Coriolanus

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

CORIOLANUS

Away!

CORIOLANUS

Away!

MENENIUS

85How! away!

MENENIUS

What do you mean, away?

CORIOLANUS

Wife, mother, child, I know not. My affairs
Are servanted to others: though I owe
My revenge properly, my remission lies
In Volscian breasts. That we have been familiar,
90Ingrate forgetfulness shall poison, rather
Than pity note how much. Therefore, be gone.
Mine ears against your suits are stronger than
Your gates against my force. Yet, for I loved thee,
Take this along; I writ it for thy sake

CORIOLANUS

I have neither wife, nor mother, nor child. My personal life is now eclipsed by other matters. Though I seek my own revenge, the power to pardon belongs to the Volsces. We had a friendship, but your ungrateful failure to defend me has poisoned it.
Pity will not remind me of what great friends we used to be. So go away. My ears rebuff your pleas with greater force than your gates will have against my army. But because I did care for you, take this. I wrote it for your sake.
Gives a letter
He gives Menenius a letter.
95And would have rent it. Another word, Menenius,
I will not hear thee speak. This man, Aufidius,
Was my beloved in Rome: yet thou behold’st!
And would have sent it. I won’t hear you speak another word, Menenius. This man was my dearest friend in Rome, Aufidius. But look at him!

AUFIDIUS

You keep a constant temper.

AUFIDIUS

You never change.
Exeunt CORIOLANUS and AUFIDIUS
CORIOLANUS and AUFIDIUS exit.

FIRST SENTINEL

Now, sir, is your name Menenius?

FIRST GUARD

Now, sir, is your name Menenius?

SECOND SENTINEL

100’Tis a spell, you see, of much power: you know the
way home again.

SECOND GUARD

You see, it’s like a spell with great power. You know the way home again.

FIRST SENTINEL

Do you hear how we are shent for keeping your
greatness back?

FIRST GUARD

Did you hear how they scolded us for keeping your greatness back?

SECOND SENTINEL

What cause, do you think, I have to swoon?

SECOND GUARD

Why, do you think, I swoon?