Act I, Scene i Summary After the death of the Emperor of Rome, his two sons, Saturninus and Bassianus, ask the masses to determine who should succeed to the throne. The first invokes his natural rights as the first-born son, the second calls upon his virtue and graciousness.
Synopsis[ edit ] Gravelot illustration of Aaron cutting off Titus's hand in Act 3, Scene 1; engraved by Gerard Van der Gucht The play begins shortly after the death of the Roman emperor, with his two sons, Saturninus and Bassianus, squabbling Titus andronicus summary who will succeed him.
Their conflict seems set to boil over into violence until a tribuneMarcus Andronicus, announces that the people's choice for the new emperor is Marcus's brother, Titus, who will shortly return to Rome from a victorious ten-year campaign against the Goths. Titus subsequently arrives to much fanfarebearing with him as prisoners the Queen of the Goths Tamoraher three sons Alarbus, Chiron, and Demetriusand Aaron the Moor her secret lover.
Despite Tamora's desperate pleas, Titus sacrifices her eldest son, Alarbus, to avenge the deaths of his own sons during the war. Distraught, Tamora and her two surviving sons vow Titus andronicus summary obtain revenge on Titus and his family. Meanwhile, Titus refuses the offer of the throne, arguing that he is not fit to rule and instead supporting the claim of Saturninus, who then is duly elected.
Saturninus tells Titus that for his first act as emperor, he will marry Titus's daughter Lavinia. Titus agrees, although Lavinia is already betrothed to Saturninus's brother, Bassianus, who refuses to give her up.
Titus's sons tell Titus that Bassianus is in the right under Roman lawbut Titus refuses to listen, accusing them all of treason.
A scuffle breaks out, during which Titus kills his own son, Mutius. Saturninus then denounces the Andronici family for their effrontery and shocks Titus by marrying Tamora. Putting into motion her plan for revenge, Tamora advises Saturninus to pardon Bassianus and the Andronici family, which he reluctantly does.
During a royal hunt the following day, Aaron persuades Demetrius and Chiron to kill Bassianus, so they may rape Lavinia.
They do so, throwing Bassianus's body into a pit and dragging Lavinia deep into the forest before violently raping her. To keep her from revealing what has happened, they cut out her tongue and cut off her hands.
Meanwhile, Aaron writes a forged letterwhich frames Titus's sons Martius and Quintus for the murder of Bassianus. Horrified at the death of his brother, Saturninus arrests Martius and Quintus, and sentences them to death. Some time later, Marcus discovers the mutilated Lavinia and takes her to her father, who is still shocked at the accusations levelled at his sons, and upon seeing Lavinia, he is overcome with grief.
Aaron then visits Titus and falsely tells him that Saturninus will spare Martius and Quintus if either Titus, Marcus, or Titus's remaining son, Lucius, cuts off one of their hands and sends it to him.
Titus has Aaron cut off his Titus' left hand and sends it to the emperor but, in return, a messenger brings Titus Martius and Quintus's severed heads, along with Titus's own severed hand. Desperate for revenge, Titus orders Lucius to flee Rome and raise an army among their former enemy, the Goths.
Later, Lavinia writes the names of her attackers in the dirt, using a stick held with her mouth and between her mutilated arms. Meanwhile, Tamora secretly gives birth to a mixed-race child, fathered by Aaron. Aaron kills the nurse to keep the child's race a secret and flees with the baby to save it from Saturninus' inevitable wrath.
Thereafter, Lucius, marching on Rome with an army, captures Aaron and threatens to hang the infant. In order to save the baby, Aaron reveals the entire revenge plot to Lucius. Convinced of his madness, Tamora, Chiron, and Demetrius approach him, dressed as the spirits of RevengeMurder, and Rape.
Tamora as Revenge tells Titus that she will grant him revenge on all of his enemies if he can convince Lucius to postpone the imminent attack on Rome. Titus agrees and sends Marcus to invite Lucius to a reconciliatory feast. Revenge then offers to invite the Emperor and Tamora as well, and is about to leave when Titus insists that Rape and Murder Chiron and Demetrius, respectively stay with him.
When Tamora is gone, Titus has them restrained, cuts their throats and drains their blood into a basin held by Lavinia. Titus morbidly tells Lavinia that he plans to "play the cook", grind the bones of Demetrius and Chiron into powder, and bake their heads.
The next day, during the feast at his house, Titus asks Saturninus if a father should kill his daughter when she has been raped.A complete summary of William Shakespeare's Play, Titus Andronicus.
Find out more about the tragedy surrounding the plan for incrimination, murder and mutilation Summary of William Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus: Tamora plans false incrimination, rape, murder, and mutilation. Titus Andronicus: Plot Summary The story begins in Rome, where Saturninus and his brother Bassianus, sons of the late emperor, appear before the senators, both demanding to succeed their father as caesar.
Saturninus argues that he is the rightful heir because he is the first-born son. LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Titus Andronicus, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. Titus Andronicus is an example of the genre of drama called revenge tragedy (another, very different, example is Shakespeare’s Hamlet), so it is no surprise that revenge is central to the play.
From a general summary to chapter summaries to explanations of famous quotes, the SparkNotes Titus Andronicus Study Guide has everything you need to ace quizzes, tests, and essays.
Here is a brief plot summary of Titus Andronicus: The Roman general, Titus Andronicus returns to a hero’s welcome after defeating the Goths in a ten-year campaign.
Among his captives are the queen of the Goths, Tamora, and her three sons, Alarbus, Demetrius and Chiron. Plot summary of Shakespeare's Coriolanus: Rome is in a mutinous mood. The citizens are protesting about their rulers' incompetence and the shortage of food.
A popular senator, Menenius Agrippa, has just managed to calm them when the arrogant and fiery young general, Caius Martius, arouses their emotions again.