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Aaron the Moor.png

Aaron the Moor is an antagonist of William Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus.

Biography

Backstory

Aaron is a Moorish Slave to the Roman Empire and the object of Tamora's affections. Ruthless, cold, and brutal, Aaron thrives on the suffering that he is able to cause the other characters in the play, and acts with no motive other than a love for causing misery.

Titus Andronicus

In the opening of the play, Aaron is brought prisoner along with Tamora and her three sons Alarbus, Demetrius, and Chiron. When Titus murders Alarbus as a sacrifice Tamora and her sons plot their revenge. Aaron, who Tamora is having an affair with despite her engagement with Saturninus, thus saving her life uses her newfound power to bring chaos and anarchy.

Aaron overhears Chiron and Demetrius arguing over who should marry Lavinia, daughter to Titus. Always looking for a means to cause misery (and help Tamora and her sons in their plot for revenge against the Andronichi) he convinces them to murder her husband Bassianus and rape her in the woods, which they are all too pleased to do so.

Aaron then forges a note and leads Titus' sons Quintius and Martius to a large hole where the corpse of Bassianus lies, prompting Saturninus to find them guilty. To further rub salt in the wounds, Aaron approaches Titus, who by this point is overcome with despair, and promises him that if Titus chops off his hand, he will save the lives of his two sons. Titus does so, only for Aaron to send for the heads of his two innocent sons to him, leading Titus to became insane with grief.

Nearer the play's climax, Aaron is discussing the matter with Chiron and Demetrius, until a nurse enters with a Blackamoor child, and reveals that Tamora has given birth, and Aaron is the father. While everyone else wants the child killed on account of the shame it would bring to Tamora as well as uncover her affair, Aaron refuses to let the child die, and kills the nurse to save its life, and sends Chiron and Demetrius away, where they ultimately meet their end at the hands of Titus.

In the play's final act, Titus' final living son Lucius (who has raised an army of Goths to combat the corrupt rule of Saturninus and Tamora) comes across Aaron and recognizes him as the villain who ruined Titus' life. Though initially wanting to kill both Aaron and his child die, Aaron persuades Lucius to let the child live a happy life in exchange for a full confession from Aaron. Aaron here reveals all, from the role he played in the rape of Lavinia, the murder of Bassianus, and the trick to get Titus to cut off his hand, and the murder of his two sons. Upon hearing his ghastly confession (and assurance that he is capable of far worse) Lucius is convinced Aaron is too evil to be killed as quickly and painlessly as hanging ("...he must not die so sweet a death as hanging presently." - Lucius, Act V Scene I) and chooses to bury him alive, and let him slowly rot away and starve to death. However, Aaron is unrepentant to the end, regretful only that he could not do more evil in his life ("If one good deed in all my life I did, I do repent it from my very soul." - Aaron, Act V Scene III).

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