| Quote #1
Romans, friends, followers, favorers of my right,
As Bassianus and Saturninus vie for the Roman empery, their sibling rivalry is played out on a political stage. The nasty domestic dispute that opens the play anticipates the civil strife that will nearly destroy Rome.
| Quote #2
Noble patricians, patrons of my right,
Like a lot of Shakespeare's plays, Titus Andronicus is interested in primogeniture (the system by which eldest son inherits all his father's titles, wealth, and land). Here Saturninus argues that he should lead Rome because he's the oldest son of the late Roman emperor and he's willing to go to war with his younger brother for the right to do so. Yet Saturninus's argument doesn't quite hold up, because Rome's new emperor is supposed to be chosen by election.
| Quote #3
Stay, Roman brethren! Gracious conqueror,
As Tamora begs for her eldest son's life (which is about to be sacrificed to appease the spirits of Titus's slain sons), she appeals to Titus as one parent to another. This, as we know, is not such a good plan, because Titus isn't exactly winning any "father of the year" awards. Keep reading ...