Titus (1999) Script

Okay, on your toes, men.

Hi-ho, silver!

Hey, we got to save Olive Oyl!

Whoo-whoo! Whoo! Waah! Waah!

Hail, Rome!

Victorious... in thy mourning weeds!

Lo, as the bark that hath discharged her freight... returns with precious lading to the bay... from whence at first she weighed her Anchorage, cometh Andronicus, bound with laurel boughs, to re-salute his country with his tears.

Stand gracious to the rites that we intend!

Romans, of five and 20 valiant sons, 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!

O sacred receptacle of my joys, sweet cell of virtue and nobility, how many sons of mine hast thou in store... that thou wilt never render to me more?

And there greet in silence, as the dead are wont, and sleep in peace, slain in your country's wars.

Give us the proudest prisoner of the Goths... that we may hew his limbs, and on a pile-

Ad manes fiatrum.

Sacrifice his flesh.

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 distressed queen.

No! Stay, Roman brethren!

Gracious conqueror, victorious Titus, rue the tears I shed- the mother's tears in passion for her son.


If thy sons were ever dear to thee, oh, think my son to be as dear to me.

Sufficeth not that we are brought to Rome... to beautify your triumphs and return, captive to thee and thy Roman yoke?

But must my sons be slaughtered in the streets... for valiant doings in their country's cause?

Oh, if to fight for king and commonweal were piety in thine, it is in these.

Andronicus, stain not thy tomb with blood.

Wilt thou draw near the nature of the gods?

Draw near them then in being merciful.

Sweet mercy is nobility's true badge.

Thrice noble Titus-

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 slain, religiously they ask a sacrifice.

To this your son is marked-


And die he must to appease their groaning shadows that are gone.

Away with him and make a fire straight.

And with our swords, upon a pile of wood... let's hew his limbs till they be clean consumed.

O cruel, irreligious piety!

Was ever Scythia half so barbarous?

Oppose not Scythia to ambitious Rome.

Alarbus goes to rest, and we survive to tremble under Titus' threatening looks.

Stand resolved, but hope withal the gods may favor Tamora, the Queen of Goths, to quit these bloody wrongs upon her foes.

See, lord and father, how we have performed our Roman rites.

Alarbus' limbs are lopped, and entrails feed the sacrificing fire.

Remaineth not, but to inter our brethren... and with loud alarums welcome them to Rome.

In peace and honor rest you here, my sons, secure from worldly chances and mishaps.

Here lurks no treason.

Here no envy swells.

Here grow no damned drugs.

Here are no storms, no noise, but silence and eternal sleep.

In peace and honor rest you here, my sons.

In peace and honor live Lord Titus long.

My noble lord and father, live in fame.

Lo, at this tomb my tributary tears I render... for my brethren's obsequies.

And at thy feet I kneel, with tears of joy... shed on the earth for thy return to Rome.

Bless me here with thy victorious hand.

Kind Rome, that hast thus lovingly reserved... the cordial of mine age to glad my heart.

Lavinia, live.

Outlive thy father's days and fame's eternal date, for virtue's praise.

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!

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.

I am the first-born son!

That was the last that wear the imperial diadem of Rome.

And suffer not dishonor to approach the imperial seat: to virtue, consecrate, to justice, continence, and nobility!

Then let my father's honors live in me!

Nor wrong mine age with this indignity!

But let desert in pure election shine, and, Romans, fight for freedom in your choice.

Princes... that strive by factions and by friends ambitiously... for rule and empery.

Know that the people of Rome have by common voice... in election for the Roman empery chosen Andronicus.

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.

Let us entreat, by honor of his name, that you withdraw you, dismiss your followers, and, as suitors should, plead your deserts in peace... and humbleness.

Marcus Andronicus,

so I do rely on 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.

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!

Rome... be as just and gracious unto me... as I am confident and kind to thee.

Open the gates and let me in!

Long live Lord Titus, my beloved brother.

Thanks, gentle tribune, noble brother Marcus.

And welcome, nephews, from successful wars, you that survive and those that sleep in fame.

Titus Andronicus, the people of Rome send thee by me, their tribune and their trust, this palliament of white and spotless hue, and name thee in election for the empire... with these our late-deceased emperor's sons.

Be candidatus, then, and put it on, and help to set a head on headless Rome.

A better head her glorious body fits... than this that shakes for age and feebleness.

Rome, I have been thy soldier 40 years... and led my country's strength successfully... and buried one and 20 valiant sons.

Give me a staff of honor for mine age, but not a scepter to control the world.

Upright he held it, lords, that held it last.

Titus, thou shalt but ask and have the empery.

Proud and ambitious tribune, canst thou tell?

Patience, Prince Saturnine. Romans!

Do me right!

Patricians, draw your swords and sheathe them not... till Saturninus be Rome's emperor!

Andronicus, would thou wert shipped to hell... rather than rob me of the people's hearts!

Proud Saturnine, interrupter of the good, that noble-minded Titus means to thee.

Content thee, prince.

I will restore to thee the people's hearts... and wean them from themselves.

Andronicus, I do not flatter thee but honor thee, and will do till I die.

My faction, if thou strengthen with thy friends, I will most thankful be.

People of Rome and people's tribunes here, I ask your voices and your suffrages.

Will you bestow them friendly on Andronicus?

To gratify the good Andronicus... and gratulate his safe return to Rome, the people will accept whom he admits.

Tribunes, I thank you, and this suit I make... that you create your emperor's eldest son, Lord Saturnine, whose virtues will, I hope, reflect on Rome as Titan's rays on earth.

And if you will elect by my advice, crown him and say, "Long live our emperor!"

Long live our emperor Saturnine!

Patricians and plebeians, we create Lord Saturninus Rome's great emperor... and say, "Long live our Emperor Saturnine!"

Titus Andronicus, for thy favors done to us in our election this day, I give thee thanks in part of thy deserts... and will with deeds requite thy gentleness.

And, for an onset, Titus, to advance thy name and honorable family, Lavinia will I make my empress, Rome's royal mistress, mistress of my heart-

And in the sacred pantheon her espouse.

Tell me, Andronicus, doth this motion please thee?


It doth, my worthy lord, and in this match I hold me highly honored of your grace.

And here, in sight of Rome, to Saturnine, king and commander of our commonweal, the wide world's emperor, do I consecrate my sword, my chariot, and my prisoners: presents well worthy Rome's imperial lord.

Thanks, noble Titus, father of my life.

How proud I am of thee and of thy gifts...

Rome shall record.

And when I do forget the least of these unspeakable deserts, Romans, forget thy fealty to me.

Now, madam, are you prisoner to an emperor- to him that, for your honor and your state, will use you nobly and your followers.


A goodly lady.

Trust me, of the hue that I would choose, were I to choose anew.

Clear up, fair queen, that cloudy countenance.

Though chance of war hath wrought this change of cheer, thou comest not to be made a scorn in Rome.

Princely shall be thy usage... every Way-

Rest on my word, and let not discontent daunt all your hopes.

Madam, he that comforts you... can make you greater than Queen of Goths.

Lavinia, you are not displeased with this?

Not I, my Lord, sith true nobility warrants these words... in princely courtesy.

Thanks, sweet Lavinia.

Romans, let us go!

Ransomless here we set our prisoners free.

Proclaim our honors, lords, with trump and drum.

Lord Titus, by your leave, this maid is mine.

How, sir! Are you in earnest, then, my lord?

Ay, noble Titus, and resolved withal.

This prince in justice seizeth but his own.

And that he will and shall, if Lucius live.

Traitors, avaunt!

Where is the emperor's guard?

Treason, my lord, Lavinia is surprised!

Surprised? By whom?

By him that justly may bear his betrothed from all the world away.

Fear not, my lord, I'll soon bring her back.

Brothers, help to convey her hence away!

And with my sword I'll keep this way safe.

My lord, you pass not here.

What, villain boy?

Barr'st me my way in Rome, huh?

Help! Lucius!

My lord! You are unjust!

And more than so, in wrongful quarrel, you have slain your son.

Nor thou nor he are any sons of mine.

My sons would never so dishonor me.


Restore Lavinia to the emperor.

Dead, if you will, but not to be his wife... that is another's lawful promised love.

No, Titus, no!

The emperor needs her not!

Nor her, nor thee, nor any of thy stock!

I will trust, by leisure, him that mocks me once.

Thee never!

Nor thy traitorous, haughty sons, confederates all, thus to dishonor me.

But go thy ways. Go!

A valiant son-in-law shalt thou enjoy, one fit to bandy with thy lawless sons!

And therefore, lovely Tamora, Queen of Goths, if thou be pleased with this my sudden choice, behold.

I choose thee, Tamora, for my bride... and will create thee empress of Rome.

Speak, Queen of Goths. Dost thou applaud my choice?

If Saturnine advance the Queen of Goths, she will a handmaid be to his desires, a loving nurse, a mother to his youth.

Ascend, fair queen, to the pantheon.

Lords, accompany your noble emperor... and his lovely bride.

There shall we consummate our spousal rites.

Titus, when wen thou wont to walk alone, dishonored thus and challenged of wrongs?

O Titus, see.

Oh, see what thou hast done- in a bad quarrel slain a virtuous son.

No, foolish tribune, no.

No son of mine, nor thou, nor these, confederates in the deed that hath dishonored all our family.

But let us give him burial as becomes.

Give Mutius burial with our brethren.

Traitors, away. He rests not in this tomb.

Here none but soldiers and Rome's servitors repose in fame- none basely slain in brawls.

Bury him where you can. He comes not here.

My lord, this is impiety in you.

He must be buried with his brethren.

And shall, or him we will accompany!

And shall?

What villain was it spake that word?

He that would vouch it in any place but here.

What, would you bury him in my despite?

No, noble Titus, but entreat of thee to pardon Mutius and to bury him.

Marcus, even thou has struck upon my crest... and, with these boys, mine honor thou hast wounded.

My foes I do repute you every one, so trouble me no more, but get you gone.

He is not with himself. Let us withdraw.

Not I, till Mutius' bones be buried.

Father, and in that name doth nature speak, dear father, soul and substance of us all.

Renowned Titus, more than half my soul.

Rise, Marcus, rise.

The dismall'st day is this that e'er I saw, to be dishonored by my sons in Rome.

Well, bury him!

And bury me the next.

I'll have another.


So, Bassianus, you have played your prize.

God give you joy, sir, of your gallant bride.

And you of yours, my lord.

I say no more nor wish no less, and so I take my leave.


If Rome have law or we have power, thou and thy faction shall repent this rape.

Rape call you it, my lord, to seize my own, my true-betrothed love, and now my wife?

But let the laws of Rome determine all.

Meanwhile, I am possessed of that is mine.

'Tis good, sir. You are very short with us.

But if we live, we'll be as sharp with you.

My lord, what I have done, as best I may, answer I must and shall do with my life.

This noble gentleman- Lord Titus here- is in opinion and in honor wronged.

That in the rescue of Lavinia, with his own hand, did slay his youngest son in zeal to you.


Receive him then to favor, Saturnine.

Prince Bassianus, leave to plead my deeds.

'Tis thou and those that have dishonored me.

Rome and the righteous heavens be my judge... how I have loved and honored Saturnine.

I can do no more. Patience, Bassianus.

My worthy lord, if ever Tamora were gracious... in those princely eyes of thine, then hear me speak indifferently for all.

And at my suit, sweet, pardon what is past.

Oh, madam? Be dishonored openly... and basely put it up without revenge?

Not so, my lord.

The gods of Rome forfend I should be author to dishonor you.

But on mine honor dare I undertake... for good Lord Titus' innocence in all, whose fury, not dissembled, speaks his griefs.

Then at my suit look graciously on him.

Lose not so noble a friend on vain suppose.

My lord, be ruled by me.

Be won at last.

Dissemble all your griefs and discontents.

You are but newly planted in your throne.

Lest then the people and patricians, too, upon a just survey, take Titus' part... and so supplant you for ingratitude.

Yield at entreats, and then let me alone.

I'll find a day to massacre them all... and raze their faction and their family- the cruel father and his traitorous sons... to whom I sued for my dear son's life, and make them know what 'tis to let a queen kneel in the streets... and beg for grace in vain.

Come, come, sweet emperor.

Come, Andronicus.

Take up this good old man, and cheer the heart... that dies in tempest of thy angry frown.

Rise, Titus, rise. My empress hath prevailed.

I thank your majesty and her, my lord.

And let it be mine honor, good my lord, that I have reconciled your friends and you.

For you, Prince Bassianus, I have passed my word and promise to the emperor... that you will be more mild and tractable.

And fear not, lords, and you, Lavinia.

By my advice, all humbled on your knees, you shall ask pardon of his majesty.

We do, and vow to heaven and to your highness... that what we did was mildly as we might, tendering our sister's honor and our own.

That, on mine honor, here I do attest.

Away, and talk not. Trouble us no more.

Nay, nay, sweet emperor. We must all be friends.

The tribune and his nephews kneel for grace.

I will not be denied.

Sweetheart, look back.

Marcus, for thy sake and thy brother's here, and at my lovely Tamora's entreats, I do remit these young men's heinous faults.

Stand up.

Lavinia, though you left me like a churl, I found a friend.


If the emperor's court can feast two brides, you are my guest, Lavinia, and your friends.

This day shall be a love-day, Tamora.

Tomorrow, an it please your majesty, to hunt the panther and the hart with me.

Be it so, Titus, and Gramercy too.

Now climbeth Tamora Olympus' top, safe out of fortune's shot and sits aloft, secure of thunder's crack or lightning flash, advanced above pale envy's threatening reach.

As when the golden sun salutes the morn... and, having gilt the ocean with his beams, gallops the zodiac in his glistering coach... and overlooks the highest peering hills.

So Tamora.

Upon her wit doth earthly honor wait, and virtue stoops and trembles at her frown.

Then, Aaron, arm thy heart and fit thy thoughts... to mount aloft with thy imperial mistress... and mount her pitch, whom thou in triumph... long hast a prisoner held fettered in amorous chains.

Away with slavish weeds and servile thoughts.

I will be bright and shine in pearl and gold... to wait upon this new-made empress.

To wait, said I?

To wanton with this queen, this goddess, this Semiramis, this nymph, this siren that will charm Rome's Saturnine... and see his shipwreck and his commonweal's.


What storm is this? Away!

Chiron, thy years wants wit.

Thy wit wants edge and manners... to intrude where I am graced, and may, for aught thou knowest, affected be.

Demetrius, thou dost overween in all, and so in this, to bear me down with braves.


'Tis not the difference of a year or two... makes me less gracious or thee more fortunate.

I am as able and as fit as thou to serve... and to deserve my mistress' grace.

That my sword upon thee shall approve... and plead my passions for Lavinia's love.

Clubs, clubs! These lovers will not keep the peace.

Why, boy, although our mother, unadvised, gave you a dancing rapier by your side, are you so desperate grown to threat your friends?

Go to.

Have your lath glued within your sheath... till you know better how to handle it.

Meanwhile, sir, with what little skill I have, full well thou shalt perceive how much I dare.

Ay, boy.

Grow ye so brave?

How now, lords!

Here in the emperor's palace dare you draw... and maintain such a quarrel openly?

Full well I wot the ground of all this grudge.

I would not for a million of gold... the cause were known to them it most concerns, nor would your noble mother for much more... be so dishonored in the court of Rome.

For shame, put up. Not I!

Till I have sheathed my rapier in his bosom... and withal thrust these reproachful speeches down his throat... that he hath breathed in my dishonor here.

For that I am prepared and full resolved.

Foul-spoken coward, that thunderest with thy tongue... and with thy weapon nothing darest perform.

Away, I say! Now, by the gods that warlike Goths adore, this petty brabble will undo us all.

Why, lords, think you not how dangerous it is... to step upon a prince's right?

What, is Lavinia then become so loose... or Bassianus so degenerate that for her love... such quarrels may be broached without controlment, justice, or revenge?

Young lords, beware!

And should the empress know this discord's ground, the music would not please.

I care not, I, knew she and all the world.

I love Lavinia more than all the world!

Youngling, learn thou to make some meaner choice.

Lavinia is thine elder brother's hope.

Why, are ye mad?

Or know ye not in Rome how furious and impatient they be... and cannot brook competitors in love?

I tell you, lords, you do but plot your deaths by this device.

Aaron, a thousand deaths would I propose... to achieve her whom I love.

To achieve her! How?

Why makest thou it so strange?

She's a woman, and therefore may be wooed.

She's a woman. Ah!

Therefore may be won.

She is Lavinia, and therefore must be loved.

Why, then, it seems, some certain snatch or so... would serve your turns.

Ay, so the turn were served.

Aaron, thou hast hit it.

Would you had hit it too.

Then should not we be tired with this ado.

Are you such fools to square for this?

Would it offend you then that both should speed?

Faith, not me.

Nor me, so I were one.

For shame. Be friends and join for that you jar.

'Tis policy and stratagem must do that you affect.

And I have found the path.

My lords, a solemn hunting is at hand.

There will the lovely Roman ladies troop.

Ah, the forest walks are wide and spacious, and many unfrequented plots there are... fitted by kind for rape and villainy.

Single you thither then this dainty doe... and strike her home by force, if not by words.

This way, or not at all, stand you in hope.

Come. Come. Our empress, with her sacred wit, will we acquaint with all that we intend.

He that had wit would think that I had none... to bury so much gold under a tree, never after to inherit it.

Let him that thinks of me so abjectly know... that this gold must coin a stratagem... which, cunningly effected, will beget a very excellent piece of villainy.

And so repose, sweet gold, for their unrest... that have their alms out of the empress' chest.

My lovely Aaron, wherefore lookst thou sad... when everything doth make a gleeful boast?

The birds chant melody on every bush.

The snake lies rolled... in the cheerful sun.

The green leaves quiver with the cooling wind.

Under their sweet shade, Aaron, let us sit.

And after conflict, we may, each wreathed in the other's arms, our pastimes done, possess a golden slumber.

Whiles hounds and horns... and sweet, melodious birds be unto us... as is a nurse's song of lullaby... to bring her babe asleep.

Madam, though Venus govern your desires, Saturn is dominator over mine.

What signifies my deadly standing eye, my silence, and my cloudy melancholy?

No, madam, these are no venereal signs.

Vengeance is in my heart, death in my hand.

Blood and revenge are hammering in my head.

Hark, Tamora, the empress of my soul, which never hopes more heaven... than rests in thee.


This is the day of doom for Bassianus.

His Philomel must lose her tongue today.

Thy sons make pillage of her chastity... and wash their hands in Bassianus' blood.

Seest thou this letter?

Take it up, I pray thee, and give the king this fatal-plotted scroll.

Question me no more. We are espied.

Ah, my sweet Moor, sweeter to me than life!

No more, great empress. Bassianus comes.

Now, be cross with him, and I'll go fetch thy sons to back thy quarrels, whatsoe'er they be.

Who have we here?

Rome's royal empress, unfurnished of her well-beseeming troop?

Or is it Dian, habited like her, who hath abandoned her holy groves... to see the general hunting in this forest?

Saucy controller of our private steps!

Had I the power some say Dian had, thy temples should be planted presently with horns, as was Actaeon's.

And the hounds should drive upon thy new-transformed limbs, unmannerly intruder as thou art!

Under your patience, gentle empress.

'Tis thought you have a goodly gift in homing... and to be doubted that your Moor and you... are singled forth to try experiments.

Jove shield your husband from his hounds today.

'Tis pity they should take him for a stag.

Why are you sequestered from all your train, dismounted from your snow-white, goodly steed, and wandered hither to an obscure plot... accompanied but with a barbarous Moor... if foul desire had not conducted you?

And, being intercepted in your sport, great reason that my noble lord be rated for sauciness.

I pray you, let us hence, and let her 'joy her raven-colored love.

This valley fits the purpose passing well.

The king my brother shall have notice of this.

Good king, to be so mightily abused.

Why have I patience to endure all this?


How now, dear sovereign and our gracious mother!

Why doth your highness look so pale and wan?

Have I not reason, think you, to look pale?

These two have 'ticed me hither to this place- a barren, detested vale, you see it is.

And when they showed me this abhorred pit, they told me here, at dead time of the night, a thousand fiends, a thousand hissing snakes, 10,000 swelling toads- would make such fearful and confused cries... as any mortal body hearing it... should straight fall mad or else die suddenly.

No sooner had they told this hellish tale-

Then straight they told me they would bind me here... and leave me to this miserable death.

And then... they called me foul adulteress, lascivious Goth, and all the bitterest terms that ever ear did hear to such effect.

And had you not by wondrous fortune come, this vengeance on me had they executed.

Revenge it, as you love your mother's life, or be ye not henceforth called my children!

This is a witness that I am thy son.

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


Come, Semiramis!

Nay, barbarous Tamora, for no name fits thy nature but thy own!

Give me the poniard. Your mother's hand shall right your mother's wrong.

Stay, madam.

Here is more belongs to her.

First thrash the corn, then after burn the straw.

This minion stood upon her chastity, upon her nuptial vow, her loyalty, and with that painted hope she braves your mightiness.

And shall she carry this unto her grave?

And if she do, I would I were a eunuch.

Drag hence her husband to some secret hole... and make his dead trunk pillow to our lust.

But when ye have the honey ye desire, let not this wasp outlive us all to sting.

I warrant you, madam, we will make that sure.

Come, mistress.

Now perforce we will enjoy... that nice preserved honesty of yours.

O Tamora, thou bearest a woman's face-

I will not hear her speak. Away with her.

Sweet lords, entreat her hear me but a word.

Oh, listen, fair madam.

Let it be your glory to see her tears, but be your heart to them... as unrelenting flint to drops of rain.

When did the tiger's young ones teach the dam?


Do not learn her wrath.

She taught it thee?

The milk thou suckst from her did turn to marble.

Yet every mother breeds not sons alike.

Do thou entreat her show a woman's pity.

What, wouldst thou have me prove myself a bastard?

Oh, be to me, though thy hard heart say no, nothing so kind, but something pitiful!

I know not what it means. Away with her.

Let me teach thee!

For my father's sake that gave thee life... when well he might have slain thee!

Hadst thou in person never offended me, even for his sake am I pitiless.

Remember, boys, I poured forth tears in vain... to save your brother from the sacrifice, but fierce Andronicus would not relent.

Therefore away with her. Use her as you will.

The worse to her, the better loved of me.

Tamora, be called a gentle queen, and with thine own hands kill me in this place!

And tumble me into some loathsome pit... where never man's eye may behold my body.

Do this, and be a charitable murderer.

So should I rob my sweet sons of their fee?


Let them satisfy their lust on thee.

Away! For thou hast stayed us here too long.

No grace? No womanhood?

Beastly creature!

Confusion fall!

Nay! I'll stop your mouth!

Farewell, my sons. See that you make her sure.

Ne'er let my heart know merry cheer indeed... till all the Andronici be made away.

Now will I hence to seek my lovely Moor... and let my spleenful sons this trull deflower.

Come on, my lords, the better foot before.

Straight will I bring you to the loathsome pit... where I espied the tiger fast asleep.

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

And mine, I promise you.

Were it not for shame, well could I leave our sport to sleep a while.

What, art thou fallen?

What subtle hole is this... whose mouth is covered with rude-growing briers, upon whose leaves are drops of new-shed blood?

Speak, brother. Hast thou hurt thee with the fall?

O brother, with the dismall'st object hurt... that ever eye with sight made heart lament.

Why dost not comfort me... and help me out of this unhallowed and bloodstained hole?

My heart suspects more than mine eye can see.

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

Aaron is gone!

Lord Bassianus lies embrewed here, all on a heap... like to a slaughtered lamb.

O brother, help me!

I have not strength to pluck thee to the brink!

Along with me.

I'll see what hole is here, and what he is that now is leapt into it.


Who art thou that lately didst descend... into this gaping hollow of the earth, hmm?

The unhappy sons of old Andronicus... brought hither in a most unlucky hour... to find- to find thy brother Bassianus dead!

My brother dead?

I know thou dost but jest.

He and his lady both are at the lodge.

'Tis not an hour since I left him there.

Where is my lord the king?

Here, Tamora, though grieved with killing grief.

And where is thy brother Bassianus?

Now to the bottom dost thou search my wound.

Poor Bassianus here lies murdered.

Oh, then all too late I bring this fatal writ.

"And if we miss to meet him handsomely- sweet huntsman Bassianus 'tis we mean- do thou so much as dig the grave for him.

Thou know'st our meaning.

Look for thy reward-" "Look for thy reward... among the nettles at the elder tree... which overshades the mouth of that same pit... where we decreed to bury Bassianus.

Do this and purchase us thy lasting friends."

O Tamora! Was ever heard the like?

This is the pit and this the elder tree.

Look, sirs, if you can find the huntsman out... that should have murdered Bassianus here.

My gracious lord, here is the bag of gold.

Two of thy whelps- Huh?

Fell curs of bloody kind, have here bereft my brother of his life!

Sirs, drag them from the pit unto the prison.

There let them bide until we have devised... some never-heard-of torturing pain for them.

High emperor, upon my feeble knee I beg this boon... with tears not lightly shed that this fell fault of my accursed sons- accursed, if the fault be proved in them-

If it be proved?

You see it is apparent!

Who found this letter? Tamora, was it you?

Andronicus himself did take it up. Huh?

I did, my lord.

Yet let me be their bail, for by my father's reverend tomb I vow... they shall be ready at your highness' will... to answer their suspicion with their lives.

Thou shalt not bail them!

See thou follow me.

Some bring the murdered body, some the murderers.

Let them not speak a word! The guilt is plain!

For by my soul, were there worse end than death, that end upon them should be executed.

Andronicus, I will entreat the king.

Fear not thy sons. They shall do well enough.

Come, Lucius, come. Stay not to talk with them.

So now go tell- an if thy tongue can speak- who 'twas that cut thy tongue and ravished thee.

Write down thy mind, bewray thy meaning so, and if thy stumps will let thee, play the scribe.

See how with signs and tokens she can scrowl.

Go home! Call for sweet water.

Sweet water! Hither, sweet water!

Wash thy hands!

She hath no tongue to call, nor hands to wash!

And so- And so let's leave her to her silent walks.

And 'twere it my case, I should go hang myself... if thou hadst hands to help thee knit the cord.

Who is this?

My niece?

If I do dream, would all my wealth would wake me.

If I do wake, some planet strike me down... that I may slumber in eternal sleep.

Speak, gentle niece.

What stern, ungentle hands... have lopped and hewed and made thy body bare of her two branches?

Those... sweet ornaments... whose circling shadows kings have sought to sleep in.

Why dost not speak to me?


Let us go...

and make thy father blind, for such a sight will blind a father's eye.

An hour's storm will drown the fragrant meads.

What will whole months of tears thy father's eyes?

Do not draw back, for we will mourn with thee.

Oh, could our mourning ease thy misery.

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 aged wrinkles in my cheeks!

Be pitiful to my condemned sons...

whose souls are not corrupted as 'tis thought.



For two and 20 sons I never wept... because they died in honor's lofty bed!

For these- these, tribunes, in the dust I write... my heart's deep languor and my soul's sad tears!

Let my tears staunch the earth's dry appetite!

My sons' sweet blood will make it shame and blush!


O earth, I shall befriend thee more with rain... that shall distill from these two ancient urns... than youthful April shall with all his showers.

In summer's drought I'll drop upon thee still.

In winter, with warm tears, I'll melt the snow and keep eternal springtime on thy face, so thou refuse to drink my dear sons' blood.

O reverend tribunes!

O gentle, aged men!

Unbind my sons!

Reverse the doom of death!

And let me say, that never wept before, my tears are now prevailing orators!

O noble father, you lament in vain.

The tribunes hear you not. No man is by.

And you recount your sorrows to a stone!


For thy brothers let me plead!

Grave tribunes, once more I entreat of you.

My gracious lord, no tribune hears you speak.

Why, 'tis no matter, man.

If they did hear, they would not mark me, or if they did mark, they would not pity me.

Therefore I tell my sorrows to the stones.

A stone is soft as wax, tribunes more hard than stones.

A stone is silent and offendeth not, and tribunes with their tongues... doom men to death.

But wherefore stand'st thou with thy weapon drawn?

To rescue my two brothers from their death.

For which attempt, the judges have pronounced my everlasting doom of banishment.

Oh, happy man! They have befriended thee.

Why, foolish Lucius, dost thou not perceive... that Rome is but a wilderness of tigers?

Tigers must prey, and Rome affords no prey but me and mine.

How happy art thou, then, from these devourers to be banished.

But who comes with our brother Marcus here?

Titus, prepare thy aged eyes to weep, or if not so, thy noble heart to break.

I bring consuming sorrow to thine age.

Will it consume me?

Let me see it then.

This... was thy daughter.

Why, Marcus, so she is.

This object kills me.

Fainthearted boy, arise and look upon her!

Speak, Lavinia.

What accursed hand hath made thee handless... in thy father's sight?

What fool hath added water to the sea... or brought a torch to bright-burning Troy?

My grief was at the height before thou camest, and now like Nilus, it disdaineth bounds.

Give me a sword. I'll chop off my hands, too, for they have fought for Rome, and all in vain.

In bootless prayer have they been held up, and they have served me to effectless use!

Now all the service I require of them... is that the one will help to cut the other.

Speak, gentle sister. Who hath martyred thee?

Oh, that delightful engine of her thoughts... is torn from forth that pretty, hollow cage.


Say thou for her. Who hath done this deed?

Oh, thus I found her straying in the park, seeking to hide herself as doth the deer... that hath received some unrecuring wound.

It was my deer, and he that wounded her hath hurt me more than had he killed me dead.

For now I stand as one upon a rock, environed with a wilderness of sea.

This way to death my wretched sons have gone.

Here stands my other son, a banished man, and here my brother weeping at my woes.

But that which gives my soul the greatest spurn... is dear Lavinia, dearer than my soul.

Gentle daughter, let me kiss thy lips...

or make some sign how I may do thee ease.

Shall thy good uncle and thy brother Lucius... and thou and I... sit round about some fountain looking all downwards... to behold our cheeks... how they are stained, like meadows, by a flood?

Or shall we cut away our hands, like thine?

Or shall we bite our tongues... and in dumb shows pass the remainder... of our hateful days?

What shall we do?

Let us that have our tongues... plot some device of further misery... to make us wondered at in time to come.

Titus Andronicus, my lord the emperor sends thee this word- that if thou love thy sons, let Marcus, Lucius, or thyself, old Titus, or any one of you chop off your hand... and send it to the king.

He for the same will send thee hither both thy sons alive, and that shall be the ransom for their fault.

O gracious emperor! O gentle Aaron!

Did ever raven sing so like a lark?

With all my heart, I'll send his majesty my hand.

Good Aaron, wilt thou help to chop it off?

Stay, Father!

For that noble hand of thine that hath thrown down so many enemies... shall not be sent.

My hand will serve the turn. My youth can better spare my blood than you.

Which of your hands hath not defended Rome... and reared aloft the bloody battle-ax?

My hand hath been but idle. Let it serve to ransom my two nephews from their death.

Nay, come, agree to whose hand shall go along, for fear they die before their pardon come.

My hand shall go! By heaven, it shall not go!

Now let me show a brother's love to thee.

Agree between you. I will spare my hand.

Then I'll go fetch an ax.

But I will use the ax.

Come hither, Aaron. I'll deceive them both.

Lend me thy hand, and I will give thee mine.

If that be called deceit, I will be honest.

Hey! Hey!


Oh, now stay your strife!

What shall be is dispatched.

Good Aaron, give his majesty my hand.

Tell him it was a hand that warded him from thousand dangers.

Bid him bury it!

As for my sons, say I account of them... as jewels purchased at an easy price.

I go, Andronicus.

And for thy hand, look by and by... to have thy sons with thee.

Their heads, I mean.

Oh, how this villainy doth fat me with the very thoughts of it!

Let fools do good and fair men call for grace.

Aaron will have his soul black... like his face.

Oh, here I lift this one hand up to heaven... and bow this feeble ruin to the earth.

If any power pities wretched tears, to that I call.

What, wouldst thou kneel with me?

Do, then, dear heart, for heaven shall hear our prayers, or with our sighs we'll breathe the welkin dim... and stain the sun with fog, as sometimes clouds... when they do hug him in their melting bosoms.

O brother, speak with possibility, and do not break into these deep extremes.

Are not my sorrows deep, having no bottom?

Then be my passions bottomless with them.

But yet let reason govern thy lament.

If there were reason for these miseries, then into limits could I bind my woes!

When heaven doth weep, doth not the earth o'erflow?

If the winds rage, doth not the sea wax mad, threatening the welkin with his big, swollen face?

Wouldst thou have a reason for this coil?

I am the sea.

Hark how her sighs do blow.

She is the weeping welkin, I the earth.

Then must my sea be moved with her sighs.

Then must my earth with her continual tears... become a deluge, overflowed and drowned.

For why my bowels cannot hide her woes, but like a drunkard must I vomit them.

Then give me leave.

For losers will have leave to ease their stomachs... with their bitter tongues.

Worthy Andronicus, ill art thou repaid for that good hand... thou sent'st the emperor.

Here are the heads of thy two noble sons, and here's thy hand, in scorn to thee sent back.

And be my heart an ever-burning hell.

These miseries are more than may be borne.

That this sight should make so deep a wound, and yet detested life not shrink thereat!

Alas, poor heart, that kiss is comfortless as frozen water to a starved snake.

When will this fearful slumber have an end?

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.

Ah, now, no more will I control thy griefs.

Rent off thy silver hair!

Thy other hand gnawing with thy teeth!

And be this dismal sight the closing up... of our most wretched eyes.

Now is a time to storm! Why art thou still?

Why dost thou laugh?

Why, I have not another tear to shed.

Besides, this sorrow is the enemy... and would usurp upon my watery eyes... and make them blind with tributary tears.

Then which way shall I find revenge's cave?

For these two heads do seem to speak to me... and threat me I shall never come to bliss... till all these mischiefs be returned again... even in their throats that have committed them.

Now, let me see what task I have to do.

You heavy people, circle me about... that I may turn me to each one of you... and swear unto my soul to right your wrongs.

The vow is made.

Come, brother, take a head.

In this hand, the other will I bear.

And thou, Lavinia, thou shalt be employed.

Bear thou my hand, sweet wench, between thy teeth.

As for thee, boy, go get thee from my sight.

Thou art an exile, and thou must not stay.

Hie to the Goths and raise an army there.

And if you love me, as I think you do, let's kiss and part, for we have much to do.

Farewell, Andronicus, my noble father.

The woefullest man that ever lived in Rome.

Now will I to the Goths... and raise a power to be revenged on Rome... and Saturnine.

So, so, now sit, and look you eat no more than will preserve... just so much strength in us... as will revenge these bitter woes of ours.

Thou map of woe that thus dost talk in signs, when thy poor heart beats with outrageous beating, thou canst not strike it thus to make it still.

Wound it with sighing, girl. Kill it with groans.

Or get some little knife between thy teeth... and, just against thy heart, make thou a hole, that all the tears that thy poor eyes let fall... may run into that sink... and, soaking in, drown the lamenting fool in sea-salt tears.

Fie, brother, fie!


Teach her not thus to lay such violent hands upon her tender life.

How now! Has sorrow made thee dote already?

Oh, handle not the theme, to talk of hands, lest we remember still that we have none.

Come, let's fall to.

And, gentle girl, eat this.

Here is no drink.

Hark, Marcus, what she says.

I can interpret all her martyred signs.

She says she drinks no other drink but tears.

Speechless complainer, I will learn thy thought.

Thou shalt not sigh nor hold thy stumps to heaven... nor wink, nor nod, nor kneel, nor make a sign, but I of these will wrest an alphabet... and by still practice learn to know thy meaning.

What dost thou strike at, Lucius, with thy knife?

At that that I have killed, my lord, a fly.

Out on thee, murderer! Kill'st my heart!

A deed of death done on the innocent becomes not Titus' grandson.

Get thee gone. I see thou art not for my company.

Alas, my lord, I have but killed a fly.


How, if that fly had a father and mother?

How would they hang their slender, gilded wings... and buzz lamenting doings in the air.

Poor, harmless fly, that with his pretty, buzzing melody came here to make us merry.

And thou hast killed him.

Pardon me, sir. Hmm?

It was a black, ill-favored fly, like to the empress' Moor.

Therefore I killed him.




Pardon me for reprehending thee, for thou hast done a charitable deed.

Give me thy knife. I will insult on him, flattering myself as if it were the Moor... come hither purposely to poison me.

There's for thyself, and that's for Tamora!

Ah, sirrah!

As yet, I think, we are not brought so low... but that between us we can kill a fly... that comes in likeness of a coal-black Moor.

Hey, baby, want to go for a ride?


Help, grandsire! Help!

My Aunt Lavinia follows me everywhere.

I know not why.

Good Uncle Marcus, see how swift she comes.

Alas, sweet aunt, I know not what you mean.

Stand by me, Lucius. Do not fear thine aunt.

Now, Lavinia, what means this?

Soft! So swiftly she turns the leaves.

Help her.

What would she find?

Lavinia, shall I read?

"This is the tragic tale of Philomel... and treats of Tereus' treason and his rape."

See, Brother, see.

Note how she quotes the leaves.

Lavinia, wert thou thus surprised, sweet girl, ravished and wronged as Philomela was?

Forced in the ruthless, vast, and gloomy wood?

Ay, such a place there is where we did hunt.

Oh, why should nature build so foul a den... unless the gods delight in tragedies?

Give sign, sweet girl, what Roman lord it was durst do this deed.

My lord, look here. Look here, Lavinia!

This sandy plot is plain.

Guide, if thou canst, this after me... when I have writ my name without the help of any hand at all.

Write thou, good niece, and here display at last... what God will have discovered for revenge.

Cursed be the heart that forced us to this shift.

it's Chiron and Demetrius.

My lord, kneel down with me.

Kneel, Lavinia, and kneel, sweet boy, and swear with me that we will prosecute, by good advice, mortal revenge... upon these traitorous Goths... and see their blood or die with this reproach.

'Tis sure enough, an you knew how.

But if you hunt these bear-whelps, then beware.

You're a young huntsman, Marcus. Let alone.

Come, go with me into mine armory, Lucius. I'll fit thee.

And withal my boy shall send from me to the empress' sons... presents that I intend to send them both.

Come, thou'lt do my message, wilt thou not?

Ay, with my dagger in their bosoms, grandsire.

No, not so. I'll teach thee another course.

Lavinia, come.

Marcus, look to my house.

O heavens, can you hear a good man groan... and not relent or not compassion him?

Marcus, attend him in his ecstasy... that hath more scars of sorrow in his heart... than foemen's marks upon his battered shield, but yet so just that he will not revenge.

Revenge, ye heavens, for old Andronicus!

Demetrius! Here's the son of Lucius!

He hath some message to deliver us.

Ay, some mad message from his mad grandfather.


My lords- Whoo!

With all the humbleness I may, I greet your honors from Andronicus.

Gramercy, lovely Lucius. What's the news?

My grandsire, well advised, hath sent by me... the goodliest weapons of his armory... to gratify your honorable youth- the hope of Rome, for so he bid me say, and so I do.

And so I leave you both.

Like bloody villains.


Oh, 'tis a verse in Horace.

I know it well.

"He who is pure of life and free of sin... needs no bow and arrow of the Moor."

Ay, just. A verse in Horace.

Right, you have it.

Now, what a thing it is to be an ass.

Here's no sound jest.

The old man hath found their guilt... and sends them weapons wrapped about with lines... that wound beyond their feeling, to the quick.

But were our witty empress well afoot, she would applaud Andronicus' conceit, but... let her rest in her unrest a while.

Come, let's go, and pray to all the gods to aid our mother... in her labor pains.

Pray to the devils.

The gods have given us over.

Why do the emperor's trumpets flourish thus?

Oh, belike for joy the emperor hath a son.

Soft! Who comes here?

Good morrow, lords. Oh, tell me, did you see Aaron the Moor?

Well, more or less, or ne'er a wit at all. Oh!

Here Aaron is, and what with Aaron now?

O gentle Aaron, we are all undone!

Now, help, or woe betide thee evermore.

What a caterwauling dost thou keep.

What dost thou wrap and fumble in thine arms?

Oh, that which I would hide from heaven's eye- our empress' shame and stately Rome's disgrace.

She is delivered, lords, she is delivered.

To whom?

I mean, she is brought abed.

Well, God give her good rest.

What hath he sent her? A devil.

Why, then, she is the devil's dam, a joyful issue.

A joyless, dismal, black, and sorrowful issue.

Here is the babe, as loathsome as a toad... amongst the fairest breeders of our clime.

The empress sends it thee, thy stamp, thy seal, and bids thee christen it with thy dagger's point.

'Zounds, ye whore!

Is black so base a hue?

Sweet blowse, you are a beauteous blossom, sure.

Villain, what hast thou done?

That which thou canst not undo.

Thou hast undone our mother.

Villain, I have done thy mother.

And therein, hellish dog, thou hast undone her!

Accursed the offspring of so foul a fiend.

It shall not live.

It shall not die!

Aaron, it must. The mother wills it so.


Must it, nurse?

Then let no man but I do execution on my flesh and blood.

I'll broach the tadpole on this rapier's point.

Nurse, give it me! My sword shall soon dispatch it!

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 first-born son and heir.


What, ye sanguine, shallow-hearted boys?

Ye white-limed walls.

Ye alehouse painted signs.

Coal-black is better than another hue... in that it scorns to bear another hue.

For all the water of the ocean... could never turn a swan's black legs to white... although she lave them hourly in the flood.

Tell the empress from me... that I am of age to keep mine own.

Excuse it how she can.

Wilt thou betray thy noble mistress thus?

My mistress is my mistress.

This... myself- the vigor and the picture of my youth.

This before all the world do I prefer.

This, 'spite all the world, will I keep safe-


Or some of you shall smoke for it in Rome.

By this our mother is forever shamed.

The emperor in his rage will doom her death.

I blush to think upon this ignomy.

Why, there's the privilege your beauty bears.

Fie, treacherous hue, that will betray with blushing... the close enacts and counsels of the heart.

Here's a young lad framed of another leer.


Look how the black slave smiles upon the father, as who should say, "Old lad, I am thine own."

Aaron, what shall I say unto the empress?

Advise thee, Aaron, what is to be done, so that we may all subscribe to thy advice.

Save thou the child, so we may all be safe.

Then sit we down, and let us all consult.

Ah! My son and I will have the wind of you.

Keep there!

Now, talk at pleasure of your safety.

How many women saw this child of his?

Ah, so, brave lords.

When we join in league, I am a lamb.

But if you brave the Moor, the chafed boar, the mountain lioness, the ocean swells not so as Aaron storms.

But say again, how many saw the child?

Cornelia the midwife and myself... and no one else but the delivered empress.

The empress, the midwife... and yourself.

Two may keep counsel when the third's away.

Go to the empress. Mm-hmm.

Tell her this I said.

So cries a pig prepared to the spit.

What meanest thou, Aaron? Wherefore didst thou this?

Oh, lord, sir, 'tis a deed of policy.

What? Should she live to betray this guilt of ours, a long-tongued babbling gossip?

No, lords. No.

Hark ye, lords.

You see I have given her physic. You must needs bestow her funeral.

The fields are near. You are gallant grooms.

This done, make sure you take no longer days, but send the midwife presently to me.

The midwife and the nurse well made away, then let the ladies tattle what they please.

Aaron, I see thou wilt not trust the air with secrets.

For this care of Tamora, herself and hers are highly bound to thee.

Now to the Goths, as swift as swallow flies, there to dispose this treasure in mine arms... and secretly to greet the empress' friends.

Come on, you thick-lipped slave.

I'll bear you hence, for it is you who puts us to our shifts.

I'll make you feed on berries and on roots... and cabin in a cave... and bring you up to be a warrior... and command a camp.


Hep! Hep!

Come, Marcus, come.

Kinsmen, this is the way.

Sir boy, now let me see your archery.

Look ye draw home enough, and 'tis there straight.

Goddess of justice has left the earth.

Be remembered, Marcus, she's gone, she's fled.

Sirs, take you to your tools.

You, cousins, shall go sound the ocean and cast your nets.

Happily you may catch her in the sea.

Yet there's as little justice as at land.

No. Publius and Sempronius, you must do it.

'Tis you must dig with mattock and with spade... and pierce the inmost center of the earth.

Then, when you come to Pluto's region, I pray you, give him this petition.

Tell him it is for justice and for aid, and that it comes from old Andronicus, shaken with sorrows in ungrateful Rome.

Ah, Rome.

Well, well.

I made thee miserable that time I threw the people's suffrages... on him that thus doth tyrannize o'er me.

Go, get you gone, and pray be careful all... and leave you not a man of war unsearched.

This wicked emperor may have shipped her hence... and, kinsmen, then we may go pipe for justice.

O Publius, is not this a heavy case, to see thy noble uncle thus distract?

Therefore, my lord, it highly us concerns by day and night... to attend him carefully... and feed his humor kindly as we may... till time beget some careful remedy.

Kinsmen, his sorrows are past remedy.

Publius, how now?

How now, my masters?

You're a good archer, Marcus. Come to this gear.

Ad Jovem. That's for you.

Here. Ad Apollinem.

Here, boy, to Pallas.

Here, to Mercury.

To Saturn, Caius, not to Saturnine.

You were as good to shoot against the wind.

To it, boy.


Marcus, loose when I bid.

Of my word, I've written to effect.

There's not a god left unsolicited.

My lord, I aim a mile beyond the moon.

Your letter is with Jupiter by this.

Marcus, we are but shrubs, no cedars we, no big-boned men framed of the cyclops' size.

But metal, Marcus, steel to the very back, yet wrung with wrongs more than our backs can bear.

And sith there's no justice in earth nor hell, we will solicit heaven... and move the gods to send down justice... for to wreak our wrongs.

Come, masters, draw.

Kinsmen, shoot all your shafts into the court.

We will afflict the emperor in his pride.

Good boy, in Virgo's lap. Give it Pallas.

It's from Titus! It's from Titus!

My lords, what wrongs are these?

Was ever seen an emperor in Rome thus overborne, troubled, confronted thus, and for the extent of equal justice... used in such contempt?

My lords, you know, as do the mightful gods, however these disturbers of our peace buzz... in the people's ears, there naught has passed, but even with law, against the willful sons of old Andronicus!

And what and if his sorrows do overwhelm his wits?


Shall we be thus afflicted by his wreaks, his fits, his frenzies, and his bitterness?

And now he writes to heaven for his redress.

See? Here's to Jove, this to Apollo, this to Mercury, this to the god of war-

Sweet scrolls to fly about the streets of Rome!

What's this but libeling against the senate... and blazoning our injustice everywhere?

A goodly humor, is it not, my lords?

For who would say in Rome no justice were?

Lord of my life, commander of my thoughts-

But if I live, his feigned ecstasies shall be no shelter... to these outrages.

But he and his shall know... that justice lives in Saturninus' health, whom, if she sleep, he'll so awake... as she in fury shall cut off... the proud'st conspirator that lives.


Calm thee, and bear the faults of Titus' age, the effects of sorrow for his valiant sons, whose loss hath pierced him deep... and scarred his heart.

O Titus, I have touched thee to the quick.

Take arms, my lords.

Rome never had more cause.

The Goths have gathered head.

And with a power of high-resolved men bent to the spoil, they hither march amain under conduct of Lucius, son to old Andronicus.

Is warlike Lucius leader of the Goths?

Ay, now begins our sorrows to approach.

'Tis he the common people love so much.

Myself have often heard them say- when I have walked like a private man- that Lucius' banishment was wrongfully, and that they have wished... that Lucius were their emperor.

Why should you fear?

Is not your city strong?

Ay, but the citizens favor Lucius... and will revolt from me to succor him.

King, be thy thoughts imperious like thy name.

Is the sun dimmed, that gnats do fly in it?

Then cheer thy spirit.

For know, thou emperor, I will enchant the old Andronicus... with words more sweet and yet more dangerous... than bait to fish or honey stalks to sheep.

But he will not entreat his son for us.

If Tamora entreat him, then he will.

Go thou before. Be our ambassador.

Say that the emperor requests a parley of warlike Lucius... and appoint the meeting even at his father's house- the old Andronicus.

Aemelius, do this message honorably.

And if he stand on hostage for his safety, bid him demand... what pledge shall please him best.

Your bidding shall I do effectually.

Now will I to that old Andronicus... and temper him with all the art I have.

Then go successantly... and plead to him.

Approved warriors, and my faithful friends, I have received letters from great Rome... which signify what hate they bear their emperor... and how desirous of our sight they are.

Therefore, great lords, be as your titles witness- imperious and impatient of your wrongs.

And wherein Rome hath done you any scathe, let him make treble satisfaction.

Brave slip, sprung from the great Andronicus- whose name was once our terror, now our comfort- whose high exploits and honorable deeds... ingrateful Rome requites with foul contempt,

be bold in us.

We'll follow where thou leadest... and be avenged on cursed Tamora.

And as he saith, so say we all with him!

O worthy Goths,

this is the incarnate devil... that robbed Andronicus of his good hand.

This is the pearl that pleased your empress' eye.

And here's the base fruit of his burning lust.

Say, walleyed slave, whither wouldst thou convey this growing image of thy fiendlike face?

Why dost not speak?



Not a word?

A halter, soldiers!

Hang him on this tree.

And by his side, his fruit of bastardy!

Touch not the boy!

He is of royal blood.

Too like the sire for ever being good.

First hang the child, that he may see it sprawl- a sight to vex the father's soul withal.

Get me a ladder!

Lucius... save the child.

If thou do this, I'll show thee wondrous things... that highly may advantage thee to hear.

If thou wilt not, befall what may befall.

I'll speak no more, but vengeance rot you all!

Say on, and if it please me which thou speakst, thy child shall live, and I will see it nourished.

And if it please thee!

Why, assure thee, Lucius, 'twill vex thy soul... to hear what I shall speak, for I must talk of murders, rapes, and massacres, acts of black night, abominable deeds, complots of mischief, treason, villainies.

And this shall all be buried in my death... unless thou swear to me my child shall live.

Tell on thy mind. I say thy child shall live.

Swear that he shall. Then I will begin. Who should I swear by?

Thou believest no god.

What if I do not?

As indeed I do not.

Yet- for I know thou art religious... and hast a thing within thee called conscience- therefore thou shalt vow by that same god, what god soe'er it be, to save my boy- to nourish and bring him up... or else I will discover naught to thee.

Even by my god, I swear to thee I will.

First know thou, I begot him on the empress.

Oh, most insatiate and luxurious woman.

Tut, Lucius, this was but a deed of charity... to that which thou shalt hear of me anon.

'Twas her two sons that murdered Bassianus.

They... cut thy sister's tongue and ravished her, and cut her hands and trimmed her as thou sawest.

Detestable villain! Callest thou that trimming?

Why, she was washed... and cut... and trimmed, and 'twas trim sport for them that had the doing of it.

Oh, barbarous, beastly villains, like thyself!

Indeed, I was their tutor to instruct them.

Ah, that codding spirit had they from their mother.

That bloody mind, I think, they learned of me.


Let my deeds be witness of my worth.

I trained thy brethren to that guileful hole... where the dead corpse of Bassianus lay.

I wrote the letter that thy father found... and hid the bag of gold beneath the tree.

I played the cheater for thy father's hand, and when I had it, drew myself apart... and almost broke my heart with extreme laughter.

And when I told the empress of this sport, she swooned almost at my pleasing tale, and for my tidings gave me 20 kisses.


Canst thou say all this and never blush?

Ay, like a black dog, as the saying is.

Art thou not sorry for these heinous deeds?


That I had not done a thousand more.

Even now, I curse the day- and yet, I think, few come within the compass of my curse- wherein I did not some notorious ill as kill a man... or else devise his death; ravish a maid or plot the way to do it; accuse some innocent and forswear myself; make poor men's cattle break their necks; set fire on barns and haystacks in the night... and bid the owners quench them with their tears.

Oft have I digged up dead men from their graves... and set them upright at their dear friends' doors, even when their sorrows almost was forgot.

And on their skins, as on the barks of trees, have with my knife carved in Roman letters, "Let not thy sorrow die, though I am dead!"


I have done a thousand dreadful things... as willingly as one would kill a fly.

And nothing grieves me heartily indeed... but that I cannot do 10,000 more.

Bring down the devil- for he must not die so sweet a death... as hanging presently.

If there be devils, would I were a devil... to live and burn in everlasting fire... that I might have your company in hell... but to torment you with my bitter tongue!

Sirs, stop his mouth!

Let him speak no more!

My lord, there's a messenger from Rome.

Welcome, Aemelius.

What news from Rome?

Lord Lucius, and you princes of the Goths, the Roman emperor greets you all by me and, for he understands you are in arms, craves a parley at your father's house.

Willing you to demand your hostages, and they shall be immediately delivered.

What says our general?

Aemelius, let the emperor give his pledges unto my father... and my uncle Marcus, and we will come.

Who doth molest my contemplation?

Is it your trick to make me ope the door... that so my sad decrees may fly away... and all my study be to no effect?


You are deceived, for what I mean to do, see here in bloody lines I have set down.

And what is written shall be executed.


I am come to talk with thee.

No. Not a word.

If thou didst know me, thou wouldst talk with me.

I am not mad. I know thee well enough... for our proud empress mighty Tamora.

Is not thy coming for my other hand?

Know, thou sad man, I am not Tamora.

She is thy enemy and I thy friend.

I am Revenge, sent from the infernal kingdom, accompanied by Rape and Murder here-

To ease the gnawing vulture of thy mind... by working wreakful vengeance on thy foes.

Come down and welcome me to this world's light.

Confer with me on murder and on death.

Art thou Revenge, and art thou sent to me... to be a torment to mine enemies?

I am. Therefore come down... and welcome me and my ministers.

Good lord!

How like the empress' sons they are, and you the empress!

But we worldly men have miserable, mad, mistaking eyes.

Oh, sweet Revenge, now do I come to thee.

And if one arm's embracement will content thee, I will embrace thee in it by and by!

This closing with him fits his lunacy.

Whate'er I forge to feed his brainsick fits, do you uphold and maintain in your speeches, for now he firmly takes me for Revenge.

And-- being credulous in this mad thought-

I'll make him send for his son Lucius.

Shh! Shh!

See? Here he comes.

And I must ply my theme.

Long have I been forlorn, and all for thee.

Welcome, dread fury, to my woeful house.

Rapine and Murder, you are welcome too.

How like the empress and her sons you are.

Well are you fitted, had you but a Moor.

Could not all hell afford you such a devil?

What wouldst thou have us do, Andronicus?

Show me a murderer, and I'll deal with him.

Show me a villain that hath done a rape, and I am sent to be revenged on him.

Look round about the wicked streets of Rome.

When thou findst a man that's like thyself, good Murder, stab him.

He's a murderer.


Go thou with him, and when it is thy hap to find another that is like to thee, good Rapine, stab him!

He's a ravisher.

Go thou with them, and in the emperor's court, there is a queen attended by a Moor.

Well mayst thou know her by thy own proportion, for up and down she doth resemble thee.

I pray thee, do on them some violent death.

They have been violent to me and mine.

Well hast thou lessoned us.

This shall we do.

But... would it please thee, good Andronicus, to send for Lucius, thy thrice valiant son, and bid him come and banquet at thy house?

I will bring in the empress and her sons, the emperor himself, and all thy foes.

And at thy mercy-

Oh. shall they stoop and kneel, and on them shalt thou ease thy angry heart.

What says Andronicus to this device?

Marcus, my brother?

'Tis sad Titus calls.

Go, gentle Marcus, to thy nephew Lucius.

Thou shalt inquire him out among the Goths.

Bid him repair to me and bring with him... some of the chiefest princes of the Goths.

Tell him the emperor and the empress, too, feast at my house, and he shall feast with them.

This do thou for my love, and so let him, as he regards his aged father's life.

This will I do and soon return again.

Now will I hence about thy business... and take my ministers along with me.

Nay, nay-

Let Rape and Murder stay with me, or else I'll call my brother back again... and cleave to no revenge but Lucius.

What say you, boys? Will you abide with him... whiles I go tell my lord the emperor... how I have governed our determined jest?

Madam, depart at pleasure.

Leave us here.

Farewell, Andronicus.

Revenge now goes to lay a complot... to betray thy foes.

I know thou dost, and, sweet Revenge, farewell.

Tell us, old man, how shall we be employed?

Tut. I have work well enough for you.

Come hither, Publius, Caius, Valentin!

What is your will?

Know you these two?

The empress' sons, I take them- Chiron and Demetrius.

Fie, Publius, fie! Thou art too much deceived.

The one is Murder. Rape is the other's name.

And therefore bind them, gentle Publius.

Caius and Valentin, lay hands on them.

Villains, forbear!

We are thy empress' sons!

And therefore do we what we are commanded.

Come. Come, Lavinia.


Thy foes are bound.

Now let them hear what fearful words I utter.

O villains Chiron and Demetrius.

Here stands the spring whom you have stained with mud- this goodly summer with your winter mixed.

You killed her husband, and for that vile fault... two of her brothers were condemned to death, my hand cut off and made a merry jest.

Both her sweet hands, her tongue, and that more dear than hands or tongue- her spotless chastity- inhuman traitors, you constrained and forced.

What would you say if I should let you speak?

Villains, for shame, you could not beg for grace.

Hark, wretches, how I mean to martyr you.

This one hand yet is left to cut your throats, whilst that Lavinia between her stumps doth hold... the basin that receives your guilty blood.

You know your mother means to feast with me... and calls herself Revenge and thinks me mad.

Hark, villains.

I shall grind your bones to dust, and with your blood and it I'll make a paste.

And of the paste a coffin I will rear... and make two pastries of your shameful heads, and bid that strumpet your unhallowed dam, like to the earth, swallow her own increase.

This is the feast that I have bid her to... and this the banquet she shall surfeit on.

And now prepare your throats.

Lavinia, come.

Receive the blood.

Come. Come, be everyone officious to make this banquet... which I wish may prove... more stern and bloody than the centaur's feast.

So... now cut them down, for I shall play the cook... and see them ready 'gainst their mother comes.

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.

Marcus, we will.

Welcome, my gracious lord.

Welcome, dread queen. Welcome, ye warlike Goths.

Welcome, Lucius.

And welcome, all.

Although the cheer be poor, 'twill fill your stomachs.

Please you eat of it.

Why art thou thus attired, Andronicus? Hmm?

Because I would be sure to have all well... to entertain your highness and your empress.

We are beholden to you, good Andronicus.

And if your highness knew my heart, you were.

Will it please you eat?

Will it please your highness feed?

My lord the emperor.

Hmm? 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?

It was, Andronicus.

Your reason, mighty lord?

Because the girl should not survive her shame... and by her presence still renew his sorrows.


A reason mighty, strong, and effectual.

A pattern, precedent, and lively warrant... for me, most wretched, to perform the like.

Die, die, Lavinia, and thy shame with thee.

What hast thou done-

Unnatural and unkind?

Killed her for whom my tears have made me blind.

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.

What, was she ravished? Tell who did the deed.

Why hast thou slain thine only daughter thus?

Not I.

'Twas Chiron and Demetrius.

They ravished her and cut away her tongue.

And they, 'twas they... that did her all this wrong.

Go fetch them to us hither presently!

Why, there they are, both baked in that 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.

You sad-faced men, people and sons of Rome by uproar severed... like a flight of fowl scattered by winds... and high tempestuous gusts, oh, let me teach you how to knit again... this scattered corn into one mutual sheaf, these broken limbs again into one body.

Come. Come, you reverend men of Rome, and take our emperor gently by the hand-

Lucius our emperor, for well I know the common voice do cry it shall be so.

Now is my turn to speak.

Behold this child.

Of this was Tamora delivered- the issue of an irreligious Moor, chief architect and plotter of our woes.

O thou sad Andronicus, give sentence on this execrable wretch.

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.

Oh, 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.

If one good deed in all my life I did...

I do repent it from my very soul.

Go, some of you.

Bear Saturninus hence, and give him burial in his father's grave.

My father and Lavinia... shall forthwith be closed in our household monument.

As for that ravenous tiger Tamora, no funeral rite, no man in mourning weeds, nor mournful bell shall ring her burial, but throw her forth to beasts and birds of prey.

Her life was beast-like... and devoid of pity.

And, being dead,