Publius is a minor character in William Shakespeare's tragedy play, Titus Andronicus. Although he may not be as prominent as the main characters, Publius plays a crucial role in the plot and serves as a representative of the Roman Empire.
Publius is portrayed as a noble and loyal Roman citizen. He is depicted as a senator who upholds the values and traditions of the Roman Empire. Throughout the play, Publius remains steadfast in his duty to Rome and is committed to maintaining order and justice.
One of Publius' notable appearances is in Act I, Scene I, where he, along with Marcus Andronicus and other senators, receives the returning Roman general, Titus Andronicus. As a senator, Publius shows respect and deference to Titus, acknowledging his military achievements and offering support to him and his family.
Publius also appears later in the play during the banquet scene in Act II, Scene III. As chaos ensues and the atrocities committed by the characters escalate, Publius acts as a voice of reason and attempts to restore order. However, his efforts are futile, as the events spiral out of control, leading to a tragic chain of events.
While Publius may not have a significant number of lines or a complex character arc, his presence represents the stability and authority of the Roman Empire. He serves as a reminder of the power and influence of Rome, even in the face of the brutal violence and revenge that unfolds throughout the play.
Shakespeare strategically includes characters like Publius to provide contrast to the more turbulent and morally ambiguous characters in the play. Publius' unwavering loyalty and commitment to Rome highlight the values that are being challenged and ultimately destroyed by the actions of the other characters.
Overall, Publius serves as a symbol of the Roman Empire's strength and order in the midst of chaos. While his role may be small, his presence is significant in reinforcing the themes of power, loyalty, and the consequences of unchecked violence in Titus Andronicus.