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Tamora

Lyrical Violence

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The cruelty that characterizes Titus Andronicus is established in the first scene. Tamora’s cry, “O cruel, irreligious piety!” captures the style of what follows in this play – the juxtaposition of religious language, an idyllic setting and barbarity. In many passages the descriptions of horror are cast in lyrical or pastoral language, e.g. Aaron explaining to Tamora’s sons the setting appropriate for raping,
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Andronicus, stain not thy tomb with blood.

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Tamora
Andronicus, stain notHyperbaton thy tomb with blood.
Wilt thou draw near the nature of the gods?Rhetorical Question
Draw near them then in being merciful.
Sweet mercy is nobility’s true badge.Metaphor
Thrice-noble TitusAlliteration, spare my first-born son.
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My lovely Aaron, wherefore look’st thou sad

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Tamora
My lovely Aaron, wherefore look’st thou sad,
When everything doth make a gleeful boast?
The birds chant melody on every bush,
The snakes lies rollèd in the cheerful sun,
The green leaves quiver with the cooling wind
And make a checkered shadow on the ground.

We may, each wreathèd in the other’s arms,
Our pastimes done,
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Source:
Act 2
Scene 3
Line 10

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Is warlike Lucius general of the Goths?

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Saturninus
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Is warlike Lucius general of the Goths?
These tidings nip me, and I hang the head
As flowers with frost or grass beat down with storms.
Ay, now begins our sorrows to approach.
‘Tis he the common people love so much.
Myself hath often heard them say,
When I have walkèd like a private man,
That Lucius’ banishment was wrongfully,

Source:
Act 4
Scene 4
Line 72

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Why should you fear? Is not your city strong?

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Tamora
Why should you fear? Is not your city strong?
Saturninus
Ay, but the citizens favor Lucius
And will revolt from me to succor him.
Tamora
King, be thy thoughts imperious like thy name.
Is the sun dimmed that gnats do fly in it?
The eagle suffers little birds to sing
And is not careful what they mean thereby,
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Source:
Act 4
Scene 4
Line 81

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