Study Guide

Titus Andronicus Act 5, Scene 1

By William Shakespeare

Act 5, Scene 1

Read the full text of Titus Andronicus Act 5 Scene 1 with a side-by-side translation HERE.

  • In a field near Rome, Lucius has gathered an army of Goths and Roman supporters of Titus. It turns out that the Roman people hate their current emperor.
  • Lucius delivers a rousing speech to the Goths – now's their chance to pay back Rome for everything she ever did to them!
  • A Goth announces that they're ready to rumble.
  • Then another Goth shows up with Aaron and his baby. Apparently this Goth warrior was off sightseeing some Roman ruins when he heard a baby crying and a man telling the kid to pipe down.
  • Lucius orders Aaron and his "fruit of bastardy" to be hanged in a tree.
  • Aaron promises to reveal some juicy information if Lucius promises not to kill his child. Lucius agrees, sort of.
  • Aaron reveals that Chiron and Demetrius raped and mutilated Lavinia and confesses that it was all his idea. He also admits that he tricked Titus into cutting off his hand and, when he told Tamora what he had done, the couple celebrated Aaron's mischief by making out.
  • Before Lucius orders his men to stop up Aaron's mouth, Aaron makes a startling declaration:

Even now I curse the day--and yet, I think,
Few come within the compass of my curse,--
Wherein I did not some notorious ill,
As kill a man, or else devise his death,
Ravish a maid, or plot the way to do it.

  • Aemilius enters with a message from Saturninus: the emperor wants to meet at Titus's house to work out a peace treaty.
  • Lucius agrees to go.