Titus Andronicus


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Aaron is alone on stage


AARON

Now climbeth Tamora Olympus' top,

Safe out of fortune's shot, and sits aloft,

Secure of thunder's crack or lightning flash,
secure (adj.) 3 free [from], safe [from], untouched [by]

Advanced above pale envy's threat'ning reach.
advance (v.) 1 raise, lift up, upraise

As when the golden sun salutes the morn
morn (n.) morning, dawn See Topics: Frequency count
salute (v.) 2 approach, greet, make contact with

And, having gilt the ocean with his beams,

Gallops the zodiac in his glistering coach
glistering (adj.) glittering, shining, sparkling
zodiac (n.) 1 belt of the celestial sphere within which the sun, moon, and planets appear to move, divided into twelve equal domains [signs] named after constellations

And overlooks the highest-peering hills,
overlook (v.) 2 rise above, look down on

So Tamora.

Upon her wit doth earthly honour wait,
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count

And virtue stoops and trembles at her frown.

Then, Aaron, arm thy heart and fit thy thoughts

To mount aloft with thy imperial mistress,
mount (v.) 1 ascend, rise up, climb

And mount her pitch, whom thou in triumph long
pitch (n.) 1 height [to which a bird of prey soars before swooping]

Hast prisoner held, fettered in amorous chains,

And faster bound to Aaron's charming eyes
charming (adj.) 1 acting as charms, exercising magic power

Than is Prometheus tied to Caucasus.

Away with slavish weeds and servile thoughts!
weed (n.) 1 (plural) garments, dress, clothes

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,
wanton (v.) play, sport, frolic

This goddess, this Semiramis, this nymph,

This siren that will charm Rome's Saturnine,

And see his shipwreck and his commonweal's.
commonweal, commonwealth (n.) state, nation, community, body politic

Hollo, what storm is this?

Enter Chiron and Demetrius braving
brave (v.) 3 swagger, act boastfully, show off
edge (n.) 4 sharpness, keenness
want (v.) 1 lack, need, be without See Topics: Frequency count
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count


DEMETRIUS

Chiron, thy years want wit, thy wit wants edge

And manners to intrude where I am graced,
grace (v.) 1 favour, add merit to, do honour to

And may, for aught thou knowest, affected be.
affect (v.) 2 love, like, be fond of
aught (n.) anything, [with negative word] nothing See Topics: Frequency count


CHIRON

Demetrius, thou dost overween in all,
overween (v.) 1 presume too much, go too far

And so in this, to bear me down with braves.
bear down (v.) overwhelm, put down, overcome
brave (n.) boast, bravado, blustering threat

'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,

And that my sword upon thee shall approve,
approve (v.) 1 prove, confirm, corroborate, substantiate

And plead my passions for Lavinia's love.


AARON

(aside)
clubs (int.) cry calling apprentices to rally round in a fight

Clubs, clubs! These lovers will not keep the peace.


DEMETRIUS

Why, boy, although our mother, unadvised,
unadvised (adj.) rash, foolhardy, thoughtless, unconsidered

Gave you a dancing-rapier by your side,
dancing-rapier (n.) ornamental sword worn in dancing

Are you so desperate grown to threat your friends?
friend (n.) 2 relation, relative, kinsman
threat (v.) threaten

Go to, have your lath glued within your sheath
lath (n.) 2 toy sword, stage weapon

Till you know better how to handle it.


CHIRON

Meanwhile, sir, with the little skill I have,

Full well shalt thou perceive how much I dare.


DEMETRIUS

Ay, boy, grow ye so brave?

They draw
brave (adj.) 4 defiant, insolent, impudent


AARON

                         Why, how now, lords?

So near the Emperor's palace dare ye draw,

And maintain such a quarrel openly?

Full well I wot the ground of all this grudge.
wot (v.) 1 learn, know, be told See Topics: Frequency count

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 dishonoured in the court of Rome.

For shame, put up!
put up (v.) 1 sheathe, put away


DEMETRIUS

                         Not I, till I have sheathed

My rapier in his bosom, and withal

Thrust those reproachful speeches down his throat,

That he hath breathed in my dishonour here.


CHIRON

For that I am prepared and full resolved,

Foul-spoken coward, that thund'rest with thy tongue

And with thy weapon nothing dar'st perform.


AARON

Away, I say!

Now, by the gods that warlike Goths adore,

This petty brabble will undo us all.
brabble (n.) 1 brawl, noisy quarrel, fracas
undo (v.) 1 ruin, destroy, wipe out

Why, lords, and think you not how dangerous

It is to jet upon a prince's right?
jet upon (v.) encroach on, usurp, trespass upon

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?
controlment (n.) control, restraint, check

Young lords, beware; and should the Empress know

This discord's ground, the music would not please.
ground (n.) 1 reason, cause, source


CHIRON

I care not, I, knew she and all the world:

I love Lavinia more than all the world.


DEMETRIUS

Youngling, learn thou to make some meaner choice:
mean (adj.) 1 of low rank, inferior in position, less important
youngling (n.) 1 stripling, youngster, beginner

Lavinia is thine elder brother's hope.


AARON

Why, are ye mad? Or know ye not in Rome

How furious and impatient they be,

And cannot brook competitors in love?
brook (v.) 1 endure, tolerate, put up with

I tell you, lords, you do but plot your deaths

By this device.
device (n.) 9 way of thinking, inclination, fancy


CHIRON

                         Aaron, a thousand deaths

Would I propose to achieve her whom I love.
propose (v.) 4 face, confront, be ready to meet


AARON

To achieve her how?
make (v.) 13 consider, regard, treat [as]


DEMETRIUS

                         Why makes thou it so strange?

She is a woman, therefore may be wooed;

She is a woman, therefore may be won;

She is Lavinia, therefore must be loved.

What, man, more water glideth by the mill

Than wots the miller of, and easy it is
wot (v.) 1 learn, know, be told See Topics: Frequency count

Of a cut loaf to steal a shive, we know.

Though Bassianus be the Emperor's brother,

Better than he have worn Vulcan's badge.


AARON

(aside)

Ay, and as good as Saturninus may.


DEMETRIUS

Then why should he despair that knows to court it
court (v.) pay court, play the suitor [to]

With words, fair looks, and liberality?

What, hast not thou full often struck a doe

And borne her cleanly by the keeper's nose?
cleanly (adv.) 1 deftly, cleverly, skilfully


AARON

Why then, it seems some certain snatch or so
snatch (n.) 1 hasty grab, quick theft

Would serve your turns.


CHIRON

                         Ay, so the turn were served.


DEMETRIUS

Aaron, thou hast hit it.


AARON

                         Would you had hit it too,

Then should not we be tired with this ado.
ado (n.) fuss, business, to-do

Why, hark ye, hark ye, and are you such fools

To square for this? Would it offend you then
square (v.) 1 quarrel, fall out, disagree

That both should speed?
speed (v.) 1 meet with success, prosper, flourish See Topics: Politeness


CHIRON

Faith, not me.


DEMETRIUS

                         Nor me, so I were one.


AARON

For shame, be friends, and join for that you jar.
jar (v.) 1 quarrel, wrangle, disagree [over]

'Tis policy and stratagem must do
policy (n.) 2 stratagem, cunning, intrigue, craft

That you affect, and so must you resolve
affect (v.) 1 incline to, like, favour, be drawn to
resolve (v.) 4 decide, make up one's mind

That what you cannot as you would achieve,

You must perforce accomplish as you may.
perforce (adv.) 2 of necessity, with no choice in the matter See Topics: Frequency count

Take this of me: Lucrece was not more chaste

Than this Lavinia, Bassianus' love.

A speedier course than ling'ring languishment
course (n.) 1 course of action, way of proceeding See Topics: Frequency count
languishment (n.) longing, pain, grief [caused by love]

Must we pursue, and I have found the path.

My lords, a solemn hunting is in hand;
solemn (adj.) 1 formal, ceremonious, stately

There will the lovely Roman ladies troop.

The forest walks are wide and spacious,
walk (n.) 1 garden path, walkway

And many unfrequented plots there are,
plot (n.) 3 place, spot

Fitted by kind for rape and villainy.
kind (n.) 1 nature, reality, character, disposition

Single you thither then this dainty doe,
dainty (adj.) 2 delicately pretty, of tender beauty
single (v.) [hunting] single out, pick out

And strike her home by force, if not by words.
home (adv.) 1 fully, thoroughly, unsparingly
strike (v.), past form stroke 7 [hunting, of a prey] thrust, stab, pierce

This way, or not at all, stand you in hope.

Come, come; our Empress with her sacred wit
sacred (adj.) 3 accursed, blasphemous
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count

To villainy and vengeance consecrate,

Will we acquaint with all that we intend,

And she shall file our engines with advice
engine (n.) 1 plot, device, means, instrument
file (v.) 2 polish, hone, refine

That will not suffer you to square yourselves,
square (v.) 1 quarrel, fall out, disagree
suffer (v.) 1 allow, permit, let

But to your wishes' height advance you both.
advance (v.) 1 raise, lift up, upraise

The Emperor's court is like the house of fame,

The palace full of tongues, of eyes, and ears;

The woods are ruthless, dreadful, deaf, and dull.
dull (adj.) 3 gloomy, melancholic, sullen

There speak and strike, brave boys, and take your turns;
brave (adj.) 3 audacious, daring, bold

There serve your lust, shadowed from heaven's eye,
shadow (v.) 1 conceal, hide, screen from view

And revel in Lavinia's treasury.


CHIRON

Thy counsel, lad, smells of no cowardice.


DEMETRIUS

Sit fas aut nefas, till I find the stream
sic... be it right or wrong See Topics: Latin

To cool this heat, a charm to calm these fits,

Per Stygia, per manes vehor.
per... I am carried across the Styx, through the shades of the dead See Topics: Latin

Exeunt

 
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