Act 1, Scene 1 | Titus Andronicus | Royal Shakespeare Company

I give him you, the noblest that survives,
the eldest son of this distressèd queen. Stay, Roman brethren! Gracious conqueror,
victorious Titus, rue the tears I shed. A mother’s tears in passion for her son; And if thy sons were ever dear to thee, O, think my sons to be as dear to me. Sufficeth not that we are brought to Rome to beautify thy triumphs, and return captive to thee and to
thy Roman yoke, but must my sons be slaughtered in the streets for valiant doings in their
country’s cause? O, if to fight for king and commonweal were piety in thine, it is
in these. Andronicus, stain not thy tomb with blood. Wilt thou draw near the nature of the
gods? Draw near them then in being merciful; Sweet mercy is nobility’s true badge. Patient yourself, madam, and pardon me. These
are their brethren whom your Goths beheld alive and dead, and for their brethren slain
religiously they ask a sacrifice. To this your son is marked, and die he must. Away with him. No, no! Get off him. And make a fire straight. (screaming) Mercy, Titus! Mercy! With our swords upon a pile of wood, let’s hew his limbs till they be clean consumed. (A gunshot) (Tamora screams)


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