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Titus Andronicus
Act 5, scene 3

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Titus Andronicus overflows with death and violence. Twenty-one sons of the Roman general Titus Andronicus have died in battle, leaving four…

Act 1, scene 1

Saturninus and Bassianus, sons of the deceased Emperor of Rome, challenge each other for the title of emperor. Titus Andronicus,…

Act 2, scene 1

Aaron reveals that he is Tamora’s lover, and then stops a fight between her sons, Chiron and Demetrius, who both…

Act 2, scene 2

As the morning hunt gets under way, Demetrius and Chiron anticipate raping Lavinia.

Act 2, scene 3

Aaron sets a trap to destroy Bassianus and put the blame on Titus’s sons Quintus and Martius. He has Tamora…

Act 2, scene 4

The raped and mutilated Lavinia is discovered by her horrified uncle, Marcus.

Act 3, scene 1

Martius and Quintus are led off to execution. Aaron says their lives can be saved if Titus, Lucius, or Marcus…

Act 3, scene 2

In this scene, which is found in the 1623 Folio text but not in the Quarto, Titus is horrified when…

Act 4, scene 1

Lavinia finds a way to reveal to Titus the story of her rape and mutilation and the names of the…

Act 4, scene 2

Tamora gives birth to a baby whose black skin signals Aaron’s paternity. Aaron arranges for a white baby to take…

Act 4, scene 3

Titus has his friends and family shoot arrows to which are attached messages to the gods begging that Justice (as…

Act 4, scene 4

Saturninus, enraged at the messages on the arrows, reads the letter brought by the country fellow and sentences him to…

Act 5, scene 1

Aaron is captured by Lucius and his army of Goths. After Lucius swears to protect the baby, Aaron confesses to…

Act 5, scene 2

Tamora, disguised as Revenge, tells Titus she has come to his aid, and that if he will invite Lucius to…

Act 5, scene 3

At the feast, Titus serves the pie made from the bodies of Chiron and Demetrius. He then stabs Lavinia, reveals…

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Scene 3
Enter Lucius, Marcus, and the Goths, with Aaron,
Guards, and an Attendant carrying the baby.


LUCIUS 
 Uncle Marcus, since ’tis my father’s mind
 That I repair to Rome, I am content.
FIRST GOTH 
 And ours with thine, befall what fortune will.
LUCIUS 
 Good uncle, take you in this barbarous Moor,
5 This ravenous tiger, this accursèd devil.
 Let him receive no sust’nance. Fetter him

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ACT 5. SC. 3

 Till he be brought unto the Empress’ face
 For testimony of her foul proceedings.
 And see the ambush of our friends be strong.
10 I fear the Emperor means no good to us.
AARON 
 Some devil whisper curses in my ear
 And prompt me that my tongue may utter forth
 The venomous malice of my swelling heart.
LUCIUS 
 Away, inhuman dog, unhallowed slave!—
15 Sirs, help our uncle to convey him in.
Sound trumpets.
 The trumpets show the Emperor is at hand.
Guards and Aaron exit.

Enter Emperor Saturninus and Empress Tamora
with Aemilius, Tribunes, Attendants, and others.


SATURNINUS 
 What, hath the firmament more suns than one?
LUCIUS 
 What boots it thee to call thyself a sun?
MARCUS 
 Rome’s emperor, and nephew, break the parle.
20 These quarrels must be quietly debated.
 The feast is ready which the careful Titus
 Hath ordained to an honorable end,
 For peace, for love, for league and good to Rome.
 Please you therefore draw nigh and take your places.
SATURNINUS 25Marcus, we will.

Trumpets sounding, enter Titus like a cook, placing the
dishes, with young Lucius and others, and Lavinia
with a veil over her face.


TITUS 
 Welcome, my lord;—welcome, dread queen;—
 Welcome, you warlike Goths;—welcome, Lucius;—

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ACT 5. SC. 3

 And welcome, all. Although the cheer be poor,
 ’Twill fill your stomachs. Please you eat of it.
They begin to eat.
SATURNINUS 
30 Why art thou thus attired, Andronicus?
TITUS 
 Because I would be sure to have all well
 To entertain your Highness and your empress.
TAMORA 
 We are beholding to you, good Andronicus.
TITUS 
 An if your Highness knew my heart, you were.—
35 My lord the Emperor, resolve me this:
 Was it well done of rash Virginius
 To slay his daughter with his own right hand
 Because she was enforced, stained, and deflowered?
SATURNINUS It was, Andronicus.
TITUS 40Your reason, mighty lord?
SATURNINUS 
 Because the girl should not survive her shame,
 And by her presence still renew his sorrows.
TITUS 
 A reason mighty, strong, and effectual;
 A pattern, precedent, and lively warrant
45 For me, most wretched, to perform the like.
 Die, die, Lavinia, and thy shame with thee,
 And with thy shame thy father’s sorrow die.
He kills Lavinia.
SATURNINUS 
 What hast thou done, unnatural and unkind?
TITUS 
 Killed her for whom my tears have made me blind.
50 I am as woeful as Virginius was,
 And have a thousand times more cause than he
 To do this outrage, and it now is done.

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ACT 5. SC. 3

SATURNINUS 
 What, was she ravished? Tell who did the deed.
TITUS 
 Will ’t please you eat?—Will ’t please your Highness
55 feed?
TAMORA 
 Why hast thou slain thine only daughter thus?
TITUS 
 Not I; ’twas Chiron and Demetrius.
 They ravished her and cut away her tongue,
 And they, ’twas they, that did her all this wrong.
SATURNINUS 
60 Go fetch them hither to us presently.
TITUS 
 Why, there they are, both bakèd in this pie,
 Whereof their mother daintily hath fed,
 Eating the flesh that she herself hath bred.
 ’Tis true, ’tis true! Witness my knife’s sharp point.
He stabs the Empress.
SATURNINUS 
65 Die, frantic wretch, for this accursèd deed.
He kills Titus.
LUCIUS 
 Can the son’s eye behold his father bleed?
He kills Saturninus.
 There’s meed for meed, death for a deadly deed.
A great tumult. Lucius, Marcus, and
others go aloft to the upper stage.

MARCUS 
 You sad-faced men, people and sons of Rome,
 By uproars severed as a flight of fowl
70 Scattered by winds and high tempestuous gusts,
 O, let me teach you how to knit again
 This scattered corn into one mutual sheaf,
 These broken limbs again into one body,
 Lest Rome herself be bane unto herself,
75 And she whom mighty kingdoms curtsy to,

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ACT 5. SC. 3

 Like a forlorn and desperate castaway,
 Do shameful execution on herself.
 But if my frosty signs and chaps of age,
 Grave witnesses of true experience,
80 Cannot induce you to attend my words,
He turns to Lucius.
 Speak, Rome’s dear friend, as erst our ancestor,
 When with his solemn tongue he did discourse
 To lovesick Dido’s sad-attending ear
 The story of that baleful burning night
85 When subtle Greeks surprised King Priam’s Troy.
 Tell us what Sinon hath bewitched our ears,
 Or who hath brought the fatal engine in
 That gives our Troy, our Rome, the civil wound.—
 My heart is not compact of flint nor steel,
90 Nor can I utter all our bitter grief,
 But floods of tears will drown my oratory
 And break my utterance even in the time
 When it should move you to attend me most
 And force you to commiseration.
95 Here’s Rome’s young captain. Let him tell the tale,
 While I stand by and weep to hear him speak.
LUCIUS 
 Then, gracious auditory, be it known to you
 That Chiron and the damned Demetrius
 Were they that murderèd our emperor’s brother,
100 And they it were that ravishèd our sister.
 For their fell faults our brothers were beheaded,
 Our father’s tears despised, and basely cozened
 Of that true hand that fought Rome’s quarrel out
 And sent her enemies unto the grave;
105 Lastly, myself unkindly banishèd,
 The gates shut on me, and turned weeping out
 To beg relief among Rome’s enemies,
 Who drowned their enmity in my true tears
 And oped their arms to embrace me as a friend.

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ACT 5. SC. 3

110 I am the turned-forth, be it known to you,
 That have preserved her welfare in my blood
 And from her bosom took the enemy’s point,
 Sheathing the steel in my advent’rous body.
 Alas, you know I am no vaunter, I;
115 My scars can witness, dumb although they are,
 That my report is just and full of truth.
 But soft, methinks I do digress too much,
 Citing my worthless praise. O, pardon me,
 For when no friends are by, men praise themselves.
MARCUS 
120 Now is my turn to speak. Behold the child.
 Of this was Tamora deliverèd,
 The issue of an irreligious Moor,
 Chief architect and plotter of these woes.
 The villain is alive in Titus’ house,
125 And as he is to witness, this is true.
 Now judge what cause had Titus to revenge
 These wrongs unspeakable, past patience,
 Or more than any living man could bear.
 Now have you heard the truth. What say you,
130 Romans?
 Have we done aught amiss? Show us wherein,
 And from the place where you behold us pleading,
 The poor remainder of Andronici
 Will, hand in hand, all headlong hurl ourselves,
135 And on the ragged stones beat forth our souls,
 And make a mutual closure of our house.
 Speak, Romans, speak, and if you say we shall,
 Lo, hand in hand, Lucius and I will fall.
AEMILIUS 
 Come, come, thou reverend man of Rome,
140 And bring our emperor gently in thy hand,
 Lucius our emperor, for well I know
 The common voice do cry it shall be so.

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ACT 5. SC. 3

ROMANS 
 Lucius, all hail, Rome’s royal emperor!
MARCUS, to Attendants 
 Go, go into old Titus’ sorrowful house,
145 And hither hale that misbelieving Moor
 To be adjudged some direful slaught’ring death
 As punishment for his most wicked life.
Attendants exit. Lucius and Marcus
come down from the upper stage.

ROMANS 
 Lucius, all hail, Rome’s gracious governor!
LUCIUS 
 Thanks, gentle Romans. May I govern so
150 To heal Rome’s harms and wipe away her woe!
 But, gentle people, give me aim awhile,
 For nature puts me to a heavy task.
 Stand all aloof, but, uncle, draw you near
 To shed obsequious tears upon this trunk.
He kisses Titus.
155 O, take this warm kiss on thy pale cold lips,
 These sorrowful drops upon thy bloodstained face,
 The last true duties of thy noble son.
MARCUS 
 Tear for tear, and loving kiss for kiss,
 Thy brother Marcus tenders on thy lips.
He kisses Titus.
160 O, were the sum of these that I should pay
 Countless and infinite, yet would I pay them.
LUCIUS, to Young Lucius 
 Come hither, boy. Come, come, and learn of us
 To melt in showers. Thy grandsire loved thee well.
 Many a time he danced thee on his knee,
165 Sung thee asleep, his loving breast thy pillow;
 Many a story hath he told to thee,
 And bid thee bear his pretty tales in mind
 And talk of them when he was dead and gone.

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ACT 5. SC. 3

MARCUS 
 How many thousand times hath these poor lips,
170 When they were living, warmed themselves on thine!
 O, now, sweet boy, give them their latest kiss.
 Bid him farewell; commit him to the grave.
 Do them that kindness, and take leave of them.
YOUNG LUCIUS 
 O grandsire, grandsire, ev’n with all my heart
175 Would I were dead so you did live again!
He kisses Titus.
 O Lord, I cannot speak to him for weeping.
 My tears will choke me if I ope my mouth.

Enter Aaron with Guards.

ROMAN 
 You sad Andronici, have done with woes.
 Give sentence on this execrable wretch
180 That hath been breeder of these dire events.
LUCIUS 
 Set him breast-deep in earth and famish him.
 There let him stand and rave and cry for food.
 If anyone relieves or pities him,
 For the offense he dies. This is our doom.
185 Some stay to see him fastened in the earth.
AARON 
 Ah, why should wrath be mute and fury dumb?
 I am no baby, I, that with base prayers
 I should repent the evils I have done.
 Ten thousand worse than ever yet I did
190 Would I perform, if I might have my will.
 If one good deed in all my life I did,
 I do repent it from my very soul.
Aaron is led off by Guards.
LUCIUS 
 Some loving friends convey the Emperor hence,
 And give him burial in his fathers’ grave.

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ACT 5. SC. 3

195 My father and Lavinia shall forthwith
 Be closèd in our household’s monument.
 As for that ravenous tiger, Tamora,
 No funeral rite, nor man in mourning weed;
 No mournful bell shall ring her burial;
200 But throw her forth to beasts and birds to prey.
 Her life was beastly and devoid of pity,
 And being dead, let birds on her take pity.
They exit, carrying the dead bodies.