YMMV / Titus Andronicus

  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • It's possible partially to exonerate Tamora, on the grounds that her child (Alarbus) has been brutally killed and her pleas for mercy have been ignored. Her having Bassianus killed is tit for tat (see Not So Different, below), and most of the other atrocities are committed by Aaron.
    • For that matter, Aaron himself can be seen as a bitter, lost and unhinged Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds if you squint a bit.
  • Idiot Plot: A HUGE criticism of the play is how the problems presented had pretty simple, logical solutions but aren't brought up in order to drag out the misery. Then again, some scholars have argued that the play is a possible parody of the tragedies of the time and shows how the characters in tragedies can in fact be completely stupid.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Aaron, though he does tend to get overlooked amongst Shakespeare's other Magnificent Bastards such as Iago and Richard III.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Demetrius, Chiron, Tamora and Aaron all cross with Lavinia's rape and mutilation. The latter two didn't actively participate, but Aaron was the mastermind behind it, and Tamora fully encouraged it, perhaps at this point perversely relinquishing her womanhood in condoning such horrific and misogynistic abuse of another woman. And what's worse, Demetrius and Chiron taunt her about it afterwards, mockingly daring her to try and tell anyone who abused her so thoroughly.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Can't sleep. Titus won't eat me. He'll make someone else eat me. This is mitigated by the fact that Titus only did this to violent rapists and murderers who had it coming, in an extreme of vengeful rage. His victims, Demetrius and Chiron, are probably even more nightmarish, with the unspeakable things they do to the innocent Lavinia, without an iota of empathy or remorse. Don't go walking in the woods.
  • Squick: If a production doesn't squick someone out, something is very, very, wrong. People were fainting or throwing up while watching the 2014 Globe production, particularly during Lavinia's emergence after her rape and dismemberment.
  • Values Dissonance: This was one of Shakespeare's most popular plays during his lifetime and right afterward but has had the exact opposite reputation since then.
  • Values Resonance: In the darkest way possible; Julie Taymor choose to adapt the play to film because she regards it as the closest to our current times.
  • What an Idiot:
    • Really, Saturninus? You think it's a good idea to marry a defeated enemy who has sworn revenge right in front of you and elevate her to empress? And then convict the two sons of the man responsible for her son's death based on one piece of evidence that this revenge-sworn Queen of the Goths gave you? This is justified since Saturninus is portrayed throughout the play as an arrogant dumbass.
    • Speaking of, why did it take everybody so damn long to give Lavinia a stick so she could scratch the names of her rapists out in the sand? Hell, why didn't she just use her feet?