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Coriolanus
Act 4, scene 3

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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 3
Enter a Roman (Nicanor) and a Volsce (Adrian).

ROMAN I know you well, sir, and you know me. Your
 name I think is Adrian.
VOLSCE It is so, sir. Truly, I have forgot you.
ROMAN I am a Roman, and my services are, as you are,
5 against ’em. Know you me yet?
VOLSCE Nicanor, no?
ROMAN The same, sir.
VOLSCE You had more beard when I last saw you, but
 your favor is well approved by your tongue.
10 What’s the news in Rome? I have a note from the
 Volscian state to find you out there. You have well
 saved me a day’s journey.
ROMAN There hath been in Rome strange insurrections,
 the people against the senators, patricians,
15 and nobles.
VOLSCE Hath been? Is it ended, then? Our state thinks
 not so. They are in a most warlike preparation and
 hope to come upon them in the heat of their
 division.
ROMAN 20The main blaze of it is past, but a small thing
 would make it flame again; for the nobles receive
 so to heart the banishment of that worthy Coriolanus
 that they are in a ripe aptness to take all power
 from the people and to pluck from them their tribunes
25 forever. This lies glowing, I can tell you, and
 is almost mature for the violent breaking out.
VOLSCE Coriolanus banished?
ROMAN Banished, sir.
VOLSCE You will be welcome with this intelligence,
30 Nicanor.
ROMAN The day serves well for them now. I have heard

193
Coriolanus
ACT 4. SC. 4

 it said the fittest time to corrupt a man’s wife is
 when she’s fall’n out with her husband. Your noble
 Tullus Aufidius will appear well in these wars, his
35 great opposer Coriolanus being now in no request
 of his country.
VOLSCE He cannot choose. I am most fortunate thus
 accidentally to encounter you. You have ended my
 business, and I will merrily accompany you home.
ROMAN 40I shall between this and supper tell you most
 strange things from Rome, all tending to the good
 of their adversaries. Have you an army ready, say
 you?
VOLSCE A most royal one. The centurions and their
45 charges, distinctly billeted, already in th’ entertainment,
 and to be on foot at an hour’s warning.
ROMAN I am joyful to hear of their readiness and am
 the man, I think, that shall set them in present action.
 So, sir, heartily well met, and most glad of
50 your company.
VOLSCE You take my part from me, sir. I have the most
 cause to be glad of yours.
ROMAN Well, let us go together.
They exit.