In William Shakespeare's Play Titus Andronicus, the main characters, Titus Andronicus and Tamora are polar opposites. Titus, the General of Rome, is a war victor and a self-righteous paragon for his committed respect for Roman traditions. Tamora, the Queen of the Goths, is consumed with barbarism, a definitive lack of morals, wanton ways and uninhibited licentious behavior. Conversely, the distinction between right and wrong is in complete contrast between Roman civilized behavior and Gothic barbarism.
In Act I, scene i, Titus Andronicus has returned from a grueling and arduous ten year war, in which he lost twenty-one sons while trying to protect his homeland of Rome. He is a brave and noble warrior who sacrifices a great deal for his country. With him he transports Tamora, Queen of the Goths, and her sons. Despite the despondent plea from Tamora, Titus follows Roman law and custom, and orders Tamora's oldest son Alarbus to be ritualistically killed in exchange for the death of his own sons. As Tamora continuously pleads for her son's life, Titus does not hesitate to bless the killing of Tamora's child in the name of his own dead children. However, when Titus refuses to listen to Tamora’s plea and ruthlessly executes Alarbus; Chiron, Alarbus; brother and son to Tamora exclaimed, “Was never Scythia so barbarous!” (I.i.131)
Afterward, Titus kills his own son Mutius, because he interfered with Titus; affairs when he went to retrieve his daughter Lavinia. Lavinia, while betrothed to Bassianus, had run away as Titus named Saturninus as the new Emperor.
When Marcus Andronicus, brother to Titus and Roman Tribute, advocates to Titus, “thou art a Roman, be not barbarous” (Act I Scene i line 378), the connotation and ideal is that Roman rituals, in this instance, the killing of his son, are civilized. As this killing is occurring, the distinction between the Romans as noble and civilized people and the Goth…