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Titus Andronicus Power Quotes

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

Quote #7

Titus Andronicus, for thy favors done
To us in our election this day,
I give thee thanks in part of thy deserts,
And will with deeds requite thy gentleness: (1.1.6)

Saturninus's tune sure changes fast when Titus names him emperor. (Just a few seconds ago he was ready to wage war against his brother and threatened Titus.) This clues us in to the fact that, even though Rome's body politic now has a "head," Rome will likely continue to be as unstable as its new leader.

Notice also that Saturninus acknowledges that he owes Titus for everything he has. This feeling won't last long.

Quote #8

Now climbeth Tamora Olympus' top,
Safe out of fortune's shot; and sits aloft,
Secure of thunder's crack or lightning flash;
Advanced above pale envy's threatening reach.
As when the golden sun salutes the morn,
And, having gilt the ocean with his beams,
Gallops the zodiac in his glistering coach,
And overlooks the highest-peering hills;
So Tamora: (2.1.1)

Aaron describes Tamora's rise to power in lofty terms, comparing the Goth Queen turned Roman Empress to the "golden sun" rising over the ocean. Because Aaron is having an affair with Tamora, he sees this as an opportunity for himself as well.

Quote #9

Is warlike Lucius general of the Goths?
These tidings nip me, and I hang the head
As flowers with frost or grass beat down with storms:
Ay, now begin our sorrows to approach:
'Tis he the common people love so much;
Myself hath often over-heard them say,
When I have walked like a private man,
That Lucius' banishment was wrongfully,
And they have wish'd that Lucius were their emperor. (4.4.4)

Saturninus's poor leadership and abuse of Titus's family are not lost on the "common people" of Rome. Here we learn how the people want Titus's son Lucius to lead them. We also find out that Saturninus is so paranoid that he disguises himself as a commoner and walks the streets of Rome to find out what the people are saying about him. (Shakespeare's King Henry V also disguises himself and walks among his soldiers to find out what his troops think about him and the war he's waging.)

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