List iconCoriolanus:
Act 4, scene 4
List icon

Act 4, scene 4



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.

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Scene 4
Enter Coriolanus in mean apparel, disguised,
and muffled.

 A goodly city is this Antium. City,
 ’Tis I that made thy widows. Many an heir
 Of these fair edifices ’fore my wars
 Have I heard groan and drop. Then, know me not,

ACT 4. SC. 4

5 Lest that thy wives with spits and boys with stones
 In puny battle slay me.

Enter a Citizen.

 Save you, sir.
 And you.
CORIOLANUS  Direct me, if it be your will,
10 Where great Aufidius lies. Is he in Antium?
 He is, and feasts the nobles of the state
 At his house this night.
CORIOLANUS  Which is his house, beseech
15 This here before you.
CORIOLANUS  Thank you, sir. Farewell.
Citizen exits.
 O world, thy slippery turns! Friends now fast sworn,
 Whose double bosoms seems to wear one heart,
 Whose hours, whose bed, whose meal and exercise
20 Are still together, who twin, as ’twere, in love
 Unseparable, shall within this hour,
 On a dissension of a doit, break out
 To bitterest enmity; so fellest foes,
 Whose passions and whose plots have broke their
25 sleep
 To take the one the other, by some chance,
 Some trick not worth an egg, shall grow dear friends
 And interjoin their issues. So with me:
 My birthplace hate I, and my love’s upon
30 This enemy town. I’ll enter. If he slay me,
 He does fair justice; if he give me way,
 I’ll do his country service.
He exits.