Titus Andronicus Act III

This Act is real emotional so the summary probably won’t be very funny…sorry.

Scene 1

The judges, senators, and tribunes take Titus’ sons to be executed. In a long speech, Titus begs for his sons’ lives. He reminds them that he fought for Rome and their safety. He begs them to pity his tears. They don’t. He falls to the ground and weeps hoping to drown the soil with his tears so that it wouldn’t be able to “drink” his sons’ blood.

Lucius tells him that he is begging in vain, no one is listening. Titus knows that no one is listening and even if they were it wouldn’t matter. The stones would more readily yield to his tears than the tribunes. Lucius reveals that he has been banished for trying to save his brothers. Titus rejoices that one of his sons will escape Rome.

Marcus brings Lavinia in. At first, Titus does not recognize his daughter. When he does he breaks down into tears. He pleads with her to tell him who has taken her hands. This is when he realizes she has no tongue. Titus breaks down at this point, lamenting all of the misfortune that has befallen him. When he mentions her brothers taking the blame for the murder, Lavinia starts crying harder. They question if she is crying because they have been framed or because they murdered her husband. Titus obviously believes they are innocent.

Lucius begs Titus to stop crying because it is upsetting Lavinia. Marcus tries to dry his tears, but his handkerchief was too wet from Marcus’ own tears to dry Titus’. The same thing happened when Lucius tried to dry Lavinia’s tears.

Aaron comes in and says that Saturninus is willing to spare Titus’ sons if he is given a hand. Not sure why he wants a hand, but whatever floats his boat I guess. Titus is more than willing to chop off his hand to save his sons, plus he’ll be more like Lavinia now. Lucius provides the best argument in my opinion and says his youth makes him more likely to survive the blood loss. Marcus’ argument is that he was essentially useless during the war, so he might as well lose a hand now. They go back and forth for a bit about this before Titus tricks Lucius and Marcus into leaving to get a knife. While they’re gone, Titus has Aaron chop his hand off.

Titus laments his misfortune a little more before a messenger returns with his hand and his sons’ heads. The messenger explains that Saturninus and Tamora laughed that Titus fell for their fake offer and killed his sons anyway.

Lavinia attempts to comfort Titus, Marcus tells her it’s pointless. Titus’ grief is too great. Marcus again is displaying his magnificent comforting ability. At this point Titus starts laughing because there is nothing else left to do but laugh and swear revenge.

Lucius leaves for exile.

Scene 2

Titus is gathered with Marcus, Lavinia, and young Lucius. He grows angry about his situation, beating his only hand on the table. He urges Lavinia to take a knife in her mouth and stab herself in the heart. Marcus begs him to not encourage Lavinia to take “violent hands” against herself. This makes Titus pretty angry since they don’t have hands. He speaks for Lavinia, explaining that she will eat nothing and drink only tears, that she will make no signs because he will speak for her.

Young Lucius begs Titus to stop, but he won’t. Then, Marcus kills a fly. This sends Titus into a rage over senseless killing. Marcus gets out of it by explaining that the fly was black, like Aaron, so it was probably evil to. This seems legit to Titus and he forgives Marcus. Then, Titus goes off to read Lavinia sad stories.

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