Titus Andronicus

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The Body Symbol Icon
Titus Andronicus is filled with tortured, dismembered, disfigured, and hurt bodies. In addition to Lavinia, who is raped and has her tongue and hands cut off, Titus loses one of his hands, and the body parts of Demetrius and Chiron are cut up and made into the food that Titus serves Tamora. All this bodily disfigurement can be related to a common metaphor that personifies the empire of Rome as a body. For example, when Marcus wants Titus to become emperor of Rome, he tells him to “set a head on headless Rome.” Similarly, at the end of the play, Marcus promises to restore Rome, saying that he will “knit...these broken limbs again into one body.” Thus, all of the dismembered bodies throughout the play can be seen as standing in for the larger dissolution of Rome.
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The Body Symbol Timeline in Titus Andronicus

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Body appears in Titus Andronicus. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 5, Scene 3
Violence and Justice Theme Icon
Rome, Romans, and Barbarians Theme Icon
...them restore Rome to its former greatness and will repair “these broken limbs again into one body .” Lucius tells the public about how Chiron and Demetrius killed Bassianus and raped Lavinia,... (full context)