Caius Martius Coriolanus: [shouting agitated] By Jove himself, it makes the consuls base, and my soul aches to know when two authorities are up, neither supreme, how soon confusion may enter twixt the gap of both and take the one by the other. Thus we debase the nature of our seats and make the rabble call our cares fears, which will, in time, break open the locks of the senate, and bring in the crows to peck the eagles!

Caius Martius Coriolanus: I'll fight with none but thee, for I do hate thee.

Tullus Aufidius: We hate alike.

Caius Martius Coriolanus: O, a kiss Long as my exile, sweet as my revenge!

Menenius: This Martius is grown from man to dragon. He has wings. He's more than a creeping thing.

Menenius: There is no more mercy in him than there is milk in a male tiger.

Tullus Aufidius: What's thy name?

Caius Martius Coriolanus: A name unmusical to the Volscians' ears, and harsh in sound to thine.

Tullus Aufidius: Say... what's thy name? Thou has a grim appearance. What's thy name?

Caius Martius Coriolanus: [taking a step forward] Know'st thou me yet?

Tullus Aufidius: I know thee not. Thy name?

Caius Martius Coriolanus: My name is Caius Martius, who hath done to thee particularly, and to all the Volsces, great hurt and mischief. Thereto witness my surname... Coriolanus. Only that name remains. The cruelty and envy of the people who have all forsook me, hath devoured the rest and suffered me by the voice of slaves, be whooped out of Rome. Now this extremity hath brought me to thy hearth. Not out of hope, mistake me not to save my life. For if I had feared death, of all men in the world I would have avoided thee. But, in mere spite, to be full quit of those my banishers, stand I before thee here. I will fight against my cankered country with the spleen of all the under fiends. But if thou dares not this, then I present my throat to thee and to thy ancient malice. Which not to cut would show thee but a fool, since I have ever followed thee with hate, and cannot live but to thy shame, unless it be to do thee service.

Caius Martius Coriolanus: He that will give good words to thee will flatter beneath abhorring. What would you have, you curs that like nor peace nor war? The one affrights you, the other makes you proud. He that trusts to you where he should find you lions, finds you hares; where foxes, geese. Who deserves greatness, deserves your hate.

[first lines]

Second Citizen: Before we proceed any further, hear me speak. You are all resolved rather to die than to famish?

Gathered Citizens: [in unison] Resolved.

Second Citizen: First, you know Caius Martius is chief enemy to the people.

Gathered Citizens: We know it.

First Citizen: Let us kill him. And we'll have corn at our own price.

Second Citizen: We are accounted poor citizens, the patricians of good. The leanness that afflicts us, the object of our misery, our suffering, is a gain to them.

Gathered Citizens: Aye.

Second Citizen: Let us revenge this with our sticks, ere we become rakes.

First Citizen: No more talking on it. Come!

Tullus Aufidius: Our virtues lie in the interpretation of the time. One fire drives out one fire. One nail, one nail. Rights by rights falter, strengths by strengths do fail. When, Caius, Rome is thine, thou art poorest of all. Then shortly art thou mine.

Volumnia: [kneeling] Think for thyself how more unfortunate than all living women are we come hither, since that thy sight, which should make our eyes flow with joy, hearts dance with comforts, constrains them weep and shake with fear and sorrow. Making the mother, wife, and child to see the son, the husband, and the father, tearing his country's bowels out. And we must find an evident calamity, though we had our wish, which side should win. For either thou must, as a foreign recreant, be led with manacles through our streets, or else triumphantly tread on thy country's ruin and bear the palm for having bravely shed thy wife and children's blood.

Volumnia: [getting to her feet] For myself, son, I purpose not to wait on fortune till these wars determine. If I cannot persuade thee rather to show a noble grace to both parts than seek the end to one, thou shalt no sooner march to assault thy country than to tread on thy mother's womb... that brought thee to this world.

Virgilia: Aye, and mine, that brought you forth this boy to keep your name living to time.

Young Martius: You shall not tread on me. I'll run away till I'm bigger. But then I'll fight!

Caius Martius Coriolanus: Tullus Aufidius then has assembled a new army?

Titus Lartius: He has, my lord.

Caius Martius Coriolanus: Saw you Aufidius?

Titus Lartius: He's retired to Antium.

Caius Martius Coriolanus: Spoke he of me?

Titus Lartius: He did, my lord.

Caius Martius Coriolanus: How? What?

Titus Lartius: How often he had met you, sword to sword. That of all things upon the earth, he hated your person most.

Caius Martius Coriolanus: At Antium lives he?

Titus Lartius: At Antium.

Caius Martius Coriolanus: I wish I had cause to seek him there, to oppose his hatred fully.

Menenius: I am known to be a humorous patrician, and one that loves a cup of hot wine with not a drop of allaying water in it. One that converses more with the buttock of the night than with the forehead of the morning. What I think I utter, and spend my malice in my breath.

Volumnia: Do as thou like! Thy valiantness was mine, thou suck'st it from me. But owe thy pride thyself!

TV Anchorman: [wide shot of the TV news desk and three people] How many stand for the consulship?

TV Pundit: [male pundit] Three, they say, but 'tis thought of everyone that Coriolanus will carry it.

TV Anchorman: [to the male pundit] That's a brave fellow, but he's vengeance proud and loves not the common people.

TV Pundit: [male pundit] There have been many great men that have flattered the people who never loved them. Therefore, for Coriolanus, neither to care whether they love or hate him manifests the true knowledge he has in their disposition. And, out of his noble carelessness, lets them plainly see it.

TV Pundit: [female pundit] But he seeks their hate with greater devotion than they can render at him. Now to seem to desire the malice and displeasure of the people is as bad as that which he dislikes, to flatter them for their love.

TV Anchorman: [to the female pundit] Consider you what services he has done for his country?

TV Pundit: [female pundit] Very well. And I would be content to give him good report for it, but that he pays himself with being proud.

TV Pundit: [turns and admonishes the female pundit] Nay, but speak not maliciously. He hath deserve worthily of his country

Volumnia: Had I a dozen sons, I had rather had eleven die nobly for their country than one voluptuously surfeit out of action.

Menenius: You'll sup with me?

Volumnia: Anger's my meat; I sup upon myself, and so shall starve with feeding.

Volsce Politician: So your opinion is, Aufidius, that they of Rome are entered in our counsels and know how we proceed?

Tullus Aufidius: Is it not yours? 'Tis not four days gone since I heard thence. By the discovery, we shall be shortened in our aim.

Volsce Politician: And it is rumored Martius, your old enemy, leads on this preparation.

Tullus Aufidius: If we and Caius Martius chance to meet, 'tis sworn between us we shall ever strike 'till one can do no more. If ever again I meet him beard to beard, he's mine, or I am his.

General Cominius: The news is the Volsces are in arms. They have a leader, Tullus Aufidius, that'll put you to it.

Caius Martius Coriolanus: I sin in envying his nobility. And were I anything but what I am, I wish me only he.

1st Senator: You have fought together?

Caius Martius Coriolanus: He is a lion that I am proud to hunt.

Tullus Aufidius: Five times, Martius, I have fought with thee. So often has thou beat me, and would do so, I fear, should we encounter as often as we eat. For where I thought to crush him in an equal force, true sword to sword, I'll potch at him some way. Or wrath or craft may get him.

Volsce Lieutenant: He's the devil.

Tullus Aufidius: Bolder, though not so subtle. Nor sleep, nor sanctuary, being naked, sick, the prayers of priests, nor times of sacrifice shall lift up their rotten privilege and custom against my hate to Martius. Where I find him, were it at home, upon my brother's guard, even there, will I wash my fierce hand in his heart.

General Cominius: Be it known, as to us, to all the world, that Caius Martius wears this war's garland. And from this time, for what he did before Corioles, call him, with all the applause and clamor of the host, Caius Martius Coriolanus. Bear the addition nobly ever.

Tullus Aufidius: Do they still fly to the Roman?

Volsce Lieutenant: I do not know what witchcraft's in him, but your soldiers use him as the grace before meat, their talk at table, and their thanks at end. And you are darkened in this action, sir.

Tullus Aufidius: He bears himself more proud, even to my person, than I thought he would when first I did embrace him.

Volsce Lieutenant: Sir, I beseech you, think you he'll carry Rome?

Tullus Aufidius: I think he'll be to Rome as is the osprey to the fish, who takes it by sovereignty of nature.

Volsce Lieutenant: How is it with our general?

Tullus Aufidius: As with a man by his own charity slain.

Volsce Lieutenant: Our soldiers will remain uncertain whilst 'twixt you there's difference, but the fall of either makes the survivor heir of all.

Tullus Aufidius: I know it, and my pretext to strike at him admits a good construction. I raised him, and I pawned mine honor for his truth, who, being so heightened, he watered his new plants with dews of flattery, seducing so my friends. At the last, I seemed his follower, not his partner, and he waged me with his countenance as if I had been mercenary.

Volsce Lieutenant: So he did, my lord. The army marveled at it. And in the last, when he had carried Rome and that we looked for no less spoil than glory...

Tullus Aufidius: There was it! For which my sinews shall be stretched upon him. At a few drops of women's rheum, which are as cheap as lies, he sold the blood and labor of our great action. Therefore shall he die, and I'll renew me in his fall.

[last lines]

Caius Martius Coriolanus: I am returned your soldier, no more infected with my country's love than when I parted hence, but still subsisting under your great command. We have made peace with no less honor to the Volscians than shame to the Romans.

Tullus Aufidius: Tell the traitor, in the highest degree, he hath abused your powers.

Caius Martius Coriolanus: Traitor? How now?

Tullus Aufidius: Aye, traitor, Martius.

Caius Martius Coriolanus: Martius?

Tullus Aufidius: Aye, Martius. Caius Martius. Dost thou think I'll grace thee with that robbery, thy stolen name Corioloanus?

[to his soldiers]

Tullus Aufidius: Perfidiously he hath betrayed your business and given up, for certain drops of salt, your city, Rome. I say "your city", for his wife and mother, breaking his oath and resolution like a twist of rotten silk. Never admitting counsel of the war, but at his nurse's tears, he whined and roared away your victory.

Caius Martius Coriolanus: Hear'st thou, Mars?

Tullus Aufidius: Name not the god, thou boy of tears.

Caius Martius Coriolanus: Measureless liar, thou has made my heart too great for what contains it. "Boy"? O slave. Cut me to pieces, Volsces! Men and lads, stain all your edges on me! "Boy"? If you have writ your annals true, 'tis there that, like an eagle in a dovecote, I fluttered your Volscians in Corioles. Alone I did it. "Boy".

Tullus Aufidius: [to his soldiers] Let him die for it.

Menenius: [taking Coriolanus to meet the commoners] Have you not known the worthiest men have done it?

Caius Martius Coriolanus: Custom calls me to it. What custom wills, in all things should we do it. What must I say? "Look, sir, my wounds. I got them in my country's service."

Menenius: O me, the gods! You must not speak like that. You must desire them to think upon you.

Caius Martius Coriolanus: Think upon me? Hang 'em. I would they would forget me.

Tullus Aufidius: I raised him, and I pawned mine honor for his truth. Who, being so heightened, he watered his new plants with dews of flattery, seducing so my friends. At the last I seemed his follower, not partner. And he waged me with his countenance as if I had been mercenary.

Tullus Aufidius: [to Coriolanus] Know thou, I loved the maid I married, never man sighed truer breath. But that I see thee here, thou noble thing... more dances my rapt heart than when I first my wedded mistress saw bestride my threshold.