As bad as it gets

I can’t say I’m surprised at the dark ending Titus Andronicus treated me to, but that didn’t make it any less disturbing. Here at the end, we have a very poor attempt at subterfuge, the most unrepentant villain I have ever seen, and murders heaped upon murders.

The act starts with Lucius hanging out with the Goths, talking about how they all hate Tamora these days when who but Aaron and his baby should enter. Lucius is set to kill them both, but Aaron says if he will spare the child, Aaron will confess everything. Which he does in great detail. He also says the only thing he regrets is not doing more evil in his life. Yikes.

Aaron be like…

Lucius is summoned to Rome to parley at his father’s house. He drags Aaron along with him. Back at Titus’ house, Tamora brings Chiron and Demetrius with her to trick Titus into thinking she is Revenge incarnate, here to help him in his quest to avenge his family. He doesn’t fall for it, like, at ALL. Instead, he convinces her he believes her and as soon as she turns her back, he murders Chiron and Demetrius, intending to make a pie out of them for the upcoming parley banquet.

The banquet begins and Saturninus arrives with Tamora, who can’t wait to eat some of that good pie. Lucius also arrives with Aaron in tow, but stows the villain for the moment. Titus enters and puts the food on the table dressed as a chef and while Saturninus is wondering what’s going on, Tamora tucks right in to her people pastry.


With little warning, Titus kills Lavinia (yes, his daughter Lavinia) right there in front of the whole party. When Saturninus asks what in blue perfect hell he’s doing, Titus says she couldn’t live with the shame of being raped and mutilated by Chiron and Demetrius. Saturninus says whaaa? and asks them to be brought forward. Titus says, oh they’re in the pie that Tamora is eating, then stabs her to death. Saturninus says oh hell no and kills Titus. Lucius jumps in and kills Saturninus in turn, but then everyone goes to their separate corners. After a little extemporizing by Lucius and Marcus, it is decided that Lucius should be emperor now. He accepts readily and decides to execute Aaron by burying him up to his neck and leaving him to starve to death. Aaron reiterates his wish that he could have done more evil in his life and here the play ends.

I don’t know how I feel about this final act. It was suitably bloody, insomuch as it matches the grimness of the preceding acts. However, the violence is so quick and brutal, I didn’t feel like there was much of an emotional payoff in the end. The final confrontation between Titus and Tamora is all of two lines and she doesn’t talk, only Saturninus does. Then when Lucius is made emperor, it doesn’t really feel as though justice has been done, just that the winner took all. This play was really dark, man!

Published by Alex H.

Reader, writer, editor, dum-dum.

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