Plot & Details
Like many of the plays in the BBC's Shakespeare series, this version of Titus Andronicus is essentially a filmed stage performance. The Roman general Titus returns from war, bringing with him Tamora, Queen of the Goths and her sons as hostages, and consequently orders the dismemberment of Tamora's eldest son as retribution for the loss of Roman lives in the war. Emperor Saturninus demands Titus' only daughter Lavinia as his bride, despite her engagement to the emperor's brother Bassianus. When Lavinia, her brothers, and Bassianus protest, Titus reacts angrily at their refusal to appease Saturninus and kills one of his own sons. The emperor instead takes the Goth Queen Tamora as his bride. She accepts, although she has ulterior motives to avenge her son's death at the hands of Titus, with the help of her two remaining sons and her secret lover, Aaron the Moor. Their revenge sets in motion a string of atrocities that culminates with an infamous dinner scene featuring meat pies with a surprise ingredient. Disturbingly gory with unexpected shades of dark humor, this adaptation appropriately captures the energetic monstrosity of one of Shakespeare's most grotesque plays.