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Titus Andronicus

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Act V, Scene 2

Rome. Before TITUS’s house.


[Enter TAMORA, DEMETRIUS, and CHIRON, disguised]

  • Tamora. Thus, in this strange and sad habiliment, 2305
    I will encounter with Andronicus,
    And say I am Revenge, sent from below
    To join with him and right his heinous wrongs.
    Knock at his study, where, they say, he keeps,
    To ruminate strange plots of dire revenge; 2310
    Tell him Revenge is come to join with him,
    And work confusion on his enemies.

[They knock]

[Enter TITUS, above]

  • Titus Andronicus. Who doth molest my contemplation? 2315
    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; 2320
    And what is written shall be executed.
  • Tamora. Titus, I am come to talk with thee.
  • Titus Andronicus. No, not a word; how can I grace my talk,
    Wanting a hand to give it action?
    Thou hast the odds of me; therefore no more. 2325
  • Tamora. If thou didst know me, thou wouldest talk with me.
  • Titus Andronicus. I am not mad; I know thee well enough:
    Witness this wretched stump, witness these crimson lines;
    Witness these trenches made by grief and care,
    Witness the tiring day and heavy night; 2330
    Witness all sorrow, that I know thee well
    For our proud empress, mighty Tamora:
    Is not thy coming for my other hand?
  • Tamora. Know, thou sad man, I am not Tamora;
    She is thy enemy, and I thy friend: 2335
    I am Revenge: sent from the infernal kingdom,
    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 of murder and of death: 2340
    There's not a hollow cave or lurking-place,
    No vast obscurity or misty vale,
    Where bloody murder or detested rape
    Can couch for fear, but I will find them out;
    And in their ears tell them my dreadful name, 2345
    Revenge, which makes the foul offender quake.
  • Titus Andronicus. Art thou Revenge? and art thou sent to me,
    To be a torment to mine enemies?
  • Tamora. I am; therefore come down, and welcome me.
  • Titus Andronicus. Do me some service, ere I come to thee. 2350
    Lo, by thy side where Rape and Murder stands;
    Now give me some surance that thou art Revenge,
    Stab them, or tear them on thy chariot-wheels;
    And then I'll come and be thy waggoner,
    And whirl along with thee about the globe. 2355
    Provide thee two proper palfreys, black as jet,
    To hale thy vengeful waggon swift away,
    And find out murderers in their guilty caves:
    And when thy car is loaden with their heads,
    I will dismount, and by the waggon-wheel 2360
    Trot, like a servile footman, all day long,
    Even from Hyperion's rising in the east
    Until his very downfall in the sea:
    And day by day I'll do this heavy task,
    So thou destroy Rapine and Murder there. 2365
  • Tamora. These are my ministers, and come with me.
  • Tamora. Rapine and Murder; therefore called so,
    Cause they take vengeance of such kind of men.
  • Titus Andronicus. Good Lord, how like the empress' sons they are! 2370
    And you, the empress! but we worldly men
    Have miserable, mad, mistaking eyes.
    O 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. 2375

[Exit above]

  • Tamora. This closing with him fits his lunacy
    Whate'er I forge to feed his brain-sick fits,
    Do you uphold and maintain in your speeches,
    For now he firmly takes me for Revenge; 2380
    And, being credulous in this mad thought,
    I'll make him send for Lucius his son;
    And, whilst I at a banquet hold him sure,
    I'll find some cunning practise out of hand,
    To scatter and disperse the giddy Goths, 2385
    Or, at the least, make them his enemies.
    See, here he comes, and I must ply my theme.

[Enter TITUS below]

  • Titus Andronicus. Long have I been forlorn, and all for thee:
    Welcome, dread Fury, to my woful house: 2390
    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?
    For well I wot the empress never wags 2395
    But in her company there is a Moor;
    And, would you represent our queen aright,
    It were convenient you had such a devil:
    But welcome, as you are. What shall we do?
  • Tamora. What wouldst thou have us do, Andronicus? 2400
  • Demetrius. Show me a murderer, I'll deal with him.
  • Chiron. Show me a villain that hath done a rape,
    And I am sent to be revenged on him.
  • Tamora. Show me a thousand that have done thee wrong,
    And I will be revenged on them all. 2405
  • Titus Andronicus. Look round about the wicked streets of Rome;
    And when thou find'st 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, 2410
    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: 2415
    I pray thee, do on them some violent death;
    They have been violent to me and mine.
  • Tamora. Well hast thou lesson'd us; this shall we do.
    But would it please thee, good Andronicus,
    To send for Lucius, thy thrice-valiant son, 2420
    Who leads towards Rome a band of warlike Goths,
    And bid him come and banquet at thy house;
    When he is here, even at thy solemn feast,
    I will bring in the empress and her sons,
    The emperor himself and all thy foes; 2425
    And at thy mercy shalt they stoop and kneel,
    And on them shalt thou ease thy angry heart.
    What says Andronicus to this device?
  • Titus Andronicus. Marcus, my brother! 'tis sad Titus calls.
    [Enter MARCUS] 2430
    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;
    Bid him encamp his soldiers where they are: 2435
    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.


  • Tamora. Now will I hence about thy business,
    And take my ministers along with me.
  • Titus Andronicus. Nay, nay, let Rape and Murder stay with me;
    Or else I'll call my brother back again, 2445
    And cleave to no revenge but Lucius.
  • Tamora. [Aside to her sons] What say you, boys? will you
    bide with him,
    Whiles I go tell my lord the emperor
    How I have govern'd our determined jest? 2450
    Yield to his humour, smooth and speak him fair,
    And tarry with him till I turn again.
  • Titus Andronicus. [Aside] I know them all, though they suppose me mad,
    And will o'erreach them in their own devices:
    A pair of cursed hell-hounds and their dam! 2455
  • Demetrius. Madam, depart at pleasure; leave us here.
  • Tamora. Farewell, Andronicus: Revenge now goes
    To lay a complot to betray thy foes.


  • Chiron. Tell us, old man, how shall we be employ'd?
  • Titus Andronicus. Tut, I have work enough for you to do.
    Publius, come hither, Caius, and Valentine!

[Enter PUBLIUS and others]

  • Publius. The empress' sons, I take them, Chiron and Demetrius.
  • Titus Andronicus. Fie, Publius, fie! thou art too much deceived;
    The one is Murder, Rape is the other's name;
    And therefore bind them, gentle Publius. 2470
    Caius and Valentine, lay hands on them.
    Oft have you heard me wish for such an hour,
    And now I find it; therefore bind them sure,
    And stop their mouths, if they begin to cry.


[PUBLIUS, &c. lay hold on CHIRON and DEMETRIUS]

  • Chiron. Villains, forbear! we are the empress' sons.
  • Publius. And therefore do we what we are commanded.
    Stop close their mouths, let them not speak a word.
    Is he sure bound? look that you bind them fast. 2480
    [Re-enter TITUS, with LAVINIA; he bearing a knife,]
    and she a basin]
  • Titus Andronicus. Come, come, Lavinia; look, thy foes are bound.
    Sirs, stop their mouths, let them not speak to me;
    But let them hear what fearful words I utter. 2485
    O villains, Chiron and Demetrius!
    Here stands the spring whom you have stain'd with mud,
    This goodly summer with your winter mix'd.
    You kill'd her husband, and for that vile fault
    Two of her brothers were condemn'd to death, 2490
    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 constrain'd and forced.
    What would you say, if I should let you speak? 2495
    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 'tween her stumps doth hold
    The basin that receives your guilty blood. 2500
    You know your mother means to feast with me,
    And calls herself Revenge, and thinks me mad:
    Hark, villains! I will 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 2505
    And make two pasties of your shameful heads,
    And bid that strumpet, your unhallow'd 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; 2510
    For worse than Philomel you used my daughter,
    And worse than Progne I will be revenged:
    And now prepare your throats. Lavinia, come,
    [He cuts their throats]
    Receive the blood: and when that they are dead, 2515
    Let me go grind their bones to powder small
    And with this hateful liquor temper it;
    And in that paste let their vile heads be baked.
    Come, come, be every one officious
    To make this banquet; which I wish may prove 2520
    More stern and bloody than the Centaurs' feast.
    So, now bring them in, for I'll play the cook,
    And see them ready 'gainst their mother comes.

[Exeunt, bearing the dead bodies]