Friday, March 18, 2011

Titus Andronicus Act 1, Lines 169-end


hey there Shakespeare readers! if you're reading along, i hope you're enjoying Titus Andronicus! and if not, i encourage you to pick it up. especially if you struggle with Shakespeare. so far, i find this play to be remarkably easy to follow. and wickedly entertaining.

so let's finish act 1. the people want Titus to be emperor, but he defers to Saturninus. he is crowned, and Bassianus is not pleased. Saturninus asks Titus for Lavinia's hand in marriage, and Titus accepts. then out of the blue, Bassianus snatches Lavinia away from them and claims that she is his. all of Titus' sons are on Bassianus' side and help him steal Lavinia away. Titus is SO mad that his sons have betrayed him, and in his rage ends up killing one of them. to spite them, Saturninus decides to take Tamora as his wife instead. Titus fights with his sons and brother, but eventually makes some sort of peace with them. Saturninus thinks Titus has turned on him, and wants nothing to do with him. Bassianus speaks up for him, defending the truth. Tamora then speaks up, saying Saturninus should make peace with Titus. it is revealed that her real motivation is to make peace with him so she herself can tear him and his entire life apart bit by bit to avenge her son's murder. (see quote below.) Saturninus makes peace with Titus and suggests a double wedding: Saturninus to Tamora and Bassianus to Lavinia.

i was moaning and groaning halfway through this scene, and let me tell you why. i hate when everything in a play is based on a misunderstanding. i'm like.... ahhhhh just clear up that misunderstanding and there's no problem!!! so when Saturninus was shunning Titus for being involved in the Bassianus/Lavinia thing, even though he had nothing to do with it, i got really scared. i was like, oh no this whole play is going to be based on this one misunderstanding. kill me. but then the misunderstanding got cleared up in the same scene and now we're moving on. i'm excited because even though i know there's a bunch of death and destruction coming up, i really don't know what's going to happen. the next happenings are surprisingly unpredictable to me.

so does Lavinia love Bassianus? does Bassianus legitimately love Lavinia? were they really betrothed? or what's the deal?

can't wait to see Tamora unleash the wrath! don't mess with a woman and her child!

death toll so far: 2. mutilation toll: 1. children of Titus: 22 dead, 4 to go.

quote of the day:
'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 'tis to let a queen
kneel in the streets and beg for grace in vain.'
   -Tamora; act 1, scene 1

for tomorrow: act 2, scenes 1-3

-rebecca may


  1. So, I am reading along this time. Not having looked at TITUS ANDRONICUS for several years, it did not occur to me to draw comparisons when I worked on ANTIGONE: THE BURIAL AT THEBES last year. In Act One, our title character reminds me of Creon with his determination to honor the law and traditions he has learned to the extent that his loyalty to such ideals overpowers his feelings of kinship and self-interest. (And we deal with the specific issue of proper burial, too.) It's fun to watch someone come undone, when the rock upon which he built his house crumbles like sand.

  2. awesome, Susan. thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  3. Yes, they are betrothed, it would seem for quite some time, only because otherwise the brothers and uncle would most likely not defend their union. They are the Romeo and Juliet of this the sense that it is for their love to each other and because of their families that they pay the price.