Titus Andronicus In Plain and Simple English (Digital Download)
A Tale of Vengeance Unleashed

Think of the most intense revenge story you've ever encountered - then amplify it. That's 'Titus Andronicus' for you. It's not a Tarantino film, but it's every bit as raw, bloody, and riveting. Shakespeare delves into the darker corners of the human psyche, crafting a tale that's as horrifying as it is captivating. Yet, the beauty of Shakespeare's language can sometimes mask the narrative's visceral core.

Unravel the intricacies of a ruthless revenge cycle set in motion by Titus, a Roman general, as he presents the Goth queen, Tamora, as a slave. When she rises to power as the new empress, her thirst for vengeance knows no bounds. What ensues is a relentless, brutal dance of death and retribution.

Does the Old English of Shakespeare baffle and bewilder? Fear not! BookCaps comes to your rescue with a translation that retains the essence of this classic while making it approachable and engaging for today's readers.

Relish the brilliance of the original prose alongside its modern interpretation, bridging centuries to bring you the unadulterated intensity of one of Shakespeare's most powerful tragedies.






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SCENE I. Rome. Before the Capitol Flourish. Enter the TRIBUNES and SENATORS aloft; and then enter


SATURNINUS and his followers at one door, and BASSIANUS and his

followers at the other, with drums and trumpets


Noble patricians, patrons of my right,

Defend the justice of my cause with arms;

And, countrymen, my loving followers,

Plead my successive title with your swords.

I am his first born son that was the last

That ware the imperial diadem of Rome;

Then let my father's honours live in me,

Nor wrong mine age with this indignity.

Noble patricians, supporters of my right to inherit,

defend the justice of my cause with weapons;

and, countrymen, my loving followers,

enforce my claim to inherit the title with your swords.

I am the first born son of the man who last

wore the imperial crown of Rome;

so let my father's honours continue with me

and don't disrespect my status with such an insult.


Romans, friends, followers, favourers of my right,

If ever Bassianus, Caesar's son,

Were gracious in the eyes of royal Rome,

Keep then this passage to the Capitol;

And suffer not dishonour to approach

The imperial seat, to virtue consecrate,

To justice, continence, and nobility;

But let desert in pure election shine;

And, Romans, fight for freedom in your choice.

Enter MARCUS ANDRONICUS aloft, with the crown

Romans, friends, followers, supporters of my rights,

if Bassanius, son of Caesar,

was acceptable to the eyes of royal Rome,

then guard this passage to the Capitol;

don't allow a dishonourable man to approach

the emperor's throne, dedicated to virtue,

to justice, moderation and nobility;

choose the man who deserves the throne;

and, Romans, fight for your right to choose whom you please.


Princes, that strive by factions and by friends

Ambitiously for rule and empery,

Know that the people of Rome, for whom we stand

A special party, have by common voice

In election for the Roman empery

Chosen Andronicus, surnamed Pius

For many good and great deserts to Rome.

A nobler man, a braver warrior,

Lives not this day within the city walls.

He by the Senate is accited home,

From weary wars against the barbarous Goths,

That with his sons, a terror to our foes,

Hath yok'd a nation strong, train'd up in arms.

Ten years are spent since first he undertook

This cause of Rome, and chastised with arms

Our enemies' pride; five times he hath return'd

Bleeding to Rome, bearing his valiant sons

In coffins from the field; and at this day

To the monument of that Andronici

Done sacrifice of expiation,

And slain the noblest prisoner of the Goths.

And now at last, laden with honour's spoils,

Returns the good Andronicus to Rome,

Renowned Titus, flourishing in arms.

Let us entreat, by honour of his name

Whom worthily you would have now succeed,

And in the Capitol and Senate's right,

Whom you pretend to honour and adore,

That you withdraw you and abate your strength,

Dismiss your followers, and, as suitors should,

Plead your deserts in peace and humbleness.

Princes, who fight with their parties and their friends,

showing their ambition for power and the Emperor's crown,

I tell you that the people of Rome, of whom I am

special representative, have by unanimous choice

in the election for the Roman Emperor

chosen Andronicus, who has the surname Pius

due to his many good and great praiseworthy deeds for Rome.

There is not a nobler man nor a braver warrior

alive at this time inside the city walls.

He has been summoned home by the Senate

from exhausting wars against the barbarous Goths.

With his sons, a terror to our enemies,

he has conquered a strong nation who were well trained in warfare.

It is ten years since he first took up

the cause of Rome and punished our enemies' pride

with force; five times he has returned

wounded to Rome, carrying his brave sons

in coffins from the field and today

he has made a sacrifice of atonement

at the Andronicus tomb,

and killed the noblest prisoner of the Goths.

And now at last, weighed down with the rewards of honour,

the good Andronicus has come back to Rome,

the great Titus, at the peak of his powers.

We urge you, in honour of the name

of the one whom you now wish to havea worthy inheritor,

and out of respect for the rights of the Senate and the Capitol,

which you claim to honour and worship,

that you withdraw and disarm,

dismiss your followers and, as petitioners should,

put your case peacefully and humbly.



How fair the Tribune speaks to calm my thoughts.

The Tribune's fair speech calms my thoughts.


Marcus Andronicus, so I do affy

In thy uprightness and integrity,

And so I love and honour thee and thine,

Thy noble brother Titus and his sons,

And her to whom my thoughts are humbled all,

Gracious Lavinia, Rome's rich ornament,

That I will here dismiss my loving friends,

And to my fortunes and the people's favour

Commit my cause in balance to be weigh'd.

Exeunt the soldiers of BASSIANUS

Marcus Andronicus, I have so much faith

in your honesty and integrity,

and so much love and honour for you and yours,

your noble brother Titus and his sons,

and she whom I always worship,

gracious Lavinia, Rome's rich decoration,

that I will now dismiss my devoted followers

and let my case be judged on its merits

by my fortune and by the people.


Friends, that have been thus forward in my right,

I thank you all and here dismiss you all,

And to the love and favour of my country

Commit myself, my person, and the cause.

 Exeunt the soldiers of SATURNINUS

Rome, be as just and gracious unto me

As I am confident and kind to thee.

Open the gates and let me in.

My friends who have been advocating my claim,

I thank you all, and dismiss you,

and I submit both myself and my cause

to the love and kindness of my country.


Rome, be as just and generous to me

as I am trusting and well disposed to you.

Open the gates and let me in.


Tribunes, and me, a poor competitor.

[Flourish. They go up into the Senate House]



And me, tribunes, a poor fellow candidate.


Romans, make way. The good Andronicus,

Patron of virtue, Rome's best champion,

Successful in the battles that he fights,

With honour and with fortune is return'd

From where he circumscribed with his sword

And brought to yoke the enemies of Rome.

Sound drums and trumpets, and then enter MARTIUS and MUTIUS, two of TITUS' sons; and then two men bearing a coffin covered with black; then LUCIUS and QUINTUS, two other sons; then TITUS ANDRONICUS; and then TAMORA the Queen of Goths, with her three sons, ALARBUS, DEMETRIUS, and CHIRON, with AARON the Moor, and others, as many as can be. Then set down the coffin and TITUS speaks

Romans, make way: the good Andronicus,

paragon of virtue, the greatest champion of Rome,

successful in the battles he fights,

 has returned with honour and with fortune

from where he conquered the enemies of Rome

and confined them with his sword.



Hail, Rome, victorious in thy mourning weeds!

Lo, as the bark that hath discharg'd her fraught

Returns with precious lading to the bay

From whence at first she weigh'd her anchorage,

Cometh Andronicus, bound with laurel boughs,

To re-salute his country with his tears,

Tears of true joy for his return to Rome.

Thou great defender of this Capitol,

Stand gracious to the rites that we intend!

Romans, of five and twenty valiant sons,

Half of the number that King Priam had,

Behold the poor remains, alive and dead!

These that survive let Rome reward with love;

These that I bring unto their latest home,

With burial amongst their ancestors.

Here Goths have given me leave to sheathe my sword.

Titus, unkind, and careless of thine own,

Why suffer'st thou thy sons, unburied yet,

To hover on the dreadful shore of Styx?

Make way to lay them by their brethren.

[They open the tomb]

There greet in silence, as the dead are wont,

And sleep in peace, slain in your country's wars.

O sacred receptacle of my joys,

Sweet cell of virtue and nobility,

How many sons hast thou of mine in store

That thou wilt never render to me more!

Greetings, Rome, victorious in your mourning clothes!

See, like a ship which has unloaded its goods

and returns with a precious cargo to the bay

from which she first set out,

here comes Andronicus, wearing the laurel wreath,

to greet his country again with his tears,

genuine tears of joy at his return to Rome.

You great defender of this Capitol,

look favourably on the ceremonies we're planning.

Romans, you can see here the poor remains, alive and dead

of twenty five brave sons,

half of the number that King Priam had:

let Rome reward the survivors with love;

these others I have brought to their last home,

to give them burial amongst their ancestors.

The Goths have allowed me to put away my sword.

Titus, disrespectful and careless of your own family,

why have you allowed your sons to stay hovering

on the ghastly shores of the Styx due to you not burying them?

Make way so I can lay them with their brothers.


Greet them in silence, as the dead do,

and sleep in peace, killed in your country's wars.

O holy container of my happiness,

store room of virtue and nobility,

how many of my sons you have in there

that you will never return to me!


Give us the proudest prisoner of the Goths,

That we may hew his limbs, and on a pile

Ad manes fratrum sacrifice his flesh

Before this earthy prison of their bones,

That so the shadows be not unappeas'd,

Nor we disturb'd with prodigies on earth.

Give us the noblest prisoner of the Goths,

so we can hack his limbs off, and on a pyre

we can sacrifice his body to the ghosts of our brothers

in front of this earthly container of their bones,

so that the ghosts will not go unavenged,

and we won't have disturbing events on earth.


I give him you- the noblest that survives,

The eldest son of this distressed queen.

I give him to you; the noblest of the survivors,

the eldest son of this unhappy queen.


Stay, Roman brethen! 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 son 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.

Thrice-noble Titus, spare my first-born son.

Stop, Roman brothers, gracious conqueror,

victorious Titus, pity the tears I am crying,

a mother's tears of grief for her son!

If you ever loved your sons

please believe that I love my son just as much.

Isn't it enough that we have been brought to Rome

to decorate your triumphant return,

enslaved to you and the orders of Rome?

Do my sons have to be slaughtered in the streets

for their brave efforts on behalf of their country?

Oh, if to fight for your King and country

is a good thing for you and yours, then it is for them as well.

Andronicus, don't stain your tomb with blood.

Do you want to become as godlike as possible?

Then try being as merciful as them.

Sweet mercy is the truest indicator of nobility:

thrice noble Titus, spare my oldest son.


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 mark'd, and die he must

T' appease their groaning shadows that are gone.

Calm yourself, madam, and forgive me.

These are the brothers of those whom your Goths saw

alive and dead, and for their slain brothers

they are asking for a holy sacrifice.

Your son is marked out for this, and he must die

to satisfy the moaning ghosts of the dead.


Away with him, and make a fire straight;

And with our swords, upon a pile of wood,

Let's hew his limbs till they be clean consum'd.


Take him away, and make a fire at once;

and let's hack his limbs with our swords,

on the wooden pyre, until there is nothing left.


O cruel, irreligious piety!

O cruel, blasphemous piety!


Was never Scythia half so barbarous!

The Scythians were never half as barbarous!


Oppose not Scythia to ambitious Rome.

Alarbus goes to rest, and we survive

To tremble under Titus' threat'ning look.

Then, madam, stand resolv'd, but hope withal

The self-same gods that arm'd the Queen of Troy

With opportunity of sharp revenge

Upon the Thracian tyrant in his tent

May favour Tamora, the Queen of Goths-

When Goths were Goths and Tamora was queen-

To quit the bloody wrongs upon her foes.


MUTIUS, the sons of ANDRONICUS, with their swords bloody

Don't compare Scythia with the upstart Rome.

Alarbus goes to his rest and we survive

to tremble under the threatening look of Titus.

So, madam, resign yourself, but also hope

that the same gods that gave the Queen of Troy

the opportunity to take quick revenge upon

Polymestor in his tent

may also favour Tamora, the Queen of the Goths

(when the Goths were a people andTamora was queen),

and help her revenge the bloody wrongs of her enemies.


See, lord and father, how we have perform'd

Our Roman rites: Alarbus' limbs are lopp'd,

And entrails feed the sacrificing fire,

Whose smoke like incense doth perfume the sky.

Remaineth nought but to inter our brethren,

And with loud 'larums welcome them to Rome.

See, lord and father, how we have undertaken

our Roman ceremonies: Alarbus' limbs have been chopped off

and his innards are feeding the sacrificial fire,

whose smoke perfumes the sky like incense.

There's nothing left to do but to bury our brothers

and with great trumpet calls welcome them to Rome.


Let it be so, and let Andronicus

Make this his latest farewell to their souls.

[Sound trumpets and lay the coffin in the tomb]

In peace and honour rest you here, my sons;

Rome's readiest champions, repose you here in rest,

Secure from worldly chances and mishaps!

Here lurks no treason, here no envy swells,

Here grow no damned drugs, here are no storms,

No noise, but silence and eternal sleep.

In peace and honour rest you here, my sons!

Let this happen, and let Andronicus

say his last goodbye to their souls.


Rest here in peace and honour, my sons;

Rome's greatest champions, lie here and rest,

safe from fickle fate and accidents.

There is no treason here, no envy,

there are no poisonous plants, there are no storms,

no noise, just silence and eternal sleep:

rest here in peace and honour, my sons.
Translation missing: en.general.search.loading