Titus Andronicus

Pdf fan dd71f526917d6085d66d045bd94fb5b55d02a108dd45d836cbdd4abe2d4c043d Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

The White Robe Symbol Analysis

The White Robe Symbol Icon
In Act One, Scene One, Marcus presents Titus with a white robe and asks him to don it as emperor. In ancient Rome, it was the custom for those seeking political office to wear a white garment, signifying moral purity. (As “candidatus” means white in Latin, this practice gives us the English word “candidate”.) While the robe does not appear elsewhere in the play, it is worth thinking about this ideal connection between moral uprightness and political power. Over the course of the play, power seems much more connected with ruthless bloodshed. One may wonder if, at the end of the play, any character’s virtue is so unstained that he can be a valid “candidate” to lead Rome. The unstained, white robe may also be seen as symbolizing more generally the relative innocence of the characters at the beginning of the play (especially the chaste Lavinia), which will gradually become more and more sullied by the bloody acts of revenge that fill the tragedy.
Get the entire Titus Andronicus LitChart as a printable PDF.
Titus andronicus.pdf.medium

The White Robe Symbol Timeline in Titus Andronicus

The timeline below shows where the symbol The White Robe appears in Titus Andronicus. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 1
Violence and Justice Theme Icon
Rome, Romans, and Barbarians Theme Icon
Marcus enters with a white robe and presents it to Titus as a token of the citizens’ election of him as... (full context)