Shakespeare quotes, notes, timelines & more

Home » Reading Will » Figures of Speech » Reading Will » Titus Andronicus

Titus Andronicus

Written: 1592
Source: Possibly Ovid's Metamorphses (the tale of the rape of Philomel) and Seneca's Thyestes
Characters: Titus Andronicus, Aaron, Marcus Andronicus, Tamora, Saturninus, Lucius, Demetrius, Bassianus, Lavinia, Chiron
Setting: Rome
Time: AD 250 – 450

Gore and classical allusions characterize this early work by the young William Shakespeare. It appears this “upstart crow” was trying to sell tickets to the plebeian masses by offering buckets of blood while simultaneously trying to impress the dons of Oxford and Cambridge ” “beautified with our feathers” ” with his knowledge of Greek and Roman history and mythology .

Lyrical Violence

Read the Note

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,
… continue reading this note

Andronicus, stain not thy tomb with blood.

Read the Quote

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.
… continue reading this quote

The forest walks are wide and spacious

Read the Quote

The forest walks are wide and spacious,
And many unfrequented plots there are,Hyperbaton
Fitted by kind for rape and villainy.
Single you thither then this dainty doe,Alliteration & Metaphor
And strike her home by force, if not by words.
This way, or not at all, stand you in hope.
… continue reading this quote

Act 2
Scene 1
Line 121

Source Type:

Spoken by:

Figures of Speech:
, , , , , ,

Connected Notes:
Lyrical Violence

My lovely Aaron, wherefore look’st thou sad

Read the Quote

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.
Under their sweet shade, Aaron, let us sit,
And whilst the babbling echo mocks the hounds,
… continue reading this quote

Act 2
Scene 3
Line 10

Source Type:

Spoken by:

Hear me, grave fathers; noble tribunes, stay

Read the Quote

Hear me, grave fathers; noble tribunes, stay.
For pity of mine age, whose youth was spent
In dangerous wars whilst you securely slept;
For all my blood in Rome’s great quarrel shed,
For all the frosty nights that I have watched,
And for these bitter tears which now you see,
Filling the agèd wrinkles in my cheeks,
Be pitiful to my condemnèd sons,
… continue reading this quote

Act 3
Scene 1
Line 1

Source Type:

Spoken by:

Ah, Lucius, for thy brothers let me plead

Read the Quote

Titus Andronicus
Ah, Lucius, for thy brothers let me plead.—
Grave tribunes, once more I entreat of you—
Lucius
My gracious lord, no tribune hears you speak.
Titus Andronicus
Why, ’tis no matter, man. If they did hear,
They would not mark me; if they did mark,
They would not pity me.
… continue reading this quote

Act 3
Scene 1
Line 30

Source Type:

Spoken by:

O, thus I found her straying in the park

Read the Quote

Marcus Andronicus 
O, thus I found her straying in the park,
Seeking to hide herself as doth the deer
That hath received some unrecuring wound.
Titus Andronicus 
It was my dear, and he that wounded her
Hath hurt me more than had he killed me dead.
For now I stand as one upon a rock,
… continue reading this quote

Act 3
Scene 1
Line 90

Source Type:

Spoken by:
,

O brother, speak with possibility

Read the Quote

Marcus Andronicus
O brother, speak with possibility,
And do not break into these deep extremes.
Titus Andronicus
Is not my sorrow deep, having no bottom?
Then be my passions bottomless with them.
Marcus Andronicus
But yet let reason govern thy lament.
Titus Andronicus
If there were reason for these miseries,
… continue reading this quote

Act 3
Scene 1
Line 219

Source Type:

Spoken by:
,

When will this fearful slumber have an end?

Read the Quote

Titus Andronicus 
When will this fearful slumber have an end?
Marcus Andronicus
Now farewell, flatt’ry; die, Andronicus.
Thou dost not slumber. See thy two sons’ heads,
Thy warlike hand, thy mangled daughter here,
Thy other banished son with this dear sight
Struck pale and bloodless; and thy brother, I,
Even like a stony image cold and numb.
… continue reading this quote

Act 3
Scene 1
Line 257

Source Type:

Spoken by:
,

Peace, tender sapling. Thou art made of tears

Read the Quote

Titus Andronicus 
Peace, tender sapling. Thou art made of tears,
And tears will quickly melt thy life away.
Marcus strikes the dish with a knife.
What dost thou strike at, Marcus, with thy  knife?
Marcus Andronicus
At that that I have killed, my lord, a fly.
Titus Andronicus 
Out on thee,
… continue reading this quote

Act 3
Scene 2
Line 50

Source Type:

Spoken by:
,

Sooner this sword shall plow thy bowels up!

Read the Quote

Aaron, taking the baby  
Sooner this sword shall plow thy bowels up!
Stay, murderous villains, will you kill your brother?
Now, by the burning tapers of the sky
That shone so brightly when this boy was got,
He dies upon my scimitar’s sharp point
That touches this my firstborn son and heir.
I tell you,
… continue reading this quote

Act 4
Scene 2
Line 91

Source Type:

Spoken by:
, , ,