Titus Andronicus has four different sets of brothers. I think this is more than any other play (except maybe for a history play (in those War of the Roses plays, the families can get pretty unwieldy).
- Saturninus and Bassianus: sons to the late Emperor and rivals for his imperial seat
- Marcus and Titus: a Tribune and the General
- Mutius, Martius, Quintus, and Lucius: Titus’ four surviving sons (out of 25 total sons)
- Chiron and Demetrius: sons to Tamora, Queen of the Goths.
Out of those ten characters, only two survive, Lucius and Marcus; and, though related, they are not brothers.
What is Shakespeare trying to say about brothers or brotherhood? Is he making some nature vs. nurture statement?
I haven’t a clue.
Or is this really a play about being a child, or maybe about being a parent?
At the end of the play, two children/offspring survive: Young Lucius and Aaron’s baby. Since Aaron has been promised by Lucius that he will “nourish and bring (the boy) up” (V.i.84), in a sense, these two have become brothers. [Is this why Taymor has young Lucius carry the baby into the sunrise at the end of her Titus?]
Why all these brothers? What is Shakespeare’s theme?
Again, I haven’t a clue… any thoughts?