I'm writing this post because one of our local theatre companies is doing Titus Andronicus, and so I wanted to write about the play, and why I think it's an important play. This post is about the play, and not the production.
Titus Andronicus is believed to be Shakespeare's first tragedy, and is his most violent, and gory play. I'll give you a brief idea of what it's about:
When the play begins, Rome is at war with the Goths. Titus Andronicus, a renowned Roman warrior, has just come back from war with prisoners, including Tamora, the queen of the Goths, and her three sons, Demetrius, Chiron and Alarbus. Titus, angry that a bunch of his sons have been killed by the Goths, gives his permission for Alarbus' limbs to be cut off. Tamora pleads for her son's life, but to no avail. This sets off a cycle of revenge that doesn't stop until the end of the play.
I've talked to a number of people after watching it, and number of people have said "What's the point? What's the point of this violent play?" In my opinion, the play is all about revenge and its destructive power. It shows how one small action can set off a whole "domino effect" of anger and revenge that ultimately destroys. It's tough to watch, but I think it's important, because little things we do can snowball and become worse that we had imagined.