Titus Andronicus


William Shakespeare

Teachers and parents! Our Teacher Edition on Titus Andronicus makes teaching easy.

Titus Andronicus: Act 4, Scene 2 Summary & Analysis

Read our modern English translation of this scene.
Young Lucius delivers the weapons to Chiron and Demetrius and announces that their crime against Lavinia has been discovered, before leaving. Trumpets from off-stage announce that Tamora has given birth to a son. A nurse enters, bearing Tamora’s son. She tells Aaron that the child is dark-skinned, and will thus reveal that Tamora and Aaron are lovers. Demetrius and Chiron are concerned that Tamora will be exposed and suggest that the baby be killed. But Aaron refuses and takes his child from the nurse. He asks the nurse who has seen the child, and she says that only she, Tamora, and a midwife have seen it. Aaron kills the nurse and makes plans to get a fair-skinned baby to change places with his and pose as Tamora and Saturninus’ son. He asks Demetrius and Chiron to send the midwife to him (so he may kill her, as well). Aaron leaves to take his child to the Goths where the boy can be safely raised.
Just like Titus and Tamora, Aaron cares deeply for his child, whom he tries to protect. The child not only threatens to reveal that Tamora and Aaron are lovers, but also, as an illegitimate child of the emperor’s wife, is particularly unacceptable because of the importance of legitimate heirs and lineage in the Roman political system and society. But it is important to Aaron for a different reason—because it is his, a product of himself, his own child. And Aaron is willing to go to any extreme of senseless violence—killing an innocent nurse and midwife—to keep it safe, just as Titus and Tamora have gone to nearly insane lengths to protect or get revenge for their own children.
Children Theme Icon