Brain Snacks: Tasty Tidbits of Knowledge
Psychedelic punk-rock band Titus Andronicus's 2008 debut album, The Airing of Grievances, features readings of dramatic lines and monologues from Shakespeare's bloody play (source).
Over the years, audiences and critics have responded in various ways to the human pie eating scene in Act 5, Scene 3. Shakespeare scholar Marjorie Garber confesses, "It was the staging of this scene, in Julie Taymor's film Titus (1999), that turned me – a lifelong meat-eater – against the eating of mammals' flesh" (source: Shakespeare after All, 85).
Critic S. Mark Hulse calculates that Titus Andronicus "has 14 killings, 9 of them on stage, 6 severed members, 1 rape (or 2 or 3 depending on how you count), 1 live burial, 1 case of insanity, and 1 of cannibalism – an average of 5.2 atrocities per act, or one for every 97 lines" (source).
In the 1998 movie Shakespeare in Love, a young "John Webster" (the kid who feeds mice to a cat) says he wants to write plays like Titus Andronicus when he grows up. In real life, John Webster, who was 16 years younger than Shakespeare, grew up to write plays famous for their blood and guts, like The Duchess of Malfi (c. 1614) and The White Devil (c.1612).
T.S. Eliot once declared that Titus Andronicus is "one of the stupidest and most uninspired plays ever written" (source)
Shakespeare's gravestone at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford reads: "GOOD FREND FOR JESUS SAKE FORBEARE,/ TO DIGG THE DUST ENCLOASED HEARE:/ BLESTE BE Ye MAN Yt SPARES THES STONES,/ AND CURST BE HE Yt MOVES MY BONES (source).