. This piece abounds in super
' ficial divergences from the English text. Most of the names are different. Lavinia is called Andronica, Lucius Vespasianus, Marcus Victoriates, Aaron Morian, Tamora's sons Helicates and Saphonus, and Tamora herself Aetiopissa ; while the Goths are replaced by Moors. These names suggest that the German play was derived from a rival version of the story, designed to attract the public by a specious air of novelty, while keeping the name of the hero.1 Henslowe's entry of a 'tittus and Vespacia,' mentioned above, is certainly noticeable in connexion with the "Vespasianus,' who in the German play replaces Lucius; but the structure of hypothesis thus erected is of perilous frailty, and quite incapable of supporting any conclusion. As Creizenach points out,2 Henslowe's play may quite as well have dealt with the two emperors so named.
But in any case the German version contains no trace of organic divergence from the English. Its eight 'acts' follow in rude epitome the same course, omitting, together with everything distinctively learned, much that was needed to make the plot coherent and intelligible.3 | How slight a bearing the
3 Thus the sacrifice of Ta. names have upon the literary mora's son disappears from the history of the piece may be in- first Act, and with it the ground ferred from the fact that the and justification of the queen's name of Titus' daughter, Lavinia insatiable thirst for vengeance. in the English play, is Andronica Titus' epistolary summons to the in the German, Rozelyne in Vos, gods is in a style of humour too and Lavinia again in the pro- learned for the purpose of the gramme of 1699 of a play other- English comedians, and diswise wholly founded on Vos. appears from the play ; but an
2 W. Creizenach : Schauspiele accidental allusion to it later on der englischen Comoedianten, (Act VII.) shows that it occurred p. 5.
in the original.