Titus Andronicus is one of the more controversial Shakespeare plays. Written early in his career, and with all the gruesome flair you might expect of a young Quentin Tarantino, the play divides audiences with its extremely violent subject matter and dark themes. However, while it may not be as widely praised as many of Shakespeare’s best works, there still remains a great number of monologues in this divisive work that are worth investigating—monologues from compelling characters consumed by revenge.
If you are looking for a monologue from Titus Andronicus, you have come to the right place. This is a comprehensive list of the best monologues from the play. These monologues are suitable for audition or performance.
Note: though we have delineated these as male/female, do not feel restricted to those limitations.
Best Female Monologues from Titus Andronicus
Tamora Monologue Act 2 Scene 3
TAMORA: My lovely Aaron, wherefore look’st thou sad
When everything doth make a gleeful boast?
The birds chant melody on every bush,
The snakes lies rolled in the cheerful sun,
The green leaves quiver with the cooling wind
And make a chequered shadow on the ground.
Under their sweet shade, Aaron, let us sit,
And whilst the babbling echo mocks the hounds,
Replying shrilly to the well-tuned horns
As if a double hunt were heard at once,
Let us sit down and mark their yellowing noise;
And after conflict such as was supposed
The wandering prince and Dido once enjoyed,
When with a happy storm they were surprised
And curtained with a counsel-keeping cave,
We may, each wreathed in the other’s arms,
Our pastimes done, possess a golden slumber,
Whiles hounds and horns and sweet melodious birds
Be unto us as is a nurse’s song
Of lullaby to bring her babe asleep.
Tamora Monologue Act 2 Scene 3
TAMORA: Have I not reason, think you, to look pale?
These two have ‘ticed me hither to this place:
A barren detested vale you see it is;
The trees, though summer, yet forlorn and lean,
O’ercome with moss and baleful mistletoe;
Here never shines the sun, here nothing breeds
Unless the nightly owl or fatal raven.
And when they showed me this abhorred pit,
They told me here at dead time of the night
A thousand fiends, a thousand hissing snakes,
Ten thousand swelling toads, as many urchins,
Would make such fearful and confused cries
As any mortal body hearing it
Should straight fall mad, or else die suddenly.
No sooner had they told this hellish tale,
But straight they told me they would bind me here
Unto the body of a dismal yew
And leave me to this miserable death.
And then they called me foul adulteress,
Lascivious Goth, and all the bitterest terms
That ever ear did hear to such effect.
And had you not by wondrous fortune come,
This vengeance on me had they executed.
Revenge it as you love your mother’s life,
Or be ye not henceforth called my children.
Best Male Monologues from Titus Andronicus
Titus Andronicus Monologue Act 3 Scene 1
TITUS: Hear me, grave fathers; noble tribunes, stay!
For pity of mine age, whose youth was spent
In dangerous wars whilst you securely slept;
For all my blood in Rome’s great quarrel shed,
For all the frosty nights that I have watched,
And for these bitter tears which now you see
Filling the aged wrinkles in my cheeks,
Be pitiful to my condemned sons,
Whose souls is not corrupted as ’tis thought.
For two-and-twenty sons I never wept,
Because they died in honour’s lofty bed.
(Andronicus lieth down, and the Judges pass by him.)
For these two , tribunes, in the dust I write
My heart’s deep languor and my soul’s sad tears.
Let my tears staunch the earth’s dry appetite;
My sons’ sweet blood will make it shame and blush.
(Exit all but Titus)
O earth, I will befriend thee more with rain
That shall distil from these two ancient ruins
Than youthful April shall with all his showers.
In summer’s drought I’ll drop upon thee still;
In winter with warm tears I’ll melt the snow
And keep eternal springtime on thy face,
So thou refuse to drink my dear sons’ blood.
Enter Lucius with his weapon drawn.
O reverend tribunes, O gentle aged men,
Unbind my sons, reverse the doom of death,
And let me say, that never wept before,
My tears are now prevailing orators.
Aaron Monologue Act 5 Scene 1
AARON: Ay, that I had not done a thousand more.
Even now I curse the day – and yet I think
Few come within the compass of my curse –
Wherein I did not some notorious ill,
As kill a man or else devise his death,
Ravish a maid or plot the way to do it,
Accuse some innocent and forswear myself,
Set deadly enmity between two friends,
Make poor men’s cattle break their necks,
Set fire on barns and haystacks in the night
And bid the owners quench them with their tears.
Oft have I digged up dead men from their graves
And set them upright at their dear friends’ door,
Even when their sorrows almost was forgot,
And on their skins, as on the bark of trees,
Have with my knife carved in Roman letters,
‘Let not your sorrow die though I am dead.’
Tut , I have done a thousand dreadful things
As willingly as one would kill a fly,
And nothing grieves me heartily indeed
But that I cannot do ten thousand more.