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Themes

Vengeance is a strange family affair in Titus Andronicus. When Tamora wants to get back at Titus for sacrificing her eldest son, she goes after the man's children. Titus's response is to trick Tamora into eating her two remaining sons. At the same time, the play is also filled with domestic violence and in-fighting. Titus kills two of his own children, and there are two sets of brothers who squabble over power and a woman.

Questions About Family

  1. How would you describe the nature of family relationships in the play?
  2. What kind of father is Titus?
  3. Why do you think there are so many sets of brothers in the play?
  4. Why does Titus serve Tamora her two sons for dinner?
  5. Why is it that Aaron, the play's villain, is so protective of his child? Who is the best parent in this play, and who is the worst?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Titus believes his loyalty to Rome is more important than his relationships with his children.

Aaron the Moor's protective attitude toward his infant son offers a glimmer of humanity in one of Shakespeare's most sinister villains.

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