Coriolanus

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

FIRST CONSPIRATOR

So he did, my lord:
The army marvell’d at it, and, in the last,
When he had carried Rome and that we look’d
50For no less spoil than glory,—

FIRST CONSPIRATOR

That’s what he did, my lord. The army was astonished by it. And finally, when he was able to conquer Rome and we could have had the spoils and glory—

AUFIDIUS

There was it:
For which my sinews shall be stretch’d upon him.
At a few drops of women’s rheum, which are
As cheap as lies, he sold the blood and labour
55Of our great action: therefore shall he die,
And I’ll renew me in his fall. But, hark!

AUFIDIUS

That’s why I’ll use all my strength against him. He sold us out, forfeiting the blood and labor of our great plan because of a few drops of women’s tears, which are as worthless as lies. Therefore he must die, and I’ll reassert my power by taking him down. But look!
Drums and trumpets sound, with great shouts of the People
Drums and trumpets sound, with great shouts of the people.

FIRST CONSPIRATOR

Your native town you enter’d like a post,
And had no welcomes home: but he returns,
Splitting the air with noise.

FIRST CONSPIRATOR

You returned home like a messenger—you weren’t properly welcomed. But he comes back to a loud celebration.

SECOND CONSPIRATOR

60And patient fools,
Whose children he hath slain, their base throats tear
With giving him glory.

SECOND CONSPIRATOR

And ignorant fools, whose children he has killed, tear their stupid throats as they sing his praises.

THIRD CONSPIRATOR

Therefore, at your vantage,
Ere he express himself, or move the people
65With what he would say, let him feel your sword,
Which we will second. When he lies along,
After your way his tale pronounced shall bury
His reasons with his body.

THIRD CONSPIRATOR

Seize your opportunity now, before he speaks and convinces the people with whatever he plans to say. Let him feel your sword—we support you. When he lies dead, you can tell the people what he did from your perspective. His version of the story will be buried along with his body.