Noble patricians, patrons of my right, Defend the justice of my cause with arms
Saturninus and his followers at one door, and
Bassianus and his followers at another door, with
other Romans, Drums, and Trumpets.
Noble patricians, patrons of my right,
Defend the justice of my cause with arms.
And countrymen, my loving followers,
Plead my successive title with your swords.
I am his firstborn son that was the last
That wore the imperial diadem of Rome.
Then let my father’s honors live in me,
Nor wrong mine age with this indignity.
O cruel, irreligious piety!
Romans, friends, followers, favorers of my right,
If ever Bassianus, Caesar’s son,
Were gracious in the eyes of royal Rome,
Keep, then, this passage to the Capitol,
And suffer not dishonor to approach
The imperial seat, to virtue consecrate,
To justice, continence, and nobility;
But let desert in pure election shine,
And, Romans, fight for freedom in your choice.
Marcus, (aloft, stepping forward and holding up the crown)
Princes that strive by factions and by friends
Ambitiously for rule and empery,
Know that the people of Rome, for whom we stand
A special party, have by common voice,
In election for the Roman empery,
Chosen Andronicus, surnamèd Pius
For many good and great deserts to Rome.
A nobler man, a braver warrior,
Lives not this day within the city walls.
He by the Senate is accited home
From weary wars against the barbarous Goths,
That with his sons, a terror to our foes,
Hath yoked a nation strong, trained up in arms.
Ten years are spent since first he undertook
This cause of Rome, and chastisèd with arms
Our enemies’ pride. Five times he hath returned
Bleeding to Rome, bearing his valiant sons
In coffins from the field.
And now at last, laden with honor’s spoils,
Returns the good Andronicus to Rome,
Renownèd Titus flourishing in arms.
Let us entreat, by honor of his name
Whom worthily you would have now succeed,
And in the Capitol and Senate’s right,
Whom you pretend to honor and adore,
That you withdraw you and abate your strength,
Dismiss your followers and, as suitors should,
Plead your deserts in peace and humbleness.
How fair the tribune speaks to calm my thoughts!
Marcus Andronicus, so I do affy
In thy uprightness and integrity,
And so I love and honor thee and thine,
Thy noble brother Titus and his sons,
And her to whom my thoughts are humbled all,
Gracious Lavinia, Rome’s rich ornament,
That I will here dismiss my loving friends,
And to my fortunes and the people’s favor
Commit my cause in balance to be weighed.
Bassianus’ Soldiers exit.
Friends that have been thus forward in my right,
I thank you all and here dismiss you all,
And to the love and favor of my country
Commit myself, my person, and the cause.
Saturninus’ Soldiers exit.
Rome, be as just and gracious unto me
As I am confident and kind to thee.
Open the gates and let me in.
Tribunes, and me, a poor competitor.
Flourish. They exit to go up into the Senate House.
The Tribunes and Senators exit from the upper stage.
Enter a Captain.
Romans, make way! The good Andronicus,
Patron of virtue, Rome’s best champion,
Successful in the battles that he fights,
With honor and with fortune is returned
From where he circumscribèd with his sword
And brought to yoke the enemies of Rome.
Sound drums and trumpets, and then enter two of Titus’
sons (Lucius and Mutius) and then two men bearing a
coffin covered with black, then two other sons (Martius
and Quintus), then Titus Andronicus, and then Tamora
the Queen of Goths and her sons Alarbus, Chiron and
Demetrius, with Aaron the Moor, and others as many as
can be, then set down the coffin, and Titus speaks.
Hail Rome, victorious in thy mourning weeds!
Lo, as the bark that hath discharged his fraught
Returns with precious lading to the bay
From whence at first she weighed her anchorage,
Cometh Andronicus, bound with laurel boughs,
To resalute his country with his tears,
Tears of true joy for his return to Rome.
Thou great defender of this Capitol,
Stand gracious to the rites that we intend.
Romans, of five-and-twenty valiant sons,
Half of the number that King Priam had,
Behold the poor remains alive and dead.
These that survive let Rome reward with love;
These that I bring unto their latest home,
With burial amongst their ancestors.
Here Goths have given me leave to sheathe my sword.
Titus, unkind and careless of thine own,
Why suffer’st thou thy sons unburied yet
To hover on the dreadful shore of Styx?
Make way to lay them by their brethren.
They open the tomb.
There greet in silence, as the dead are wont,
And sleep in peace, slain in your country’s wars.
O sacred receptacle of my joys,
Sweet cell of virtue and nobility,
How many sons hast thou of mine in store
That thou wilt never render to me more?
Give us the proudest prisoner of the Goths,
That we may hew his limbs and on a pile,
Ad manes fratrum, sacrifice his flesh
Before this earthy prison of their bones,
That so the shadows be not unappeased,
Nor we disturbed with prodigies on Earth.
I give him you, the noblest that survives,
The eldest son of this distressèd queen.
Stay, Roman brethren!—Gracious conqueror,
Victorious Titus, rue the tears I shed,
A mother’s tears in passion for her son.
And if thy sons were ever dear to thee,
O think my son to be as dear to me.
Sufficeth not that we are brought to Rome
To beautify thy triumphs and return
Captive to thee and to thy Roman yoke,
But must my sons be slaughtered in the streets
For valiant doings in their country’s cause?
O, if to fight for king and commonweal
Were piety in thine, it is in these!
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.
Patient yourself, madam, and pardon me.
These are their brethren whom your Goths beheld
Alive and dead, and for their brethren slainAnastrophe
Religiously they ask a sacrifice.
To this your son is marked, and die he must,
T' appease their groaning shadows that are goneMetaphor.
Away with himEllipsis, and make a fire straight,
And with our swords upon a pile of wood
Let's hew his limbs till they be clean consumedAnastrophe.
Exit Titus' sons with Alarbus.
Tamora, rising and speaking aside to her sons
O cruel, irreligious piety!Anapodoton & Oxymoron
Chiron, aside to Tamora and Demetrius
Was never Scythia half so barbarous!Hyperbaton & Allusion