Titus Andronicus

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Titus Andronicus is a tragedy by William Shakespeare that may be his earliest tragedy and is thought to have been written in the early 1590s. By far Shakespeare's bloodiest work, the play depicts a cycle of revenge between the Roman general Titus and his enemy Tamora, the Queen of the Goths. It lost popularity during the Victorian era because of its gore, but its critical reputation and popularity have recently revived.



  • Titus Andronicus — a noble Roman general
  • Sons of Titus Andronicus:
    • Lucius
      • Young Lucius — son of Lucius.
    • Mutius
    • Martius
    • Quintus
    • Lavinia — daughter of Titus Andronicus.
  • Marcus Andronicus — Titus's brother, a Roman tribune
    • Publius — son of Marcus
  • Titus's kinsmen
    • Sempronius
    • Caius
    • Valentine
  • Saturninus — elder son of the late Roman emperor and later emperor
  • Bassianus — younger son Brother of the late emperor, in love with Lavinia
  • Tamora — Queen of the Goths, late emperess
  • Aaron the Moor — Tamora's lover
  • Sons to Tamora:
    • Alarbus
    • Demetrius
    • Chiron
  • Æmilius — a noble Roman
  • Messenger
  • Nurse
  • Roman Captain
  • Country clown
  • First Goth
  • Second Goth
  • Tribunes, senators, Romans, Goths, drummers, trumpeters, guards, attendants, and a black Child (illegitimate son of Tamora and Aaron)


The Emperor of Rome has died and his sons Saturninus and Bassianus are squabbling over who will succeed him. The Tribune of the People, Marcus Andronicus, announces that the people's choice for new emperor is his brother, Titus Andronicus, a Roman general newly returned from ten years' campaigning against the empire's foes, the Goths. Titus enters Rome to much fanfare, bearing with him Tamora, Queen of the Goths, her sons, and her secret lover, Aaron the Moor. Titus feels a religious duty to sacrifice Tamora’s eldest son, Alarbus, to avenge the deaths of his own sons in the war and to allow them to rest in peace. Tamora begs for the life of Alarbus, but Titus refuses her pleas and has her son burned and dismembered, inciting the cycle of revenge between Tamora and himself.

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