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Titus Andronicus Violence Quotes

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

Quote #4

What, villain boy!
Barr'st me my way in Rome?

Stabbing MUTIUS

Help, Lucius, help! (1.1.17)

Without batting an eyelash, Titus kills his own son, Mutius, for getting in his way. Yikes!

Quote #5

For shame, be friends, and join for that you jar:
'Tis policy and stratagem must do
That you affect; and so must you resolve,
That what you cannot as you would achieve,
You must perforce accomplish as you may.
Take this of me: Lucrece was not more chaste
Than this Lavinia, Bassianus' love.
A speedier course than lingering languishment
Must we pursue, and I have found the path.
My lords, a solemn hunting is in hand;
There will the lovely Roman ladies troop:
The forest walks are wide and spacious;
And many unfrequented plots there are
Fitted by kind for rape and villany:
Single you thither then this dainty doe,
And strike her home by force, if not by words:
There serve your lusts, shadow'd from heaven's eye,
And revel in Lavinia's treasury. (2.1.10)

When Demetrius and Chiron bicker over who should get to pursue Lavinia, Aaron steps in and introduces the concept of rape as a "speedier" alternative to courting Lavinia. (Aaron says that while everyone else is out hunting, Demetrius and Chiron should attack Lavinia in the forest.) Using the hunt as a metaphor for sexual violence, Aaron casts Lavinia in the role of prey.

Quote #6

This is the day of doom for Bassianus:
His Philomel must lose her tongue to-day,
Thy sons make pillage of her chastity
And wash their hands in Bassianus' blood. (2.3.2)

Here Aaron refers to Lavinia as "Philomel," a figure who was raped by her brother-in-law, Tereus, who then cut out her tongue so she couldn't tell on him. The story of Philomel occurs in Book 6 of Ovid's Metamorphoses and surfaces throughout Titus Andronicus.

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