Study Guide

Titus Andronicus Tough-o-Meter

By William Shakespeare


(6) Tree Line

Titus Andronicus may give you nightmares, but it's one of the easiest Shakespeare plays you'll ever read. The plot is pretty simple to follow (just remember that everyone is out for revenge) and the language isn't overly complex for a Shakespeare play (although there are a lot of gruesome puns at work). In fact, it's so easy that teachers would probably assign Titus Andronicus in more 9th grade English classes if some critics (like T.S. Eliot) didn't go around saying that it's one of the worst and most ridiculous plays Shakespeare ever wrote.

A quick word of advice: Unless you're a classical history buff with a Ph.D. in Latin, make sure your edition of the play offers the following: 1) translations of all the random Latin quotes and 2) footnotes explaining all the Roman history shout-outs. In other words, don't bother reading any online editions of the play, because they never have any editor's notes.