Looking toward the future
in Titus Andronicus
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Post-Restoration editors, reacting to the Titus Andronicus violent horrors and stylistic shortcomings tended to deny the existence of William Shakespeare's hand in the tragedy entirely. Towards the end of the twentieth-century, scholarly editions of the play began to account for some of the play's inadequacies by positing various strata of alterations. In contrast to late twentieth-century editors who blamed Shakespeare for sloppy revision of his own work, Brian Boyd exculpated Shakespeare by holding George Peele solely responsible for the irregularity created by his unsanctioned change of plan. Centuries of debate over the play's authorship culminated in the publication of Brian Vickers's Shakespeare, Co-Author, which sought to establish a new scholarly consensus about Shakespeare's collaboration with Peele in the tragedy's composition. The co-authorship studies of Vickers and Boyd may encourage directors to reconsider radically their assumptions about the text of Titus Andronicus and how it can be staged.


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