The play begins with the theme of dynastic succession, as two brothers prepare to battle for the Roman empery. For many, the theme of power is what prevents Titus Andronicus from being simply a gratuitously violent play. When Titus (like King Lear) chooses retirement over the duty of leadership, he leaves Rome vulnerable to political chaos. In the end, the play suggests that Rome can only be healed by a strong ruler at the helm.
When Titus refuses to lead, he becomes partially responsible for Rome's fall into chaos.
Shakespeare litters the stage with human body parts to remind the audience that Rome's "body politic" has been destroyed by Titus's blood feud with Tamora.