William Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus in the complete original text.
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Titus Andronicus

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Titus Andronicus Play

Titus Andronicus begins with Roman General Titus, returning to Rome, victorious after a ten year war against the Goths. The late Emperor has died, Saturninus the eldest son wanting to become Emperor, his brother Bassanius arguing for an election he hopes to win. Instead, Titus is elected Emperor by the Senate in recognition of his military services to Rome. The General declines, instead choosing Saturninus over Bassanius to be the new Emperor. Saturninus now makes Titus' daughter Lavinia his new empress despite her preferring Bassanius. Amongst the general's prisoners are Queen Tamara and sons Alarbus, Demetrius and Chiron. Alarbus is quickly slain by Titus' sons to appease the Roman Gods. Tamara curses all Romans as a result.

Saturninus falls in love with Tamara at first sight and who sets her sons free... Bassanius then declares his love of Lavinia, Titus telling Bassanius she should stay with the Emperor. Bassanius ignores this, fleeing with Lavinia only to have Titus kill his son Mutius for breaking an order. Saturninus now declares Tamara will be his new empress instead of Lavinia to the General's complete surprise. Tamara with Aaron (a Moor), her real lover, hopes to bring about Titus' downfall. Saturninus accuses his brother of treason but Tamara convinces the Emperor to overlook this and the murder of Mutius, resolving to kill them all later... Tamara's surviving sons Demetrius and Chiron who both love Lavinia despite her loving Bassanius, find Bassanius in the forest, quickly killing him. Next they rape Titus' daughter Lavinia, then cut out her tongue and hands. Miraculously, she survives... Aaron sets up Titus' sons Quintus and Martius for Bassanius' murder.

Titus begs for mercy but his pleas fall on the Emperor's deaf ears... Titus' other son, Lucius attempts to free Quintus and Martius only to be banished from Rome as a result. Lavinia is discovered, Aaron telling Titus that Emperor Saturninus will spare his son's lives for the murder of his brother Bassanius if and only if someone cuts off one of his hands and sends it to the Emperor. Titus duly cuts off his hand only to receive sons Quintus and Martius' heads along with his severed hand. Seeing his son's heads and realising he mutilated himself for nothing, Titus sends remaining son Lucius to the Goths to raise an army to sack Rome.

True to his father's wishes, Lucius has raised an army. Lavinia too has managed to communicate to Titus who mutilated her, Titus, now close to madness, successfully luring Demetrius and Chiron into a trap where he tells them he knows what they did and darkly tells them their fate in which he decides to make a pie from their remains... Tamara gives birth to Aaron's son. Lucius captures Aaron's baby, Aaron admitting all to save the baby. Titus reveals he is not mad at all. Tamara and Emperor Saturninus attempt to convince Titus to stop Lucius and the Goths from sacking Rome. Titus suggests they have dinner... During the dinner, Titus kills Lavinia in an act of mercy, then reveals to his guests what the pie they are eating is made of... Next, Titus kills Tamara, Saturninus then killing Titus, Lucius then killing Saturninus. Lucius is made Emperor, ordering Aaron to be buried in sand to his head, then left to starve to death. For Tamara, Lucius decides to have her body left unburied so scavengers may tear her body to pieces...


Dramatis Personæ

Act I
Scene I

Act II
Scene I,
Scene II, Scene III, Scene IV

Scene I, Scene II

Act IV
Scene I, Scene II, Scene III, Scene IV

Act V
Scene I, Scene II, Scene III

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