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Titus Andronicus

Titus Andronicus


by William Shakespeare

Titus Andronicus Timeline and Summary

  • 1.1: Titus triumphantly returns to Rome to bury two of his sons after waging a ten-year war against the Goths.
  • 1.1: He sacrifices Tamora's eldest son, Alarbus, to "appease" the spirits of the dead.
  • 1.1: He is elected emperor but says he'd rather retire than lead Rome. He convinces the Romans he should be allowed to pick the new emperor and chooses Saturninus, the late emperor's eldest son.
  • 1.1: Titus hands over all of his war prisoners to Saturninus and agrees that Saturninus should marry his lovely daughter, Lavinia.
  • 1.1: Titus kills his own son, Mutius, during a scuffle over who gets to marry Lavinia. (Bassianus says he's already engaged to Lavinia and some of Titus's sons help him make off with her.)
  • 1.1: Saturninus accuses Titus of being a traitor and disses Titus in front of everyone. Titus is humiliated.
  • 1.1: Titus tries to bar his dead son, Mutius, from being placed in the Andronicus family tomb but relents after his family accuses him of being "barbarous."
  • 1.1: Titus thinks he's making up with Saturninus when the emperor says he forgives the Andronicus family. (Titus has no idea that Tamora is plotting revenge and has persuaded Saturninus to play nice with Titus until she can pay him back for sacrificing her son.)
  • 1.1: Titus accepts Saturninus's invitation to a double wedding feast and then invites the emperor and his followers to go hunting the next day.
  • 2.1: Titus goes panther hunting with the emperor and his entourage.
  • 2.3: When Titus learns that his sons, Quintus and Martius, have been falsely accused of killing Bassianus, he tries, unsuccessfully, to post bail.
  • 3.1: On a street in Rome, Titus begs the judges to have pity on him and his sons. When the judges ignore him, he throws himself on the ground and begs the earth not to drink his children's blood.
  • 3.1: Titus learns that his son Lucius has been banned from Rome for trying to rescue Quintus and Martius.
  • 3.1: Titus finds out that Lavinia has been assaulted and mutilated. Although he doesn't know who attacked his daughter, he vows to get revenge.
  • 3.1: Aaron dupes Titus into believing he can save his sons by chopping off one of his hands. Titus sends his hand to the emperor and almost immediately receives a bag that contains his sons' heads and his severed hand.
  • 3.1: Titus again vows to avenge these wrongs.
  • 3.2: Titus flips out when Marcus swats a fly but then decides that it's OK to kill the fly because it's "coal-black" like Aaron.
  • 4.1: Titus discovers that Demetrius and Chiron raped and maimed Lavinia. He devises a scheme to pay them back.
  • 4.2: Titus sends Demetrius and Chiron a gift of weapons from his private arsenal, along with a message, written in Latin, from Horace's Odes: "Integer vitae, scelerisque purus, / Non eget Mauri jaculis, nec arcu." Translation: "The man who is of pure life and free from crime needs not the bows and arrows of the Moor."
  • 4.3: Titus shoots arrows into Saturninus's yard. The arrows have crazy letters attached to them asking the gods for help.
  • 4.3: Titus hires a guy to deliver a message to Saturninus. (We're not sure what the note says, but we're guessing it's pretty hostile.)
  • 5.2: When Tamora, Demetrius, and Chiron visit, Titus pretends to be crazy and convinces the boys to stay a while.
  • 5.2: Titus slits the throats of Demetrius and Chiron and then bakes them into a tasty pie.
  • 5.3: Titus serves the human pie to Tamora and her crew for dinner. Then he reveals the secret ingredient and stabs Tamora.
  • 5.3: Saturninus stabs Titus for killing his wife.