Before there was Lisbeth Salander, pierced and tatted Goth-punk princess of ass-kicking revenge (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo who kicked the hornet's nest while playing with fire), there was Tamora, the Queen of the Goths (literally) and Empress of Rome (by marriage), and the absolute rani of revenge in Shakespeare's bloodiest tragedy (we are talking buckets!), Titus Andronicus.
Jessica Lange as Tamora in Julie Taymor's Titus (love the hair!)
Tamora, a prisoner of the Roman Army is forced to beg for her life and the life of her oldest son. When Titus, the Roman general, puts him to death anyway, Tamora vows that she will make Titus’ life miserable until her (and his) dying days. And then she proceeds to fulfill that vow. Tam-tam catches a break when she catches the eye of Saturninus, the new emperor (she’s one of those hottie cougars) and she agrees to please in change for power. Of course, Tamora is really into Aaron, a Moor, who is basically up to no good 24-7. I believe the word is amoral. Or is it immoral? Anyhow, they (Aaron and Tamora) are into plotting evil. There’s also some racism on the Romans’ side when Tamora delivers her mixed-race baby. So, given the circumstances, Tamora might be forgiven her desire for madness and mayhem.
Anthony Hopkins as Titus Hannibal Lecter Andronicus (also auditioning for Avatar)
However, she goes a bridge too far when she turns a blind eye and allows her sons to ravage Lavinia, the virtuous daughter of Titus. Lavinia is the stereotypical"good girl," which during Shakespeare’s era meant she was chaste, obedient, and silent (after being ravaged, her silence is permanent, because the boys cut out her tongue--I told you this was bloody). Plucky Lavinia takes up a stick with her teeth and writes the names of Tamora’s sons in the dirt. Titus, of course, vows to get his own revenge. He tricks the lads into hanging out with him, slits their throats and uses them as the main ingredients of pie that he serves up at a banquet.
Manchilds in a tender, flaky crust...
You guessed it: Tamora is one of the honored guests. (ShadesofHannibalLecter!!! I’m guessing he served it with a “nice Chianti.”) Titus, totally schizo at this point, kills his own daughter, so that the “shame” of her defilement may die with her. He reveals the secret ingredient of his pie and stabs Tamora, killing her. The whole scene turns into a blood-soaked Rube Goldberg machine: Saturninus stabs Titus, so then Lucius, the last remaining son of Titus, stabs Saturninus, (and they kill two enemies, and they kill two enemies, and so on and so forth... you get the picture) until the stage is littered with bodies.
Just goes to show you, as Wolowicz and Koothrappali discovered in "The Gothowitz Deviation" episode of Big Bang Theory: don't mess around with Goth chicks, whether you have tattoo sleeves or not!
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