The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.2097  Wednesday, 15 November 2000.

From:           Sam Small <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 14 Nov 2000 19:40:18 +0000
Subject:        Julie Taymor's TITUS

The trouble with Julie Taymor is why she wanted to make "Titus" in the
first place.  It is a very stubborn play to produce - in some ways
impossible.  To modern audiences Marcus' speech standing over the
freshly mutilated Lavinia is laughable.  But of course Elizabethans
would have appreciated it as a rhetorical tableaux as they would have
seen plenty of them before.  This is an early play with Shakespeare
being quite clear in his moral intention - "mutual revenge will take us
all to hell".  However, Taymor tries to mix reality with the surreal and
does neither convincingly.  Roman armies are choreographed like a Las
Vegas floor show whilst Lavinia's hands are replaced by twiglets.  And
why do Shakespeare art directors feel that mixing and matching the
centuries is something that simply has to be done?  We know Will is a
man for all times, but Roman legions backed up by Harley Davidsons and a
1960s multi-story car lot doubling as a the Senate is a
Shakespeare-to-film clich 

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