Titus Andronicus

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Lucius Character Analysis

Lucius is one of Titus’ sons and the only one to survive the entirety of the play. After being exiled from Rome, he goes to the Goths and raises an army to challenge Saturninus. He has the popular support of the Roman people and, at the end of the play, promises to return Rome to its former greatness.

Lucius Quotes in Titus Andronicus

The Titus Andronicus quotes below are all either spoken by Lucius or refer to Lucius. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Revenge Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Simon & Schuster edition of Titus Andronicus published in 2005.
Act 1, Scene 1 Quotes

Suffer thy brother Marcus to inter
His noble nephew here in virtue’s nest,
That died in honor and Lavinia’s cause.
Thou art a Roman; be not barbarous.

Related Characters: Lucius (speaker), Marcus Andronicus, Lavinia
Page Number: 1.1.382-385
Explanation and Analysis:

Grateful to have been appointed emperor, Saturninus offers to marry Lavinia and make her empress. Titus, who has chosen Saturninus, is pleased and accepts the offer, creating a problem since Bassianus and Lavinia are already betrothed. Marcus and Lucius support Bassianus's claim to Lavina, but Titus becomes enraged and calls them traitors. Lucius and Marcus and some more of Titus's children help Lavina to escape with Bassianus, and when Titus tries to follow, Mutius (another son) will not let his father pass. Furious, Titus kills Mutius. He values his children's lives, but not as much as he values Rome and his duty as a Roman.

In these lines, Lucius and Marcus have returned and seek to bury Mutius in the family tomb. Titus refuses at first, saying that Mutius was no son of his. Here Lucius appeals to Titus's sense of honor and civility. Lucius pleads with his father to allow Marcus to bury Mutius with the family in "virtue's nest," since Mutius "died in honor" trying to protect his sister. The final line in the quote is particularly convincing and powerful: he reminds his father, you are a Roman, don't be a barbarian. Even though he has just murdered his son, Titus values his Roman-ness above all else, and, like everyone in the play, he seeks to believe that he is civilized and that everyone else is the barbarian. Ultimately, he concedes and allows Mutius his place in the family tomb.

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I’ll find a day to massacre them all
And raze their faction and their family,
The cruel father and his traitorous sons.

Related Characters: Tamora (speaker), Titus Andronicus, Lavinia, Lucius, Quintus and Martius
Page Number: 1.1.458-461
Explanation and Analysis:

After Saturninus's claim of "rape" earlier, Titus and Bassianus make their cases. Tamora outwardly encourages Saturninus to forgive them, saying that Titus is only acting out because of his grief. These lines come as an aside spoken only to Saturninus during Tamora's speech. She tells him to be patient and appear forgiving, since he is so newly in power; Tamora doesn't want the people to dethrone him in the event that they pity Titus. Instead, she says: leave it to me to get revenge. She claims she'll "find a day to massacre them all / And raze their faction and their family." The seeds of revenge are planted. Already Tamora is planning to eliminate Titus and his entire family as revenge for his murder of her son.

Note also that raze is a loose pun on race, which will come into play when Aaron's character develops. Aaron, a Moor and a driving factor behind much of Tamora's revenge, does not speak during the first act, but is given the second most lines in the play.

Act 3, Scene 1 Quotes

O noble father, you lament in vain.
The Tribunes hear you not; no man is by,
And you recount your sorrows to a stone.

Related Characters: Lucius (speaker), Titus Andronicus
Page Number: 3.1.27-29
Explanation and Analysis:

According to Aaron's plan, Quintus and Martius have fallen into a pit and been framed for the murder of Bassianus. (Aaron forged a letter and planted gold to make it look like they paid for the murder.) As a group of judges and tribunes passes with the imprisoned Quintus and Martius in tow, Titus begs for mercy for his sons and falls to the ground in anguish. With his head down, he continues lamenting and begging for mercy, even as the judges walk off stage.

Here Lucius informs his father that he is lamenting "in vain" since the Tribunes cannot hear him; everyone else has left the stage. In a stunning image, Lucius says that Titus recounts his "sorrows to a stone." These lines convey a sense of futility: Quintus and Martius will be executed no matter what Titus says or does; unbeknownst to Titus and Lucius, Marcus will also soon enter to inform them that Lavinia has been mutilated; the cycle of revenge has enough momentum that it cannot be stopped until everyone of significance is dead. Titus himself is aware of this inevitability, and he continues lamenting and begging to the very stones on the ground, which he claims are more sympathetic than the Tribunes who will soon execute his sons.

Why, foolish Lucius, dost thou not perceive
That Rome is but a wilderness of tigers?

Related Characters: Titus Andronicus (speaker), Lucius
Page Number: 3.1.54-55
Explanation and Analysis:

Lamenting the impending deaths of Martius and Quintus and frustrated by his powerlessness in the face of inevitability, Titus claims that his sons are better off dead, since "Rome is but a wilderness of tigers." Titus is disillusioned about the Rome he idealized and placed at the center of his moral compass.

In the very first scene, he murdered a son whom he considered a traitor. Now, Rome itself has become barbaric. The incorporation of Tamora into the body of Rome has rendered the city a chaotic wilderness, the antithesis of civilization (though one might argue that Titus's own killing of Alarbus suggested that Rome had no more than a veneer of civilization to begin with). His grief at this moment is already extreme, but moments later it will border on absurdity when Marcus introduces the mutilated Lavinia.

Sweet father, cease your tears, for at your grief
See how my wretched sister sobs and weeps.

Related Characters: Lucius (speaker), Titus Andronicus, Lavinia
Page Number: 3.1.138-139
Explanation and Analysis:

Titus has continued to grieve, saying that the violence done to Lavinia is more painful than his own death. Here he seems to value his children above all else, contrasting the image we see when he murders Mutius in the first scene. Titus's grief appears endless, but Lucius here calms him down, telling him to stop crying, since his surplus of grief is upsetting Lavinia.

This scene is filled with tears. At this point in the play, almost all that Lavinia can do is cry, since she has been so tortured and mutilated that she cannot otherwise communicate. Titus, Marcus, and Lucius also flood the stage with tears, to the point where Marcus' handkerchief is drowned in water. The mourning will continue when Aaron tricks Titus into cutting of his own hand in another futile attempt to save the lives of Martius and Quintus. By the end of the scene, Titus only laughs, since he has no more tears to weep.

Act 5, Scene 3 Quotes

There’s meed for meed, death for a deadly deed.

Related Characters: Lucius (speaker), Titus Andronicus, Saturninus
Related Symbols: The Body
Page Number: 5.3.67
Explanation and Analysis:

Titus reveals that Tamora "hath fed / Eating the flesh that she herself hath bred," and he stabs Tamora before she can respond to the fact that she ate the flesh of her own children, which comprises her dying thought. Part of Titus's revenge is this silencing; he didn't seek a reaction, but rather justice. Witnessing Titus slay Tamora, Saturninus curses and kills Titus. At the death of his father, Lucius says, "Can the son's eye behold his father bleed?" and kills Saturninus.

After killing Saturninus, Lucius completes his rhyimg couplet (interrupted by a death) with the line of the quote, which speaks to the cyclical patterns of revenge and violence in the play. Murder and vengeance beget more revenge; opposing families take revenge for revenge killings over and over again, without end, until one family is completely erased. The excess of blood and revenge in the play can be seen as caricatures, ridiculing the popular revenge tragedies of Shakespeare's contemporaries.

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Lucius Character Timeline in Titus Andronicus

The timeline below shows where the character Lucius appears in Titus Andronicus. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 1
Revenge Theme Icon
Violence and Justice Theme Icon
Children Theme Icon
Grief and Mourning Theme Icon
...sons (Alarbus, Demetrius, and Chiron); and Aaron, a Moor (someone of African descent). Titus’ son Lucius suggests that one of Tamora’s sons be killed as retribution for the deaths of Titus’... (full context)
Violence and Justice Theme Icon
Children Theme Icon
Rome, Romans, and Barbarians Theme Icon
...that Lavinia was already betrothed to him and takes Lavinia by the arm. Marcus and Lucius support Bassianus's claim to Lavinia, and Titus responds by calling them traitors. Titus then calls... (full context)
Violence and Justice Theme Icon
Children Theme Icon
Grief and Mourning Theme Icon
...chastises Titus for killing Mutius. Titus again claims that Mutius was “no son of mine.” Lucius asks for Mutius to be buried in the Andronicus family tomb, but Titus refuses. Marcus... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 3
Revenge Theme Icon
Violence and Justice Theme Icon
...hole and Martius answers him. He tells Saturninus that Bassianus is dead. Tamora, Titus, and Lucius arrive. Tamora feigns ignorance about Bassianus’ death and gives Saturninus the letter that Aaron has... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 1
Grief and Mourning Theme Icon
...falls to the ground, still talking to the tribunes, who leave with Quintus and Martius. Lucius enters and tells Titus that the tribunes are gone. Titus continues to plead, saying that... (full context)
Rome, Romans, and Barbarians Theme Icon
Grief and Mourning Theme Icon
Lucius tells Titus that he is going to rescue Quintus and Martius, but Titus says that... (full context)
Children Theme Icon
Grief and Mourning Theme Icon
...Bassianus or because she knows that they are wrongfully accused. Titus continues to lament, and Lucius tells him to “cease your tears,” because he is upsetting Lavinia. Marcus offers Titus a... (full context)
Violence and Justice Theme Icon
Children Theme Icon
...tells Titus that Saturninus will allow Titus’ sons to be ransomed if Titus, Marcus, or Lucius will cut off one of their hands. Titus is eager to do it, but Lucius... (full context)
Revenge Theme Icon
Grief and Mourning Theme Icon
...to shed and that sorrow is useless. Instead, he will seek out revenge. He sends Lucius to go to the Goths and raise an army to challenge Saturninus. Lucius bids farewell... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 4
Rome, Romans, and Barbarians Theme Icon
A messenger named Aemilius arrives and tells Saturninus that Lucius is leading an army of Goths against Rome. Saturninus worries, since the Roman people are... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 1
Violence and Justice Theme Icon
Children Theme Icon
Rome, Romans, and Barbarians Theme Icon
Lucius prepares his army of Goths to attack Rome. A Goth enters with Aaron and Aaron’s... (full context)
Violence and Justice Theme Icon
Aaron tells Lucius that Tamora is the mother of his child and that Demetrius and Chiron killed Bassianus,... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 2
Revenge Theme Icon
...and that Titus has lost his mind. She plots to go among the Goths while Lucius is at a banquet at Titus’ house, and turn them against Lucius. Titus returns and... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 3
Violence and Justice Theme Icon
Children Theme Icon
Lucius, Marcus, and some Goths arrive at Titus’ home for the banquet, bringing Aaron and his... (full context)
Revenge Theme Icon
Violence and Justice Theme Icon
Children Theme Icon
...the flesh that she herself hath bred.” Titus kills Tamora. Saturninus responds by killing Titus. Lucius then avenges his father by killing Saturninus. (full context)
Violence and Justice Theme Icon
Rome, Romans, and Barbarians Theme Icon
After all this chaos, Lucius and Marcus address the Roman people. Marcus says that he will help them restore Rome... (full context)
Rome, Romans, and Barbarians Theme Icon
Grief and Mourning Theme Icon
Aemilius acclaims Lucius as emperor, since the Roman people support him. Marcus orders for Aaron to be brought... (full context)
Violence and Justice Theme Icon
Rome, Romans, and Barbarians Theme Icon
Grief and Mourning Theme Icon
Guards bring out Aaron and Lucius orders for him to be buried chest-deep in the earth, where he will starve to... (full context)