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About the book
  • Published: 1 May 2008
  • ISBN: 9780553212846
  • Imprint: Bantam US
  • Format: Paperback
  • RRP: $13.99

Three Classical Tragedies


Formats & editions


Titus Andronicus * Timon of Athens * Coriolanus

Titus Andronicus
This, Shakespeare’s earliest tragedy, is also his bloodiest and most horror-filled. A Roman general, to appease the spirit of his dead son, sacrifices the son of a captive Goth queen—and sets in motion a remorseless cycle of revenge and counterrevenge. The play’s vivid spectacle of violence stuns audiences with rape, murder, mutilation, and unmitigated cruelty.

Timon of Athens
This stark drama—in some ways Shakespeare’s most bitter play—is a brilliant psychological portrait of a wealthy Athenian lord whose extraordinary trust and love for others turns to hate and spite when, bankrupted by his generosity, he is overwhelmed by the indifference and ingratitude of those he had thought friends.

Coriolanus
The arrogance of a Roman military hero puts him in conflict with the people of Rome when the aristocrat is unwilling to compromise with the commoners he so despises. Compellingly relevant today, Shakespeare’s last tragedy—from its opening scene of popular unrest to its chilling climax of betrayal and murder—takes an unwavering, ironic look at political extremism.

  • Pub date: 1 May 2008
  • ISBN: 9780553212846
  • Imprint: Bantam US
  • Format: Paperback
  • RRP: $13.99

About the Author

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, and was baptised on 26 April 1564. His father was a glove maker and wool merchant and his mother, Mary Arden, was the daughter of a well-to-do local land owner. Shakespeare was probably educated in Stratford’s grammar school. In 1582 he married Anne Hathaway, and the couple had a daughter the following year and twins in 1585.

Shakespeare’s theatrical life seems to have commenced around 1590. We do know that he was part of the Lord Chamberlain’s Company, which was renamed the King’s Company in 1603 when James I succeeded to the throne. The Company acquired interests in two theatres in the Southwark area of London, near the banks of the Thames - the Globe and the Blackfriars.

Shakespeare’s poetry was published before his plays, with two poems appearing in 1593 and 1594, dedicated to his patron Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton. Most of Shakespeare’s sonnets were probably written at this time as well.

Records of Shakespeare’s plays begin to appear in 1594, and he produced roughly two a year until around 1611. His earliest plays include Henry VI and Titus Andronicus. A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice and Richard II all date from the mid to late 1590s. Some of his most famous tragedies were written in the early 1600s; these include Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth and Antony & Cleopatra. His late plays, often known as the Romances, date from 1608 onwards and include The Tempest.

Shakespeare died on 23 April 1616 and was buried in Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. The first collected edition of his works was published in 1623 and is known as ‘the First Folio’.

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