Oh man…this is going to be a doozy…
Scene 1 (a.k.a. The only scene in this Act)
The emperor of Rome is dead. Saturninus and Bassianus, the former emperor’s sons, think that they should be emperor now. Right when they are about to really fight about it, Marcus Andronicus pops up and explains that all of the tribunes voted and decided that the great and noble warrior, Titus Andronicus, should be the next emperor. Everyone agrees that this is totally fair and wait for Titus to come back from war.
Fortunately for Rome, Titus just arrived. Unfortunately for Titus, he has to bury two of his sons, but he also has some pretty sweet prisoners: Tamora, Queen of the Goths and her sons. Titus decides since he lost two sons, he should probably just go ahead and sacrifice the eldest Goth son…to appease the Gods…or his own revenge plot…nope, definitely the Gods. Once he’s done with the dismembering and burning, and burying his sons, he greets his daughter. He asks Lavinia to live longer than him, pretty much guaranteeing her death.
Then Marcus comes in to explain that Titus is now emperor. Titus decides he’s too old for that nonsense and decides to choose someone instead. Both Saturninus and Bassianus try to butter him up real quick, but he chooses Saturninus in the end. Saturninus is, of course, pumped to be emperor and rewards Titus by offering to marry his daughter. Titus is thrilled and swears his fealty to Saturninus and offers the emperor his prisoners. Saturninus gladly accepts and compliments Tamora on how beautiful she is. She would probably make a pretty good wife.
After Saturninus walks away, Bassianus stakes his claim to Lavinia. He and Lavinia’s brothers proceed to kidnap her. Titus tries to stop them and stabs his son to death in the process. After hearing the commotion, Saturninus comes back out. Titus begs for his help, but Saturninus isn’t really interested anymore. He doesn’t need Titus or Lavinia. He’s an emperor. So, he asks Tamora if she wants to be empress of Rome. It seems like a pretty sweet deal, so she agrees and they go off to get married.
Titus is in shock at this horrible turn of events, so his sons decide now is a good time to ask him to bury their brother in the family tomb. Titus isn’t exactly open to the idea since they all JUST betrayed him which is the reason he stabbed his son in the first place. They say he’s being unreasonable and eventually he relents. They bury their brother.
Saturninus and his new Queen re-enter, so do Bassianus and his new wife, Lavinia. Saturninus gives Bassianus some attitude over stealing away Lavinia. Bassianus pleads on behalf of himself and Titus. Titus tells him not to bother since he betrayed him too. Tamora begs the emperor to return Titus to his good graces. The emperor is unsure, but Tamora explains quietly to Saturninus that she really just wants to take down Titus and his whole family really slow. That is an idea that Saturninus can get behind, so he tells Titus he’s back in with the cool kids. He also forgives everyone else. Titus asks Saturninus if he wants to go hunting and he agrees. #brodate
2 dead and an entire play-worth of plot in one Act/Scene. Can’t wait to see what happens in Act II!