Titus Andronicus

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Tamora disguised as Revenge, and her two sons,

Chiron as Rape and Demetrius as Murder


Thus, in this strange and sad habiliment,
habiliment, abiliment (n.) (usually plural) clothes, dress, attire, outfit
sad (adj.) 4 dark-coloured, sober-hued

I will encounter with Andronicus,
encounter with (v.) 1 meet, approach [as an adversary]

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
keep (v.) 2 stay within, remain inside

To ruminate strange plots of dire revenge;

Tell him Revenge is come to join with him

And work confusion on his enemies.

They knock and Titus opens his study door above
molest (v.) vex, annoy, bother


Who doth molest my contemplation?

Is it your trick to make me ope the door,
ope (v.) open See Topics: Frequency count

That so my sad decrees may fly away,
decree (n.) 1 decision, judgement
sad (adj.) 1 serious, grave, solemn See Topics: Frequency count

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.


Titus, I am come to talk with thee.


No, not a word. How can I grace my talk,

Wanting a hand to give it action?
want (v.) 1 lack, need, be without See Topics: Frequency count

Thou hast the odds of me, therefore no more.
odds (n. plural) 1 superiority, advantage, edge


If thou didst know me, thou wouldst talk with me.


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,
heavy (adj.) 8 gloomy, dark, overcast

Witness all sorrow, that I know thee well

For our proud Empress, mighty Tamora.

Is not thy coming for my other hand?


Know, thou sad man, I am not Tamora.
sad (adj.) 3 downcast, distressed, mournful, gloomy

She is thy enemy, and I thy friend.

I am Revenge, sent from th' infernal kingdom

To ease the gnawing vulture of thy mind

By working wreakful vengeance on thy foes.
wreakful (adj.) vengeful, retributive; relentless

Come down and welcome me to this world's light,

Confer with me of murder and of death.

There's not a hollow cave or lurking place,

No vast obscurity or misty vale
vast (adj.) boundless, extensive, widespread

Where bloody murder or detested rape

Can couch for fear, but I will find them out,
couch (v.) 1 conceal, hide, lie hidden

And in their ears tell them my dreadful name,

Revenge, which makes the foul offender quake.


Art thou Revenge? And art thou sent to me

To be a torment to mine enemies?


I am, therefore come down and welcome me.


Do me some service ere I come to thee.

Lo by thy side where Rape and Murder stands.

Now give some surance that thou art Revenge:
surance (n.) assurance, guarantee, pledge

Stab them, or tear them on thy chariot wheels,

And then I'll come and be thy waggoner,
waggoner, wagoner (n.) driver, charioteer

And whirl along with thee about the globe,

Provide thee two proper palfreys, black as jet,
palfrey (n.) horse for everyday riding
proper (adj.) 1 good-looking, handsome, comely

To hale thy vengeful waggon swift away,
hale (v.) 1 drag, pull, haul
waggon, wagon (n.) carriage, coach

And find out murderers in their guilty caves;

And when thy car is loaden with their heads,

I will dismount, and by thy waggon wheel

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,
heavy (adj.) 11 difficult, hard, laborious

So thou destroy Rapine and Murder there.


These are my ministers, and come with me.


Are they thy ministers? What are they called?


Rape and Murder, therefore called so

'Cause they take vengeance of such kind of men.


Good Lord, how like the Empress' sons they are,

And you the Empress. But we worldly men
worldly (adj.) of this world, of the earth

Have miserable, mad, mistaking eyes.

O sweet Revenge, now do I come to thee,

And if one arm's embracement will content thee,
embracement (n.) embrace, clasping, hug

I will embrace thee in it by and by.

Exit above


This closing with him fits his lunacy.
closing (n.) agreeing, acquiescing, concurring
fit (v.) 1 suit, befit, be suitable [for]

Whate'er I forge to feed his brain-sick humours
forge (v.) 1 invent, contrive, devise
humour (n.) 2 fancy, whim, inclination, caprice

Do you uphold and maintain in your speeches,

For now he firmly takes me for Revenge,

And being credulous in this mad thought,
credulous (adj.) 1 highly receptive, readily accepting [of]

I'll make him send for Lucius his son;

And whilst I at a banquet hold him sure,
sure (adv.) 1 securely, safely, well

I'll find some cunning practice out of hand
hand, out of 1 at once, immediately, straight away
practice (n.) 1 scheme, plot, stratagem, intrigue

To scatter and disperse the giddy Goths,
giddy (adj.) 1 frivolous, flighty, fickle, irresponsible

Or at the least make them his enemies.

See, here he comes, and I must ply my theme.
ply (v.) keep on at, press, urge

Enter Titus below


Long have I been forlorn, and all for thee.

Welcome, dread Fury, to my woeful house;
dread (adj.) 1 revered, deeply honoured, held in awe

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.
fit (v.) 5 fit out, equip, provide

Could not all hell afford you such a devil?

For well I wot the Empress never wags
wag (v.) 3 move, stir, rouse
wot (v.) 1 learn, know, be told See Topics: Frequency count

But in her company there is a Moor,

And would you represent our Queen aright,

It were convenient you had such a devil.
convenient (adj.) fitting, suitable, appropriate

But welcome as you are. What shall we do?


What wouldst thou have us do, Andronicus?


Show me a murderer, I'll deal with him.


Show me a villain that hath done a rape,

And I am sent to be revenged on him.


Show me a thousand that hath done thee wrong,

And I will be revenged on them all.


(to Demetrius)

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.

(To Chiron)

Go thou with him, and when it is thy hap

To find another that is like to thee,

Good Rapine, stab him: he is a ravisher.

(To Tamora)

Go thou with them, and in the Emperor's court

There is a queen attended by a Moor –
attend (v.) 2 serve, follow, wait [on/upon]

Well shalt thou know her by thine own proportion,

For up and down she doth resemble thee –
up and down (adv.) exactly, completely, in every respect

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,
thrice- (adv.) [intensifier] very, greatly, extremely

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,

And at thy mercy shall they stoop and kneel,

And on them shalt thou ease thy angry heart.

What says Andronicus to this device?
device (n.) 1 plot, stratagem, trick


Marcus, my brother! 'Tis sad Titus calls.
sad (adj.) 3 downcast, distressed, mournful, gloomy

Enter Marcus
gentle (adj.) 1 well-born, honourable, noble See Topics: Frequency count

Go, gentle Marcus, to thy nephew Lucius.

Thou shalt enquire him out among the Goths.

Bid him repair to me and bring with him
repair (v.) 1 come, go, make one's way

Some of the chiefest princes of the Goths;

Bid him encamp his soldiers where they are.

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.
regard (v.) 1 take note of, pay heed to, value


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.


(aside to her sons)
abide (v.) 3 stay, remain, stop [in a position]

What say you, boys? Will you abide with him

Whiles I go tell my lord the Emperor

How I have governed our determined jest?
determined (adj.) 1 planned, decided upon, prepared
govern (v.) 2 guide, direct, lead

Yield to his humour, smooth and speak him fair,
humour (n.) 2 fancy, whim, inclination, caprice
smooth (v.) 3 indulge, humour, allay, flatter

And tarry with him till I turn again.
tarry (v.) 1 stay, remain, linger
turn (v.) 5 return, come back



I knew them all, though they supposed me mad,

And will o'erreach them in their own devices,
device (n.) 1 plot, stratagem, trick

A pair of cursed hell-hounds and their dam.
dam (n.) mother See Topics: Family


Madam, depart at pleasure, leave us here.


Farewell, Andronicus: Revenge now goes

To lay a complot to betray thy foes.
betray (v.) 1 deceive, seduce, mislead
complot (n.) plot, conspiracy, covert plan


I know thou dost, and sweet Revenge, farewell.

Exit Tamora


Tell us, old man, how shall we be employed?


Tut, I have work enough for you to do.

Publius, come hither; Caius, and Valentine.

Enter Publius, Caius and Valentine


What is your will?


                         Know you these two?


The Empress' sons, I take them: Chiron, Demetrius.


Fie, Publius, fie, thou art too much deceived:

The one is Murder and Rape is the other's name.

And therefore bind them, gentle Publius;
gentle (adj.) 1 well-born, honourable, noble See Topics: Frequency count

Caius and Valentine, lay hands on them.

Oft have you heard me wish for such an hour,
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count

And now I find it; therefore bind them sure,

And stop their mouths, if they begin to cry.
cry (v.) 3 protest, rebel, cry out



Villains, forbear! We are the Empress' sons.
forbear (v.) 1 stop, cease, desist See Topics: Frequency count


And therefore do we what we are commanded.
therefore (adv.) for that very reason

Publius, Caius and Valentine bind and gag Chiron

and Demetrius

Stop close their mouths, let them not speak a word.

Is he sure bound? Look that you bind them fast.
sure (adv.) 1 securely, safely, well

Enter Titus Andronicus with a knife, and Lavinia

with a basin


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.

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.
constrain (v.) 2 violate, invade

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:
martyr (v.) 2 slay, slaughter, butcher

This one hand yet is left to cut your throats,

Whiles that Lavinia 'tween 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 will grind your bones to dust,

And with your blood and it I'll make a paste,
paste (n.) pastry, doughy mixture

And of the paste a coffin I will rear,
coffin (n.) pie-crust, pastry mould

And make two pasties of your shameful heads,
pasty (n.) meat-pie

And bid that strumpet, your unhallowed dam,
dam (n.) mother See Topics: Family
strumpet (n.) harlot, prostitute, whore
unhallowed (adj.) 1 unholy, wicked, sacrilegious

Like to the earth swallow her own increase.
increase (n.) 1 produce, growth, yield, crop

This is the feast that I have bid her to,

And this the banquet she shall surfeit on:
surfeit (v.) 1 feed to excess, overindulge, glut

For worse than Philomel you used my daughter,

And worse than Procne I will be revenged.

And now, prepare your throats. Lavinia, come,

Receive the blood, and when that they are dead,

Let me go grind their bones to powder small,

And with this hateful liquor temper it,
liquor (n.) 2 liquid
temper (v.) 3 soften, moisten, mix [with]

And in that paste let their vile heads be baked.

Come, come, be everyone officious
officious (adj.) 2 obliging, attentive, diligent

To make this banquet, which I wish may prove

More stern and bloody than the Centaurs' feast.

He cuts their throats

So, now bring them in, for I'll play the cook,

And see them ready against their mother comes.

Exeunt with the bodies

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