Shakespeare and Batman pt 1

“Read any Shakespeare lately? No Didn’t think so.
I guess you’re going to see a lot of blood in that cave over the years…
you look like a Titus to me.”-Damian Wayne things have been exciting readers since DC Comic’s New 52 launch. I’m particularly interested in what the “Batman and Robin” series has to offer readers under the guidance of writer Peter J. Tomasi. In case anyone who was interested in reading the Volume 1: Born to Kill, but has yet to do so, take heed of my warning. I will be revealing certain details regarding the story that may or may not spoil your enjoyment.

Of the several allusions made throughout the graphic novel, my favorite one is the one of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus. What makes the allusion to Shakespeare significant in the story is its thematic parallelism to Tomasi’s “Batman and Robin” story. For those of you who are not familiar with what’s current in the Batman universe, some important facts to keep in mind is that Batman has a son, Damian Wayne, who fights along side him as the current Robin (the 4th generation of Robin).

Considering Batman’s history of misfortune, having a son naturally does not make fighting crime or life any easier or enjoyable in any way for the big guy. As a matter of fact, as one would half expect, Bruce (Batman) has difficulties raising his son. Anyway, in an attempt to have a connection with his son, Bruce bought Damian a dog, a Great Dane to be precise. How does any of this relate to Shakespeare? Well, during one of the scenes in the graphic novel, Damian takes his dog out for a walk through the Wayne Cemetery and gives him a proper name. The allusion to Shakespeare, “…You look like a Titus to me,” works in many ways for graphic novel. Above all, Titus Andronicus is a play about blood and betrayal. Something which Batman and Robin are all too familiar with. One of the things Damian tells his dog is: “I guess you’re going to see a lot of blood in that cave over the years.” Of the many significant scenes where a lot of deaths and treachery occur within theĀ Titus Andronicus is in “cave” and its loathsome pit. So this scene makes a connection in Batman and Robin with the bloody ordeals the characters are about to face and the wretched cave, or in Batman’s case, the Bat Cave.

– Jonathan Lugo

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