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Tamora

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Tamora

Tamora

Tamora, also known as Queen of the Goths, is the main antagonist of William Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus. The mother of Demetrius and Chiron, and secret lover of Aaron the Moor, she was captured by Titus Andronicus (the Roman general and the play's namesake) at the beginning of the play as one of the "spoils of war". She is also chosen to be the new Empress of Rome by Saturninus, the newly declared Roman Emperor. Though she asks for pardon against the Andronicus family, she secretly plots revenge against them for her, her lover, and her sons, and furthermore for Titus's sacrifice of her son Alarbus.

The revenge plot begins when Tamora and her lover, Aaron, convince her sons to kill Bassianus, the Emperor's brother, and rape Lavinia, daughter of Titus and Bassianus' lover. She also arranges for Martius and Quintus, Titus' sons, to be framed for the murder of Bassianus when the Moor forges a false letter, which leads to them both being executed by beheading. When Aaron lies to Titus saying that the Emperor will spare them if he cuts off his own hand, Tamora send the severed heads of his sons to him instead. Meanwhile, Tamora secretly gives birth to a mixed-race child, fathered by Aaron. Aaron kills the midwife and nurse and flees with the baby to save it from Saturninus's inevitable wrath.

These recent events lead Titus to appear as if he has lost his sanity. Convinced of his madness, Tamora, Chiron and Demetrius approach him, dressed as the spirits of Revenge, Murder, and Rape. Tamora (as Revenge) tells Titus that she will grant him revenge on all of his enemies if he can convince Lucius to postpone the imminent attack on Rome. Titus agrees and sends Marcus to invite Lucius to a reconciliatory feast. Revenge then offers to invite the Emperor and Tamora as well, and is about to leave when Titus insists that Rape and Murder (Chiron and Demetrius) stay with him. When Tamora is gone, Titus cuts their throats and drains their blood into a basin held by Lavinia. Titus morbidly tells Lavinia that he plans to "play the cook" and grind the bones of Demetrius and Chiron into powder and bake their heads.

When the Emperor calls for Chiron and Demetrius, Titus reveals that they have been baked in the pie Tamora has just been eating. Titus then kills Tamora, and is immediately killed by Saturninus, who is subsequently killed by Lucius to avenge his father's death.

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