April 24th, 2016


30 days of Shakespeare: Day 6 - Your favourite villainess

There is a sort of unwritten challenge in this meme to try and pick different plays for each day. I don't think I'll manage it, but this question in particular prompted me to delve rather deep. One villainess who operates very much to her own agenda, using men and spitting them out again (and they return the favour to her and her family) is Tamora, Queen of the Goths, in Titus Andronicus. It's a really violent play. One tally has the average rate of atrocities at one every 97 lines. Tamora's bitter feud with the title character drives the narrative; the story ends with Titus killing her sons for raping Titus's daughter and then serving them to their mother cooked in a pie. Yes, really.

Yet for all the horror, Shakespeare gives Tamora agency and motivation, and plenty of sex. Here Jessica Lange plays her courting her Moorish lover, though with unwanted onlookers:

Oddly enough this one hasn't been filmed very often.

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