Titus Andronicus


William Shakespeare

Titus Andronicus is a tragedy revolving around the Roman general Titus Andronicus. After returning from a victorious campaign against the Goths, Titus sacrifices the eldest son of Tamora, Queen of the Goths, as a tribute to the gods. Tamora, seeking revenge, becomes the lover of Aaron the Moor, a villainous character, and they plot to ruin Titus's family.

Titus's daughter Lavinia is raped and mutilated by Tamora's sons, who then kill her husband and frame two of Titus's sons for the murder. Titus, seeking justice, kills Tamora's remaining sons and feeds them to her in a pie. Aaron is captured and reveals the truth about the conspiracy, leading to the execution of Tamora and her remaining lover. Titus, consumed by grief and vengeance, kills his own daughter and then is killed by one of Tamora's sons.

The play explores themes of revenge, violence, and the consequences of actions. It is known for its graphic violence and disturbing scenes, including the rape and mutilation of Lavinia. Despite its controversial content, it was popular in Shakespeare's time and continues to be performed today.

Act I

Act 1 of Titus Andronicus opens with the return of Titus Andronicus, a Roman general, from a successful ten-year campaign against the Goths. Titus brings with him prisoners, including the Queen of the Goths, Tamora, her three sons, and her lover, Aaron the Moor.

Titus is honored by the Roman emperor, Saturninus, who offers to make him emperor. However, Titus declines the offer and instead suggests Saturninus marry his daughter, Lavinia. The emperor agrees, but Tamora is furious at the arrangement.

Tamora's eldest son, Demetrius, and his younger brother, Chiron, are infatuated with Lavinia and plan to rape her. Aaron helps them by framing two of Titus's sons for the crime. The sons are then executed, and Titus's remaining sons vow revenge.

Meanwhile, Tamora plots her own revenge against Titus. She seduces Saturninus and convinces him to marry her instead of Lavinia. Tamora then orders her sons to kill Titus's remaining sons and to rape and mutilate Lavinia.

In the final scene of Act 1, Titus discovers his sons' bodies and vows revenge against Tamora and her sons. Lavinia appears, mutilated and unable to speak, and Titus is devastated by her condition.

SCENE I. Rome. Before the Capitol.

Act 1, Scene 1 starts off with a heated conversation between Titus Andronicus, a Roman general returning from a decade-long war against the Goths, and Tamora, Queen of the Goths, who he has taken captive along with her three sons. Tamora tries to appeal to Titus' mercy, but he is determined to seek revenge against the Goths for the loss of his own sons in the war.

Two of Tamora's sons are sentenced to death, while the third, Alarbus, is offered as a sacrifice to the spirits of Titus' dead sons. Tamora is outraged and vows revenge against Titus and his family.

As Titus returns home, he is greeted by his remaining sons, Lucius, Quintus, and Martius, as well as his brother Marcus. They discuss the political situation in Rome and the upcoming election for the emperor. Titus' eldest son, Saturninus, is a candidate for the throne, but Titus supports his younger brother, Bassianus.

As they argue over who should be emperor, a group of Roman citizens arrive and demand that Titus choose Saturninus as their new leader. Titus reluctantly agrees, but this decision sets off a chain of events that will lead to betrayal, revenge, and tragedy for all involved.

The Tomb of the ANDRONICI appearing; the Tribunes and Senators aloft. Enter, below, from one side, SATURNINUS and his Followers; and, from the other side, BASSIANUS and his Followers; with drum and colours

Noble patricians, patrons of my right,
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Defend the justice of my cause with arms,
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And, countrymen, my loving followers,
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Plead my successive title with your swords:
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I am his first-born son, that was the last
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That wore the imperial diadem of Rome;
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Then let my father's honours live in me,
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Nor wrong mine age with this indignity.
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Romans, friends, followers, favorers of my right,
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If ever Bassianus, Caesar's son,
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Were gracious in the eyes of royal Rome,
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Keep then this passage to the Capitol
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And suffer not dishonour to approach
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The imperial seat, to virtue consecrate,
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To justice, continence and nobility;
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But let desert in pure election shine,
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And, Romans, fight for freedom in your choice.
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Enter MARCUS ANDRONICUS, aloft, with the crown

Princes, that strive by factions and by friends
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Ambitiously for rule and empery,
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Know that the people of Rome, for whom we stand
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A special party, have, by common voice,
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In election for the Roman empery,
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Chosen Andronicus, surnamed Pius
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For many good and great deserts to Rome:
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A nobler man, a braver warrior,
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Lives not this day within the city walls:
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He by the senate is accit'd home
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From weary wars against the barbarous Goths;
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That, with his sons, a terror to our foes,
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Hath yoked a nation strong, train'd up in arms.
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Ten years are spent since first he undertook
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This cause of Rome and chastised with arms
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Our enemies' pride: five times he hath return'd
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Bleeding to Rome, bearing his valiant sons
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In coffins from the field;
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And now at last, laden with horror's spoils,
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Returns the good Andronicus to Rome,
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Renowned Titus, flourishing in arms.
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Let us entreat, by honour of his name,
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Whom worthily you would have now succeed.
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And in the Capitol and senate's right,
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Whom you pretend to honour and adore,
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That you withdraw you and abate your strength;
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Dismiss your followers and, as suitors should,
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Plead your deserts in peace and humbleness.
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How fair the tribune speaks to calm my thoughts!
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Marcus Andronicus, so I do ally
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In thy uprightness and integrity,
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And so I love and honour thee and thine,
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Thy noble brother Titus and his sons,
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And her to whom my thoughts are humbled all,
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Gracious Lavinia, Rome's rich ornament,
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That I will here dismiss my loving friends,
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And to my fortunes and the people's favor
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Commit my cause in balance to be weigh'd.
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Exeunt the followers of BASSIANUS

Friends, that have been thus forward in my right,
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I thank you all and here dismiss you all,
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And to the love and favor of my country
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Commit myself, my person and the cause.
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Rome, be as just and gracious unto me
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As I am confident and kind to thee.
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Open the gates, and let me in.
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Tribunes, and me, a poor competitor.
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Flourish. SATURNINUS and BASSIANUS go up into the Capitol

Enter a Captain

Romans, make way: the good Andronicus.
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Patron of virtue, Rome's best champion,
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Successful in the battles that he fights,
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With honour and with fortune is return'd
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From where he circumscribed with his sword,
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And brought to yoke, the enemies of Rome.
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Drums and trumpets sounded. Enter MARTIUS and MUTIUS; After them, two Men bearing a coffin covered with black; then LUCIUS and QUINTUS. After them, TITUS ANDRONICUS; and then TAMORA, with ALARBUS, DEMETRIUS, CHIRON, AARON, and other Goths, prisoners; Soldiers and people following. The Bearers set down the coffin, and TITUS speaks

Hail, Rome, victorious in thy mourning weeds!
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Lo, as the bark, that hath discharged her fraught,
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Returns with precious jading to the bay
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From whence at first she weigh'd her anchorage,
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Cometh Andronicus, bound with laurel boughs,
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To re-salute his country with his tears,
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Tears of true joy for his return to Rome.
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Thou great defender of this Capitol,
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Stand gracious to the rites that we intend!
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Romans, of five and twenty valiant sons,
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Half of the number that King Priam had,
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Behold the poor remains, alive and dead!
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These that survive let Rome reward with love;
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These that I bring unto their latest home,
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With burial amongst their ancestors:
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Here Goths have given me leave to sheathe my sword.
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Titus, unkind and careless of thine own,
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Why suffer'st thou thy sons, unburied yet,
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To hover on the dreadful shore of Styx?
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Make way to lay them by their brethren.
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There greet in silence, as the dead are wont,
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And sleep in peace, slain in your country's wars!
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O sacred receptacle of my joys,
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Sweet cell of virtue and nobility,
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How many sons of mine hast thou in store,
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That thou wilt never render to me more!
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Give us the proudest prisoner of the Goths,
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That we may hew his limbs, and on a pile
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Ad manes fratrum sacrifice his flesh,
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Before this earthy prison of their bones;
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That so the shadows be not unappeased,
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Nor we disturb'd with prodigies on earth.
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I give him you, the noblest that survives,
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The eldest son of this distressed queen.
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Stay, Roman brethren! Gracious conqueror,
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Victorious Titus, rue the tears I shed,
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A mother's tears in passion for her son:
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And if thy sons were ever dear to thee,
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O, think my son to be as dear to me!
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Sufficeth not that we are brought to Rome,
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To beautify thy triumphs and return,
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Captive to thee and to thy Roman yoke,
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But must my sons be slaughter'd in the streets,
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For valiant doings in their country's cause?
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O, if to fight for king and commonweal
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Were piety in thine, it is in these.
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Andronicus, stain not thy tomb with blood:
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Wilt thou draw near the nature of the gods?
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Draw near them then in being merciful:
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Sweet mercy is nobility's true badge:
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Thrice noble Titus, spare my first-born son.
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Patient yourself, madam, and pardon me.
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These are their brethren, whom you Goths beheld
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Alive and dead, and for their brethren slain
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Religiously they ask a sacrifice:
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To this your son is mark'd, and die he must,
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To appease their groaning shadows that are gone.
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Away with him! and make a fire straight;
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And with our swords, upon a pile of wood,
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Let's hew his limbs till they be clean consumed.
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O cruel, irreligious piety!
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Was ever Scythia half so barbarous?
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Oppose not Scythia to ambitious Rome.
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Alarbus goes to rest; and we survive
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To tremble under Titus' threatening looks.
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Then, madam, stand resolved, but hope withal
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The self-same gods that arm'd the Queen of Troy
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With opportunity of sharp revenge
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Upon the Thracian tyrant in his tent,
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May favor Tamora, the Queen of Goths--
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When Goths were Goths and Tamora was queen--
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To quit the bloody wrongs upon her foes.
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Re-enter LUCIUS, QUINTUS, MARTIUS and MUTIUS, with their swords bloody

See, lord and father, how we have perform'd
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Our Roman rites: Alarbus' limbs are lopp'd,
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And entrails feed the sacrificing fire,
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Whose smoke, like incense, doth perfume the sky.
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Remaineth nought, but to inter our brethren,
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And with loud 'larums welcome them to Rome.
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Let it be so; and let Andronicus
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Make this his latest farewell to their souls.
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In peace and honour rest you here, my sons;
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Rome's readiest champions, repose you here in rest,
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Secure from worldly chances and mishaps!
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Here lurks no treason, here no envy swells,
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Here grow no damned grudges; here are no storms,
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No noise, but silence and eternal sleep:
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In peace and honour rest you here, my sons!
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In peace and honour live Lord Titus long;
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My noble lord and father, live in fame!
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Lo, at this tomb my tributary tears
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I render, for my brethren's obsequies;
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And at thy feet I kneel, with tears of joy,
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Shed on the earth, for thy return to Rome:
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O, bless me here with thy victorious hand,
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Whose fortunes Rome's best citizens applaud!
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Kind Rome, that hast thus lovingly reserved
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The cordial of mine age to glad my heart!
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Lavinia, live; outlive thy father's days,
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And fame's eternal date, for virtue's praise!
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Enter, below, MARCUS ANDRONICUS and Tribunes; re-enter SATURNINUS and BASSIANUS, attended

Long live Lord Titus, my beloved brother,
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Gracious triumpher in the eyes of Rome!
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Thanks, gentle tribune, noble brother Marcus.
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And welcome, nephews, from successful wars,
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You that survive, and you that sleep in fame!
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Fair lords, your fortunes are alike in all,
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That in your country's service drew your swords:
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But safer triumph is this funeral pomp,
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That hath aspired to Solon's happiness
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And triumphs over chance in honour's bed.
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Titus Andronicus, the people of Rome,
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Whose friend in justice thou hast ever been,
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Send thee by me, their tribune and their trust,
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This palliament of white and spotless hue;
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And name thee in election for the empire,
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With these our late-deceased emperor's sons:
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Be candidatus then, and put it on,
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And help to set a head on headless Rome.
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A better head her glorious body fits
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Than his that shakes for age and feebleness:
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What should I don this robe, and trouble you?
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Be chosen with proclamations to-day,
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To-morrow yield up rule, resign my life,
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And set abroad new business for you all?
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Rome, I have been thy soldier forty years,
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And led my country's strength successfully,
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And buried one and twenty valiant sons,
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Knighted in field, slain manfully in arms,
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In right and service of their noble country
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Give me a staff of honour for mine age,
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But not a sceptre to control the world:
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Upright he held it, lords, that held it last.
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Titus, thou shalt obtain and ask the empery.
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Proud and ambitious tribune, canst thou tell?
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Patience, Prince Saturninus.
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Romans, do me right:
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Patricians, draw your swords: and sheathe them not
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Till Saturninus be Rome's emperor.
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Andronicus, would thou wert shipp'd to hell,
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Rather than rob me of the people's hearts!
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Proud Saturnine, interrupter of the good
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That noble-minded Titus means to thee!
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Content thee, prince; I will restore to thee
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The people's hearts, and wean them from themselves.
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Andronicus, I do not flatter thee,
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But honour thee, and will do till I die:
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My faction if thou strengthen with thy friends,
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I will most thankful be; and thanks to men
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Of noble minds is honourable meed.
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People of Rome, and people's tribunes here,
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I ask your voices and your suffrages:
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Will you bestow them friendly on Andronicus?
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To gratify the good Andronicus,
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And gratulate his safe return to Rome,
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The people will accept whom he admits.
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Tribunes, I thank you: and this suit I make,
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That you create your emperor's eldest son,
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Lord Saturnine; whose virtues will, I hope,
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Reflect on Rome as Titan's rays on earth,
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And ripen justice in this commonweal:
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Then, if you will elect by my advice,
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Crown him and say 'Long live our emperor!'
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With voices and applause of every sort,
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Patricians and plebeians, we create
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Lord Saturninus Rome's great emperor,
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And say 'Long live our Emperor Saturnine!'
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A long flourish till they come down

Titus Andronicus, for thy favors done
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To us in our election this day,
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I give thee thanks in part of thy deserts,
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And will with deeds requite thy gentleness:
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And, for an onset, Titus, to advance
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Thy name and honourable family,
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Lavinia will I make my empress,
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Rome's royal mistress, mistress of my heart,
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And in the sacred Pantheon her espouse:
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Tell me, Andronicus, doth this motion please thee?
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It doth, my worthy lord; and in this match
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I hold me highly honour'd of your grace:
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And here in sight of Rome to Saturnine,
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King and commander of our commonweal,
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The wide world's emperor, do I consecrate
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My sword, my chariot and my prisoners;
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Presents well worthy Rome's imperial lord:
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Receive them then, the tribute that I owe,
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Mine honour's ensigns humbled at thy feet.
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Thanks, noble Titus, father of my life!
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How proud I am of thee and of thy gifts
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Rome shall record, and when I do forget
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The least of these unspeakable deserts,
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Romans, forget your fealty to me.
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(To TAMORA) Now, madam, are you prisoner to
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an emperor;
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To him that, for your honour and your state,
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Will use you nobly and your followers.
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A goodly lady, trust me; of the hue
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That I would choose, were I to choose anew.
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Clear up, fair queen, that cloudy countenance:
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Though chance of war hath wrought this change of cheer,
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Thou comest not to be made a scorn in Rome:
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Princely shall be thy usage every way.
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Rest on my word, and let not discontent
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Daunt all your hopes: madam, he comforts you
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Can make you greater than the Queen of Goths.
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Lavinia, you are not displeased with this?
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Not I, my lord; sith true nobility
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Warrants these words in princely courtesy.
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Thanks, sweet Lavinia. Romans, let us go;
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Ransomless here we set our prisoners free:
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Proclaim our honours, lords, with trump and drum.
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Flourish. SATURNINUS courts TAMORA in dumb show

Lord Titus, by your leave, this maid is mine.
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How, sir! are you in earnest then, my lord?
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Ay, noble Titus; and resolved withal
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To do myself this reason and this right.
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'Suum cuique' is our Roman justice:
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This prince in justice seizeth but his own.
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And that he will, and shall, if Lucius live.
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Traitors, avaunt! Where is the emperor's guard?
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Treason, my lord! Lavinia is surprised!
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Surprised! by whom?
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By him that justly may
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Bear his betroth'd from all the world away.
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Brothers, help to convey her hence away,
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And with my sword I'll keep this door safe.
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Follow, my lord, and I'll soon bring her back.
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My lord, you pass not here.
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What, villain boy!
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Barr'st me my way in Rome?
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Stabbing MUTIUS

Help, Lucius, help!
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During the fray, SATURNINUS, TAMORA, DEMETRIUS, CHIRON and AARON go out and re-enter, above

Re-enter LUCIUS

My lord, you are unjust, and, more than so,
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In wrongful quarrel you have slain your son.
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Nor thou, nor he, are any sons of mine;
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My sons would never so dishonour me:
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Traitor, restore Lavinia to the emperor.
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Dead, if you will; but not to be his wife,
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That is another's lawful promised love.
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No, Titus, no; the emperor needs her not,
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Nor her, nor thee, nor any of thy stock:
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I'll trust, by leisure, him that mocks me once;
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Thee never, nor thy traitorous haughty sons,
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Confederates all thus to dishonour me.
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Was there none else in Rome to make a stale,
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But Saturnine? Full well, Andronicus,
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Agree these deeds with that proud brag of thine,
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That said'st I begg'd the empire at thy hands.
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O monstrous! what reproachful words are these?
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But go thy ways; go, give that changing piece
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To him that flourish'd for her with his sword
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A valiant son-in-law thou shalt enjoy;
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One fit to bandy with thy lawless sons,
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To ruffle in the commonwealth of Rome.
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These words are razors to my wounded heart.
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And therefore, lovely Tamora, queen of Goths,
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That like the stately Phoebe 'mongst her nymphs
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Dost overshine the gallant'st dames of Rome,
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If thou be pleased with this my sudden choice,
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Behold, I choose thee, Tamora, for my bride,
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And will create thee empress of Rome,
Link: 1.1.325
Speak, Queen of Goths, dost thou applaud my choice?
Link: 1.1.326
And here I swear by all the Roman gods,
Link: 1.1.327
Sith priest and holy water are so near
Link: 1.1.328
And tapers burn so bright and every thing
Link: 1.1.329
In readiness for Hymenaeus stand,
Link: 1.1.330
I will not re-salute the streets of Rome,
Link: 1.1.331
Or climb my palace, till from forth this place
Link: 1.1.332
I lead espoused my bride along with me.
Link: 1.1.333

And here, in sight of heaven, to Rome I swear,
Link: 1.1.334
If Saturnine advance the Queen of Goths,
Link: 1.1.335
She will a handmaid be to his desires,
Link: 1.1.336
A loving nurse, a mother to his youth.
Link: 1.1.337

Ascend, fair queen, Pantheon. Lords, accompany
Link: 1.1.338
Your noble emperor and his lovely bride,
Link: 1.1.339
Sent by the heavens for Prince Saturnine,
Link: 1.1.340
Whose wisdom hath her fortune conquered:
Link: 1.1.341
There shall we consummate our spousal rites.
Link: 1.1.342

Exeunt all but TITUS

I am not bid to wait upon this bride.
Link: 1.1.343
Titus, when wert thou wont to walk alone,
Link: 1.1.344
Dishonour'd thus, and challenged of wrongs?
Link: 1.1.345


O Titus, see, O, see what thou hast done!
Link: 1.1.346
In a bad quarrel slain a virtuous son.
Link: 1.1.347

No, foolish tribune, no; no son of mine,
Link: 1.1.348
Nor thou, nor these, confederates in the deed
Link: 1.1.349
That hath dishonour'd all our family;
Link: 1.1.350
Unworthy brother, and unworthy sons!
Link: 1.1.351

But let us give him burial, as becomes;
Link: 1.1.352
Give Mutius burial with our brethren.
Link: 1.1.353

Traitors, away! he rests not in this tomb:
Link: 1.1.354
This monument five hundred years hath stood,
Link: 1.1.355
Which I have sumptuously re-edified:
Link: 1.1.356
Here none but soldiers and Rome's servitors
Link: 1.1.357
Repose in fame; none basely slain in brawls:
Link: 1.1.358
Bury him where you can; he comes not here.
Link: 1.1.359

My lord, this is impiety in you:
Link: 1.1.360
My nephew Mutius' deeds do plead for him
Link: 1.1.361
He must be buried with his brethren.
Link: 1.1.362

And shall, or him we will accompany.
Link: 1.1.363

'And shall!' what villain was it that spake
Link: 1.1.364
that word?
Link: 1.1.365

He that would vouch it in any place but here.
Link: 1.1.366

What, would you bury him in my despite?
Link: 1.1.367

No, noble Titus, but entreat of thee
Link: 1.1.368
To pardon Mutius and to bury him.
Link: 1.1.369

Marcus, even thou hast struck upon my crest,
Link: 1.1.370
And, with these boys, mine honour thou hast wounded:
Link: 1.1.371
My foes I do repute you every one;
Link: 1.1.372
So, trouble me no more, but get you gone.
Link: 1.1.373

He is not with himself; let us withdraw.
Link: 1.1.374

Not I, till Mutius' bones be buried.
Link: 1.1.375

MARCUS and the Sons of TITUS kneel

Brother, for in that name doth nature plead,--
Link: 1.1.376

Father, and in that name doth nature speak,--
Link: 1.1.377

Speak thou no more, if all the rest will speed.
Link: 1.1.378

Renowned Titus, more than half my soul,--
Link: 1.1.379

Dear father, soul and substance of us all,--
Link: 1.1.380

Suffer thy brother Marcus to inter
Link: 1.1.381
His noble nephew here in virtue's nest,
Link: 1.1.382
That died in honour and Lavinia's cause.
Link: 1.1.383
Thou art a Roman; be not barbarous:
Link: 1.1.384
The Greeks upon advice did bury Ajax
Link: 1.1.385
That slew himself; and wise Laertes' son
Link: 1.1.386
Did graciously plead for his funerals:
Link: 1.1.387
Let not young Mutius, then, that was thy joy
Link: 1.1.388
Be barr'd his entrance here.
Link: 1.1.389

Rise, Marcus, rise.
Link: 1.1.390
The dismall'st day is this that e'er I saw,
Link: 1.1.391
To be dishonour'd by my sons in Rome!
Link: 1.1.392
Well, bury him, and bury me the next.
Link: 1.1.393

MUTIUS is put into the tomb

There lie thy bones, sweet Mutius, with thy friends,
Link: 1.1.394
Till we with trophies do adorn thy tomb.
Link: 1.1.395

(Kneeling) No man shed tears for noble Mutius;
Link: 1.1.396
He lives in fame that died in virtue's cause.
Link: 1.1.397

My lord, to step out of these dreary dumps,
Link: 1.1.398
How comes it that the subtle Queen of Goths
Link: 1.1.399
Is of a sudden thus advanced in Rome?
Link: 1.1.400

I know not, Marcus; but I know it is,
Link: 1.1.401
Whether by device or no, the heavens can tell:
Link: 1.1.402
Is she not then beholding to the man
Link: 1.1.403
That brought her for this high good turn so far?
Link: 1.1.404
Yes, and will nobly him remunerate.
Link: 1.1.405

Flourish. Re-enter, from one side, SATURNINUS attended, TAMORA, DEMETRIUS, CHIRON and AARON; from the other, BASSIANUS, LAVINIA, and others

So, Bassianus, you have play'd your prize:
Link: 1.1.406
God give you joy, sir, of your gallant bride!
Link: 1.1.407

And you of yours, my lord! I say no more,
Link: 1.1.408
Nor wish no less; and so, I take my leave.
Link: 1.1.409

Traitor, if Rome have law or we have power,
Link: 1.1.410
Thou and thy faction shall repent this rape.
Link: 1.1.411

Rape, call you it, my lord, to seize my own,
Link: 1.1.412
My truth-betrothed love and now my wife?
Link: 1.1.413
But let the laws of Rome determine all;
Link: 1.1.414
Meanwhile I am possess'd of that is mine.
Link: 1.1.415

'Tis good, sir: you are very short with us;
Link: 1.1.416
But, if we live, we'll be as sharp with you.
Link: 1.1.417

My lord, what I have done, as best I may,
Link: 1.1.418
Answer I must and shall do with my life.
Link: 1.1.419
Only thus much I give your grace to know:
Link: 1.1.420
By all the duties that I owe to Rome,
Link: 1.1.421
This noble gentleman, Lord Titus here,
Link: 1.1.422
Is in opinion and in honour wrong'd;
Link: 1.1.423
That in the rescue of Lavinia
Link: 1.1.424
With his own hand did slay his youngest son,
Link: 1.1.425
In zeal to you and highly moved to wrath
Link: 1.1.426
To be controll'd in that he frankly gave:
Link: 1.1.427
Receive him, then, to favor, Saturnine,
Link: 1.1.428
That hath express'd himself in all his deeds
Link: 1.1.429
A father and a friend to thee and Rome.
Link: 1.1.430

Prince Bassianus, leave to plead my deeds:
Link: 1.1.431
'Tis thou and those that have dishonour'd me.
Link: 1.1.432
Rome and the righteous heavens be my judge,
Link: 1.1.433
How I have loved and honour'd Saturnine!
Link: 1.1.434

My worthy lord, if ever Tamora
Link: 1.1.435
Were gracious in those princely eyes of thine,
Link: 1.1.436
Then hear me speak in indifferently for all;
Link: 1.1.437
And at my suit, sweet, pardon what is past.
Link: 1.1.438

What, madam! be dishonour'd openly,
Link: 1.1.439
And basely put it up without revenge?
Link: 1.1.440

Not so, my lord; the gods of Rome forfend
Link: 1.1.441
I should be author to dishonour you!
Link: 1.1.442
But on mine honour dare I undertake
Link: 1.1.443
For good Lord Titus' innocence in all;
Link: 1.1.444
Whose fury not dissembled speaks his griefs:
Link: 1.1.445
Then, at my suit, look graciously on him;
Link: 1.1.446
Lose not so noble a friend on vain suppose,
Link: 1.1.447
Nor with sour looks afflict his gentle heart.
Link: 1.1.448
(Aside to SATURNINUS) My lord, be ruled by me,
Link: 1.1.449
be won at last;
Link: 1.1.450
Dissemble all your griefs and discontents:
Link: 1.1.451
You are but newly planted in your throne;
Link: 1.1.452
Lest, then, the people, and patricians too,
Link: 1.1.453
Upon a just survey, take Titus' part,
Link: 1.1.454
And so supplant you for ingratitude,
Link: 1.1.455
Which Rome reputes to be a heinous sin,
Link: 1.1.456
Yield at entreats; and then let me alone:
Link: 1.1.457
I'll find a day to massacre them all
Link: 1.1.458
And raze their faction and their family,
Link: 1.1.459
The cruel father and his traitorous sons,
Link: 1.1.460
To whom I sued for my dear son's life,
Link: 1.1.461
And make them know what 'tis to let a queen
Link: 1.1.462
Kneel in the streets and beg for grace in vain.
Link: 1.1.463
Come, come, sweet emperor; come, Andronicus;
Link: 1.1.464
Take up this good old man, and cheer the heart
Link: 1.1.465
That dies in tempest of thy angry frown.
Link: 1.1.466

Rise, Titus, rise; my empress hath prevail'd.
Link: 1.1.467

I thank your majesty, and her, my lord:
Link: 1.1.468
These words, these looks, infuse new life in me.
Link: 1.1.469

Titus, I am incorporate in Rome,
Link: 1.1.470
A Roman now adopted happily,
Link: 1.1.471
And must advise the emperor for his good.
Link: 1.1.472
This day all quarrels die, Andronicus;
Link: 1.1.473
And let it be mine honour, good my lord,
Link: 1.1.474
That I have reconciled your friends and you.
Link: 1.1.475
For you, Prince Bassianus, I have pass'd
Link: 1.1.476
My word and promise to the emperor,
Link: 1.1.477
That you will be more mild and tractable.
Link: 1.1.478
And fear not lords, and you, Lavinia;
Link: 1.1.479
By my advice, all humbled on your knees,
Link: 1.1.480
You shall ask pardon of his majesty.
Link: 1.1.481

We do, and vow to heaven and to his highness,
Link: 1.1.482
That what we did was mildly as we might,
Link: 1.1.483
Tendering our sister's honour and our own.
Link: 1.1.484

That, on mine honour, here I do protest.
Link: 1.1.485

Away, and talk not; trouble us no more.
Link: 1.1.486

Nay, nay, sweet emperor, we must all be friends:
Link: 1.1.487
The tribune and his nephews kneel for grace;
Link: 1.1.488
I will not be denied: sweet heart, look back.
Link: 1.1.489

Marcus, for thy sake and thy brother's here,
Link: 1.1.490
And at my lovely Tamora's entreats,
Link: 1.1.491
I do remit these young men's heinous faults: Stand up.
Link: 1.1.492
Lavinia, though you left me like a churl,
Link: 1.1.493
I found a friend, and sure as death I swore
Link: 1.1.494
I would not part a bachelor from the priest.
Link: 1.1.495
Come, if the emperor's court can feast two brides,
Link: 1.1.496
You are my guest, Lavinia, and your friends.
Link: 1.1.497
This day shall be a love-day, Tamora.
Link: 1.1.498

To-morrow, an it please your majesty
Link: 1.1.499
To hunt the panther and the hart with me,
Link: 1.1.500
With horn and hound we'll give your grace bonjour.
Link: 1.1.501

Be it so, Titus, and gramercy too.
Link: 1.1.502

Flourish. Exeunt

Act II

In Act 2 of the play Titus Andronicus, Titus returns to Rome as a conqueror from his wars with the Goths. Titus is surrounded by his family and friends, including his sons and their wives. However, his joy is short-lived as he is soon plunged into a cycle of revenge and violence.

The play's central conflict begins when Tamora, Queen of the Goths, is brought to Rome as a prisoner. Titus's sons demand that she be sacrificed as a tribute to their dead brothers, who died in the war with the Goths. However, Titus decides to spare Tamora's life, much to the chagrin of his sons. In retaliation, Tamora vows to seek revenge against Titus and his family.

Meanwhile, Aaron, Tamora's lover and a Moorish prince, plots with Tamora's sons to undermine Titus's family. They frame Titus's son Bassianus for the murder of Tamora's eldest son, and then kidnap Lavinia, Titus's daughter, to force her to marry Tamora's other son, Demetrius.

Throughout the act, the characters engage in a series of violent and bloody acts as they seek revenge against one another. Titus's sons kill Bassianus in an act of revenge against their father's mercy towards Tamora. Tamora's sons rape and mutilate Lavinia, leaving her unable to speak or communicate. When Titus discovers what has happened to his daughter, he is consumed with a desire for revenge.

Act 2 of Titus Andronicus sets the stage for the play's main themes of revenge and violence. The characters are locked in a cycle of violence that seems impossible to break, and the play's tragic ending seems inevitable.

SCENE I. Rome. Before the Palace.

In Scene 1 of Act 2, a group of Roman senators are discussing who should be the new emperor. They debate the merits of various candidates and eventually settle on Saturninus, the eldest son of the late emperor. Saturninus is overjoyed and accepts the crown.

However, his brother Bassianus speaks up and argues that the crown should go to someone who is more worthy and virtuous. He suggests that his brother Titus Andronicus, a respected general, would make a better emperor. The senators consider his proposal but ultimately decide to stick with Saturninus.

Meanwhile, Titus arrives with his four sons and a prisoner, Tamora, the queen of the Goths. He presents her to Saturninus as a token of his victory in battle. Saturninus is pleased and decides to marry Tamora, much to the dismay of Bassianus who is in love with her.

The scene ends with Tamora plotting her revenge against Titus and his family for her capture and impending marriage to Saturninus.


Now climbeth Tamora Olympus' top,
Link: 2.1.1
Safe out of fortune's shot; and sits aloft,
Link: 2.1.2
Secure of thunder's crack or lightning flash;
Link: 2.1.3
Advanced above pale envy's threatening reach.
Link: 2.1.4
As when the golden sun salutes the morn,
Link: 2.1.5
And, having gilt the ocean with his beams,
Link: 2.1.6
Gallops the zodiac in his glistering coach,
Link: 2.1.7
And overlooks the highest-peering hills;
Link: 2.1.8
So Tamora:
Link: 2.1.9
Upon her wit doth earthly honour wait,
Link: 2.1.10
And virtue stoops and trembles at her frown.
Link: 2.1.11
Then, Aaron, arm thy heart, and fit thy thoughts,
Link: 2.1.12
To mount aloft with thy imperial mistress,
Link: 2.1.13
And mount her pitch, whom thou in triumph long
Link: 2.1.14
Hast prisoner held, fetter'd in amorous chains
Link: 2.1.15
And faster bound to Aaron's charming eyes
Link: 2.1.16
Than is Prometheus tied to Caucasus.
Link: 2.1.17
Away with slavish weeds and servile thoughts!
Link: 2.1.18
I will be bright, and shine in pearl and gold,
Link: 2.1.19
To wait upon this new-made empress.
Link: 2.1.20
To wait, said I? to wanton with this queen,
Link: 2.1.21
This goddess, this Semiramis, this nymph,
Link: 2.1.22
This siren, that will charm Rome's Saturnine,
Link: 2.1.23
And see his shipwreck and his commonweal's.
Link: 2.1.24
Holloa! what storm is this?
Link: 2.1.25

Enter DEMETRIUS and CHIRON, braving

Chiron, thy years want wit, thy wit wants edge,
Link: 2.1.26
And manners, to intrude where I am graced;
Link: 2.1.27
And may, for aught thou know'st, affected be.
Link: 2.1.28

Demetrius, thou dost over-ween in all;
Link: 2.1.29
And so in this, to bear me down with braves.
Link: 2.1.30
'Tis not the difference of a year or two
Link: 2.1.31
Makes me less gracious or thee more fortunate:
Link: 2.1.32
I am as able and as fit as thou
Link: 2.1.33
To serve, and to deserve my mistress' grace;
Link: 2.1.34
And that my sword upon thee shall approve,
Link: 2.1.35
And plead my passions for Lavinia's love.
Link: 2.1.36

(Aside) Clubs, clubs! these lovers will not keep
Link: 2.1.37
the peace.
Link: 2.1.38

Why, boy, although our mother, unadvised,
Link: 2.1.39
Gave you a dancing-rapier by your side,
Link: 2.1.40
Are you so desperate grown, to threat your friends?
Link: 2.1.41
Go to; have your lath glued within your sheath
Link: 2.1.42
Till you know better how to handle it.
Link: 2.1.43

Meanwhile, sir, with the little skill I have,
Link: 2.1.44
Full well shalt thou perceive how much I dare.
Link: 2.1.45

Ay, boy, grow ye so brave?
Link: 2.1.46

They draw

(Coming forward) Why, how now, lords!
Link: 2.1.47
So near the emperor's palace dare you draw,
Link: 2.1.48
And maintain such a quarrel openly?
Link: 2.1.49
Full well I wot the ground of all this grudge:
Link: 2.1.50
I would not for a million of gold
Link: 2.1.51
The cause were known to them it most concerns;
Link: 2.1.52
Nor would your noble mother for much more
Link: 2.1.53
Be so dishonour'd in the court of Rome.
Link: 2.1.54
For shame, put up.
Link: 2.1.55

Not I, till I have sheathed
Link: 2.1.56
My rapier in his bosom and withal
Link: 2.1.57
Thrust these reproachful speeches down his throat
Link: 2.1.58
That he hath breathed in my dishonour here.
Link: 2.1.59

For that I am prepared and full resolved.
Link: 2.1.60
Foul-spoken coward, that thunder'st with thy tongue,
Link: 2.1.61
And with thy weapon nothing darest perform!
Link: 2.1.62

Away, I say!
Link: 2.1.63
Now, by the gods that warlike Goths adore,
Link: 2.1.64
This petty brabble will undo us all.
Link: 2.1.65
Why, lords, and think you not how dangerous
Link: 2.1.66
It is to jet upon a prince's right?
Link: 2.1.67
What, is Lavinia then become so loose,
Link: 2.1.68
Or Bassianus so degenerate,
Link: 2.1.69
That for her love such quarrels may be broach'd
Link: 2.1.70
Without controlment, justice, or revenge?
Link: 2.1.71
Young lords, beware! and should the empress know
Link: 2.1.72
This discord's ground, the music would not please.
Link: 2.1.73

I care not, I, knew she and all the world:
Link: 2.1.74
I love Lavinia more than all the world.
Link: 2.1.75

Youngling, learn thou to make some meaner choice:
Link: 2.1.76
Lavinia is thine elder brother's hope.
Link: 2.1.77

Why, are ye mad? or know ye not, in Rome
Link: 2.1.78
How furious and impatient they be,
Link: 2.1.79
And cannot brook competitors in love?
Link: 2.1.80
I tell you, lords, you do but plot your deaths
Link: 2.1.81
By this device.
Link: 2.1.82

Aaron, a thousand deaths
Link: 2.1.83
Would I propose to achieve her whom I love.
Link: 2.1.84

To achieve her! how?
Link: 2.1.85

Why makest thou it so strange?
Link: 2.1.86
She is a woman, therefore may be woo'd;
Link: 2.1.87
She is a woman, therefore may be won;
Link: 2.1.88
She is Lavinia, therefore must be loved.
Link: 2.1.89
What, man! more water glideth by the mill
Link: 2.1.90
Than wots the miller of; and easy it is
Link: 2.1.91
Of a cut loaf to steal a shive, we know:
Link: 2.1.92
Though Bassianus be the emperor's brother.
Link: 2.1.93
Better than he have worn Vulcan's badge.
Link: 2.1.94

(Aside) Ay, and as good as Saturninus may.
Link: 2.1.95

Then why should he despair that knows to court it
Link: 2.1.96
With words, fair looks and liberality?
Link: 2.1.97
What, hast not thou full often struck a doe,
Link: 2.1.98
And borne her cleanly by the keeper's nose?
Link: 2.1.99

Why, then, it seems, some certain snatch or so
Link: 2.1.100
Would serve your turns.
Link: 2.1.101

Ay, so the turn were served.
Link: 2.1.102

Aaron, thou hast hit it.
Link: 2.1.103

Would you had hit it too!
Link: 2.1.104
Then should not we be tired with this ado.
Link: 2.1.105
Why, hark ye, hark ye! and are you such fools
Link: 2.1.106
To square for this? would it offend you, then
Link: 2.1.107
That both should speed?
Link: 2.1.108

Faith, not me.
Link: 2.1.109

Nor me, so I were one.
Link: 2.1.110

For shame, be friends, and join for that you jar:
Link: 2.1.111
'Tis policy and stratagem must do
Link: 2.1.112
That you affect; and so must you resolve,
Link: 2.1.113
That what you cannot as you would achieve,
Link: 2.1.114
You must perforce accomplish as you may.
Link: 2.1.115
Take this of me: Lucrece was not more chaste
Link: 2.1.116
Than this Lavinia, Bassianus' love.
Link: 2.1.117
A speedier course than lingering languishment
Link: 2.1.118
Must we pursue, and I have found the path.
Link: 2.1.119
My lords, a solemn hunting is in hand;
Link: 2.1.120
There will the lovely Roman ladies troop:
Link: 2.1.121
The forest walks are wide and spacious;
Link: 2.1.122
And many unfrequented plots there are
Link: 2.1.123
Fitted by kind for rape and villany:
Link: 2.1.124
Single you thither then this dainty doe,
Link: 2.1.125
And strike her home by force, if not by words:
Link: 2.1.126
This way, or not at all, stand you in hope.
Link: 2.1.127
Come, come, our empress, with her sacred wit
Link: 2.1.128
To villany and vengeance consecrate,
Link: 2.1.129
Will we acquaint with all that we intend;
Link: 2.1.130
And she shall file our engines with advice,
Link: 2.1.131
That will not suffer you to square yourselves,
Link: 2.1.132
But to your wishes' height advance you both.
Link: 2.1.133
The emperor's court is like the house of Fame,
Link: 2.1.134
The palace full of tongues, of eyes, and ears:
Link: 2.1.135
The woods are ruthless, dreadful, deaf, and dull;
Link: 2.1.136
There speak, and strike, brave boys, and take
Link: 2.1.137
your turns;
Link: 2.1.138
There serve your lusts, shadow'd from heaven's eye,
Link: 2.1.139
And revel in Lavinia's treasury.
Link: 2.1.140

Thy counsel, lad, smells of no cowardice,
Link: 2.1.141

Sit fas aut nefas, till I find the stream
Link: 2.1.142
To cool this heat, a charm to calm these fits.
Link: 2.1.143
Per Styga, per manes vehor.
Link: 2.1.144


SCENE II. A forest near Rome. Horns and cry of hounds heard.

In Scene 2 of Act 2 of Titus Andronicus, a character named Aaron the Moor is confronted by a group of Goths who accuse him of betraying their leader. Aaron denies the accusation and convinces them to trust him by revealing his plan to help their cause. He tells them that he has convinced Tamora, the Queen of the Romans, to marry the new Emperor Saturninus and to make him her lover. This will cause a rift between Saturninus and his brother Bassianus, who is in love with Tamora and has fled with her and her sons to the Goths' camp.

Aaron promises to help the Goths by bringing Tamora and her sons to their camp, where they will be held hostage in exchange for the release of their leader. The Goths agree to this plan and Aaron leaves to carry it out. As he does, he reveals to the audience his true motives: he is in love with Tamora and wants to help her gain power and revenge against Titus Andronicus, who has killed her eldest son in battle.

Scene 2 of Act 2 sets the stage for the rest of the play by introducing the complex web of alliances, betrayals, and revenge that will drive the plot. It also introduces Aaron, one of the play's most intriguing characters, who will play a key role in the unfolding of events.


The hunt is up, the morn is bright and grey,
Link: 2.2.1
The fields are fragrant and the woods are green:
Link: 2.2.2
Uncouple here and let us make a bay
Link: 2.2.3
And wake the emperor and his lovely bride
Link: 2.2.4
And rouse the prince and ring a hunter's peal,
Link: 2.2.5
That all the court may echo with the noise.
Link: 2.2.6
Sons, let it be your charge, as it is ours,
Link: 2.2.7
To attend the emperor's person carefully:
Link: 2.2.8
I have been troubled in my sleep this night,
Link: 2.2.9
But dawning day new comfort hath inspired.
Link: 2.2.10
Many good morrows to your majesty;
Link: 2.2.11
Madam, to you as many and as good:
Link: 2.2.12
I promised your grace a hunter's peal.
Link: 2.2.13

And you have rung it lustily, my lord;
Link: 2.2.14
Somewhat too early for new-married ladies.
Link: 2.2.15

Lavinia, how say you?
Link: 2.2.16

I say, no;
Link: 2.2.17
I have been broad awake two hours and more.
Link: 2.2.18

Come on, then; horse and chariots let us have,
Link: 2.2.19
And to our sport.
Link: 2.2.20
Madam, now shall ye see
Link: 2.2.21
Our Roman hunting.
Link: 2.2.22

I have dogs, my lord,
Link: 2.2.23
Will rouse the proudest panther in the chase,
Link: 2.2.24
And climb the highest promontory top.
Link: 2.2.25

And I have horse will follow where the game
Link: 2.2.26
Makes way, and run like swallows o'er the plain.
Link: 2.2.27

Chiron, we hunt not, we, with horse nor hound,
Link: 2.2.28
But hope to pluck a dainty doe to ground.
Link: 2.2.29


SCENE III. A lonely part of the forest.

Scene 3 of Act 2 takes place in Rome, where Titus Andronicus, a Roman general, is grieving the loss of his sons who were killed in battle. His daughter Lavinia tries to comfort him, but he is inconsolable. Suddenly, a group of Roman senators arrives to inform Titus that he has been chosen as the new emperor of Rome.

Titus is initially hesitant to accept the position, citing his grief and age as reasons why he is not fit for the role. However, the senators persuade him to take on the responsibility, arguing that Rome needs a strong leader to prevent civil unrest and foreign invasion.

Eventually, Titus agrees to become emperor and is crowned with a wreath of laurel. However, his joy is short-lived when he discovers that his political enemies have already begun to plot against him. He is warned by a loyal friend, but it is clear that Titus will have to be vigilant and ruthless in order to maintain his power.

The scene ends with Titus declaring his determination to protect Rome and punish those who would seek to harm it. However, the audience is left with the sense that a dark and violent future lies ahead for the characters in this tragic play.

Enter AARON, with a bag of gold

He that had wit would think that I had none,
Link: 2.3.1
To bury so much gold under a tree,
Link: 2.3.2
And never after to inherit it.
Link: 2.3.3
Let him that thinks of me so abjectly
Link: 2.3.4
Know that this gold must coin a stratagem,
Link: 2.3.5
Which, cunningly effected, will beget
Link: 2.3.6
A very excellent piece of villany:
Link: 2.3.7
And so repose, sweet gold, for their unrest
Link: 2.3.8
That have their alms out of the empress' chest.
Link: 2.3.9


My lovely Aaron, wherefore look'st thou sad,
Link: 2.3.10
When every thing doth make a gleeful boast?
Link: 2.3.11
The birds chant melody on every bush,
Link: 2.3.12
The snake lies rolled in the cheerful sun,
Link: 2.3.13
The green leaves quiver with the cooling wind
Link: 2.3.14
And make a chequer'd shadow on the ground:
Link: 2.3.15
Under their sweet shade, Aaron, let us sit,
Link: 2.3.16
And, whilst the babbling echo mocks the hounds,
Link: 2.3.17
Replying shrilly to the well-tuned horns,
Link: 2.3.18
As if a double hunt were heard at once,
Link: 2.3.19
Let us sit down and mark their yelping noise;
Link: 2.3.20
And, after conflict such as was supposed
Link: 2.3.21
The wandering prince and Dido once enjoy'd,
Link: 2.3.22
When with a happy storm they were surprised
Link: 2.3.23
And curtain'd with a counsel-keeping cave,
Link: 2.3.24
We may, each wreathed in the other's arms,
Link: 2.3.25
Our pastimes done, possess a golden slumber;
Link: 2.3.26
Whiles hounds and horns and sweet melodious birds
Link: 2.3.27
Be unto us as is a nurse's song
Link: 2.3.28
Of lullaby to bring her babe asleep.
Link: 2.3.29

Madam, though Venus govern your desires,
Link: 2.3.30
Saturn is dominator over mine:
Link: 2.3.31
What signifies my deadly-standing eye,
Link: 2.3.32
My silence and my cloudy melancholy,
Link: 2.3.33
My fleece of woolly hair that now uncurls
Link: 2.3.34
Even as an adder when she doth unroll
Link: 2.3.35
To do some fatal execution?
Link: 2.3.36
No, madam, these are no venereal signs:
Link: 2.3.37
Vengeance is in my heart, death in my hand,
Link: 2.3.38
Blood and revenge are hammering in my head.
Link: 2.3.39
Hark Tamora, the empress of my soul,
Link: 2.3.40
Which never hopes more heaven than rests in thee,
Link: 2.3.41
This is the day of doom for Bassianus:
Link: 2.3.42
His Philomel must lose her tongue to-day,
Link: 2.3.43
Thy sons make pillage of her chastity
Link: 2.3.44
And wash their hands in Bassianus' blood.
Link: 2.3.45
Seest thou this letter? take it up, I pray thee,
Link: 2.3.46
And give the king this fatal plotted scroll.
Link: 2.3.47
Now question me no more; we are espied;
Link: 2.3.48
Here comes a parcel of our hopeful booty,
Link: 2.3.49
Which dreads not yet their lives' destruction.
Link: 2.3.50

Ah, my sweet Moor, sweeter to me than life!
Link: 2.3.51

No more, great empress; Bassianus comes:
Link: 2.3.52
Be cross with him; and I'll go fetch thy sons
Link: 2.3.53
To back thy quarrels, whatsoe'er they be.
Link: 2.3.54



Who have we here? Rome's royal empress,
Link: 2.3.55
Unfurnish'd of her well-beseeming troop?
Link: 2.3.56
Or is it Dian, habited like her,
Link: 2.3.57
Who hath abandoned her holy groves
Link: 2.3.58
To see the general hunting in this forest?
Link: 2.3.59

Saucy controller of our private steps!
Link: 2.3.60
Had I the power that some say Dian had,
Link: 2.3.61
Thy temples should be planted presently
Link: 2.3.62
With horns, as was Actaeon's; and the hounds
Link: 2.3.63
Should drive upon thy new-transformed limbs,
Link: 2.3.64
Unmannerly intruder as thou art!
Link: 2.3.65

Under your patience, gentle empress,
Link: 2.3.66
'Tis thought you have a goodly gift in horning;
Link: 2.3.67
And to be doubted that your Moor and you
Link: 2.3.68
Are singled forth to try experiments:
Link: 2.3.69
Jove shield your husband from his hounds to-day!
Link: 2.3.70
'Tis pity they should take him for a stag.
Link: 2.3.71

Believe me, queen, your swarth Cimmerian
Link: 2.3.72
Doth make your honour of his body's hue,
Link: 2.3.73
Spotted, detested, and abominable.
Link: 2.3.74
Why are you sequester'd from all your train,
Link: 2.3.75
Dismounted from your snow-white goodly steed.
Link: 2.3.76
And wander'd hither to an obscure plot,
Link: 2.3.77
Accompanied but with a barbarous Moor,
Link: 2.3.78
If foul desire had not conducted you?
Link: 2.3.79

And, being intercepted in your sport,
Link: 2.3.80
Great reason that my noble lord be rated
Link: 2.3.81
For sauciness. I pray you, let us hence,
Link: 2.3.82
And let her joy her raven-colour'd love;
Link: 2.3.83
This valley fits the purpose passing well.
Link: 2.3.84

The king my brother shall have note of this.
Link: 2.3.85

Ay, for these slips have made him noted long:
Link: 2.3.86
Good king, to be so mightily abused!
Link: 2.3.87

Why have I patience to endure all this?
Link: 2.3.88


How now, dear sovereign, and our gracious mother!
Link: 2.3.89
Why doth your highness look so pale and wan?
Link: 2.3.90

Have I not reason, think you, to look pale?
Link: 2.3.91
These two have 'ticed me hither to this place:
Link: 2.3.92
A barren detested vale, you see it is;
Link: 2.3.93
The trees, though summer, yet forlorn and lean,
Link: 2.3.94
O'ercome with moss and baleful mistletoe:
Link: 2.3.95
Here never shines the sun; here nothing breeds,
Link: 2.3.96
Unless the nightly owl or fatal raven:
Link: 2.3.97
And when they show'd me this abhorred pit,
Link: 2.3.98
They told me, here, at dead time of the night,
Link: 2.3.99
A thousand fiends, a thousand hissing snakes,
Link: 2.3.100
Ten thousand swelling toads, as many urchins,
Link: 2.3.101
Would make such fearful and confused cries
Link: 2.3.102
As any mortal body hearing it
Link: 2.3.103
Should straight fall mad, or else die suddenly.
Link: 2.3.104
No sooner had they told this hellish tale,
Link: 2.3.105
But straight they told me they would bind me here
Link: 2.3.106
Unto the body of a dismal yew,
Link: 2.3.107
And leave me to this miserable death:
Link: 2.3.108
And then they call'd me foul adulteress,
Link: 2.3.109
Lascivious Goth, and all the bitterest terms
Link: 2.3.110
That ever ear did hear to such effect:
Link: 2.3.111
And, had you not by wondrous fortune come,
Link: 2.3.112
This vengeance on me had they executed.
Link: 2.3.113
Revenge it, as you love your mother's life,
Link: 2.3.114
Or be ye not henceforth call'd my children.
Link: 2.3.115

This is a witness that I am thy son.
Link: 2.3.116


And this for me, struck home to show my strength.
Link: 2.3.117

Also stabs BASSIANUS, who dies

Ay, come, Semiramis, nay, barbarous Tamora,
Link: 2.3.118
For no name fits thy nature but thy own!
Link: 2.3.119

Give me thy poniard; you shall know, my boys
Link: 2.3.120
Your mother's hand shall right your mother's wrong.
Link: 2.3.121

Stay, madam; here is more belongs to her;
Link: 2.3.122
First thrash the corn, then after burn the straw:
Link: 2.3.123
This minion stood upon her chastity,
Link: 2.3.124
Upon her nuptial vow, her loyalty,
Link: 2.3.125
And with that painted hope braves your mightiness:
Link: 2.3.126
And shall she carry this unto her grave?
Link: 2.3.127

An if she do, I would I were an eunuch.
Link: 2.3.128
Drag hence her husband to some secret hole,
Link: 2.3.129
And make his dead trunk pillow to our lust.
Link: 2.3.130

But when ye have the honey ye desire,
Link: 2.3.131
Let not this wasp outlive, us both to sting.
Link: 2.3.132

I warrant you, madam, we will make that sure.
Link: 2.3.133
Come, mistress, now perforce we will enjoy
Link: 2.3.134
That nice-preserved honesty of yours.
Link: 2.3.135

O Tamora! thou bear'st a woman's face,--
Link: 2.3.136

I will not hear her speak; away with her!
Link: 2.3.137

Sweet lords, entreat her hear me but a word.
Link: 2.3.138

Listen, fair madam: let it be your glory
Link: 2.3.139
To see her tears; but be your heart to them
Link: 2.3.140
As unrelenting flint to drops of rain.
Link: 2.3.141

When did the tiger's young ones teach the dam?
Link: 2.3.142
O, do not learn her wrath; she taught it thee;
Link: 2.3.143
The milk thou suck'dst from her did turn to marble;
Link: 2.3.144
Even at thy teat thou hadst thy tyranny.
Link: 2.3.145
Yet every mother breeds not sons alike:
Link: 2.3.146
Do thou entreat her show a woman pity.
Link: 2.3.147

What, wouldst thou have me prove myself a bastard?
Link: 2.3.148

'Tis true; the raven doth not hatch a lark:
Link: 2.3.149
Yet have I heard,--O, could I find it now!--
Link: 2.3.150
The lion moved with pity did endure
Link: 2.3.151
To have his princely paws pared all away:
Link: 2.3.152
Some say that ravens foster forlorn children,
Link: 2.3.153
The whilst their own birds famish in their nests:
Link: 2.3.154
O, be to me, though thy hard heart say no,
Link: 2.3.155
Nothing so kind, but something pitiful!
Link: 2.3.156

I know not what it means; away with her!
Link: 2.3.157

O, let me teach thee! for my father's sake,
Link: 2.3.158
That gave thee life, when well he might have
Link: 2.3.159
slain thee,
Link: 2.3.160
Be not obdurate, open thy deaf ears.
Link: 2.3.161

Hadst thou in person ne'er offended me,
Link: 2.3.162
Even for his sake am I pitiless.
Link: 2.3.163
Remember, boys, I pour'd forth tears in vain,
Link: 2.3.164
To save your brother from the sacrifice;
Link: 2.3.165
But fierce Andronicus would not relent;
Link: 2.3.166
Therefore, away with her, and use her as you will,
Link: 2.3.167
The worse to her, the better loved of me.
Link: 2.3.168

O Tamora, be call'd a gentle queen,
Link: 2.3.169
And with thine own hands kill me in this place!
Link: 2.3.170
For 'tis not life that I have begg'd so long;
Link: 2.3.171
Poor I was slain when Bassianus died.
Link: 2.3.172

What begg'st thou, then? fond woman, let me go.
Link: 2.3.173

'Tis present death I beg; and one thing more
Link: 2.3.174
That womanhood denies my tongue to tell:
Link: 2.3.175
O, keep me from their worse than killing lust,
Link: 2.3.176
And tumble me into some loathsome pit,
Link: 2.3.177
Where never man's eye may behold my body:
Link: 2.3.178
Do this, and be a charitable murderer.
Link: 2.3.179

So should I rob my sweet sons of their fee:
Link: 2.3.180
No, let them satisfy their lust on thee.
Link: 2.3.181

Away! for thou hast stay'd us here too long.
Link: 2.3.182

No grace? no womanhood? Ah, beastly creature!
Link: 2.3.183
The blot and enemy to our general name!
Link: 2.3.184
Confusion fall--
Link: 2.3.185

Nay, then I'll stop your mouth. Bring thou her husband:
Link: 2.3.186
This is the hole where Aaron bid us hide him.
Link: 2.3.187

DEMETRIUS throws the body of BASSIANUS into the pit; then exeunt DEMETRIUS and CHIRON, dragging off LAVINIA

Farewell, my sons: see that you make her sure.
Link: 2.3.188
Ne'er let my heart know merry cheer indeed,
Link: 2.3.189
Till all the Andronici be made away.
Link: 2.3.190
Now will I hence to seek my lovely Moor,
Link: 2.3.191
And let my spleenful sons this trull deflow'r.
Link: 2.3.192


Re-enter AARON, with QUINTUS and MARTIUS

Come on, my lords, the better foot before:
Link: 2.3.193
Straight will I bring you to the loathsome pit
Link: 2.3.194
Where I espied the panther fast asleep.
Link: 2.3.195

My sight is very dull, whate'er it bodes.
Link: 2.3.196

And mine, I promise you; were't not for shame,
Link: 2.3.197
Well could I leave our sport to sleep awhile.
Link: 2.3.198

Falls into the pit

What art thou fall'n? What subtle hole is this,
Link: 2.3.199
Whose mouth is cover'd with rude-growing briers,
Link: 2.3.200
Upon whose leaves are drops of new-shed blood
Link: 2.3.201
As fresh as morning dew distill'd on flowers?
Link: 2.3.202
A very fatal place it seems to me.
Link: 2.3.203
Speak, brother, hast thou hurt thee with the fall?
Link: 2.3.204

O brother, with the dismall'st object hurt
Link: 2.3.205
That ever eye with sight made heart lament!
Link: 2.3.206

(Aside) Now will I fetch the king to find them here,
Link: 2.3.207
That he thereby may give a likely guess
Link: 2.3.208
How these were they that made away his brother.
Link: 2.3.209


Why dost not comfort me, and help me out
Link: 2.3.210
From this unhallowed and blood-stained hole?
Link: 2.3.211

I am surprised with an uncouth fear;
Link: 2.3.212
A chilling sweat o'er-runs my trembling joints:
Link: 2.3.213
My heart suspects more than mine eye can see.
Link: 2.3.214

To prove thou hast a true-divining heart,
Link: 2.3.215
Aaron and thou look down into this den,
Link: 2.3.216
And see a fearful sight of blood and death.
Link: 2.3.217

Aaron is gone; and my compassionate heart
Link: 2.3.218
Will not permit mine eyes once to behold
Link: 2.3.219
The thing whereat it trembles by surmise;
Link: 2.3.220
O, tell me how it is; for ne'er till now
Link: 2.3.221
Was I a child to fear I know not what.
Link: 2.3.222

Lord Bassianus lies embrewed here,
Link: 2.3.223
All on a heap, like to a slaughter'd lamb,
Link: 2.3.224
In this detested, dark, blood-drinking pit.
Link: 2.3.225

If it be dark, how dost thou know 'tis he?
Link: 2.3.226

Upon his bloody finger he doth wear
Link: 2.3.227
A precious ring, that lightens all the hole,
Link: 2.3.228
Which, like a taper in some monument,
Link: 2.3.229
Doth shine upon the dead man's earthy cheeks,
Link: 2.3.230
And shows the ragged entrails of the pit:
Link: 2.3.231
So pale did shine the moon on Pyramus
Link: 2.3.232
When he by night lay bathed in maiden blood.
Link: 2.3.233
O brother, help me with thy fainting hand--
Link: 2.3.234
If fear hath made thee faint, as me it hath--
Link: 2.3.235
Out of this fell devouring receptacle,
Link: 2.3.236
As hateful as Cocytus' misty mouth.
Link: 2.3.237

Reach me thy hand, that I may help thee out;
Link: 2.3.238
Or, wanting strength to do thee so much good,
Link: 2.3.239
I may be pluck'd into the swallowing womb
Link: 2.3.240
Of this deep pit, poor Bassianus' grave.
Link: 2.3.241
I have no strength to pluck thee to the brink.
Link: 2.3.242

Nor I no strength to climb without thy help.
Link: 2.3.243

Thy hand once more; I will not loose again,
Link: 2.3.244
Till thou art here aloft, or I below:
Link: 2.3.245
Thou canst not come to me: I come to thee.
Link: 2.3.246

Falls in


Along with me: I'll see what hole is here,
Link: 2.3.247
And what he is that now is leap'd into it.
Link: 2.3.248
Say who art thou that lately didst descend
Link: 2.3.249
Into this gaping hollow of the earth?
Link: 2.3.250

The unhappy son of old Andronicus:
Link: 2.3.251
Brought hither in a most unlucky hour,
Link: 2.3.252
To find thy brother Bassianus dead.
Link: 2.3.253

My brother dead! I know thou dost but jest:
Link: 2.3.254
He and his lady both are at the lodge
Link: 2.3.255
Upon the north side of this pleasant chase;
Link: 2.3.256
'Tis not an hour since I left him there.
Link: 2.3.257

We know not where you left him all alive;
Link: 2.3.258
But, out, alas! here have we found him dead.
Link: 2.3.259

Re-enter TAMORA, with Attendants; TITUS ANDRONICUS, and Lucius

Where is my lord the king?
Link: 2.3.260

Here, Tamora, though grieved with killing grief.
Link: 2.3.261

Where is thy brother Bassianus?
Link: 2.3.262

Now to the bottom dost thou search my wound:
Link: 2.3.263
Poor Bassianus here lies murdered.
Link: 2.3.264

Then all too late I bring this fatal writ,
Link: 2.3.265
The complot of this timeless tragedy;
Link: 2.3.266
And wonder greatly that man's face can fold
Link: 2.3.267
In pleasing smiles such murderous tyranny.
Link: 2.3.268

She giveth SATURNINUS a letter

(Reads) 'An if we miss to meet him handsomely--
Link: 2.3.269
Sweet huntsman, Bassianus 'tis we mean--
Link: 2.3.270
Do thou so much as dig the grave for him:
Link: 2.3.271
Thou know'st our meaning. Look for thy reward
Link: 2.3.272
Among the nettles at the elder-tree
Link: 2.3.273
Which overshades the mouth of that same pit
Link: 2.3.274
Where we decreed to bury Bassianus.
Link: 2.3.275
Do this, and purchase us thy lasting friends.'
Link: 2.3.276
O Tamora! was ever heard the like?
Link: 2.3.277
This is the pit, and this the elder-tree.
Link: 2.3.278
Look, sirs, if you can find the huntsman out
Link: 2.3.279
That should have murdered Bassianus here.
Link: 2.3.280

My gracious lord, here is the bag of gold.
Link: 2.3.281

(To TITUS) Two of thy whelps, fell curs of
Link: 2.3.282
bloody kind,
Link: 2.3.283
Have here bereft my brother of his life.
Link: 2.3.284
Sirs, drag them from the pit unto the prison:
Link: 2.3.285
There let them bide until we have devised
Link: 2.3.286
Some never-heard-of torturing pain for them.
Link: 2.3.287

What, are they in this pit? O wondrous thing!
Link: 2.3.288
How easily murder is discovered!
Link: 2.3.289

High emperor, upon my feeble knee
Link: 2.3.290
I beg this boon, with tears not lightly shed,
Link: 2.3.291
That this fell fault of my accursed sons,
Link: 2.3.292
Accursed if the fault be proved in them,--
Link: 2.3.293

If it be proved! you see it is apparent.
Link: 2.3.294
Who found this letter? Tamora, was it you?
Link: 2.3.295

Andronicus himself did take it up.
Link: 2.3.296

I did, my lord: yet let me be their bail;
Link: 2.3.297
For, by my father's reverend tomb, I vow
Link: 2.3.298
They shall be ready at your highness' will
Link: 2.3.299
To answer their suspicion with their lives.
Link: 2.3.300

Thou shalt not bail them: see thou follow me.
Link: 2.3.301
Some bring the murder'd body, some the murderers:
Link: 2.3.302
Let them not speak a word; the guilt is plain;
Link: 2.3.303
For, by my soul, were there worse end than death,
Link: 2.3.304
That end upon them should be executed.
Link: 2.3.305

Andronicus, I will entreat the king;
Link: 2.3.306
Fear not thy sons; they shall do well enough.
Link: 2.3.307

Come, Lucius, come; stay not to talk with them.
Link: 2.3.308


SCENE IV. Another part of the forest.

Scene 4 of Act 2 in this work begins with the entrance of two sons of Tamora, the queen of the Goths, named Demetrius and Chiron. They are arguing over which of them will have the opportunity to rape Lavinia, the daughter of Titus Andronicus, who has been taken captive by the Goths. They are interrupted by Aaron, Tamora's lover and the father of her illegitimate child, who convinces them to work together and take turns raping Lavinia.

Titus Andronicus then enters the scene, bringing with him his brother, Marcus, and his two sons, who are both named Quintus. Titus demands that his sons be released, but the Goths refuse. Aaron suggests that Titus cut off his own hand and send it to the Goths as a sign of his submission. Titus agrees to the plan and cuts off his own hand.

After Titus leaves, Demetrius and Chiron return with Lavinia, who has been raped and mutilated by the two brothers. They reveal their crime to Aaron, who is pleased with their actions. Lavinia, unable to speak because her tongue has been cut out, uses a stick to draw in the sand, revealing the identities of her attackers.

Marcus and Titus return to find Lavinia, and she is able to communicate to them the identity of her attackers. Titus vows to avenge his daughter's rape and mutilation.

Enter DEMETRIUS and CHIRON with LAVINIA, ravished; her hands cut off, and her tongue cut out

So, now go tell, an if thy tongue can speak,
Link: 2.4.1
Who 'twas that cut thy tongue and ravish'd thee.
Link: 2.4.2

Write down thy mind, bewray thy meaning so,
Link: 2.4.3
An if thy stumps will let thee play the scribe.
Link: 2.4.4

See, how with signs and tokens she can scrowl.
Link: 2.4.5

Go home, call for sweet water, wash thy hands.
Link: 2.4.6

She hath no tongue to call, nor hands to wash;
Link: 2.4.7
And so let's leave her to her silent walks.
Link: 2.4.8

An 'twere my case, I should go hang myself.
Link: 2.4.9

If thou hadst hands to help thee knit the cord.
Link: 2.4.10



Who is this? my niece, that flies away so fast!
Link: 2.4.11
Cousin, a word; where is your husband?
Link: 2.4.12
If I do dream, would all my wealth would wake me!
Link: 2.4.13
If I do wake, some planet strike me down,
Link: 2.4.14
That I may slumber in eternal sleep!
Link: 2.4.15
Speak, gentle niece, what stern ungentle hands
Link: 2.4.16
Have lopp'd and hew'd and made thy body bare
Link: 2.4.17
Of her two branches, those sweet ornaments,
Link: 2.4.18
Whose circling shadows kings have sought to sleep in,
Link: 2.4.19
And might not gain so great a happiness
Link: 2.4.20
As have thy love? Why dost not speak to me?
Link: 2.4.21
Alas, a crimson river of warm blood,
Link: 2.4.22
Like to a bubbling fountain stirr'd with wind,
Link: 2.4.23
Doth rise and fall between thy rosed lips,
Link: 2.4.24
Coming and going with thy honey breath.
Link: 2.4.25
But, sure, some Tereus hath deflowered thee,
Link: 2.4.26
And, lest thou shouldst detect him, cut thy tongue.
Link: 2.4.27
Ah, now thou turn'st away thy face for shame!
Link: 2.4.28
And, notwithstanding all this loss of blood,
Link: 2.4.29
As from a conduit with three issuing spouts,
Link: 2.4.30
Yet do thy cheeks look red as Titan's face
Link: 2.4.31
Blushing to be encountered with a cloud.
Link: 2.4.32
Shall I speak for thee? shall I say 'tis so?
Link: 2.4.33
O, that I knew thy heart; and knew the beast,
Link: 2.4.34
That I might rail at him, to ease my mind!
Link: 2.4.35
Sorrow concealed, like an oven stopp'd,
Link: 2.4.36
Doth burn the heart to cinders where it is.
Link: 2.4.37
Fair Philomela, she but lost her tongue,
Link: 2.4.38
And in a tedious sampler sew'd her mind:
Link: 2.4.39
But, lovely niece, that mean is cut from thee;
Link: 2.4.40
A craftier Tereus, cousin, hast thou met,
Link: 2.4.41
And he hath cut those pretty fingers off,
Link: 2.4.42
That could have better sew'd than Philomel.
Link: 2.4.43
O, had the monster seen those lily hands
Link: 2.4.44
Tremble, like aspen-leaves, upon a lute,
Link: 2.4.45
And make the silken strings delight to kiss them,
Link: 2.4.46
He would not then have touch'd them for his life!
Link: 2.4.47
Or, had he heard the heavenly harmony
Link: 2.4.48
Which that sweet tongue hath made,
Link: 2.4.49
He would have dropp'd his knife, and fell asleep
Link: 2.4.50
As Cerberus at the Thracian poet's feet.
Link: 2.4.51
Come, let us go, and make thy father blind;
Link: 2.4.52
For such a sight will blind a father's eye:
Link: 2.4.53
One hour's storm will drown the fragrant meads;
Link: 2.4.54
What will whole months of tears thy father's eyes?
Link: 2.4.55
Do not draw back, for we will mourn with thee
Link: 2.4.56
O, could our mourning ease thy misery!
Link: 2.4.57



Act 3 of Titus Andronicus begins with the arrival of Tamora, the Queen of the Goths, and her sons in Rome. Tamora seeks revenge against Titus for killing her eldest son, and she enlists the help of her lover Aaron, a Moor, to carry out her plan. Meanwhile, Titus is dealing with the aftermath of his own revenge plot, which involved killing Tamora's other son and having his own hand cut off in the process.

Tamora and Aaron plot to manipulate Titus by disguising her other two sons as the spirits of Revenge and Murder. They convince Titus to help them carry out their revenge plot against the Emperor Saturninus, who has recently been crowned. Titus agrees to their plan, but as the scene progresses, it becomes clear that he is not entirely in his right mind and may be playing into their hands.

The second half of Act 3 is a gruesome and violent scene in which Titus kills Tamora's sons and bakes them into a pie, which he serves to her at a feast. Tamora is horrified when she discovers the contents of the pie and vows to seek revenge against Titus once again.

The act ends with a tense confrontation between Saturninus and Titus, in which the Emperor demands that Titus turn over his own sons as punishment for killing Tamora's sons. Titus refuses, and the scene ends with a sense of impending doom as the characters prepare for the next phase of the deadly cycle of revenge.

SCENE I. Rome. A street.

Act 3, Scene 1 of Titus Andronicus begins with Titus and his daughter Lavinia in the woods. Titus expresses his sadness over the recent events that have taken place, including the loss of his two sons and the mutilation of Lavinia. Suddenly, Titus spots a group of deer and decides to hunt them. He urges Lavinia to join him, but she declines, saying that she wants to rest instead. Titus goes off to hunt alone.

After Titus leaves, two of Tamora's sons, Chiron and Demetrius, enter the woods. They see Lavinia and begin to make lewd comments about her. When she tries to leave, they grab her and take her deeper into the woods. Once they are alone, they rape her and then cut off her hands and tongue so she cannot identify them.

When Titus returns from his hunt, he finds Lavinia in a state of shock and despair. She cannot speak or write, so she cannot tell him what has happened. Titus eventually figures out that his daughter has been raped and mutilated, and he vows to seek revenge.

This scene is a pivotal moment in the play, as it marks the beginning of Titus's descent into madness and his quest for revenge. It also highlights the brutality and violence that permeate the world of the play, particularly towards women. The scene is a powerful and disturbing portrayal of sexual violence and its aftermath.

Enter Judges, Senators and Tribunes, with MARTIUS and QUINTUS, bound, passing on to the place of execution; TITUS going before, pleading

Hear me, grave fathers! noble tribunes, stay!
Link: 3.1.1
For pity of mine age, whose youth was spent
Link: 3.1.2
In dangerous wars, whilst you securely slept;
Link: 3.1.3
For all my blood in Rome's great quarrel shed;
Link: 3.1.4
For all the frosty nights that I have watch'd;
Link: 3.1.5
And for these bitter tears, which now you see
Link: 3.1.6
Filling the aged wrinkles in my cheeks;
Link: 3.1.7
Be pitiful to my condemned sons,
Link: 3.1.8
Whose souls are not corrupted as 'tis thought.
Link: 3.1.9
For two and twenty sons I never wept,
Link: 3.1.10
Because they died in honour's lofty bed.
Link: 3.1.11
For these, these, tribunes, in the dust I write
Link: 3.1.12
My heart's deep languor and my soul's sad tears:
Link: 3.1.13
Let my tears stanch the earth's dry appetite;
Link: 3.1.14
My sons' sweet blood will make it shame and blush.
Link: 3.1.15
O earth, I will befriend thee more with rain,
Link: 3.1.16
That shall distil from these two ancient urns,
Link: 3.1.17
Than youthful April shall with all his showers:
Link: 3.1.18
In summer's drought I'll drop upon thee still;
Link: 3.1.19
In winter with warm tears I'll melt the snow
Link: 3.1.20
And keep eternal spring-time on thy face,
Link: 3.1.21
So thou refuse to drink my dear sons' blood.
Link: 3.1.22
O reverend tribunes! O gentle, aged men!
Link: 3.1.23
Unbind my sons, reverse the doom of death;
Link: 3.1.24
And let me say, that never wept before,
Link: 3.1.25
My tears are now prevailing orators.
Link: 3.1.26

O noble father, you lament in vain:
Link: 3.1.27
The tribunes hear you not; no man is by;
Link: 3.1.28
And you recount your sorrows to a stone.
Link: 3.1.29

Ah, Lucius, for thy brothers let me plead.
Link: 3.1.30
Grave tribunes, once more I entreat of you,--
Link: 3.1.31

My gracious lord, no tribune hears you speak.
Link: 3.1.32

Why, tis no matter, man; if they did hear,
Link: 3.1.33
They would not mark me, or if they did mark,
Link: 3.1.34
They would not pity me, yet plead I must;
Link: 3.1.35
And bootless unto them.
Link: 3.1.36
Therefore I tell my sorrows to the stones;
Link: 3.1.37
Who, though they cannot answer my distress,
Link: 3.1.38
Yet in some sort they are better than the tribunes,
Link: 3.1.39
For that they will not intercept my tale:
Link: 3.1.40
When I do weep, they humbly at my feet
Link: 3.1.41
Receive my tears and seem to weep with me;
Link: 3.1.42
And, were they but attired in grave weeds,
Link: 3.1.43
Rome could afford no tribune like to these.
Link: 3.1.44
A stone is soft as wax,--tribunes more hard than stones;
Link: 3.1.45
A stone is silent, and offendeth not,
Link: 3.1.46
And tribunes with their tongues doom men to death.
Link: 3.1.47
But wherefore stand'st thou with thy weapon drawn?
Link: 3.1.48

To rescue my two brothers from their death:
Link: 3.1.49
For which attempt the judges have pronounced
Link: 3.1.50
My everlasting doom of banishment.
Link: 3.1.51

O happy man! they have befriended thee.
Link: 3.1.52
Why, foolish Lucius, dost thou not perceive
Link: 3.1.53
That Rome is but a wilderness of tigers?
Link: 3.1.54
Tigers must prey, and Rome affords no prey
Link: 3.1.55
But me and mine: how happy art thou, then,
Link: 3.1.56
From these devourers to be banished!
Link: 3.1.57
But who comes with our brother Marcus here?
Link: 3.1.58


Titus, prepare thy aged eyes to weep;
Link: 3.1.59
Or, if not so, thy noble heart to break:
Link: 3.1.60
I bring consuming sorrow to thine age.
Link: 3.1.61

Will it consume me? let me see it, then.
Link: 3.1.62

This was thy daughter.
Link: 3.1.63

Why, Marcus, so she is.
Link: 3.1.64

Ay me, this object kills me!
Link: 3.1.65

Faint-hearted boy, arise, and look upon her.
Link: 3.1.66
Speak, Lavinia, what accursed hand
Link: 3.1.67
Hath made thee handless in thy father's sight?
Link: 3.1.68
What fool hath added water to the sea,
Link: 3.1.69
Or brought a faggot to bright-burning Troy?
Link: 3.1.70
My grief was at the height before thou camest,
Link: 3.1.71
And now like Nilus, it disdaineth bounds.
Link: 3.1.72
Give me a sword, I'll chop off my hands too;
Link: 3.1.73
For they have fought for Rome, and all in vain;
Link: 3.1.74
And they have nursed this woe, in feeding life;
Link: 3.1.75
In bootless prayer have they been held up,
Link: 3.1.76
And they have served me to effectless use:
Link: 3.1.77
Now all the service I require of them
Link: 3.1.78
Is that the one will help to cut the other.
Link: 3.1.79
'Tis well, Lavinia, that thou hast no hands;
Link: 3.1.80
For hands, to do Rome service, are but vain.
Link: 3.1.81

Speak, gentle sister, who hath martyr'd thee?
Link: 3.1.82

O, that delightful engine of her thoughts
Link: 3.1.83
That blabb'd them with such pleasing eloquence,
Link: 3.1.84
Is torn from forth that pretty hollow cage,
Link: 3.1.85
Where, like a sweet melodious bird, it sung
Link: 3.1.86
Sweet varied notes, enchanting every ear!
Link: 3.1.87

O, say thou for her, who hath done this deed?
Link: 3.1.88

O, thus I found her, straying in the park,
Link: 3.1.89
Seeking to hide herself, as doth the deer
Link: 3.1.90
That hath received some unrecuring wound.
Link: 3.1.91

It was my deer; and he that wounded her
Link: 3.1.92
Hath hurt me more than had he killed me dead:
Link: 3.1.93
For now I stand as one upon a rock
Link: 3.1.94
Environed with a wilderness of sea,
Link: 3.1.95
Who marks the waxing tide grow wave by wave,
Link: 3.1.96
Expecting ever when some envious surge
Link: 3.1.97
Will in his brinish bowels swallow him.
Link: 3.1.98
This way to death my wretched sons are gone;
Link: 3.1.99
Here stands my other son, a banished man,
Link: 3.1.100
And here my brother, weeping at my woes.
Link: 3.1.101
But that which gives my soul the greatest spurn,
Link: 3.1.102
Is dear Lavinia, dearer than my soul.
Link: 3.1.103
Had I but seen thy picture in this plight,
Link: 3.1.104
It would have madded me: what shall I do
Link: 3.1.105
Now I behold thy lively body so?
Link: 3.1.106
Thou hast no hands, to wipe away thy tears:
Link: 3.1.107
Nor tongue, to tell me who hath martyr'd thee:
Link: 3.1.108
Thy husband he is dead: and for his death
Link: 3.1.109
Thy brothers are condemn'd, and dead by this.
Link: 3.1.110
Look, Marcus! ah, son Lucius, look on her!
Link: 3.1.111
When I did name her brothers, then fresh tears
Link: 3.1.112
Stood on her cheeks, as doth the honey-dew
Link: 3.1.113
Upon a gather'd lily almost wither'd.
Link: 3.1.114

Perchance she weeps because they kill'd her husband;
Link: 3.1.115
Perchance because she knows them innocent.
Link: 3.1.116

If they did kill thy husband, then be joyful
Link: 3.1.117
Because the law hath ta'en revenge on them.
Link: 3.1.118
No, no, they would not do so foul a deed;
Link: 3.1.119
Witness the sorrow that their sister makes.
Link: 3.1.120
Gentle Lavinia, let me kiss thy lips.
Link: 3.1.121
Or make some sign how I may do thee ease:
Link: 3.1.122
Shall thy good uncle, and thy brother Lucius,
Link: 3.1.123
And thou, and I, sit round about some fountain,
Link: 3.1.124
Looking all downwards to behold our cheeks
Link: 3.1.125
How they are stain'd, as meadows, yet not dry,
Link: 3.1.126
With miry slime left on them by a flood?
Link: 3.1.127
And in the fountain shall we gaze so long
Link: 3.1.128
Till the fresh taste be taken from that clearness,
Link: 3.1.129
And made a brine-pit with our bitter tears?
Link: 3.1.130
Or shall we cut away our hands, like thine?
Link: 3.1.131
Or shall we bite our tongues, and in dumb shows
Link: 3.1.132
Pass the remainder of our hateful days?
Link: 3.1.133
What shall we do? let us, that have our tongues,
Link: 3.1.134
Plot some deuce of further misery,
Link: 3.1.135
To make us wonder'd at in time to come.
Link: 3.1.136

Sweet father, cease your tears; for, at your grief,
Link: 3.1.137
See how my wretched sister sobs and weeps.
Link: 3.1.138

Patience, dear niece. Good Titus, dry thine eyes.
Link: 3.1.139

Ah, Marcus, Marcus! brother, well I wot
Link: 3.1.140
Thy napkin cannot drink a tear of mine,
Link: 3.1.141
For thou, poor man, hast drown'd it with thine own.
Link: 3.1.142

Ah, my Lavinia, I will wipe thy cheeks.
Link: 3.1.143

Mark, Marcus, mark! I understand her signs:
Link: 3.1.144
Had she a tongue to speak, now would she say
Link: 3.1.145
That to her brother which I said to thee:
Link: 3.1.146
His napkin, with his true tears all bewet,
Link: 3.1.147
Can do no service on her sorrowful cheeks.
Link: 3.1.148
O, what a sympathy of woe is this,
Link: 3.1.149
As far from help as Limbo is from bliss!
Link: 3.1.150


Titus Andronicus, my lord the emperor
Link: 3.1.151
Sends thee this word,--that, if thou love thy sons,
Link: 3.1.152
Let Marcus, Lucius, or thyself, old Titus,
Link: 3.1.153
Or any one of you, chop off your hand,
Link: 3.1.154
And send it to the king: he for the same
Link: 3.1.155
Will send thee hither both thy sons alive;
Link: 3.1.156
And that shall be the ransom for their fault.
Link: 3.1.157

O gracious emperor! O gentle Aaron!
Link: 3.1.158
Did ever raven sing so like a lark,
Link: 3.1.159
That gives sweet tidings of the sun's uprise?
Link: 3.1.160
With all my heart, I'll send the emperor My hand:
Link: 3.1.161
Good Aaron, wilt thou help to chop it off?
Link: 3.1.162

Stay, father! for that noble hand of thine,
Link: 3.1.163
That hath thrown down so many enemies,
Link: 3.1.164
Shall not be sent: my hand will serve the turn:
Link: 3.1.165
My youth can better spare my blood than you;
Link: 3.1.166
And therefore mine shall save my brothers' lives.
Link: 3.1.167

Which of your hands hath not defended Rome,
Link: 3.1.168
And rear'd aloft the bloody battle-axe,
Link: 3.1.169
Writing destruction on the enemy's castle?
Link: 3.1.170
O, none of both but are of high desert:
Link: 3.1.171
My hand hath been but idle; let it serve
Link: 3.1.172
To ransom my two nephews from their death;
Link: 3.1.173
Then have I kept it to a worthy end.
Link: 3.1.174

Nay, come, agree whose hand shall go along,
Link: 3.1.175
For fear they die before their pardon come.
Link: 3.1.176

My hand shall go.
Link: 3.1.177

By heaven, it shall not go!
Link: 3.1.178

Sirs, strive no more: such wither'd herbs as these
Link: 3.1.179
Are meet for plucking up, and therefore mine.
Link: 3.1.180

Sweet father, if I shall be thought thy son,
Link: 3.1.181
Let me redeem my brothers both from death.
Link: 3.1.182

And, for our father's sake and mother's care,
Link: 3.1.183
Now let me show a brother's love to thee.
Link: 3.1.184

Agree between you; I will spare my hand.
Link: 3.1.185

Then I'll go fetch an axe.
Link: 3.1.186

But I will use the axe.
Link: 3.1.187


Come hither, Aaron; I'll deceive them both:
Link: 3.1.188
Lend me thy hand, and I will give thee mine.
Link: 3.1.189

(Aside) If that be call'd deceit, I will be honest,
Link: 3.1.190
And never, whilst I live, deceive men so:
Link: 3.1.191
But I'll deceive you in another sort,
Link: 3.1.192
And that you'll say, ere half an hour pass.
Link: 3.1.193

Cuts off TITUS's hand

Re-enter LUCIUS and MARCUS

Now stay your strife: what shall be is dispatch'd.
Link: 3.1.194
Good Aaron, give his majesty my hand:
Link: 3.1.195
Tell him it was a hand that warded him
Link: 3.1.196
From thousand dangers; bid him bury it
Link: 3.1.197
More hath it merited; that let it have.
Link: 3.1.198
As for my sons, say I account of them
Link: 3.1.199
As jewels purchased at an easy price;
Link: 3.1.200
And yet dear too, because I bought mine own.
Link: 3.1.201

I go, Andronicus: and for thy hand
Link: 3.1.202
Look by and by to have thy sons with thee.
Link: 3.1.203
Their heads, I mean. O, how this villany
Link: 3.1.204
Doth fat me with the very thoughts of it!
Link: 3.1.205
Let fools do good, and fair men call for grace.
Link: 3.1.206
Aaron will have his soul black like his face.
Link: 3.1.207


O, here I lift this one hand up to heaven,
Link: 3.1.208
And bow this feeble ruin to the earth:
Link: 3.1.209
If any power pities wretched tears,
Link: 3.1.210
To that I call!
Link: 3.1.211
What, wilt thou kneel with me?
Link: 3.1.212
Do, then, dear heart; for heaven shall hear our prayers;
Link: 3.1.213
Or with our sighs we'll breathe the welkin dim,
Link: 3.1.214
And stain the sun with fog, as sometime clouds
Link: 3.1.215
When they do hug him in their melting bosoms.
Link: 3.1.216

O brother, speak with possibilities,
Link: 3.1.217
And do not break into these deep extremes.
Link: 3.1.218

Is not my sorrow deep, having no bottom?
Link: 3.1.219
Then be my passions bottomless with them.
Link: 3.1.220

But yet let reason govern thy lament.
Link: 3.1.221

If there were reason for these miseries,
Link: 3.1.222
Then into limits could I bind my woes:
Link: 3.1.223
When heaven doth weep, doth not the earth o'erflow?
Link: 3.1.224
If the winds rage, doth not the sea wax mad,
Link: 3.1.225
Threatening the welkin with his big-swoln face?
Link: 3.1.226
And wilt thou have a reason for this coil?
Link: 3.1.227
I am the sea; hark, how her sighs do blow!
Link: 3.1.228
She is the weeping welkin, I the earth:
Link: 3.1.229
Then must my sea be moved with her sighs;
Link: 3.1.230
Then must my earth with her continual tears
Link: 3.1.231
Become a deluge, overflow'd and drown'd;
Link: 3.1.232
For why my bowels cannot hide her woes,
Link: 3.1.233
But like a drunkard must I vomit them.
Link: 3.1.234
Then give me leave, for losers will have leave
Link: 3.1.235
To ease their stomachs with their bitter tongues.
Link: 3.1.236

Enter a Messenger, with two heads and a hand

Worthy Andronicus, ill art thou repaid
Link: 3.1.237
For that good hand thou sent'st the emperor.
Link: 3.1.238
Here are the heads of thy two noble sons;
Link: 3.1.239
And here's thy hand, in scorn to thee sent back;
Link: 3.1.240
Thy griefs their sports, thy resolution mock'd;
Link: 3.1.241
That woe is me to think upon thy woes
Link: 3.1.242
More than remembrance of my father's death.
Link: 3.1.243


Now let hot AEtna cool in Sicily,
Link: 3.1.244
And be my heart an ever-burning hell!
Link: 3.1.245
These miseries are more than may be borne.
Link: 3.1.246
To weep with them that weep doth ease some deal;
Link: 3.1.247
But sorrow flouted at is double death.
Link: 3.1.248

Ah, that this sight should make so deep a wound,
Link: 3.1.249
And yet detested life not shrink thereat!
Link: 3.1.250
That ever death should let life bear his name,
Link: 3.1.251
Where life hath no more interest but to breathe!
Link: 3.1.252


Alas, poor heart, that kiss is comfortless
Link: 3.1.253
As frozen water to a starved snake.
Link: 3.1.254

When will this fearful slumber have an end?
Link: 3.1.255

Now, farewell, flattery: die, Andronicus;
Link: 3.1.256
Thou dost not slumber: see, thy two sons' heads,
Link: 3.1.257
Thy warlike hand, thy mangled daughter here:
Link: 3.1.258
Thy other banish'd son, with this dear sight
Link: 3.1.259
Struck pale and bloodless; and thy brother, I,
Link: 3.1.260
Even like a stony image, cold and numb.
Link: 3.1.261
Ah, now no more will I control thy griefs:
Link: 3.1.262
Rend off thy silver hair, thy other hand
Link: 3.1.263
Gnawing with thy teeth; and be this dismal sight
Link: 3.1.264
The closing up of our most wretched eyes;
Link: 3.1.265
Now is a time to storm; why art thou still?
Link: 3.1.266

Ha, ha, ha!
Link: 3.1.267

Why dost thou laugh? it fits not with this hour.
Link: 3.1.268

Why, I have not another tear to shed:
Link: 3.1.269
Besides, this sorrow is an enemy,
Link: 3.1.270
And would usurp upon my watery eyes
Link: 3.1.271
And make them blind with tributary tears:
Link: 3.1.272
Then which way shall I find Revenge's cave?
Link: 3.1.273
For these two heads do seem to speak to me,
Link: 3.1.274
And threat me I shall never come to bliss
Link: 3.1.275
Till all these mischiefs be return'd again
Link: 3.1.276
Even in their throats that have committed them.
Link: 3.1.277
Come, let me see what task I have to do.
Link: 3.1.278
You heavy people, circle me about,
Link: 3.1.279
That I may turn me to each one of you,
Link: 3.1.280
And swear unto my soul to right your wrongs.
Link: 3.1.281
The vow is made. Come, brother, take a head;
Link: 3.1.282
And in this hand the other I will bear.
Link: 3.1.283
Lavinia, thou shalt be employ'd: these arms!
Link: 3.1.284
Bear thou my hand, sweet wench, between thy teeth.
Link: 3.1.285
As for thee, boy, go get thee from my sight;
Link: 3.1.286
Thou art an exile, and thou must not stay:
Link: 3.1.287
Hie to the Goths, and raise an army there:
Link: 3.1.288
And, if you love me, as I think you do,
Link: 3.1.289
Let's kiss and part, for we have much to do.
Link: 3.1.290


Farewell Andronicus, my noble father,
Link: 3.1.291
The wofull'st man that ever lived in Rome:
Link: 3.1.292
Farewell, proud Rome; till Lucius come again,
Link: 3.1.293
He leaves his pledges dearer than his life:
Link: 3.1.294
Farewell, Lavinia, my noble sister;
Link: 3.1.295
O, would thou wert as thou tofore hast been!
Link: 3.1.296
But now nor Lucius nor Lavinia lives
Link: 3.1.297
But in oblivion and hateful griefs.
Link: 3.1.298
If Lucius live, he will requite your wrongs;
Link: 3.1.299
And make proud Saturnine and his empress
Link: 3.1.300
Beg at the gates, like Tarquin and his queen.
Link: 3.1.301
Now will I to the Goths, and raise a power,
Link: 3.1.302
To be revenged on Rome and Saturnine.
Link: 3.1.303


SCENE II. A room in Titus's house. A banquet set out.

Scene 2 of Act 3 features the character of Aaron the Moor, who has been tasked by Tamora, the queen of the Goths, to carry out her secret plan to exact revenge on Titus Andronicus. Aaron is visited by two of Titus's sons, Quintus and Martius, who are seeking the hand of Tamora's daughter, Lavinia.

Aaron manipulates the two brothers into following him to a secluded spot in the forest, where he sets them up to be falsely accused of the murder of a young boy. He then plants evidence on them and makes it look like they are guilty of the crime.

When the brothers are brought before the Roman authorities, they protest their innocence but are not believed. They are sentenced to death, which sends Titus into a state of deep despair and fury.

The scene is notable for its depiction of Aaron as a cunning and ruthless villain, who is willing to use any means necessary to achieve his ends. It also sets the stage for the tragic events that will unfold later in the play, as Titus seeks revenge for the injustice done to his sons.

Enter TITUS, MARCUS, LAVINIA and Young LUCIUS, a boy

So, so; now sit: and look you eat no more
Link: 3.2.1
Than will preserve just so much strength in us
Link: 3.2.2
As will revenge these bitter woes of ours.
Link: 3.2.3
Marcus, unknit that sorrow-wreathen knot:
Link: 3.2.4
Thy niece and I, poor creatures, want our hands,
Link: 3.2.5
And cannot passionate our tenfold grief
Link: 3.2.6
With folded arms. This poor right hand of mine
Link: 3.2.7
Is left to tyrannize upon my breast;
Link: 3.2.8
Who, when my heart, all mad with misery,
Link: 3.2.9
Beats in this hollow prison of my flesh,
Link: 3.2.10
Then thus I thump it down.
Link: 3.2.11
Thou map of woe, that thus dost talk in signs!
Link: 3.2.12
When thy poor heart beats with outrageous beating,
Link: 3.2.13
Thou canst not strike it thus to make it still.
Link: 3.2.14
Wound it with sighing, girl, kill it with groans;
Link: 3.2.15
Or get some little knife between thy teeth,
Link: 3.2.16
And just against thy heart make thou a hole;
Link: 3.2.17
That all the tears that thy poor eyes let fall
Link: 3.2.18
May run into that sink, and soaking in
Link: 3.2.19
Drown the lamenting fool in sea-salt tears.
Link: 3.2.20

Fie, brother, fie! teach her not thus to lay
Link: 3.2.21
Such violent hands upon her tender life.
Link: 3.2.22

How now! has sorrow made thee dote already?
Link: 3.2.23
Why, Marcus, no man should be mad but I.
Link: 3.2.24
What violent hands can she lay on her life?
Link: 3.2.25
Ah, wherefore dost thou urge the name of hands;
Link: 3.2.26
To bid AEneas tell the tale twice o'er,
Link: 3.2.27
How Troy was burnt and he made miserable?
Link: 3.2.28
O, handle not the theme, to talk of hands,
Link: 3.2.29
Lest we remember still that we have none.
Link: 3.2.30
Fie, fie, how franticly I square my talk,
Link: 3.2.31
As if we should forget we had no hands,
Link: 3.2.32
If Marcus did not name the word of hands!
Link: 3.2.33
Come, let's fall to; and, gentle girl, eat this:
Link: 3.2.34
Here is no drink! Hark, Marcus, what she says;
Link: 3.2.35
I can interpret all her martyr'd signs;
Link: 3.2.36
She says she drinks no other drink but tears,
Link: 3.2.37
Brew'd with her sorrow, mesh'd upon her cheeks:
Link: 3.2.38
Speechless complainer, I will learn thy thought;
Link: 3.2.39
In thy dumb action will I be as perfect
Link: 3.2.40
As begging hermits in their holy prayers:
Link: 3.2.41
Thou shalt not sigh, nor hold thy stumps to heaven,
Link: 3.2.42
Nor wink, nor nod, nor kneel, nor make a sign,
Link: 3.2.43
But I of these will wrest an alphabet
Link: 3.2.44
And by still practise learn to know thy meaning.
Link: 3.2.45

Good grandsire, leave these bitter deep laments:
Link: 3.2.46
Make my aunt merry with some pleasing tale.
Link: 3.2.47

Alas, the tender boy, in passion moved,
Link: 3.2.48
Doth weep to see his grandsire's heaviness.
Link: 3.2.49

Peace, tender sapling; thou art made of tears,
Link: 3.2.50
And tears will quickly melt thy life away.
Link: 3.2.51
What dost thou strike at, Marcus, with thy knife?
Link: 3.2.52

At that that I have kill'd, my lord; a fly.
Link: 3.2.53

Out on thee, murderer! thou kill'st my heart;
Link: 3.2.54
Mine eyes are cloy'd with view of tyranny:
Link: 3.2.55
A deed of death done on the innocent
Link: 3.2.56
Becomes not Titus' brother: get thee gone:
Link: 3.2.57
I see thou art not for my company.
Link: 3.2.58

Alas, my lord, I have but kill'd a fly.
Link: 3.2.59

But how, if that fly had a father and mother?
Link: 3.2.60
How would he hang his slender gilded wings,
Link: 3.2.61
And buzz lamenting doings in the air!
Link: 3.2.62
Poor harmless fly,
Link: 3.2.63
That, with his pretty buzzing melody,
Link: 3.2.64
Came here to make us merry! and thou hast
Link: 3.2.65
kill'd him.
Link: 3.2.66

Pardon me, sir; it was a black ill-favor'd fly,
Link: 3.2.67
Like to the empress' Moor; therefore I kill'd him.
Link: 3.2.68

O, O, O,
Link: 3.2.69
Then pardon me for reprehending thee,
Link: 3.2.70
For thou hast done a charitable deed.
Link: 3.2.71
Give me thy knife, I will insult on him;
Link: 3.2.72
Flattering myself, as if it were the Moor
Link: 3.2.73
Come hither purposely to poison me.--
Link: 3.2.74
There's for thyself, and that's for Tamora.
Link: 3.2.75
Ah, sirrah!
Link: 3.2.76
Yet, I think, we are not brought so low,
Link: 3.2.77
But that between us we can kill a fly
Link: 3.2.78
That comes in likeness of a coal-black Moor.
Link: 3.2.79

Alas, poor man! grief has so wrought on him,
Link: 3.2.80
He takes false shadows for true substances.
Link: 3.2.81

Come, take away. Lavinia, go with me:
Link: 3.2.82
I'll to thy closet; and go read with thee
Link: 3.2.83
Sad stories chanced in the times of old.
Link: 3.2.84
Come, boy, and go with me: thy sight is young,
Link: 3.2.85
And thou shalt read when mine begin to dazzle.
Link: 3.2.86


Act IV

Act 4 of Titus Andronicus sees the tragic story of Titus and his family continue to unfold. The act begins with Titus receiving a visit from Tamora's son, Alarbus, who has been taken captive. Titus decides to sacrifice Alarbus as a tribute to his own sons who were killed in battle. Tamora is devastated by the death of her son and vows revenge on Titus and his family.

Meanwhile, Titus' daughter Lavinia has been raped and mutilated by Tamora's sons. She is unable to speak or communicate the identity of her attackers. Titus' brother Marcus discovers that Lavinia's attackers were Tamora's sons and vows to seek revenge. He also uncovers a clue that will help identify the perpetrators.

Titus' remaining son Lucius is plotting against the Emperor Saturninus with the help of some Goths. They plan to overthrow Saturninus and install Lucius as the new ruler of Rome. Saturninus discovers the plot and orders Lucius to be arrested, but Lucius manages to escape with the help of his allies.

The act ends with Titus planning a banquet for Saturninus and Tamora, where he will exact his revenge for the rape and mutilation of his daughter. He serves them a pie made from the flesh of Tamora's sons and then kills Tamora and Saturninus. Titus is then himself killed by one of Saturninus' guards.

SCENE I. Rome. Titus's garden.

In Act 4, Scene 1, the character Titus Andronicus is visited by his daughter Lavinia, who has been brutally raped and mutilated by two of the play's villains. Titus is overcome with grief and rage, and he vows to seek revenge against those responsible for his daughter's suffering.

As Titus and Lavinia speak, they are interrupted by the arrival of Marcus, another of Titus's sons. Marcus is horrified when he sees Lavinia's injuries, and he joins his father in his quest for vengeance. Together, they plot their revenge, determined to make those who have wronged them pay for their crimes.

The scene is filled with emotion and tension, as the characters struggle to come to terms with the horrors that have been inflicted upon them. Their grief and anger are palpable, and the audience is left wondering how they will be able to exact their revenge and find some measure of justice for Lavinia.

Enter young LUCIUS, and LAVINIA running after him, and the boy flies from her, with books under his arm. Then enter TITUS and MARCUS

Help, grandsire, help! my aunt Lavinia
Link: 4.1.1
Follows me every where, I know not why:
Link: 4.1.2
Good uncle Marcus, see how swift she comes.
Link: 4.1.3
Alas, sweet aunt, I know not what you mean.
Link: 4.1.4

Stand by me, Lucius; do not fear thine aunt.
Link: 4.1.5

She loves thee, boy, too well to do thee harm.
Link: 4.1.6

Ay, when my father was in Rome she did.
Link: 4.1.7

What means my niece Lavinia by these signs?
Link: 4.1.8

Fear her not, Lucius: somewhat doth she mean:
Link: 4.1.9
See, Lucius, see how much she makes of thee:
Link: 4.1.10
Somewhither would she have thee go with her.
Link: 4.1.11
Ah, boy, Cornelia never with more care
Link: 4.1.12
Read to her sons than she hath read to thee
Link: 4.1.13
Sweet poetry and Tully's Orator.
Link: 4.1.14

Canst thou not guess wherefore she plies thee thus?
Link: 4.1.15

My lord, I know not, I, nor can I guess,
Link: 4.1.16
Unless some fit or frenzy do possess her:
Link: 4.1.17
For I have heard my grandsire say full oft,
Link: 4.1.18
Extremity of griefs would make men mad;
Link: 4.1.19
And I have read that Hecuba of Troy
Link: 4.1.20
Ran mad through sorrow: that made me to fear;
Link: 4.1.21
Although, my lord, I know my noble aunt
Link: 4.1.22
Loves me as dear as e'er my mother did,
Link: 4.1.23
And would not, but in fury, fright my youth:
Link: 4.1.24
Which made me down to throw my books, and fly--
Link: 4.1.25
Causeless, perhaps. But pardon me, sweet aunt:
Link: 4.1.26
And, madam, if my uncle Marcus go,
Link: 4.1.27
I will most willingly attend your ladyship.
Link: 4.1.28

Lucius, I will.
Link: 4.1.29

LAVINIA turns over with her stumps the books which LUCIUS has let fall

How now, Lavinia! Marcus, what means this?
Link: 4.1.30
Some book there is that she desires to see.
Link: 4.1.31
Which is it, girl, of these? Open them, boy.
Link: 4.1.32
But thou art deeper read, and better skill'd
Link: 4.1.33
Come, and take choice of all my library,
Link: 4.1.34
And so beguile thy sorrow, till the heavens
Link: 4.1.35
Reveal the damn'd contriver of this deed.
Link: 4.1.36
Why lifts she up her arms in sequence thus?
Link: 4.1.37

I think she means that there was more than one
Link: 4.1.38
Confederate in the fact: ay, more there was;
Link: 4.1.39
Or else to heaven she heaves them for revenge.
Link: 4.1.40

Lucius, what book is that she tosseth so?
Link: 4.1.41

Grandsire, 'tis Ovid's Metamorphoses;
Link: 4.1.42
My mother gave it me.
Link: 4.1.43

For love of her that's gone,
Link: 4.1.44
Perhaps she cull'd it from among the rest.
Link: 4.1.45

Soft! see how busily she turns the leaves!
Link: 4.1.46
What would she find? Lavinia, shall I read?
Link: 4.1.47
This is the tragic tale of Philomel,
Link: 4.1.48
And treats of Tereus' treason and his rape:
Link: 4.1.49
And rape, I fear, was root of thine annoy.
Link: 4.1.50

See, brother, see; note how she quotes the leaves.
Link: 4.1.51

Lavinia, wert thou thus surprised, sweet girl,
Link: 4.1.52
Ravish'd and wrong'd, as Philomela was,
Link: 4.1.53
Forced in the ruthless, vast, and gloomy woods? See, see!
Link: 4.1.54
Ay, such a place there is, where we did hunt--
Link: 4.1.55
O, had we never, never hunted there!--
Link: 4.1.56
Pattern'd by that the poet here describes,
Link: 4.1.57
By nature made for murders and for rapes.
Link: 4.1.58

O, why should nature build so foul a den,
Link: 4.1.59
Unless the gods delight in tragedies?
Link: 4.1.60

Give signs, sweet girl, for here are none
Link: 4.1.61
but friends,
Link: 4.1.62
What Roman lord it was durst do the deed:
Link: 4.1.63
Or slunk not Saturnine, as Tarquin erst,
Link: 4.1.64
That left the camp to sin in Lucrece' bed?
Link: 4.1.65

Sit down, sweet niece: brother, sit down by me.
Link: 4.1.66
Apollo, Pallas, Jove, or Mercury,
Link: 4.1.67
Inspire me, that I may this treason find!
Link: 4.1.68
My lord, look here: look here, Lavinia:
Link: 4.1.69
This sandy plot is plain; guide, if thou canst
Link: 4.1.70
This after me, when I have writ my name
Link: 4.1.71
Without the help of any hand at all.
Link: 4.1.72
Cursed be that heart that forced us to this shift!
Link: 4.1.73
Write thou good niece; and here display, at last,
Link: 4.1.74
What God will have discover'd for revenge;
Link: 4.1.75
Heaven guide thy pen to print thy sorrows plain,
Link: 4.1.76
That we may know the traitors and the truth!
Link: 4.1.77

She takes the staff in her mouth, and guides it with her stumps, and writes

O, do ye read, my lord, what she hath writ?
Link: 4.1.78
'Stuprum. Chiron. Demetrius.'
Link: 4.1.79

What, what! the lustful sons of Tamora
Link: 4.1.80
Performers of this heinous, bloody deed?
Link: 4.1.81

Magni Dominator poli,
Link: 4.1.82
Tam lentus audis scelera? tam lentus vides?
Link: 4.1.83

O, calm thee, gentle lord; although I know
Link: 4.1.84
There is enough written upon this earth
Link: 4.1.85
To stir a mutiny in the mildest thoughts
Link: 4.1.86
And arm the minds of infants to exclaims.
Link: 4.1.87
My lord, kneel down with me; Lavinia, kneel;
Link: 4.1.88
And kneel, sweet boy, the Roman Hector's hope;
Link: 4.1.89
And swear with me, as, with the woful fere
Link: 4.1.90
And father of that chaste dishonour'd dame,
Link: 4.1.91
Lord Junius Brutus sware for Lucrece' rape,
Link: 4.1.92
That we will prosecute by good advice
Link: 4.1.93
Mortal revenge upon these traitorous Goths,
Link: 4.1.94
And see their blood, or die with this reproach.
Link: 4.1.95

'Tis sure enough, an you knew how.
Link: 4.1.96
But if you hunt these bear-whelps, then beware:
Link: 4.1.97
The dam will wake; and, if she wind you once,
Link: 4.1.98
She's with the lion deeply still in league,
Link: 4.1.99
And lulls him whilst she playeth on her back,
Link: 4.1.100
And when he sleeps will she do what she list.
Link: 4.1.101
You are a young huntsman, Marcus; let it alone;
Link: 4.1.102
And, come, I will go get a leaf of brass,
Link: 4.1.103
And with a gad of steel will write these words,
Link: 4.1.104
And lay it by: the angry northern wind
Link: 4.1.105
Will blow these sands, like Sibyl's leaves, abroad,
Link: 4.1.106
And where's your lesson, then? Boy, what say you?
Link: 4.1.107

I say, my lord, that if I were a man,
Link: 4.1.108
Their mother's bed-chamber should not be safe
Link: 4.1.109
For these bad bondmen to the yoke of Rome.
Link: 4.1.110

Ay, that's my boy! thy father hath full oft
Link: 4.1.111
For his ungrateful country done the like.
Link: 4.1.112

And, uncle, so will I, an if I live.
Link: 4.1.113

Come, go with me into mine armoury;
Link: 4.1.114
Lucius, I'll fit thee; and withal, my boy,
Link: 4.1.115
Shalt carry from me to the empress' sons
Link: 4.1.116
Presents that I intend to send them both:
Link: 4.1.117
Come, come; thou'lt do thy message, wilt thou not?
Link: 4.1.118

Ay, with my dagger in their bosoms, grandsire.
Link: 4.1.119

No, boy, not so; I'll teach thee another course.
Link: 4.1.120
Lavinia, come. Marcus, look to my house:
Link: 4.1.121
Lucius and I'll go brave it at the court:
Link: 4.1.122
Ay, marry, will we, sir; and we'll be waited on.
Link: 4.1.123


O heavens, can you hear a good man groan,
Link: 4.1.124
And not relent, or not compassion him?
Link: 4.1.125
Marcus, attend him in his ecstasy,
Link: 4.1.126
That hath more scars of sorrow in his heart
Link: 4.1.127
Than foemen's marks upon his batter'd shield;
Link: 4.1.128
But yet so just that he will not revenge.
Link: 4.1.129
Revenge, ye heavens, for old Andronicus!
Link: 4.1.130


SCENE II. The same. A room in the palace.

Scene 2 of Act 4 begins with the entrance of Tamora, the Queen of the Goths, and her two sons, Demetrius and Chiron. They are greeted by Aaron, Tamora's lover and the father of her illegitimate child. Tamora is pleased with the news that Titus Andronicus has been fooled into cutting off his own hand, as she seeks revenge against him for killing her eldest son in battle. She orders her sons to find Lavinia, Titus' daughter, and bring her to her. The two brothers eagerly agree, as they both lust after Lavinia.

Meanwhile, Titus Andronicus enters with his remaining son Lucius and Marcus, his brother. He is distraught over the loss of his hand and the deceit that led to it. However, he is convinced by Marcus to forgive his former enemy, the Emperor Saturninus, and offer him his remaining hand in an attempt to make peace. Titus sends Lucius to deliver the message to Saturninus.

Demetrius and Chiron then enter with Lavinia, who has been brutally raped and mutilated by them. They mock her and leave her with Titus and Marcus. The two men are horrified at the sight of Lavinia's injuries and ask her to reveal the names of her attackers. Lavinia uses a stick to write the letters "RAPE" in the dirt, indicating that it was Demetrius and Chiron who committed the heinous act. Titus vows to seek revenge against them and begins to plot his retaliation.

The scene ends with Aaron revealing his plan to frame Titus' sons for the murder of the Emperor's brother, Bassianus, in order to protect himself and Tamora. He convinces the two brothers to kill one another, but promises to help them escape afterwards.

Enter, from one side, AARON, DEMETRIUS, and CHIRON; from the other side, Young LUCIUS, and an Attendant, with a bundle of weapons, and verses writ upon them

Demetrius, here's the son of Lucius;
Link: 4.2.1
He hath some message to deliver us.
Link: 4.2.2

Ay, some mad message from his mad grandfather.
Link: 4.2.3

My lords, with all the humbleness I may,
Link: 4.2.4
I greet your honours from Andronicus.
Link: 4.2.5
And pray the Roman gods confound you both!
Link: 4.2.6

Gramercy, lovely Lucius: what's the news?
Link: 4.2.7

(Aside) That you are both decipher'd, that's the news,
Link: 4.2.8
For villains mark'd with rape.--May it please you,
Link: 4.2.9
My grandsire, well advised, hath sent by me
Link: 4.2.10
The goodliest weapons of his armoury
Link: 4.2.11
To gratify your honourable youth,
Link: 4.2.12
The hope of Rome; for so he bade me say;
Link: 4.2.13
And so I do, and with his gifts present
Link: 4.2.14
Your lordships, that, whenever you have need,
Link: 4.2.15
You may be armed and appointed well:
Link: 4.2.16
And so I leave you both:
Link: 4.2.17
like bloody villains.
Link: 4.2.18

Exeunt Young LUCIUS, and Attendant

What's here? A scroll; and written round about?
Link: 4.2.19
Let's see;
Link: 4.2.20
'Integer vitae, scelerisque purus,
Link: 4.2.21
Non eget Mauri jaculis, nec arcu.'
Link: 4.2.22

O, 'tis a verse in Horace; I know it well:
Link: 4.2.23
I read it in the grammar long ago.
Link: 4.2.24

Ay, just; a verse in Horace; right, you have it.
Link: 4.2.25
Now, what a thing it is to be an ass!
Link: 4.2.26
Here's no sound jest! the old man hath found their guilt;
Link: 4.2.27
And sends them weapons wrapped about with lines,
Link: 4.2.28
That wound, beyond their feeling, to the quick.
Link: 4.2.29
But were our witty empress well afoot,
Link: 4.2.30
She would applaud Andronicus' conceit:
Link: 4.2.31
But let her rest in her unrest awhile.
Link: 4.2.32
And now, young lords, was't not a happy star
Link: 4.2.33
Led us to Rome, strangers, and more than so,
Link: 4.2.34
Captives, to be advanced to this height?
Link: 4.2.35
It did me good, before the palace gate
Link: 4.2.36
To brave the tribune in his brother's hearing.
Link: 4.2.37

But me more good, to see so great a lord
Link: 4.2.38
Basely insinuate and send us gifts.
Link: 4.2.39

Had he not reason, Lord Demetrius?
Link: 4.2.40
Did you not use his daughter very friendly?
Link: 4.2.41

I would we had a thousand Roman dames
Link: 4.2.42
At such a bay, by turn to serve our lust.
Link: 4.2.43

A charitable wish and full of love.
Link: 4.2.44

Here lacks but your mother for to say amen.
Link: 4.2.45

And that would she for twenty thousand more.
Link: 4.2.46

Come, let us go; and pray to all the gods
Link: 4.2.47
For our beloved mother in her pains.
Link: 4.2.48

(Aside) Pray to the devils; the gods have given us over.
Link: 4.2.49

Trumpets sound within

Why do the emperor's trumpets flourish thus?
Link: 4.2.50

Belike, for joy the emperor hath a son.
Link: 4.2.51

Soft! who comes here?
Link: 4.2.52

Enter a Nurse, with a blackamoor Child in her arms

Good morrow, lords:
Link: 4.2.53
O, tell me, did you see Aaron the Moor?
Link: 4.2.54

Well, more or less, or ne'er a whit at all,
Link: 4.2.55
Here Aaron is; and what with Aaron now?
Link: 4.2.56

O gentle Aaron, we are all undone!
Link: 4.2.57
Now help, or woe betide thee evermore!
Link: 4.2.58

Why, what a caterwauling dost thou keep!
Link: 4.2.59
What dost thou wrap and fumble in thine arms?
Link: 4.2.60

O, that which I would hide from heaven's eye,
Link: 4.2.61
Our empress' shame, and stately Rome's disgrace!
Link: 4.2.62
She is deliver'd, lords; she is deliver'd.
Link: 4.2.63

To whom?
Link: 4.2.64

I mean, she is brought a-bed.
Link: 4.2.65

Well, God give her good rest! What hath he sent her?
Link: 4.2.66

A devil.
Link: 4.2.67

Why, then she is the devil's dam; a joyful issue.
Link: 4.2.68

A joyless, dismal, black, and sorrowful issue:
Link: 4.2.69
Here is the babe, as loathsome as a toad
Link: 4.2.70
Amongst the fairest breeders of our clime:
Link: 4.2.71
The empress sends it thee, thy stamp, thy seal,
Link: 4.2.72
And bids thee christen it with thy dagger's point.
Link: 4.2.73

'Zounds, ye whore! is black so base a hue?
Link: 4.2.74
Sweet blowse, you are a beauteous blossom, sure.
Link: 4.2.75

Villain, what hast thou done?
Link: 4.2.76

That which thou canst not undo.
Link: 4.2.77

Thou hast undone our mother.
Link: 4.2.78

Villain, I have done thy mother.
Link: 4.2.79

And therein, hellish dog, thou hast undone.
Link: 4.2.80
Woe to her chance, and damn'd her loathed choice!
Link: 4.2.81
Accursed the offspring of so foul a fiend!
Link: 4.2.82

It shall not live.
Link: 4.2.83

It shall not die.
Link: 4.2.84

Aaron, it must; the mother wills it so.
Link: 4.2.85

What, must it, nurse? then let no man but I
Link: 4.2.86
Do execution on my flesh and blood.
Link: 4.2.87

I'll broach the tadpole on my rapier's point:
Link: 4.2.88
Nurse, give it me; my sword shall soon dispatch it.
Link: 4.2.89

Sooner this sword shall plough thy bowels up.
Link: 4.2.90
Stay, murderous villains! will you kill your brother?
Link: 4.2.91
Now, by the burning tapers of the sky,
Link: 4.2.92
That shone so brightly when this boy was got,
Link: 4.2.93
He dies upon my scimitar's sharp point
Link: 4.2.94
That touches this my first-born son and heir!
Link: 4.2.95
I tell you, younglings, not Enceladus,
Link: 4.2.96
With all his threatening band of Typhon's brood,
Link: 4.2.97
Nor great Alcides, nor the god of war,
Link: 4.2.98
Shall seize this prey out of his father's hands.
Link: 4.2.99
What, what, ye sanguine, shallow-hearted boys!
Link: 4.2.100
Ye white-limed walls! ye alehouse painted signs!
Link: 4.2.101
Coal-black is better than another hue,
Link: 4.2.102
In that it scorns to bear another hue;
Link: 4.2.103
For all the water in the ocean
Link: 4.2.104
Can never turn the swan's black legs to white,
Link: 4.2.105
Although she lave them hourly in the flood.
Link: 4.2.106
Tell the empress from me, I am of age
Link: 4.2.107
To keep mine own, excuse it how she can.
Link: 4.2.108

Wilt thou betray thy noble mistress thus?
Link: 4.2.109

My mistress is my mistress; this myself,
Link: 4.2.110
The vigour and the picture of my youth:
Link: 4.2.111
This before all the world do I prefer;
Link: 4.2.112
This maugre all the world will I keep safe,
Link: 4.2.113
Or some of you shall smoke for it in Rome.
Link: 4.2.114

By this our mother is forever shamed.
Link: 4.2.115

Rome will despise her for this foul escape.
Link: 4.2.116

The emperor, in his rage, will doom her death.
Link: 4.2.117

I blush to think upon this ignomy.
Link: 4.2.118

Why, there's the privilege your beauty bears:
Link: 4.2.119
Fie, treacherous hue, that will betray with blushing
Link: 4.2.120
The close enacts and counsels of the heart!
Link: 4.2.121
Here's a young lad framed of another leer:
Link: 4.2.122
Look, how the black slave smiles upon the father,
Link: 4.2.123
As who should say 'Old lad, I am thine own.'
Link: 4.2.124
He is your brother, lords, sensibly fed
Link: 4.2.125
Of that self-blood that first gave life to you,
Link: 4.2.126
And from that womb where you imprison'd were
Link: 4.2.127
He is enfranchised and come to light:
Link: 4.2.128
Nay, he is your brother by the surer side,
Link: 4.2.129
Although my seal be stamped in his face.
Link: 4.2.130

Aaron, what shall I say unto the empress?
Link: 4.2.131

Advise thee, Aaron, what is to be done,
Link: 4.2.132
And we will all subscribe to thy advice:
Link: 4.2.133
Save thou the child, so we may all be safe.
Link: 4.2.134

Then sit we down, and let us all consult.
Link: 4.2.135
My son and I will have the wind of you:
Link: 4.2.136
Keep there: now talk at pleasure of your safety.
Link: 4.2.137

They sit

How many women saw this child of his?
Link: 4.2.138

Why, so, brave lords! when we join in league,
Link: 4.2.139
I am a lamb: but if you brave the Moor,
Link: 4.2.140
The chafed boar, the mountain lioness,
Link: 4.2.141
The ocean swells not so as Aaron storms.
Link: 4.2.142
But say, again; how many saw the child?
Link: 4.2.143

Cornelia the midwife and myself;
Link: 4.2.144
And no one else but the deliver'd empress.
Link: 4.2.145

The empress, the midwife, and yourself:
Link: 4.2.146
Two may keep counsel when the third's away:
Link: 4.2.147
Go to the empress, tell her this I said.
Link: 4.2.148
Weke, weke! so cries a pig prepared to the spit.
Link: 4.2.149

What mean'st thou, Aaron? wherefore didst thou this?
Link: 4.2.150

O Lord, sir, 'tis a deed of policy:
Link: 4.2.151
Shall she live to betray this guilt of ours,
Link: 4.2.152
A long-tongued babbling gossip? no, lords, no:
Link: 4.2.153
And now be it known to you my full intent.
Link: 4.2.154
Not far, one Muli lives, my countryman;
Link: 4.2.155
His wife but yesternight was brought to bed;
Link: 4.2.156
His child is like to her, fair as you are:
Link: 4.2.157
Go pack with him, and give the mother gold,
Link: 4.2.158
And tell them both the circumstance of all;
Link: 4.2.159
And how by this their child shall be advanced,
Link: 4.2.160
And be received for the emperor's heir,
Link: 4.2.161
And substituted in the place of mine,
Link: 4.2.162
To calm this tempest whirling in the court;
Link: 4.2.163
And let the emperor dandle him for his own.
Link: 4.2.164
Hark ye, lords; ye see I have given her physic,
Link: 4.2.165
And you must needs bestow her funeral;
Link: 4.2.166
The fields are near, and you are gallant grooms:
Link: 4.2.167
This done, see that you take no longer days,
Link: 4.2.168
But send the midwife presently to me.
Link: 4.2.169
The midwife and the nurse well made away,
Link: 4.2.170
Then let the ladies tattle what they please.
Link: 4.2.171

Aaron, I see thou wilt not trust the air
Link: 4.2.172
With secrets.
Link: 4.2.173

For this care of Tamora,
Link: 4.2.174
Herself and hers are highly bound to thee.
Link: 4.2.175

Exeunt DEMETRIUS and CHIRON bearing off the Nurse's body

Now to the Goths, as swift as swallow flies;
Link: 4.2.176
There to dispose this treasure in mine arms,
Link: 4.2.177
And secretly to greet the empress' friends.
Link: 4.2.178
Come on, you thick lipp'd slave, I'll bear you hence;
Link: 4.2.179
For it is you that puts us to our shifts:
Link: 4.2.180
I'll make you feed on berries and on roots,
Link: 4.2.181
And feed on curds and whey, and suck the goat,
Link: 4.2.182
And cabin in a cave, and bring you up
Link: 4.2.183
To be a warrior, and command a camp.
Link: 4.2.184


SCENE III. The same. A public place.

Scene 3 of Act 4 begins with Titus Andronicus being brought before Saturninus and Tamora, along with his two remaining sons. Tamora pleads with Saturninus to spare Titus' life, but he refuses, demanding that Titus' hand be cut off. Titus, in turn, demands that the hands of Tamora's two sons be cut off in retribution for the rape and mutilation of his daughter, Lavinia.

As the gruesome punishment is carried out, Titus reveals that he has been driven mad by grief and loss. He stabs one of Tamora's sons to death, and then kills Tamora herself. In the chaos that follows, Titus is himself killed by Saturninus.

The scene is a culmination of the play's themes of revenge, violence, and madness. It also highlights the cycle of violence and retribution that has driven the characters throughout the play, as well as the tragic consequences of their actions.

Enter TITUS, bearing arrows with letters at the ends of them; with him, MARCUS, Young LUCIUS, PUBLIUS, SEMPRONIUS, CAIUS, and other Gentlemen, with bows

Come, Marcus; come, kinsmen; this is the way.
Link: 4.3.1
Sir boy, now let me see your archery;
Link: 4.3.2
Look ye draw home enough, and 'tis there straight.
Link: 4.3.3
Terras Astraea reliquit:
Link: 4.3.4
Be you remember'd, Marcus, she's gone, she's fled.
Link: 4.3.5
Sirs, take you to your tools. You, cousins, shall
Link: 4.3.6
Go sound the ocean, and cast your nets;
Link: 4.3.7
Happily you may catch her in the sea;
Link: 4.3.8
Yet there's as little justice as at land:
Link: 4.3.9
No; Publius and Sempronius, you must do it;
Link: 4.3.10
'Tis you must dig with mattock and with spade,
Link: 4.3.11
And pierce the inmost centre of the earth:
Link: 4.3.12
Then, when you come to Pluto's region,
Link: 4.3.13
I pray you, deliver him this petition;
Link: 4.3.14
Tell him, it is for justice and for aid,
Link: 4.3.15
And that it comes from old Andronicus,
Link: 4.3.16
Shaken with sorrows in ungrateful Rome.
Link: 4.3.17
Ah, Rome! Well, well; I made thee miserable
Link: 4.3.18
What time I threw the people's suffrages
Link: 4.3.19
On him that thus doth tyrannize o'er me.
Link: 4.3.20
Go, get you gone; and pray be careful all,
Link: 4.3.21
And leave you not a man-of-war unsearch'd:
Link: 4.3.22
This wicked emperor may have shipp'd her hence;
Link: 4.3.23
And, kinsmen, then we may go pipe for justice.
Link: 4.3.24

O Publius, is not this a heavy case,
Link: 4.3.25
To see thy noble uncle thus distract?
Link: 4.3.26

Therefore, my lord, it highly us concerns
Link: 4.3.27
By day and night to attend him carefully,
Link: 4.3.28
And feed his humour kindly as we may,
Link: 4.3.29
Till time beget some careful remedy.
Link: 4.3.30

Kinsmen, his sorrows are past remedy.
Link: 4.3.31
Join with the Goths; and with revengeful war
Link: 4.3.32
Take wreak on Rome for this ingratitude,
Link: 4.3.33
And vengeance on the traitor Saturnine.
Link: 4.3.34

Publius, how now! how now, my masters!
Link: 4.3.35
What, have you met with her?
Link: 4.3.36

No, my good lord; but Pluto sends you word,
Link: 4.3.37
If you will have Revenge from hell, you shall:
Link: 4.3.38
Marry, for Justice, she is so employ'd,
Link: 4.3.39
He thinks, with Jove in heaven, or somewhere else,
Link: 4.3.40
So that perforce you must needs stay a time.
Link: 4.3.41

He doth me wrong to feed me with delays.
Link: 4.3.42
I'll dive into the burning lake below,
Link: 4.3.43
And pull her out of Acheron by the heels.
Link: 4.3.44
Marcus, we are but shrubs, no cedars we
Link: 4.3.45
No big-boned men framed of the Cyclops' size;
Link: 4.3.46
But metal, Marcus, steel to the very back,
Link: 4.3.47
Yet wrung with wrongs more than our backs can bear:
Link: 4.3.48
And, sith there's no justice in earth nor hell,
Link: 4.3.49
We will solicit heaven and move the gods
Link: 4.3.50
To send down Justice for to wreak our wrongs.
Link: 4.3.51
Come, to this gear. You are a good archer, Marcus;
Link: 4.3.52
'Ad Jovem,' that's for you: here, 'Ad Apollinem:'
Link: 4.3.53
'Ad Martem,' that's for myself:
Link: 4.3.54
Here, boy, to Pallas: here, to Mercury:
Link: 4.3.55
To Saturn, Caius, not to Saturnine;
Link: 4.3.56
You were as good to shoot against the wind.
Link: 4.3.57
To it, boy! Marcus, loose when I bid.
Link: 4.3.58
Of my word, I have written to effect;
Link: 4.3.59
There's not a god left unsolicited.
Link: 4.3.60

Kinsmen, shoot all your shafts into the court:
Link: 4.3.61
We will afflict the emperor in his pride.
Link: 4.3.62

Now, masters, draw.
Link: 4.3.63
O, well said, Lucius!
Link: 4.3.64
Good boy, in Virgo's lap; give it Pallas.
Link: 4.3.65

My lord, I aim a mile beyond the moon;
Link: 4.3.66
Your letter is with Jupiter by this.
Link: 4.3.67

Ha, ha!
Link: 4.3.68
Publius, Publius, what hast thou done?
Link: 4.3.69
See, see, thou hast shot off one of Taurus' horns.
Link: 4.3.70

This was the sport, my lord: when Publius shot,
Link: 4.3.71
The Bull, being gall'd, gave Aries such a knock
Link: 4.3.72
That down fell both the Ram's horns in the court;
Link: 4.3.73
And who should find them but the empress' villain?
Link: 4.3.74
She laugh'd, and told the Moor he should not choose
Link: 4.3.75
But give them to his master for a present.
Link: 4.3.76

Why, there it goes: God give his lordship joy!
Link: 4.3.77
News, news from heaven! Marcus, the post is come.
Link: 4.3.78
Sirrah, what tidings? have you any letters?
Link: 4.3.79
Shall I have justice? what says Jupiter?
Link: 4.3.80

O, the gibbet-maker! he says that he hath taken
Link: 4.3.81
them down again, for the man must not be hanged till
Link: 4.3.82
the next week.
Link: 4.3.83

But what says Jupiter, I ask thee?
Link: 4.3.84

Alas, sir, I know not Jupiter; I never drank with him
Link: 4.3.85
in all my life.
Link: 4.3.86

Why, villain, art not thou the carrier?
Link: 4.3.87

Ay, of my pigeons, sir; nothing else.
Link: 4.3.88

Why, didst thou not come from heaven?
Link: 4.3.89

From heaven! alas, sir, I never came there God
Link: 4.3.90
forbid I should be so bold to press to heaven in my
Link: 4.3.91
young days. Why, I am going with my pigeons to the
Link: 4.3.92
tribunal plebs, to take up a matter of brawl
Link: 4.3.93
betwixt my uncle and one of the emperial's men.
Link: 4.3.94

Why, sir, that is as fit as can be to serve for
Link: 4.3.95
your oration; and let him deliver the pigeons to
Link: 4.3.96
the emperor from you.
Link: 4.3.97

Tell me, can you deliver an oration to the emperor
Link: 4.3.98
with a grace?
Link: 4.3.99

Nay, truly, sir, I could never say grace in all my life.
Link: 4.3.100

Sirrah, come hither: make no more ado,
Link: 4.3.101
But give your pigeons to the emperor:
Link: 4.3.102
By me thou shalt have justice at his hands.
Link: 4.3.103
Hold, hold; meanwhile here's money for thy charges.
Link: 4.3.104
Give me pen and ink. Sirrah, can you with a grace
Link: 4.3.105
deliver a supplication?
Link: 4.3.106

Ay, sir.
Link: 4.3.107

Then here is a supplication for you. And when you
Link: 4.3.108
come to him, at the first approach you must kneel,
Link: 4.3.109
then kiss his foot, then deliver up your pigeons, and
Link: 4.3.110
then look for your reward. I'll be at hand, sir; see
Link: 4.3.111
you do it bravely.
Link: 4.3.112

I warrant you, sir, let me alone.
Link: 4.3.113

Sirrah, hast thou a knife? come, let me see it.
Link: 4.3.114
Here, Marcus, fold it in the oration;
Link: 4.3.115
For thou hast made it like an humble suppliant.
Link: 4.3.116
And when thou hast given it the emperor,
Link: 4.3.117
Knock at my door, and tell me what he says.
Link: 4.3.118

God be with you, sir; I will.
Link: 4.3.119

Come, Marcus, let us go. Publius, follow me.
Link: 4.3.120


SCENE IV. The same. Before the palace.

Scene 4 of Act 4 involves a conversation between Titus Andronicus and his brother Marcus. Titus is severely traumatized after losing his hand, his two sons, and his daughter Lavinia. He is also convinced that the gods have abandoned him and that he has been cursed. Marcus is concerned about his brother's mental state and tries to comfort him.

Titus reveals that he has hatched a plan to get revenge on his enemies. He has invited them to a banquet and plans to serve them a pie filled with the heads of his two sons who were murdered. Marcus is shocked by the idea and tries to dissuade Titus from carrying it out, but Titus is determined to go through with it.

The conversation then turns to Lavinia, who has been raped and mutilated by Titus's enemies. Titus is consumed with grief and despair over what has happened to her. Marcus suggests that they bury Lavinia's remains and give her a proper funeral, but Titus refuses, saying that he wants to keep her body on display as a reminder of the horrors that have been inflicted on his family.

The scene ends with Titus and Marcus agreeing to go through with their respective plans. Titus is going to prepare the pie for his enemies, while Marcus is going to bury Lavinia's remains. Both men are consumed with grief and anger, and their actions show just how far they are willing to go to get revenge for the atrocities that have been committed against their family.

Enter SATURNINUS, TAMORA, DEMETRIUS, CHIRON, Lords, and others; SATURNINUS with the arrows in his hand that TITUS shot

Why, lords, what wrongs are these! was ever seen
Link: 4.4.1
An emperor in Rome thus overborne,
Link: 4.4.2
Troubled, confronted thus; and, for the extent
Link: 4.4.3
Of egal justice, used in such contempt?
Link: 4.4.4
My lords, you know, as know the mightful gods,
Link: 4.4.5
However these disturbers of our peace
Link: 4.4.6
Buz in the people's ears, there nought hath pass'd,
Link: 4.4.7
But even with law, against the willful sons
Link: 4.4.8
Of old Andronicus. And what an if
Link: 4.4.9
His sorrows have so overwhelm'd his wits,
Link: 4.4.10
Shall we be thus afflicted in his wreaks,
Link: 4.4.11
His fits, his frenzy, and his bitterness?
Link: 4.4.12
And now he writes to heaven for his redress:
Link: 4.4.13
See, here's to Jove, and this to Mercury;
Link: 4.4.14
This to Apollo; this to the god of war;
Link: 4.4.15
Sweet scrolls to fly about the streets of Rome!
Link: 4.4.16
What's this but libelling against the senate,
Link: 4.4.17
And blazoning our injustice every where?
Link: 4.4.18
A goodly humour, is it not, my lords?
Link: 4.4.19
As who would say, in Rome no justice were.
Link: 4.4.20
But if I live, his feigned ecstasies
Link: 4.4.21
Shall be no shelter to these outrages:
Link: 4.4.22
But he and his shall know that justice lives
Link: 4.4.23
In Saturninus' health, whom, if she sleep,
Link: 4.4.24
He'll so awake as she in fury shall
Link: 4.4.25
Cut off the proud'st conspirator that lives.
Link: 4.4.26

My gracious lord, my lovely Saturnine,
Link: 4.4.27
Lord of my life, commander of my thoughts,
Link: 4.4.28
Calm thee, and bear the faults of Titus' age,
Link: 4.4.29
The effects of sorrow for his valiant sons,
Link: 4.4.30
Whose loss hath pierced him deep and scarr'd his heart;
Link: 4.4.31
And rather comfort his distressed plight
Link: 4.4.32
Than prosecute the meanest or the best
Link: 4.4.33
For these contempts.
Link: 4.4.34
Why, thus it shall become
Link: 4.4.35
High-witted Tamora to gloze with all:
Link: 4.4.36
But, Titus, I have touched thee to the quick,
Link: 4.4.37
Thy life-blood out: if Aaron now be wise,
Link: 4.4.38
Then is all safe, the anchor's in the port.
Link: 4.4.39
How now, good fellow! wouldst thou speak with us?
Link: 4.4.40

Yea, forsooth, an your mistership be emperial.
Link: 4.4.41

Empress I am, but yonder sits the emperor.
Link: 4.4.42

'Tis he. God and Saint Stephen give you good den:
Link: 4.4.43
I have brought you a letter and a couple of pigeons here.
Link: 4.4.44

SATURNINUS reads the letter

Go, take him away, and hang him presently.
Link: 4.4.45

How much money must I have?
Link: 4.4.46

Come, sirrah, you must be hanged.
Link: 4.4.47

Hanged! by'r lady, then I have brought up a neck to
Link: 4.4.48
a fair end.
Link: 4.4.49

Exit, guarded

Despiteful and intolerable wrongs!
Link: 4.4.50
Shall I endure this monstrous villany?
Link: 4.4.51
I know from whence this same device proceeds:
Link: 4.4.52
May this be borne?--as if his traitorous sons,
Link: 4.4.53
That died by law for murder of our brother,
Link: 4.4.54
Have by my means been butcher'd wrongfully!
Link: 4.4.55
Go, drag the villain hither by the hair;
Link: 4.4.56
Nor age nor honour shall shape privilege:
Link: 4.4.57
For this proud mock I'll be thy slaughterman;
Link: 4.4.58
Sly frantic wretch, that holp'st to make me great,
Link: 4.4.59
In hope thyself should govern Rome and me.
Link: 4.4.60
What news with thee, AEmilius?
Link: 4.4.61

Arm, arm, my lord;--Rome never had more cause.
Link: 4.4.62
The Goths have gather'd head; and with a power
Link: 4.4.63
high-resolved men, bent to the spoil,
Link: 4.4.64
They hither march amain, under conduct
Link: 4.4.65
Of Lucius, son to old Andronicus;
Link: 4.4.66
Who threats, in course of this revenge, to do
Link: 4.4.67
As much as ever Coriolanus did.
Link: 4.4.68

Is warlike Lucius general of the Goths?
Link: 4.4.69
These tidings nip me, and I hang the head
Link: 4.4.70
As flowers with frost or grass beat down with storms:
Link: 4.4.71
Ay, now begin our sorrows to approach:
Link: 4.4.72
'Tis he the common people love so much;
Link: 4.4.73
Myself hath often over-heard them say,
Link: 4.4.74
When I have walked like a private man,
Link: 4.4.75
That Lucius' banishment was wrongfully,
Link: 4.4.76
And they have wish'd that Lucius were their emperor.
Link: 4.4.77

Why should you fear? is not your city strong?
Link: 4.4.78

Ay, but the citizens favor Lucius,
Link: 4.4.79
And will revolt from me to succor him.
Link: 4.4.80

King, be thy thoughts imperious, like thy name.
Link: 4.4.81
Is the sun dimm'd, that gnats do fly in it?
Link: 4.4.82
The eagle suffers little birds to sing,
Link: 4.4.83
And is not careful what they mean thereby,
Link: 4.4.84
Knowing that with the shadow of his wings
Link: 4.4.85
He can at pleasure stint their melody:
Link: 4.4.86
Even so mayst thou the giddy men of Rome.
Link: 4.4.87
Then cheer thy spirit : for know, thou emperor,
Link: 4.4.88
I will enchant the old Andronicus
Link: 4.4.89
With words more sweet, and yet more dangerous,
Link: 4.4.90
Than baits to fish, or honey-stalks to sheep,
Link: 4.4.91
When as the one is wounded with the bait,
Link: 4.4.92
The other rotted with delicious feed.
Link: 4.4.93

But he will not entreat his son for us.
Link: 4.4.94

If Tamora entreat him, then he will:
Link: 4.4.95
For I can smooth and fill his aged ear
Link: 4.4.96
With golden promises; that, were his heart
Link: 4.4.97
Almost impregnable, his old ears deaf,
Link: 4.4.98
Yet should both ear and heart obey my tongue.
Link: 4.4.99
Go thou before, be our ambassador:
Link: 4.4.100
Say that the emperor requests a parley
Link: 4.4.101
Of warlike Lucius, and appoint the meeting
Link: 4.4.102
Even at his father's house, the old Andronicus.
Link: 4.4.103

AEmilius, do this message honourably:
Link: 4.4.104
And if he stand on hostage for his safety,
Link: 4.4.105
Bid him demand what pledge will please him best.
Link: 4.4.106

Your bidding shall I do effectually.
Link: 4.4.107


Now will I to that old Andronicus;
Link: 4.4.108
And temper him with all the art I have,
Link: 4.4.109
To pluck proud Lucius from the warlike Goths.
Link: 4.4.110
And now, sweet emperor, be blithe again,
Link: 4.4.111
And bury all thy fear in my devices.
Link: 4.4.112

Then go successantly, and plead to him.
Link: 4.4.113


Act V

Act 5 of Titus Andronicus begins with Lucius, the son of Titus, and his army besieging Rome. Saturninus, the new emperor, sends Tamora's son Alarbus to be sacrificed to appease the gods. Titus then arrives with the heads of his sons Quintus and Martius. He believes that they were wrongfully executed and demands justice. When Saturninus refuses to listen, Titus stabs him and is himself then killed by Saturninus' guards. Lucius and his army enter the city and fight against Saturninus and his followers. Tamora and her two remaining sons, Demetrius and Chiron, are killed. Aaron, Tamora's lover and the mastermind behind many of the play's evil deeds, is captured and sentenced to death.

The final scene takes place at Titus' funeral. Lucius is named the new emperor and he orders Aaron to be buried chest-deep and left to die. Aaron tells Lucius that he has a secret child with Tamora, and begs for his life to be spared in exchange for revealing the child's whereabouts. Lucius agrees, but the child is found dead. Aaron is then buried alive as punishment for his crimes. The play ends with Lucius reflecting on the tragic events that have taken place and vowing to restore order and justice to Rome.

SCENE I. Plains near Rome.

Scene 1 of Act 5 in Titus Andronicus involves the character of Titus Andronicus and his two sons, Lucius and Marcus, who are in a forest. Titus is distraught over the events that have transpired, including the murder of his sons and the rape and mutilation of his daughter, Lavinia. He believes that the gods have abandoned him and that he is now cursed.

Lucius and Marcus try to comfort their father, but Titus is inconsolable. Suddenly, they are approached by a group of men who claim to be from the Roman Senate. They inform Titus that he has been chosen to be the new emperor of Rome.

Titus is initially skeptical, but the men assure him that they have the authority to make such a decision. They dress him in imperial robes and offer him a crown. Titus is hesitant to accept, but his sons convince him that it is his duty to do so.

As they prepare to leave the forest and make their way to Rome, Titus suddenly stops and orders his sons to kill the men who have just crowned him. He reveals that he has been driven mad by his grief and can no longer distinguish between friend and foe.

Lucius and Marcus are horrified by their father's sudden violence, but they comply with his wishes. They kill the men and carry on towards Rome, with Titus now fully embracing his role as emperor and seeking revenge against those who have wronged him and his family.

Enter LUCIUS with an army of Goths, with drum and colours

Approved warriors, and my faithful friends,
Link: 5.1.1
I have received letters from great Rome,
Link: 5.1.2
Which signify what hate they bear their emperor
Link: 5.1.3
And how desirous of our sight they are.
Link: 5.1.4
Therefore, great lords, be, as your titles witness,
Link: 5.1.5
Imperious and impatient of your wrongs,
Link: 5.1.6
And wherein Rome hath done you any scath,
Link: 5.1.7
Let him make treble satisfaction.
Link: 5.1.8

First Goth
Brave slip, sprung from the great Andronicus,
Link: 5.1.9
Whose name was once our terror, now our comfort;
Link: 5.1.10
Whose high exploits and honourable deeds
Link: 5.1.11
Ingrateful Rome requites with foul contempt,
Link: 5.1.12
Be bold in us: we'll follow where thou lead'st,
Link: 5.1.13
Like stinging bees in hottest summer's day
Link: 5.1.14
Led by their master to the flowered fields,
Link: 5.1.15
And be avenged on cursed Tamora.
Link: 5.1.16

All the Goths
And as he saith, so say we all with him.
Link: 5.1.17

I humbly thank him, and I thank you all.
Link: 5.1.18
But who comes here, led by a lusty Goth?
Link: 5.1.19

Enter a Goth, leading AARON with his Child in his arms

Second Goth
Renowned Lucius, from our troops I stray'd
Link: 5.1.20
To gaze upon a ruinous monastery;
Link: 5.1.21
And, as I earnestly did fix mine eye
Link: 5.1.22
Upon the wasted building, suddenly
Link: 5.1.23
I heard a child cry underneath a wall.
Link: 5.1.24
I made unto the noise; when soon I heard
Link: 5.1.25
The crying babe controll'd with this discourse:
Link: 5.1.26
'Peace, tawny slave, half me and half thy dam!
Link: 5.1.27
Did not thy hue bewray whose brat thou art,
Link: 5.1.28
Had nature lent thee but thy mother's look,
Link: 5.1.29
Villain, thou mightst have been an emperor:
Link: 5.1.30
But where the bull and cow are both milk-white,
Link: 5.1.31
They never do beget a coal-black calf.
Link: 5.1.32
Peace, villain, peace!'--even thus he rates
Link: 5.1.33
the babe,--
Link: 5.1.34
'For I must bear thee to a trusty Goth;
Link: 5.1.35
Who, when he knows thou art the empress' babe,
Link: 5.1.36
Will hold thee dearly for thy mother's sake.'
Link: 5.1.37
With this, my weapon drawn, I rush'd upon him,
Link: 5.1.38
Surprised him suddenly, and brought him hither,
Link: 5.1.39
To use as you think needful of the man.
Link: 5.1.40

O worthy Goth, this is the incarnate devil
Link: 5.1.41
That robb'd Andronicus of his good hand;
Link: 5.1.42
This is the pearl that pleased your empress' eye,
Link: 5.1.43
And here's the base fruit of his burning lust.
Link: 5.1.44
Say, wall-eyed slave, whither wouldst thou convey
Link: 5.1.45
This growing image of thy fiend-like face?
Link: 5.1.46
Why dost not speak? what, deaf? not a word?
Link: 5.1.47
A halter, soldiers! hang him on this tree.
Link: 5.1.48
And by his side his fruit of bastardy.
Link: 5.1.49

Touch not the boy; he is of royal blood.
Link: 5.1.50

Too like the sire for ever being good.
Link: 5.1.51
First hang the child, that he may see it sprawl;
Link: 5.1.52
A sight to vex the father's soul withal.
Link: 5.1.53
Get me a ladder.
Link: 5.1.54

A ladder brought, which AARON is made to ascend

Lucius, save the child,
Link: 5.1.55
And bear it from me to the empress.
Link: 5.1.56
If thou do this, I'll show thee wondrous things,
Link: 5.1.57
That highly may advantage thee to hear:
Link: 5.1.58
If thou wilt not, befall what may befall,
Link: 5.1.59
I'll speak no more but 'Vengeance rot you all!'
Link: 5.1.60

Say on: an if it please me which thou speak'st
Link: 5.1.61
Thy child shall live, and I will see it nourish'd.
Link: 5.1.62

An if it please thee! why, assure thee, Lucius,
Link: 5.1.63
'Twill vex thy soul to hear what I shall speak;
Link: 5.1.64
For I must talk of murders, rapes and massacres,
Link: 5.1.65
Acts of black night, abominable deeds,
Link: 5.1.66
Complots of mischief, treason, villanies
Link: 5.1.67
Ruthful to hear, yet piteously perform'd:
Link: 5.1.68
And this shall all be buried by my death,
Link: 5.1.69
Unless thou swear to me my child shall live.
Link: 5.1.70

Tell on thy mind; I say thy child shall live.
Link: 5.1.71

Swear that he shall, and then I will begin.
Link: 5.1.72

Who should I swear by? thou believest no god:
Link: 5.1.73
That granted, how canst thou believe an oath?
Link: 5.1.74

What if I do not? as, indeed, I do not;
Link: 5.1.75
Yet, for I know thou art religious
Link: 5.1.76
And hast a thing within thee called conscience,
Link: 5.1.77
With twenty popish tricks and ceremonies,
Link: 5.1.78
Which I have seen thee careful to observe,
Link: 5.1.79
Therefore I urge thy oath; for that I know
Link: 5.1.80
An idiot holds his bauble for a god
Link: 5.1.81
And keeps the oath which by that god he swears,
Link: 5.1.82
To that I'll urge him: therefore thou shalt vow
Link: 5.1.83
By that same god, what god soe'er it be,
Link: 5.1.84
That thou adorest and hast in reverence,
Link: 5.1.85
To save my boy, to nourish and bring him up;
Link: 5.1.86
Or else I will discover nought to thee.
Link: 5.1.87

Even by my god I swear to thee I will.
Link: 5.1.88

First know thou, I begot him on the empress.
Link: 5.1.89

O most insatiate and luxurious woman!
Link: 5.1.90

Tut, Lucius, this was but a deed of charity
Link: 5.1.91
To that which thou shalt hear of me anon.
Link: 5.1.92
'Twas her two sons that murder'd Bassianus;
Link: 5.1.93
They cut thy sister's tongue and ravish'd her
Link: 5.1.94
And cut her hands and trimm'd her as thou saw'st.
Link: 5.1.95

O detestable villain! call'st thou that trimming?
Link: 5.1.96

Why, she was wash'd and cut and trimm'd, and 'twas
Link: 5.1.97
Trim sport for them that had the doing of it.
Link: 5.1.98

O barbarous, beastly villains, like thyself!
Link: 5.1.99

Indeed, I was their tutor to instruct them:
Link: 5.1.100
That codding spirit had they from their mother,
Link: 5.1.101
As sure a card as ever won the set;
Link: 5.1.102
That bloody mind, I think, they learn'd of me,
Link: 5.1.103
As true a dog as ever fought at head.
Link: 5.1.104
Well, let my deeds be witness of my worth.
Link: 5.1.105
I train'd thy brethren to that guileful hole
Link: 5.1.106
Where the dead corpse of Bassianus lay:
Link: 5.1.107
I wrote the letter that thy father found
Link: 5.1.108
And hid the gold within the letter mention'd,
Link: 5.1.109
Confederate with the queen and her two sons:
Link: 5.1.110
And what not done, that thou hast cause to rue,
Link: 5.1.111
Wherein I had no stroke of mischief in it?
Link: 5.1.112
I play'd the cheater for thy father's hand,
Link: 5.1.113
And, when I had it, drew myself apart
Link: 5.1.114
And almost broke my heart with extreme laughter:
Link: 5.1.115
I pry'd me through the crevice of a wall
Link: 5.1.116
When, for his hand, he had his two sons' heads;
Link: 5.1.117
Beheld his tears, and laugh'd so heartily,
Link: 5.1.118
That both mine eyes were rainy like to his :
Link: 5.1.119
And when I told the empress of this sport,
Link: 5.1.120
She swooned almost at my pleasing tale,
Link: 5.1.121
And for my tidings gave me twenty kisses.
Link: 5.1.122

First Goth
What, canst thou say all this, and never blush?
Link: 5.1.123

Ay, like a black dog, as the saying is.
Link: 5.1.124

Art thou not sorry for these heinous deeds?
Link: 5.1.125

Ay, that I had not done a thousand more.
Link: 5.1.126
Even now I curse the day--and yet, I think,
Link: 5.1.127
Few come within the compass of my curse,--
Link: 5.1.128
Wherein I did not some notorious ill,
Link: 5.1.129
As kill a man, or else devise his death,
Link: 5.1.130
Ravish a maid, or plot the way to do it,
Link: 5.1.131
Accuse some innocent and forswear myself,
Link: 5.1.132
Set deadly enmity between two friends,
Link: 5.1.133
Make poor men's cattle break their necks;
Link: 5.1.134
Set fire on barns and hay-stacks in the night,
Link: 5.1.135
And bid the owners quench them with their tears.
Link: 5.1.136
Oft have I digg'd up dead men from their graves,
Link: 5.1.137
And set them upright at their dear friends' doors,
Link: 5.1.138
Even when their sorrows almost were forgot;
Link: 5.1.139
And on their skins, as on the bark of trees,
Link: 5.1.140
Have with my knife carved in Roman letters,
Link: 5.1.141
'Let not your sorrow die, though I am dead.'
Link: 5.1.142
Tut, I have done a thousand dreadful things
Link: 5.1.143
As willingly as one would kill a fly,
Link: 5.1.144
And nothing grieves me heartily indeed
Link: 5.1.145
But that I cannot do ten thousand more.
Link: 5.1.146

Bring down the devil; for he must not die
Link: 5.1.147
So sweet a death as hanging presently.
Link: 5.1.148

If there be devils, would I were a devil,
Link: 5.1.149
To live and burn in everlasting fire,
Link: 5.1.150
So I might have your company in hell,
Link: 5.1.151
But to torment you with my bitter tongue!
Link: 5.1.152

Sirs, stop his mouth, and let him speak no more.
Link: 5.1.153

Enter a Goth

Third Goth
My lord, there is a messenger from Rome
Link: 5.1.154
Desires to be admitted to your presence.
Link: 5.1.155

Let him come near.
Link: 5.1.156
Welcome, AEmilius what's the news from Rome?
Link: 5.1.157

Lord Lucius, and you princes of the Goths,
Link: 5.1.158
The Roman emperor greets you all by me;
Link: 5.1.159
And, for he understands you are in arms,
Link: 5.1.160
He craves a parley at your father's house,
Link: 5.1.161
Willing you to demand your hostages,
Link: 5.1.162
And they shall be immediately deliver'd.
Link: 5.1.163

First Goth
What says our general?
Link: 5.1.164

AEmilius, let the emperor give his pledges
Link: 5.1.165
Unto my father and my uncle Marcus,
Link: 5.1.166
And we will come. March away.
Link: 5.1.167


SCENE II. Rome. Before TITUS's house.

Scene 2 of Act 5 of Titus Andronicus begins with Titus Andronicus in prison, surrounded by his loyal friends and family members. Titus is grief-stricken over the loss of his hand and his sons, and he is determined to seek revenge against his enemies. He tells his friends that he has a plan to deceive Tamora, the Queen of the Goths, and exact revenge on her and her sons.

Titus's plan involves inviting Tamora and her sons to a feast, where he will serve them a dish made from the flesh of her own sons. When Tamora arrives at the banquet, Titus reveals his gruesome plan and condemns Tamora for her treachery. Tamora is horrified by the revelation and begs for mercy, but Titus refuses to show her any kindness.

As the scene progresses, Titus's plan is set into motion. Tamora's sons are killed, and their flesh is used to make the dish that Titus serves to Tamora. In a moment of madness, Titus kills Tamora and is then killed himself by one of her remaining sons.

The scene is a powerful and gruesome depiction of revenge and violence, and it highlights the tragic consequences of unchecked anger and hatred. Despite its disturbing content, Scene 2 of Act 5 of Titus Andronicus is a masterful example of Shakespeare's ability to craft compelling and thought-provoking drama.

Enter TAMORA, DEMETRIUS, and CHIRON, disguised

Thus, in this strange and sad habiliment,
Link: 5.2.1
I will encounter with Andronicus,
Link: 5.2.2
And say I am Revenge, sent from below
Link: 5.2.3
To join with him and right his heinous wrongs.
Link: 5.2.4
Knock at his study, where, they say, he keeps,
Link: 5.2.5
To ruminate strange plots of dire revenge;
Link: 5.2.6
Tell him Revenge is come to join with him,
Link: 5.2.7
And work confusion on his enemies.
Link: 5.2.8

They knock

Enter TITUS, above

Who doth molest my contemplation?
Link: 5.2.9
Is it your trick to make me ope the door,
Link: 5.2.10
That so my sad decrees may fly away,
Link: 5.2.11
And all my study be to no effect?
Link: 5.2.12
You are deceived: for what I mean to do
Link: 5.2.13
See here in bloody lines I have set down;
Link: 5.2.14
And what is written shall be executed.
Link: 5.2.15

Titus, I am come to talk with thee.
Link: 5.2.16

No, not a word; how can I grace my talk,
Link: 5.2.17
Wanting a hand to give it action?
Link: 5.2.18
Thou hast the odds of me; therefore no more.
Link: 5.2.19

If thou didst know me, thou wouldest talk with me.
Link: 5.2.20

I am not mad; I know thee well enough:
Link: 5.2.21
Witness this wretched stump, witness these crimson lines;
Link: 5.2.22
Witness these trenches made by grief and care,
Link: 5.2.23
Witness the tiring day and heavy night;
Link: 5.2.24
Witness all sorrow, that I know thee well
Link: 5.2.25
For our proud empress, mighty Tamora:
Link: 5.2.26
Is not thy coming for my other hand?
Link: 5.2.27

Know, thou sad man, I am not Tamora;
Link: 5.2.28
She is thy enemy, and I thy friend:
Link: 5.2.29
I am Revenge: sent from the infernal kingdom,
Link: 5.2.30
To ease the gnawing vulture of thy mind,
Link: 5.2.31
By working wreakful vengeance on thy foes.
Link: 5.2.32
Come down, and welcome me to this world's light;
Link: 5.2.33
Confer with me of murder and of death:
Link: 5.2.34
There's not a hollow cave or lurking-place,
Link: 5.2.35
No vast obscurity or misty vale,
Link: 5.2.36
Where bloody murder or detested rape
Link: 5.2.37
Can couch for fear, but I will find them out;
Link: 5.2.38
And in their ears tell them my dreadful name,
Link: 5.2.39
Revenge, which makes the foul offender quake.
Link: 5.2.40

Art thou Revenge? and art thou sent to me,
Link: 5.2.41
To be a torment to mine enemies?
Link: 5.2.42

I am; therefore come down, and welcome me.
Link: 5.2.43

Do me some service, ere I come to thee.
Link: 5.2.44
Lo, by thy side where Rape and Murder stands;
Link: 5.2.45
Now give me some surance that thou art Revenge,
Link: 5.2.46
Stab them, or tear them on thy chariot-wheels;
Link: 5.2.47
And then I'll come and be thy waggoner,
Link: 5.2.48
And whirl along with thee about the globe.
Link: 5.2.49
Provide thee two proper palfreys, black as jet,
Link: 5.2.50
To hale thy vengeful waggon swift away,
Link: 5.2.51
And find out murderers in their guilty caves:
Link: 5.2.52
And when thy car is loaden with their heads,
Link: 5.2.53
I will dismount, and by the waggon-wheel
Link: 5.2.54
Trot, like a servile footman, all day long,
Link: 5.2.55
Even from Hyperion's rising in the east
Link: 5.2.56
Until his very downfall in the sea:
Link: 5.2.57
And day by day I'll do this heavy task,
Link: 5.2.58
So thou destroy Rapine and Murder there.
Link: 5.2.59

These are my ministers, and come with me.
Link: 5.2.60

Are these thy ministers? what are they call'd?
Link: 5.2.61

Rapine and Murder; therefore called so,
Link: 5.2.62
Cause they take vengeance of such kind of men.
Link: 5.2.63

Good Lord, how like the empress' sons they are!
Link: 5.2.64
And you, the empress! but we worldly men
Link: 5.2.65
Have miserable, mad, mistaking eyes.
Link: 5.2.66
O sweet Revenge, now do I come to thee;
Link: 5.2.67
And, if one arm's embracement will content thee,
Link: 5.2.68
I will embrace thee in it by and by.
Link: 5.2.69

Exit above

This closing with him fits his lunacy
Link: 5.2.70
Whate'er I forge to feed his brain-sick fits,
Link: 5.2.71
Do you uphold and maintain in your speeches,
Link: 5.2.72
For now he firmly takes me for Revenge;
Link: 5.2.73
And, being credulous in this mad thought,
Link: 5.2.74
I'll make him send for Lucius his son;
Link: 5.2.75
And, whilst I at a banquet hold him sure,
Link: 5.2.76
I'll find some cunning practise out of hand,
Link: 5.2.77
To scatter and disperse the giddy Goths,
Link: 5.2.78
Or, at the least, make them his enemies.
Link: 5.2.79
See, here he comes, and I must ply my theme.
Link: 5.2.80

Enter TITUS below

Long have I been forlorn, and all for thee:
Link: 5.2.81
Welcome, dread Fury, to my woful house:
Link: 5.2.82
Rapine and Murder, you are welcome too.
Link: 5.2.83
How like the empress and her sons you are!
Link: 5.2.84
Well are you fitted, had you but a Moor:
Link: 5.2.85
Could not all hell afford you such a devil?
Link: 5.2.86
For well I wot the empress never wags
Link: 5.2.87
But in her company there is a Moor;
Link: 5.2.88
And, would you represent our queen aright,
Link: 5.2.89
It were convenient you had such a devil:
Link: 5.2.90
But welcome, as you are. What shall we do?
Link: 5.2.91

What wouldst thou have us do, Andronicus?
Link: 5.2.92

Show me a murderer, I'll deal with him.
Link: 5.2.93

Show me a villain that hath done a rape,
Link: 5.2.94
And I am sent to be revenged on him.
Link: 5.2.95

Show me a thousand that have done thee wrong,
Link: 5.2.96
And I will be revenged on them all.
Link: 5.2.97

Look round about the wicked streets of Rome;
Link: 5.2.98
And when thou find'st a man that's like thyself.
Link: 5.2.99
Good Murder, stab him; he's a murderer.
Link: 5.2.100
Go thou with him; and when it is thy hap
Link: 5.2.101
To find another that is like to thee,
Link: 5.2.102
Good Rapine, stab him; he's a ravisher.
Link: 5.2.103
Go thou with them; and in the emperor's court
Link: 5.2.104
There is a queen, attended by a Moor;
Link: 5.2.105
Well mayst thou know her by thy own proportion,
Link: 5.2.106
for up and down she doth resemble thee:
Link: 5.2.107
I pray thee, do on them some violent death;
Link: 5.2.108
They have been violent to me and mine.
Link: 5.2.109

Well hast thou lesson'd us; this shall we do.
Link: 5.2.110
But would it please thee, good Andronicus,
Link: 5.2.111
To send for Lucius, thy thrice-valiant son,
Link: 5.2.112
Who leads towards Rome a band of warlike Goths,
Link: 5.2.113
And bid him come and banquet at thy house;
Link: 5.2.114
When he is here, even at thy solemn feast,
Link: 5.2.115
I will bring in the empress and her sons,
Link: 5.2.116
The emperor himself and all thy foes;
Link: 5.2.117
And at thy mercy shalt they stoop and kneel,
Link: 5.2.118
And on them shalt thou ease thy angry heart.
Link: 5.2.119
What says Andronicus to this device?
Link: 5.2.120

Marcus, my brother! 'tis sad Titus calls.
Link: 5.2.121
Go, gentle Marcus, to thy nephew Lucius;
Link: 5.2.122
Thou shalt inquire him out among the Goths:
Link: 5.2.123
Bid him repair to me, and bring with him
Link: 5.2.124
Some of the chiefest princes of the Goths;
Link: 5.2.125
Bid him encamp his soldiers where they are:
Link: 5.2.126
Tell him the emperor and the empress too
Link: 5.2.127
Feast at my house, and he shall feast with them.
Link: 5.2.128
This do thou for my love; and so let him,
Link: 5.2.129
As he regards his aged father's life.
Link: 5.2.130

This will I do, and soon return again.
Link: 5.2.131


Now will I hence about thy business,
Link: 5.2.132
And take my ministers along with me.
Link: 5.2.133

Nay, nay, let Rape and Murder stay with me;
Link: 5.2.134
Or else I'll call my brother back again,
Link: 5.2.135
And cleave to no revenge but Lucius.
Link: 5.2.136

(Aside to her sons) What say you, boys? will you
Link: 5.2.137
bide with him,
Link: 5.2.138
Whiles I go tell my lord the emperor
Link: 5.2.139
How I have govern'd our determined jest?
Link: 5.2.140
Yield to his humour, smooth and speak him fair,
Link: 5.2.141
And tarry with him till I turn again.
Link: 5.2.142

(Aside) I know them all, though they suppose me mad,
Link: 5.2.143
And will o'erreach them in their own devices:
Link: 5.2.144
A pair of cursed hell-hounds and their dam!
Link: 5.2.145

Madam, depart at pleasure; leave us here.
Link: 5.2.146

Farewell, Andronicus: Revenge now goes
Link: 5.2.147
To lay a complot to betray thy foes.
Link: 5.2.148

I know thou dost; and, sweet Revenge, farewell.
Link: 5.2.149


Tell us, old man, how shall we be employ'd?
Link: 5.2.150

Tut, I have work enough for you to do.
Link: 5.2.151
Publius, come hither, Caius, and Valentine!
Link: 5.2.152

Enter PUBLIUS and others

What is your will?
Link: 5.2.153

Know you these two?
Link: 5.2.154

The empress' sons, I take them, Chiron and Demetrius.
Link: 5.2.155

Fie, Publius, fie! thou art too much deceived;
Link: 5.2.156
The one is Murder, Rape is the other's name;
Link: 5.2.157
And therefore bind them, gentle Publius.
Link: 5.2.158
Caius and Valentine, lay hands on them.
Link: 5.2.159
Oft have you heard me wish for such an hour,
Link: 5.2.160
And now I find it; therefore bind them sure,
Link: 5.2.161
And stop their mouths, if they begin to cry.
Link: 5.2.162


PUBLIUS, c. lay hold on CHIRON and DEMETRIUS

Villains, forbear! we are the empress' sons.
Link: 5.2.163

And therefore do we what we are commanded.
Link: 5.2.164
Stop close their mouths, let them not speak a word.
Link: 5.2.165
Is he sure bound? look that you bind them fast.
Link: 5.2.166

Re-enter TITUS, with LAVINIA; he bearing a knife, and she a basin

Come, come, Lavinia; look, thy foes are bound.
Link: 5.2.167
Sirs, stop their mouths, let them not speak to me;
Link: 5.2.168
But let them hear what fearful words I utter.
Link: 5.2.169
O villains, Chiron and Demetrius!
Link: 5.2.170
Here stands the spring whom you have stain'd with mud,
Link: 5.2.171
This goodly summer with your winter mix'd.
Link: 5.2.172
You kill'd her husband, and for that vile fault
Link: 5.2.173
Two of her brothers were condemn'd to death,
Link: 5.2.174
My hand cut off and made a merry jest;
Link: 5.2.175
Both her sweet hands, her tongue, and that more dear
Link: 5.2.176
Than hands or tongue, her spotless chastity,
Link: 5.2.177
Inhuman traitors, you constrain'd and forced.
Link: 5.2.178
What would you say, if I should let you speak?
Link: 5.2.179
Villains, for shame you could not beg for grace.
Link: 5.2.180
Hark, wretches! how I mean to martyr you.
Link: 5.2.181
This one hand yet is left to cut your throats,
Link: 5.2.182
Whilst that Lavinia 'tween her stumps doth hold
Link: 5.2.183
The basin that receives your guilty blood.
Link: 5.2.184
You know your mother means to feast with me,
Link: 5.2.185
And calls herself Revenge, and thinks me mad:
Link: 5.2.186
Hark, villains! I will grind your bones to dust
Link: 5.2.187
And with your blood and it I'll make a paste,
Link: 5.2.188
And of the paste a coffin I will rear
Link: 5.2.189
And make two pasties of your shameful heads,
Link: 5.2.190
And bid that strumpet, your unhallow'd dam,
Link: 5.2.191
Like to the earth swallow her own increase.
Link: 5.2.192
This is the feast that I have bid her to,
Link: 5.2.193
And this the banquet she shall surfeit on;
Link: 5.2.194
For worse than Philomel you used my daughter,
Link: 5.2.195
And worse than Progne I will be revenged:
Link: 5.2.196
And now prepare your throats. Lavinia, come,
Link: 5.2.197
Receive the blood: and when that they are dead,
Link: 5.2.198
Let me go grind their bones to powder small
Link: 5.2.199
And with this hateful liquor temper it;
Link: 5.2.200
And in that paste let their vile heads be baked.
Link: 5.2.201
Come, come, be every one officious
Link: 5.2.202
To make this banquet; which I wish may prove
Link: 5.2.203
More stern and bloody than the Centaurs' feast.
Link: 5.2.204
So, now bring them in, for I'll play the cook,
Link: 5.2.205
And see them ready 'gainst their mother comes.
Link: 5.2.206

Exeunt, bearing the dead bodies

SCENE III. Court of TITUS's house. A banquet set out.

In Scene 3 of Act 5, a group of characters gather around the coffin of a deceased person. The characters engage in a heated discussion about who should be the rightful heir to the deceased person's estate. One character argues that they should inherit the estate because they are the closest blood relative, while another argues that they should inherit because they were the deceased person's favorite. The argument escalates into a physical fight, with each character trying to take possession of the coffin. Eventually, a third character intervenes and suggests that they should wait for the arrival of a judge to decide who should inherit the estate. The group reluctantly agrees to this suggestion and they all leave the stage, leaving the coffin behind.

As the stage clears, a lone figure enters and approaches the coffin. It is revealed that this person is the vengeful Titus Andronicus, who has come to seek revenge on the characters for their past wrongdoings against him and his family. Titus opens the coffin and reveals the body of the character who had wronged him the most. He then proceeds to deliver a chilling monologue, in which he explains his plan for revenge. He reveals that he has killed the character's sons and baked them into a pie, which he then served to the character. Titus then proceeds to kill the character and leaves the stage, having finally avenged his family.

Enter LUCIUS, MARCUS, and Goths, with AARON prisoner

Uncle Marcus, since it is my father's mind
Link: 5.3.1
That I repair to Rome, I am content.
Link: 5.3.2

First Goth
And ours with thine, befall what fortune will.
Link: 5.3.3

Good uncle, take you in this barbarous Moor,
Link: 5.3.4
This ravenous tiger, this accursed devil;
Link: 5.3.5
Let him receive no sustenance, fetter him
Link: 5.3.6
Till he be brought unto the empress' face,
Link: 5.3.7
For testimony of her foul proceedings:
Link: 5.3.8
And see the ambush of our friends be strong;
Link: 5.3.9
I fear the emperor means no good to us.
Link: 5.3.10

Some devil whisper curses in mine ear,
Link: 5.3.11
And prompt me, that my tongue may utter forth
Link: 5.3.12
The venomous malice of my swelling heart!
Link: 5.3.13

Away, inhuman dog! unhallow'd slave!
Link: 5.3.14
Sirs, help our uncle to convey him in.
Link: 5.3.15
The trumpets show the emperor is at hand.
Link: 5.3.16

Enter SATURNINUS and TAMORA, with AEMILIUS, Tribunes, Senators, and others

What, hath the firmament more suns than one?
Link: 5.3.17

What boots it thee to call thyself a sun?
Link: 5.3.18

Rome's emperor, and nephew, break the parle;
Link: 5.3.19
These quarrels must be quietly debated.
Link: 5.3.20
The feast is ready, which the careful Titus
Link: 5.3.21
Hath ordain'd to an honourable end,
Link: 5.3.22
For peace, for love, for league, and good to Rome:
Link: 5.3.23
Please you, therefore, draw nigh, and take your places.
Link: 5.3.24

Marcus, we will.
Link: 5.3.25

Hautboys sound. The Company sit down at table

Enter TITUS dressed like a Cook, LAVINIA veiled, Young LUCIUS, and others. TITUS places the dishes on the table

Welcome, my gracious lord; welcome, dread queen;
Link: 5.3.26
Welcome, ye warlike Goths; welcome, Lucius;
Link: 5.3.27
And welcome, all: although the cheer be poor,
Link: 5.3.28
'Twill fill your stomachs; please you eat of it.
Link: 5.3.29

Why art thou thus attired, Andronicus?
Link: 5.3.30

Because I would be sure to have all well,
Link: 5.3.31
To entertain your highness and your empress.
Link: 5.3.32

We are beholding to you, good Andronicus.
Link: 5.3.33

An if your highness knew my heart, you were.
Link: 5.3.34
My lord the emperor, resolve me this:
Link: 5.3.35
Was it well done of rash Virginius
Link: 5.3.36
To slay his daughter with his own right hand,
Link: 5.3.37
Because she was enforced, stain'd, and deflower'd?
Link: 5.3.38

It was, Andronicus.
Link: 5.3.39

Your reason, mighty lord?
Link: 5.3.40

Because the girl should not survive her shame,
Link: 5.3.41
And by her presence still renew his sorrows.
Link: 5.3.42

A reason mighty, strong, and effectual;
Link: 5.3.43
A pattern, precedent, and lively warrant,
Link: 5.3.44
For me, most wretched, to perform the like.
Link: 5.3.45
Die, die, Lavinia, and thy shame with thee;
Link: 5.3.46
And, with thy shame, thy father's sorrow die!
Link: 5.3.47

What hast thou done, unnatural and unkind?
Link: 5.3.48

Kill'd her, for whom my tears have made me blind.
Link: 5.3.49
I am as woful as Virginius was,
Link: 5.3.50
And have a thousand times more cause than he
Link: 5.3.51
To do this outrage: and it now is done.
Link: 5.3.52

What, was she ravish'd? tell who did the deed.
Link: 5.3.53

Will't please you eat? will't please your
Link: 5.3.54
highness feed?
Link: 5.3.55

Why hast thou slain thine only daughter thus?
Link: 5.3.56

Not I; 'twas Chiron and Demetrius:
Link: 5.3.57
They ravish'd her, and cut away her tongue;
Link: 5.3.58
And they, 'twas they, that did her all this wrong.
Link: 5.3.59

Go fetch them hither to us presently.
Link: 5.3.60

Why, there they are both, baked in that pie;
Link: 5.3.61
Whereof their mother daintily hath fed,
Link: 5.3.62
Eating the flesh that she herself hath bred.
Link: 5.3.63
'Tis true, 'tis true; witness my knife's sharp point.
Link: 5.3.64


Die, frantic wretch, for this accursed deed!
Link: 5.3.65


Can the son's eye behold his father bleed?
Link: 5.3.66
There's meed for meed, death for a deadly deed!
Link: 5.3.67

Kills SATURNINUS. A great tumult. LUCIUS, MARCUS, and others go up into the balcony

You sad-faced men, people and sons of Rome,
Link: 5.3.68
By uproar sever'd, like a flight of fowl
Link: 5.3.69
Scatter'd by winds and high tempestuous gusts,
Link: 5.3.70
O, let me teach you how to knit again
Link: 5.3.71
This scatter'd corn into one mutual sheaf,
Link: 5.3.72
These broken limbs again into one body;
Link: 5.3.73
Lest Rome herself be bane unto herself,
Link: 5.3.74
And she whom mighty kingdoms court'sy to,
Link: 5.3.75
Like a forlorn and desperate castaway,
Link: 5.3.76
Do shameful execution on herself.
Link: 5.3.77
But if my frosty signs and chaps of age,
Link: 5.3.78
Grave witnesses of true experience,
Link: 5.3.79
Cannot induce you to attend my words,
Link: 5.3.80
Speak, Rome's dear friend, as erst our ancestor,
Link: 5.3.81
When with his solemn tongue he did discourse
Link: 5.3.82
To love-sick Dido's sad attending ear
Link: 5.3.83
The story of that baleful burning night
Link: 5.3.84
When subtle Greeks surprised King Priam's Troy,
Link: 5.3.85
Tell us what Sinon hath bewitch'd our ears,
Link: 5.3.86
Or who hath brought the fatal engine in
Link: 5.3.87
That gives our Troy, our Rome, the civil wound.
Link: 5.3.88
My heart is not compact of flint nor steel;
Link: 5.3.89
Nor can I utter all our bitter grief,
Link: 5.3.90
But floods of tears will drown my oratory,
Link: 5.3.91
And break my utterance, even in the time
Link: 5.3.92
When it should move you to attend me most,
Link: 5.3.93
Lending your kind commiseration.
Link: 5.3.94
Here is a captain, let him tell the tale;
Link: 5.3.95
Your hearts will throb and weep to hear him speak.
Link: 5.3.96

Then, noble auditory, be it known to you,
Link: 5.3.97
That cursed Chiron and Demetrius
Link: 5.3.98
Were they that murdered our emperor's brother;
Link: 5.3.99
And they it were that ravished our sister:
Link: 5.3.100
For their fell faults our brothers were beheaded;
Link: 5.3.101
Our father's tears despised, and basely cozen'd
Link: 5.3.102
Of that true hand that fought Rome's quarrel out,
Link: 5.3.103
And sent her enemies unto the grave.
Link: 5.3.104
Lastly, myself unkindly banished,
Link: 5.3.105
The gates shut on me, and turn'd weeping out,
Link: 5.3.106
To beg relief among Rome's enemies:
Link: 5.3.107
Who drown'd their enmity in my true tears.
Link: 5.3.108
And oped their arms to embrace me as a friend.
Link: 5.3.109
I am the turned forth, be it known to you,
Link: 5.3.110
That have preserved her welfare in my blood;
Link: 5.3.111
And from her bosom took the enemy's point,
Link: 5.3.112
Sheathing the steel in my adventurous body.
Link: 5.3.113
Alas, you know I am no vaunter, I;
Link: 5.3.114
My scars can witness, dumb although they are,
Link: 5.3.115
That my report is just and full of truth.
Link: 5.3.116
But, soft! methinks I do digress too much,
Link: 5.3.117
Citing my worthless praise: O, pardon me;
Link: 5.3.118
For when no friends are by, men praise themselves.
Link: 5.3.119

Now is my turn to speak. Behold this child:
Link: 5.3.120
Of this was Tamora delivered;
Link: 5.3.121
The issue of an irreligious Moor,
Link: 5.3.122
Chief architect and plotter of these woes:
Link: 5.3.123
The villain is alive in Titus' house,
Link: 5.3.124
And as he is, to witness this is true.
Link: 5.3.125
Now judge what cause had Titus to revenge
Link: 5.3.126
These wrongs, unspeakable, past patience,
Link: 5.3.127
Or more than any living man could bear.
Link: 5.3.128
Now you have heard the truth, what say you, Romans?
Link: 5.3.129
Have we done aught amiss,--show us wherein,
Link: 5.3.130
And, from the place where you behold us now,
Link: 5.3.131
The poor remainder of Andronici
Link: 5.3.132
Will, hand in hand, all headlong cast us down.
Link: 5.3.133
And on the ragged stones beat forth our brains,
Link: 5.3.134
And make a mutual closure of our house.
Link: 5.3.135
Speak, Romans, speak; and if you say we shall,
Link: 5.3.136
Lo, hand in hand, Lucius and I will fall.
Link: 5.3.137

Come, come, thou reverend man of Rome,
Link: 5.3.138
And bring our emperor gently in thy hand,
Link: 5.3.139
Lucius our emperor; for well I know
Link: 5.3.140
The common voice do cry it shall be so.
Link: 5.3.141

Lucius, all hail, Rome's royal emperor!
Link: 5.3.142

Go, go into old Titus' sorrowful house,
Link: 5.3.143
And hither hale that misbelieving Moor,
Link: 5.3.144
To be adjudged some direful slaughtering death,
Link: 5.3.145
As punishment for his most wicked life.
Link: 5.3.146

Exeunt Attendants

LUCIUS, MARCUS, and the others descend

Lucius, all hail, Rome's gracious governor!
Link: 5.3.147

Thanks, gentle Romans: may I govern so,
Link: 5.3.148
To heal Rome's harms, and wipe away her woe!
Link: 5.3.149
But, gentle people, give me aim awhile,
Link: 5.3.150
For nature puts me to a heavy task:
Link: 5.3.151
Stand all aloof: but, uncle, draw you near,
Link: 5.3.152
To shed obsequious tears upon this trunk.
Link: 5.3.153
O, take this warm kiss on thy pale cold lips,
Link: 5.3.154
These sorrowful drops upon thy blood-stain'd face,
Link: 5.3.155
The last true duties of thy noble son!
Link: 5.3.156

Tear for tear, and loving kiss for kiss,
Link: 5.3.157
Thy brother Marcus tenders on thy lips:
Link: 5.3.158
O were the sum of these that I should pay
Link: 5.3.159
Countless and infinite, yet would I pay them!
Link: 5.3.160

Come hither, boy; come, come, and learn of us
Link: 5.3.161
To melt in showers: thy grandsire loved thee well:
Link: 5.3.162
Many a time he danced thee on his knee,
Link: 5.3.163
Sung thee asleep, his loving breast thy pillow:
Link: 5.3.164
Many a matter hath he told to thee,
Link: 5.3.165
Meet and agreeing with thine infancy;
Link: 5.3.166
In that respect, then, like a loving child,
Link: 5.3.167
Shed yet some small drops from thy tender spring,
Link: 5.3.168
Because kind nature doth require it so:
Link: 5.3.169
Friends should associate friends in grief and woe:
Link: 5.3.170
Bid him farewell; commit him to the grave;
Link: 5.3.171
Do him that kindness, and take leave of him.
Link: 5.3.172

O grandsire, grandsire! even with all my heart
Link: 5.3.173
Would I were dead, so you did live again!
Link: 5.3.174
O Lord, I cannot speak to him for weeping;
Link: 5.3.175
My tears will choke me, if I ope my mouth.
Link: 5.3.176

Re-enter Attendants with AARON

You sad Andronici, have done with woes:
Link: 5.3.177
Give sentence on this execrable wretch,
Link: 5.3.178
That hath been breeder of these dire events.
Link: 5.3.179

Set him breast-deep in earth, and famish him;
Link: 5.3.180
There let him stand, and rave, and cry for food;
Link: 5.3.181
If any one relieves or pities him,
Link: 5.3.182
For the offence he dies. This is our doom:
Link: 5.3.183
Some stay to see him fasten'd in the earth.
Link: 5.3.184

O, why should wrath be mute, and fury dumb?
Link: 5.3.185
I am no baby, I, that with base prayers
Link: 5.3.186
I should repent the evils I have done:
Link: 5.3.187
Ten thousand worse than ever yet I did
Link: 5.3.188
Would I perform, if I might have my will;
Link: 5.3.189
If one good deed in all my life I did,
Link: 5.3.190
I do repent it from my very soul.
Link: 5.3.191

Some loving friends convey the emperor hence,
Link: 5.3.192
And give him burial in his father's grave:
Link: 5.3.193
My father and Lavinia shall forthwith
Link: 5.3.194
Be closed in our household's monument.
Link: 5.3.195
As for that heinous tiger, Tamora,
Link: 5.3.196
No funeral rite, nor man m mourning weeds,
Link: 5.3.197
No mournful bell shall ring her burial;
Link: 5.3.198
But throw her forth to beasts and birds of prey:
Link: 5.3.199
Her life was beast-like, and devoid of pity;
Link: 5.3.200
And, being so, shall have like want of pity.
Link: 5.3.201
See justice done on Aaron, that damn'd Moor,
Link: 5.3.202
By whom our heavy haps had their beginning:
Link: 5.3.203
Then, afterwards, to order well the state,
Link: 5.3.204
That like events may ne'er it ruinate.
Link: 5.3.205