Titus Andronicus

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Titus Andronicus is believed to be the earliest tragedy by William Shakespeare, ca. 1584-1590, about a fictional Roman general in a cycle of revenge against the queen of the Goths. It is Shakespeare's bloodiest and most violent play.

Act I[edit]

  • Sweet mercy is nobility's true badge.
    • Tamora, scene i
  • Oh cruel, irreligious piety!
    • Tamora, scene i
  • In peace and honour rest you here, my sons;
    Rome's readiest champions, repose you here in rest,
    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 honour rest you here, my sons!
    • Titus Andronicus, scene i
    • Variant line: Here grow no damned grudges, here are no storms,
  • Content thee, prince; I will restore to thee
    The people's hearts, and wean them from themselves.
    • Titus Andronicus, scene i
  • The dismall'st day is this that e'er I saw,
    To be dishonour'd by my sons in Rome!
    Well, bury him, and bury me next.
    • Titus Andronicus, scene i
  • My lord, be rul'd 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,
    (Which Rome reputes to be a heinous sin,)
    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 't is 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.
    • Tamora, scene i

Act II[edit]

  • She is a woman, therefore may be woo'd;
    She is a woman, therefore may be won;
    She is Lavinia, therefore must be lov'd.
    What, man! more water glideth by the mill
    Than wots the miller of; and easy it is
    Of a cut loaf to steal a shive.
    • Demetrius, scene i
  • Madam, though Venus govern your desires,
    Saturn is dominator over mine:
    What signifies my deadly-standing eye,
    My silence and my cloudy melancholy,
    My fleece of woolly hair that now uncurls
    Even as an adder when she doth unroll
    To do some fatal execution?
    No, madam, these are no venereal signs:
    Vengeance is in my heart, death in my hand,
    Blood and revenge are hammering in my head.
    • Aaron, scene iii

Act III[edit]

  • O 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!
    • Titus Andronicus, scene i
  • 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-swoln face?
    And wilt 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, overflow'd and drown'd;
    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.
    • Titus Andronicus, scene i

Act IV[edit]

  • Villain, I have done thy mother.
    • Aaron, scene ii
  • Weke, weke! so cries a pig prepared to the spit.
    • Aaron, scene ii
  • The eagle suffers little birds to sing.
    • Tamora, scene iv

Act V[edit]

  • 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;
    Set deadly enmity between two friends;
    Make poor men's cattle break their necks;
    Set fire on barns and hay-stacks in the night,
    And bid the owners quench them with their tears.
    Oft have I digg'd up dead men from their graves,
    And set them upright at their dear friends' doors,
    Even when their sorrows almost were forgot;
    And on their skins, as on the bark of trees,
    Have with my knife carved in Roman letters,
    Let not your sorrow die, though I am dead.
    Tut, 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.
    • Aaron, scene i
  • Come, come, be every one officious
    To make this banquet; which I wish may prove
    More stern and bloody than the Centaurs' feast.
    • Titus Andronicus, scene ii

External links[edit]

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