Thursday, March 17, 2011

Titus Andronicus Act 1, Scene 1 Lines 1-168


okay kids. let's take a trip back in time. we're not studying English and French history anymore. we've travelled back to the Roman empire. the emperor has just died, and Rome needs to choose its new leader. let the bloodbath begin!

Saturninus and Bassanius are the sons of the late emperor, and each feels he is entitled to the throne. Marcus Andronicus let's them both have it by telling them that Titus Andronicus is who the people want as their leader. when they hear that, Saturnius and Bassanius back down pretty quickly. Titus comes in with his four sons and the queen of the enemies he has just beaten in battle. Titus has lost 21 sons in different wars, and is home to bury the latest. he only has his 4 sons and one daughter, Lavinia, left to him. as revenge on the queen of the Goths, Tamora, Titus has his sons chop of her son's limbs and roast his body parts on a fire. (see quote below.)

yup. that's the kind of play that we're in for. it's hard to see too much into it at this point, but i'm guessing a lot of people die. i would guess... Lavinia? at least two sons. i don't know, but i am braced for the worst. i already kind of feel attached to Lavinia. i mean, 25 sons and one daughter? tough life! stuck at home while your whole family dies one-by-one in war? man, that's gotta be hard. and she loves her daddy. maybe blindly? but she seems sweet.

so, the emperor that died... is that emperor Caesar? as in Julius? it says that Saturninus and Bassianus are his sons? is that literal, or does it just mean ancestors of Caesar or something?

it's early, but if you have any insights please share!

quote of the day:
'see, lord and father, how we have performed
our Roman rites. Alarbus' limbs are lopped,
and entrails feed the sacrificing fire,
whose smoke, like incense, doth perfume the sky.'
     -Lucius; act 1, scene 1

for tomorrow: the rest of act 1!

-rebecca may


  1. Caesar is just a title that is synonymous with emperor. It is a familial term...You would call the emperor Caesar as a form of endearing respect. It was also used for heir-apparents, and other sons. Some would adopt the name Caesar, or it was used as a title. It is most likely that it started with Caesar Augustus, the 1st emperor of Rome. It was a chosen name of honorific value.

  2. Oh and Saturninus and Bassianus were sons of the late Caesar, literally. They are brothers. Saturninus is offered the throne by Titus because of Titus's traditional values that the eldest (1st born) son is the heir to the throne, "the rightful heir."