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Lav.

"Ah, beastly creature !
The blot and enemy to our general name !

Confusion fall
Chi. "Nay, then I'll stop your mouth. Bring

thou her husband'
Titus Andronicus. Act 2, Scene 3.

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PREFACE

By ISRAEL GOLLANCZ, M.A.

EARLY EDITIONS

In 1600 a quarto edition of Titus Andronicus was published, bearing the following title-page

“The most lamenta- | ble Romaine Tragedie of Titus | Andronicus. | As it hath sundry times been playde by the | Right Honourable the Earle 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 bee solde at his shoppe, at the little North doore of Paules, at the signe of the Gun. 1600.” This is the earliest known edition, and is referred to as Quarto I.

Another quarto, printed from the former, was brought out in 1611:

“The | most lamen- | table Tragedie of Titus Andronicus. | As it hath sundry | times beene plaide by the Kings Maiesties Seruants. | LONDON, | Printed for Edward White, and are to be solde | at his shoppe, nere the little North dore of Pauls, at the signe of the Gun. 1611."

In the 1st Folio Titus Andronicus comes between Coriolanus and Romeo and Juliet; the text was somewhat carelessly printed from a copy of the Second Quarto with MS. additions. The Second Scene of the Third Act, not found in the quartos, is peculiar to the Folio version.

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DATE OF COMPOSITION

According to Langbaine, in his Account of the English Dramatick Poets, a quarto edition of Titus Andronicus

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was printed in 1594; but no copy has been discovered. The earliest allusion to Shakespeare's connection with the subject is Meres' mention of the play, in 1598, as one of Shakespeare's well-known tragedies. There can be little doubt that Ravenscroft, who "about the time of the Popish Plot," revived and altered Titus Andronicus, preserved a trustworthy tradition with respect to its authorship. “I have been told by some anciently conversant with the stage, that it was not originally Shakespeare's, but brought by a private author to be acted, and he only gave some mastertouches to one or two of the principal characters.” Internal evidence seems to corroborate the tradition, and Shakespeare's additions are now generally assigned to about 1589–90. The following passages suggest Shakespearean authorship:-1, i, 9; II, i, 82, 83; I, I, 70-76, 117-119, 141, 142; II, ii, 1-6; II, iii, 10–15; III, i, 82–86, 91-97; IV, iv, 81-86; V, ii, 21-27; V, iii, 160–168.1

The problem is complicated by the fact that there must have been at least three plays on the subject, according to the references in the Stationers' Registers, and Henslowe's Diary. Jonson probably referred to an older play when he wrote:-“He that will swear, Jeronimo or Andronicus are the best plays yet, shall pass unexcepted at here, as a man whose judgment shows it is constant, and hath stood still these five-and-twenty or thirty years” (Bartholomew Fair, 1614). This would place the production in question between 1584 and 1589.

The German “tragedy of Titus Andronicus," acted abroad about the year 1600 by the English players, may contain elements of the older original on which the present play was founded: among its characters there is a “Vespasian,” and it is noteworthy that there is a record in Henslowe's Diary of a "tittus and Vespasia" acted "by

1 (Cp. H. B. Wheatley, New Shakespeare Soc., 1874; a synopsis of critical opinion is to be found in Fleay's Manual, p. 44; Knight, in his Pictorial Shakespeare, defends Shakespeare's authorship.

The fullest recent study of the subject is that of Dr. M. M. Arnold Schröer, Marburg, 1891).

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