Titus (1999), with Pramit Chaudhuri

This might be perhaps the wildest piece of classical reception we’ve covered to date, at least if we’re going by number of dismembered body parts. Joined by super special guest Pramit Chaudhuri, we dig into Julie Taymor’s 1999 Titus, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus. This is a real gold mine of reception: Shakespeare adapting ancient Rome, us adapting Shakespeare, us adapting Shakespeare adapting ancient Rome via a smoothie of Ovid, Seneca and Livy. As the references pile up, we consider whether this play a unmitigated disaster or secret masterpiece. Other important questions: What if Pee-wee Herman was a fascist? Why does Steve Bannon love this play so much? What’s the best way to cook your enemy’s children into a pie? There’s a full menu to pick from. Pun intended.

CW: This episode contains discussion of sexual violence

Book V - Reception and Other Special Finds
Titus (1999), with Pramit Chaudhuri