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MonkeyNotes-Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare
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Scene 2

Summary

Tamora and her two sons come to see Titus disguised as Revenge, Rape and Murder. They tell him that they have come to avenge his wrongs. Although Titus recognizes them he plays along with them and invites them into the house. As Titus leaves them for some time, Tamora reveals to her sons her plot of inviting Lucius and the Goths to a banquet in Titusí house and then breaking their alliance. When Titus returns Tamora proposes a banquet in which Lucius can come face-to-face with the Emperorís family and take his revenge. Tamora tells Titus that she will go and invite the Emperor and his family. Titus convinces her to leave her sons behind. While Tamora is away, Titus and Lavinia, kill both her sons and use their dead bodies to prepare a feast for Tamora.


Notes

Tamoraís belief that Titus has lost his mind leads her to approach him, disguised as the allegorical figure of revenge. She is convinced that he will be fooled easily. Titus immediately sees through her disguise and his words show this realization. But her belief in his insanity is so great that, she fails to pick up the verbal cues that should have warned her that Titus is well aware of what is happening.

When she has succeeded in convincing Titus to invite Lucius to the banquet she leaves in a mood of exultant triumph to inform Saturninus of the success of her scheme. She is unaware that, the sons she has so complacently left behind her are now in grave danger. This contrasts sharply with her triumphant thoughts giving the scene a touch of morbid irony.

Titus and Lavinia kill both her sons and thus achieve the grisly revenge for which they have lived so long. But their revenge doesnít end here. They still have plans for Tamora: a cannibalistic feast, prepared from the dead bodies of her sons. This is a continuation of the Philomel theme - Philomel and Pragne murder Itys; Tereusí son by Pragne and prepare a cannibalistic feast for him. Moreover the theme is explicitly stated by Titus himself when he says "for worse than Philomel you used my daughter, and worse than Pragne I will be revenged." His cruelty is monstrous but credible, because the development of previous actions lead up to it.

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