Well. I learn something new everyday.
The great poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote a series of lectures on Shakespeare.
He did not believe that “the Bard” wrote this play…
88 Notes on Titus Andronicus
Act i. sc. I. Theobald’s note.
I never heard it so much as intimated, that he (Shakspeare) had
turned his genius to stage-writing, before he associated with the
players, and became one of their body.
That Shakspeare never ‘turned his genius to stage-writing,’
as Theobald most Theohaldice phrases it, before he
became an actor, is an assertion of about as much authority,
as the precious story that he left Stratford for deer-stealing,
and that he lived by holding gentlemen’s horses at the
doors of the theatre, and other trash of that arch-gossip,
old Aubrey. The metre is an argument against Titus
Andronicus being Shakspeare’s, worth a score such chronological
surmises. Yet I incline to think that both in this
play and in Jeronymo, Shakspeare wrote some passages,
and that they are the earliest of his compositions.
Act V. sc. 2.
I think it not improbable that the lines from
I am not mad ; I know thee well enough;
So thou destroy Rapine, and Murder there,
were written by Shakspeare in his earliest period. But
instead of the text
Revenge, which makes the foul o-ffender quake.
Tit. Art thou Revenge ? and art thou sent to me ?
the words in italics ought to be omitted.