Titus Andronicus, Act 4 Scene 1
ACT IV. SCENE I. Rome. TITUS' garden Enter YOUNG LUCIUS and LAVINIA running after him, and the boy flies from her with his books under his arm. Enter TITUS and MARCUS
BOY Help, grandsire, help! my aunt Lavinia Follows me everywhere, I know not why. Good uncle Marcus, see how swift she comes! Alas, sweet aunt, I know not what you mean.
MARCUS Stand by me, Lucius; do not fear thine aunt.
TITUS She loves thee, boy, too well to do thee harm.
BOY Ay, when my father was in Rome she did.
MARCUS What means my niece Lavinia by these signs?
Somewhither In some direction; to some unspecified place.
Cornelia refers to Cornelia Africana, a virtuous Roman mother.
Tully's Orator Tully refers to Marcus Tullius Cicero , (106 BCE – 43 BCE), Roman statesman, orator, and writer. Tully's Orator refers to one of his works.
TITUS Fear her not, Lucius; somewhat doth she mean. See, Lucius, see how much she makes of thee. Somewhither would she have thee go with her. Ah, boy, Cornelia never with more care Read to her sons than she hath read to thee Sweet poetry and Tully's Orator.
MARCUS Canst thou not guess wherefore she plies thee thus?
Hecuba Queen of Troy, wife of Priam, in Troy War. In one account, she became mad after seeing the corpses of her children Polydorus and Polyxena. The hero Hector, is also one of her children. Hecuba
BOY My lord, I know not, I, nor can I guess, Unless some fit or frenzy do possess her; For I have heard my grandsire say full oft Extremity of griefs would make men mad; And I have read that Hecuba of Troy Ran mad for sorrow. That made me to fear; Although, my lord, I know my noble aunt Loves me as dear as e'er my mother did, And would not, but in fury, fright my youth; Which made me down to throw my books, and fly- Causeless, perhaps. But pardon me, sweet aunt; And, madam, if my uncle Marcus go, I will most willingly attend your ladyship.
MARCUS Lucius, I will. [LAVINIA turns over with her stumps the books which Lucius has let fall]
TITUS How now, Lavinia! Marcus, what means this? Some book there is that she desires to see. Which is it, girl, of these?- Open them, boy.- But thou art deeper read and better skill'd; Come and take choice of all my library, And so beguile thy sorrow, till the heavens Reveal the damn'd contriver of this deed. Why lifts she up her arms in sequence thus?
MARCUS I think she means that there were more than one Confederate in the fact; ay, more there was, Or else to heaven she heaves them for revenge.
TITUS Lucius, what book is that she tosseth so?
Ovid's Metamorphoses A poem in 15 books that describes the creation and history of the world in terms of Greek and Roman mythology. Metamorphoses
BOY Grandsire, 'tis Ovid's Metamorphoses; My mother gave it me.
MARCUS For love of her that's gone, Perhaps she cull'd it from among the rest.
Philomel Philomela is mentioned a few times before in act 2 scene 3. She is one of the story in Ovid's Metamorphoses, which this play is based on. She got raped and tongue cut off, by her husband's brother. Philomela (princess of Athens)
TITUS Soft! So busily she turns the leaves! Help her. What would she find? Lavinia, shall I read? This is the tragic tale of Philomel And treats of Tereus' treason and his rape; And rape, I fear, was root of thy annoy.
MARCUS See, brother, see! Note how she quotes the leaves.
TITUS Lavinia, wert thou thus surpris'd, sweet girl, Ravish'd and wrong'd as Philomela was, Forc'd in the ruthless, vast, and gloomy woods? See, see! Ay, such a place there is where we did hunt- O, had we never, never hunted there!- Pattern'd by that the poet here describes, By nature made for murders and for rapes.
MARCUS O, why should nature build so foul a den, Unless the gods delight in tragedies?
Tarquin refers to Lucius Tarquinius Superbus. His son Sextus Tarquinius raped a noblewoman Lucretia. For a short account, see Lucrece
TITUS Give signs, sweet girl, for here are none but friends, What Roman lord it was durst do the deed. Or slunk not Saturnine, as Tarquin erst, That left the camp to sin in Lucrece' bed?
Apollo Sun god, son of Zeus, twin of sister Artemis. Apollo. Pallas is a epithet of the goddess Athena. Jove (Zeus). Mercury (Hermes), is a messenger god.
MARCUS Sit down, sweet niece; brother, sit down by me. Apollo, Pallas, Jove, or Mercury, Inspire me, that I may this treason find! My lord, look here! Look here, Lavinia! [He writes his name with his staff, and guides it with feet and mouth] This sandy plot is plain; guide, if thou canst, This after me. I have writ my name Without the help of any hand at all. Curs'd be that heart that forc'd us to this shift! Write thou, good niece, and here display at last What God will have discovered for revenge. Heaven guide thy pen to print thy sorrows plain, That we may know the traitors and the truth! [She takes the staff in her mouth and guides it with stumps, and writes] O, do ye read, my lord, what she hath writ?
TITUS 'Stuprum- Chiron- Demetrius.'
MARCUS What, what! the lustful sons of Tamora Performers of this heinous bloody deed?
Magni Dominator poli «Senecan Latin: ‘Ruler of the great heavens, are you so slow to hear crimes, so slow to see?’ Demetrius announces the intended rape of Lavinia with a quotation from ‘Hippolytus’ at 1.1.635; Titus reacts to the discovery of it with a quotation from the same play.» (JB)
TITUS Magni Dominator poli, Tam lentus audis scelera? tam lentus vides?
Hector the prime hero of Trojan War on Troy's side. Hector
Junius Brutus Lucius Junius Brutus, a kinsman of the raped girl Lucretia.
MARCUS O, calm thee, gentle lord! although I know There is enough written upon this earth To stir a mutiny in the mildest thoughts, And arm the minds of infants to exclaims. My lord, kneel down with me; Lavinia, kneel; And kneel, sweet boy, the Roman Hector's hope; And swear with me- as, with the woeful fere And father of that chaste dishonoured dame, Lord Junius Brutus sware for Lucrece' rape- That we will prosecute, by good advice, Mortal revenge upon these traitorous Goths, And see their blood or die with this reproach.
TITUS 'Tis sure enough, an you knew how; But if you hunt these bear-whelps, then beware: The dam will wake; and if she wind ye once, She's with the lion deeply still in league, And lulls him whilst she playeth on her back, And when he sleeps will she do what she list. You are a young huntsman, Marcus; let alone; And come, I will go get a leaf of brass, And with a gad of steel will write these words, And lay it by. The angry northern wind Will blow these sands like Sibyl's leaves abroad, And where's our lesson, then? Boy, what say you?
BOY I say, my lord, that if I were a man Their mother's bedchamber should not be safe For these base bondmen to the yoke of Rome.
MARCUS Ay, that's my boy! Thy father hath full oft For his ungrateful country done the like.
BOY And, uncle, so will I, an if I live.
TITUS Come, go with me into mine armoury. Lucius, I'll fit thee; and withal my boy Shall carry from me to the Empress' sons Presents that I intend to send them both. Come, come; thou'lt do my message, wilt thou not?
BOY Ay, with my dagger in their bosoms, grandsire.
TITUS No, boy, not so; I'll teach thee another course. Lavinia, come. Marcus, look to my house. Lucius and I'll go brave it at the court; Ay, marry, will we, sir! and we'll be waited on.
Exeunt TITUS, LAVINIA, and YOUNG LUCIUS
MARCUS O heavens, can you hear a good man groan And not relent, or not compassion him? Marcus, attend him in his ecstasy, That hath more scars of sorrow in his heart Than foemen's marks upon his batt'red shield, But yet so just that he will not revenge. Revenge the heavens for old Andronicus!