Bassianus is the younger son of the deceased Emperor of Rome, and a candidate for his throne, who appeals to the common people as being a better man than his brother Saturninus.
Despite this vaunted ethical superiority, he is quite willing to offer a bribe to Titus when the old man becomes the one to choose who shall be Emperor. This does him no good. He accepts Titus’s decision, but cannot stomach it when Saturninus attempts to steal his fiancée Lavinia, and runs off with her. He is a good-natured and honorable man who pleads for Titus even though the old man does not want his help. He also despises both Tamora and Aaron, which unfortunately leads to his being murdered and tossed into a pit. He is a passionate man.