List iconCoriolanusList icon

Coriolanus
Act 4, scene 2

Synopsis:

Contents

Characters in the Play

Entire Play

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.

Include links to:

Images
Glosses
Audio
Video
Essays
Quill icon
Scene 2
Enter the two Tribunes, Sicinius, and Brutus,
with the Aedile.


SICINIUS 
 Bid them all home. He’s gone, and we’ll no further.
 The nobility are vexed, whom we see have sided
 In his behalf.
BRUTUS  Now we have shown our power,
5 Let us seem humbler after it is done
 Than when it was a-doing.
SICINIUS  Bid them home.
 Say their great enemy is gone, and they
 Stand in their ancient strength.
BRUTUS 10 Dismiss them home.
Aedile exits.
 Here comes his mother.

Enter Volumnia, Virgilia, and Menenius.

SICINIUS Let’s not meet her.
BRUTUS Why?

187
Coriolanus
ACT 4. SC. 2

SICINIUS They say she’s mad.
BRUTUS 
15 They have ta’en note of us. Keep on your way.
VOLUMNIA 
 O, you’re well met. The hoarded plague o’ th’ gods
 Requite your love!
MENENIUS  Peace, peace! Be not so loud.
VOLUMNIA, to the Tribunes 
 If that I could for weeping, you should hear—
20 Nay, and you shall hear some. (To Sicinius.) Will
 you be gone?
VIRGILIA, to Brutus 
 You shall stay too. I would I had the power
 To say so to my husband.
SICINIUS, to Volumnia  Are you mankind?
VOLUMNIA 
25 Ay, fool, is that a shame? Note but this, fool.
 Was not a man my father? Hadst thou foxship
 To banish him that struck more blows for Rome
 Than thou hast spoken words?
SICINIUS  O blessèd heavens!
VOLUMNIA 
30 More noble blows than ever thou wise words,
 And for Rome’s good. I’ll tell thee what—yet go.
 Nay, but thou shalt stay too. I would my son
 Were in Arabia and thy tribe before him,
 His good sword in his hand.
SICINIUS 35 What then?
VIRGILIA  What then?
 He’d make an end of thy posterity.
VOLUMNIA Bastards and all.
 Good man, the wounds that he does bear for Rome!
MENENIUS 40Come, come, peace.
SICINIUS 
 I would he had continued to his country

189
Coriolanus
ACT 4. SC. 2

 As he began, and not unknit himself
 The noble knot he made.
BRUTUS  I would he had.
VOLUMNIA 
45 “I would he had”? ’Twas you incensed the rabble.
 Cats, that can judge as fitly of his worth
 As I can of those mysteries which heaven
 Will not have Earth to know.
BRUTUS, to Sicinius Pray, let’s go.
VOLUMNIA 50Now, pray, sir, get you gone.
 You have done a brave deed. Ere you go, hear this:
 As far as doth the Capitol exceed
 The meanest house in Rome, so far my son—
 This lady’s husband here, this, do you see?—
55 Whom you have banished, does exceed you all.
BRUTUS 
 Well, well, we’ll leave you.
SICINIUS  Why stay we to be baited
 With one that wants her wits?Tribunes exit.
VOLUMNIA  Take my prayers with
60 you.
 I would the gods had nothing else to do
 But to confirm my curses. Could I meet ’em
 But once a day, it would unclog my heart
 Of what lies heavy to ’t.
MENENIUS 65 You have told them home,
 And, by my troth, you have cause. You’ll sup with
 me?
VOLUMNIA 
 Anger’s my meat. I sup upon myself
 And so shall starve with feeding.
70 (To Virgilia.) Come, let’s go.
 Leave this faint puling, and lament as I do,
 In anger, Juno-like. Come, come, come.They exit.
MENENIUS Fie, fie, fie!
He exits.