Titus Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the Titus script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the Julie Taymor movie with Anthony Hopkins.  This script is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of Titus. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and I'll be eternally tweaking it, so if you have any corrections, feel free to drop me a line. You won't hurt my feelings. Honest.

Swing on back to Drew's Script-O-Rama afterwards for more free movie scripts!

Titus Script





Ok, on your toes, men.



Hi-ho, Silver!



Hey, we got to save Olive Oyl!



Hail, Rome!




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 twenty 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...



Admanes fratrum.



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.






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 born-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.



I n 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.



I n peace and honor

rest you here, my sons.



I n 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 born-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.






that strive by factions

and by friends ambitiously



for rule and empery!



Know that the people of Rome

have by common voice



in elections 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.






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!






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 forty years



and led my country's

strength successfully...



and buried one and twenty 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.






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'll 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,






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 wert 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.






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.



What, madam?

Be dishonored openly



and basely put it up

without revenge?



Not so, my lord.

The gods of Rome for fend



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 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.



Sweet heart, 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.




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 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?




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!






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.






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...






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. 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.



Ha ha ha!



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.



Ha ha!



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.



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 horning



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,



ten thousand 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.



Ha ha ha ha!



Drag hence her husband

to some secret hole



and make his dead trunk

pillow to our lust.



But when ye have

the honeyye 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?



Oh, 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?!



Aaah! Beastly creature!



Confusion fall!




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 awhile.






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?



The unhappy sons of old Andronicus...



brought hither in a most unlucky hour



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...



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,



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.



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.




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 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.



- Ha ha ha ha!

- Ha ha ha ha!



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.






gentle Niece.



What stern, ungentle hands

have lopped



and hewed and made thy body bare

of her two branches?






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 twenty 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.



I n summer's drought

I'll drop upon thee still.



I n 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.



I n 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.



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.



Ha ha! If there were reason

for these miseries,



then into limits could I bind my woes!



When heaven doth weep...



doth not the earth overflow?



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.



I n 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 woe fullest 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.



It was a black, ill-favored fly,



like to the empress' Moor.



Therefore I killed him.












Ha ha ha ha!



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?




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 are 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!




Here's the son of Lucius!



He hath some message to deliver us.



Ay, some mad message

from his mad grandfather.






My lords, 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 awhile.



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.



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.






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.



What? 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.









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.



Ha ha! Look!



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...



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.



Harkye, 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.



Lookye 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 are 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.






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?









Ha ha ha ha!



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!



Ha ha ha! 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.






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!.



I deed, 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 twenty 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

ten thousand 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?



Aemelias, 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.



Ha ha ha!






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.



Ha ha ha ha!



Ha ha!

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--Ha ha!-- being credulous

in this mad thought--



Ha ha ha!



I'll make him send

for his son Lucius.



Shh! Shh!



See? Here he comes.



Ha ha ha!



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.



Ha ha ha!



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 finds 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.






Ha ha ha ha!



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...



shall they stoop and kneel,



and on them shalt thou

ease thy angry heart.



Ha ha!



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, be everyone officious

to make this banquet...



which I wish may prove



more stern and bloody

than the Centaur's Feast.






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.



Ha ha ha!



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.



Ha ha ha ha!



Will it please you eat?



Will it please Your Highness feed?



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?



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, 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 beastlike



and devoid of pity.



And, being dead...



let birds on her take pity.


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