© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

Titus Andronicus Family Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to the Riverside edition.

Quote #7

Here is the babe, as loathsome as a toad
Amongst the fairest breeders of our clime:
The empress sends it thee, thy stamp, thy seal,
And bids thee christen it with thy dagger's point. (4.2.6)

When Tamora gives orders to have her newborn son "christen[ed]" with a "dagger's point," the Empress seems indistinguishable from Titus Andronicus, who is also willing to slay his own children.

Quote #8

Stay, murderous villains! will you kill your brother?
Now, by the burning tapers of the sky,
That shone so brightly when this boy was got,
He dies upon my scimitar's sharp point
That touches this my first-born son and heir! (4.2.15)

Aaron has been the worst kind of villain throughout this play, masterminding the rape of Lavinia, the murder of Bassianus, the deaths of Martius and Quintus, and so on. Yet here we see a side of Aaron that makes him seem more humane than many of the other characters. While Titus Andronicus is a father willing to kill to his own children, Aaron steps up and defends his child's life.

Quote #9

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
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; (5.2.18)

Revenge is a family affair in this play. Here we learn that Titus plans to kill Tamora's sons, bake them into a pie, and serve them to her for dinner. What's interesting about this passage is the way Titus compares Tamora to the "earth," a kind of mother who "swallow[s]" her own children when they are buried. The idea is that Tamora's mouth will become a kind of grave for her sons' bodies when she eats them.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...