Titus Andronicus Act IV

Scene 1

Young Lucius comes running through the courtyard being pursued by Lavinia. He is quite upset and begs his grandfather, Titus, to help him. Titus and Marcus explain that he has no reason to fear his Aunt. Lucius had been afraid that Lavinia’s grief had turned her mad and honestly he was being chased by a crying, tongueless, handless woman. That had to be a frightening sight, even if she was his Aunt. Titus and Marcus make him see the error of his ways and he promises to serve Aunt well.

Lavinia didn’t seem to care much that he was scared and begins frantically flipping through the books he dropped. Titus tells her she can have any book in his library if it gives her comfort. She tries to open Ovid’s Metamorphosis. In that book is the tale of Philomela, who was raped and disfigured like Lavinia. Lavinia tries to sign that it was two men who did this to her. Marcus shows her how to write in the sand with his staff. She writes the names of Chiron and Demetrius.

Marcus, Titus, and young Lucius swear revenge on Tamora’s sons, but they must be careful of Tamora as well. Titus hatches a plot and brings young Lucius to his armory.

Scene 2

Young Lucius delivers the weapons to Chiron and Demetrius (with some insults on the side). They think it’s hilarious that Andronicus is trying to get in their good graces, only Aaron seems to realize that the passage written on the weapons means Andronicus knows they are guilty.

But, before they can delve too deep into that one, a nurse shows up with the empress’s newborn baby. It’s very clearly Aaron’s child and Tamora wishes him to kill it. He absolutely refuses. Chiron and Demetrius try to convince him that it has to be done to spare their mother. Aaron still refuses and plans another way. First, they ask who all saw the child. The nurse explains that she, the midwife, and the empress saw the child. Aaron kills the nurse because there was no way she was going to keep the secret. He tells Chiron and Demetrius to go into the village where a couple just gave birth to a son. He tells them to buy the child. He’ll take care of the midwife. This plan seems legit so they all go off to execute the plan. No one will wonder where Aaron suddenly got this baby…nope.

Scene 4

Titus has gathered up a group of his most trusted men and best archers to send messages to the gods. They have all realized he has lost his mind, but have decided to humor him and his shenanigans, like shooting arrows willy-nilly into the palace. He even asks one of them to dig a literal hole to the underworld. Fortunately, Titus has lost the concept of time with his senses, so he believes Publius with he tells him that Pluto wasn’t going to help him. Titus has the archers fire his other messages. He calls out Publius for missing and shooting the horns off a bull statue. Marcus explains it was on purpose to both get Aries’ attention and as a symbol for Saturninus being cuckolded by Aaron. Titus thinks this is HILARIOUS.

Then, a clown enters with a couple dead pigeons in a basket. At first Titus thinks he is a messenger from the gods, but the clown explains that he is on his way to bring the pigeons to the tribunal because his uncle was in a fight with one of the emperor’s men. Titus quickly abducts the clown’s mission and gets him to bring the emperor a message on behalf of Titus. Titus pays the clown enough that his Uncle’s fate no longer matters and he agrees to deliver Titus’ message.

Scene 5

Turns out Saturninus is not a fan of random arrows being shot into his capital city, especially by a crazy old man like Titus. Tamora tells Saturninus to show mercy to the poor grief- stricken Titus, but in an aside gloats about her victory.

The clown enters with the pigeons and the message from Titus. Saturninus is not a fan of the message and orders the clown to be killed. He then swears to do the same to Titus.

To make matters worse for Saturninus, Aemilius enters to tell Saturninus that Lucius has taken control of the Goth army and is laying siege to Rome. Tamora asks Saturninus why he’s even worried, to which he replies that most of the Roman citizens like Lucius better. Tamora doesn’t think he should even care what they think, plus she can “enchant” Titus to help them. Saturninus doubts this plan, but Tamora is confident. He tells Aemilius to set up a parley with Lucius at Titus’ house, and Tamora goes to convince Titus.

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