A line-by-line translation

Titus Andronicus

Titus Andronicus Translation Table of Contents

Shakespeare’s most violent play, Titus Andronicus tells the story of the eponymous Roman general, who returns from war with the captured Queen of the Goths, Tamora. Tamora and Titus struggle for power over one another, using each other’s children as collateral. Meanwhile, the power to rule Rome hangs in the balance. Will Titus’ last remaining son Lucius survive long enough to take control? With this Shakescleare version of Titus Andronicus, you’ll find a modern English translation of the play, which helps unlock Shakespeare’s complex language and illuminate the play’s key quotes, including “These words are razors to my wounded heart.”

Act 1, Scene 1

Titus kills Tamora's son and Tamora vows revenge. Saturninus is crowned emperor; Lavinia marries Bassianus.

Act 2, Scene 1

Chiron and Demetrius fight over Lavinia. Aaron, Tamora's lover, suggests that they rape her during the next day's hunt.

Act 2, Scene 2

Titus awakens the emperor, the prince, and the entire court, and the deer hunt begins.

Act 2, Scene 3

Chiron and Demetrius kill Bassianus and rape Lavinia; Aaron frames Titus's sons for the murder.

Act 2, Scene 4

Chiron and Demetrius cut off Lavinia's tongue and hands and leave her in the woods, where Marcus finds her.

Act 3, Scene 1

Titus sees the mutilated Lavinia. After Aaron tricks him into chopping off his own hand, Titus vows revenge.

Act 3, Scene 2

Titus and Marcus lament the suffering of their family at dinner. Titus, Lavinia, and his grandson Lucius go to read.

Act 4, Scene 1

Lavinia reveals what happened to her, with help from Ovid's Metamorphoses. Titus and Young Lucius go to the court.

Act 4, Scene 2

Young Lucius brings gifts to court. The empress gives birth to Aaron's child; Aaron conspires to save the baby's life.

Act 4, Scene 3

Titus and his family shoot arrows into the sky to beg justice from the gods; Titus sends a messenger to the emperor.

Act 4, Scene 4

Saturninus rails against Titus's letter campaign. Lucius arrives with an army of Goths; Tamora plans to trick Titus.

Act 5, Scene 1

Lucius and the Goths capture Aaron, who reveals his role in the events. Lucius accepts the invitation to dinner.

Act 5, Scene 2

Tamora and her sons visit Titus in disguise, thinking that he's mad. Titus tricks them and kills Chiron and Demetrius.

Act 5, Scene 3

Titus serves Chiron and Demetrius at dinner, and then kills Lavinia, Tamora, and Saturninus. Lucius takes the throne.
Eve houghton
About the Translator: Eve Houghton

Eve Houghton graduated from Yale College in 2017 and is currently pursuing the MPhil in Renaissance Literature at the University of Cambridge. In 2018, she will return to Yale to begin her PhD in English. Her research interests include early modern commonplace books and note-taking practices, paratexts, reception studies, and the history of reading.