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Coriolanus
Act 1, scene 10

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As Coriolanus begins, two Roman patricians, Menenius and Martius, calm a revolt by the city’s famished plebians. Martius, who despises the plebians,…

Act 1, scene 1

Rome’s famished plebeians threaten revolt, and the patrician Menenius attempts to placate them. Martius announces that the plebeians, whom he…

Act 1, scene 2

Aufidius and Volscian senators discuss the Roman preparations for war.

Act 1, scene 3

Volumnia, Martius’s mother, and Virgilia, his wife, are visited by Valeria, who brings news of Martius at Corioles.

Act 1, scene 4

Before the Romans can besiege Corioles, the Volscians emerge to attack them. Martius rallies the troops to beat the Volscians…

Act 1, scene 5

Leaving Lartius to secure Corioles, Martius goes to the aid of the Roman general Cominius on the battlefield near the…

Act 1, scene 6

Martius joins Cominius and inspires the Roman troops to further combat.

Act 1, scene 7

Having secured Corioles, Lartius leaves to join Cominius.

Act 1, scene 8

Martius defeats Aufidius and his Volscian supporters.

Act 1, scene 9

Cominius awards Martius the name Coriolanus for his service at Corioles.

Act 1, scene 10

Aufidius vows to destroy Coriolanus by any means possible.

Act 2, scene 1

Coriolanus is welcomed back to Rome by his family and Menenius, and is expected to be elected consul. (Coriolanus’s entry…

Act 2, scene 2

The Senate meets to hear Cominius praise Coriolanus in a formal oration and then to choose Coriolanus as its nominee…

Act 2, scene 3

According to custom, Coriolanus asks a number of individual plebeians for their votes. Although he mocks them, they consent to…

Act 3, scene 1

Learning that the plebeians have revoked their votes, Coriolanus publicly attacks the decision that had given the people tribunes. Accusing…

Act 3, scene 2

The patricians and Volumnia persuade Coriolanus to pretend to tolerate the plebeians and their tribunes.

Act 3, scene 3

When the tribunes call Coriolanus a traitor, he angrily insults them, and they first impose a death sentence and then…

Act 4, scene 1

Coriolanus says goodbye to his family and closest supporters.

Act 4, scene 2

Meeting the tribunes, Volumnia and Virgilia curse them.

Act 4, scene 3

A Roman informer tells a Volscian spy of Coriolanus’s banishment.

Act 4, scene 4

Coriolanus comes to the Volscian city of Antium in search of Aufidius.

Act 4, scene 5

Coriolanus offers to join Aufidius in making war on Rome.

Act 4, scene 6

The tribunes’ delight in Coriolanus’s banishment is interrupted by news that an army led by him and Aufidius has invaded…

Act 4, scene 7

Aufidius, offended by the Volscian soldiers’ preference for Coriolanus, begins plotting against him.

Act 5, scene 1

After Cominius fails to persuade Coriolanus not to destroy Rome, Menenius agrees to try.

Act 5, scene 2

Menenius fails to shake Coriolanus’s determination to destroy Rome.

Act 5, scene 3

Volumnia, accompanied by Virgilia, Valeria, and young Martius, persuades Coriolanus to spare Rome.

Act 5, scene 4

News arrives in Rome of Volumnia’s success.

Act 5, scene 5

The Romans honor Volumnia as she returns.

Act 5, scene 6

Aufidius and his fellow conspirators, on their return to Corioles, publicly assassinate Coriolanus.

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Scene 10
Enter Tullus Aufidius bloody, with two or three Soldiers.

AUFIDIUS The town is ta’en.
SOLDIER 
 ’Twill be delivered back on good condition.
AUFIDIUS Condition?
 I would I were a Roman, for I cannot,
5 Being a Volsce, be that I am. Condition?
 What good condition can a treaty find

67
Coriolanus
ACT 1. SC. 10

 I’ th’ part that is at mercy? Five times, Martius,
 I have fought with thee; so often hast thou beat me
 And wouldst do so, I think, should we encounter
10 As often as we eat. By th’ elements,
 If e’er again I meet him beard to beard,
 He’s mine, or I am his. Mine emulation
 Hath not that honor in ’t it had; for where
 I thought to crush him in an equal force,
15 True sword to sword, I’ll potch at him some way
 Or wrath or craft may get him.
SOLDIER  He’s the devil.
AUFIDIUS 
 Bolder, though not so subtle. My valor’s poisoned
 With only suff’ring stain by him; for him
20 Shall fly out of itself. Nor sleep nor sanctuary,
 Being naked, sick, nor fane nor Capitol,
 The prayers of priests nor times of sacrifice,
 Embarquements all of fury, shall lift up
 Their rotten privilege and custom ’gainst
25 My hate to Martius. Where I find him, were it
 At home, upon my brother’s guard, even there,
 Against the hospitable canon, would I
 Wash my fierce hand in ’s heart. Go you to th’ city;
 Learn how ’tis held and what they are that must
30 Be hostages for Rome.
SOLDIER  Will not you go?
AUFIDIUS 
 I am attended at the cypress grove. I pray you—
 ’Tis south the city mills—bring me word thither
 How the world goes, that to the pace of it
35 I may spur on my journey.
SOLDIER  I shall, sir.
They exit, Aufidius through one door,
Soldiers through another.