Coriolanus

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

AUFIDIUS

Read it not, noble lords;
But tell the traitor, in the high’st degree
100He hath abused your powers.

AUFIDIUS

Don’t read it, noble lords. Instead, tell the traitor that he has abused your powers to the highest degree.

CORIOLANUS

Traitor! how now!

CORIOLANUS

Traitor! How’s that?

AUFIDIUS

Ay, traitor, Martius!

AUFIDIUS

Yes, traitor, Martius!

CORIOLANUS

Martius!

CORIOLANUS

“Martius”!

AUFIDIUS

Ay, Martius, Caius Martius: dost thou think
105I’ll grace thee with that robbery, thy stol’n name
Coriolanus in Corioli?
You lords and heads o’ the state, perfidiously
He has betray’d your business, and given up,
For certain drops of salt, your city Rome,
110I say ‘your city,’ to his wife and mother;
Breaking his oath and resolution like
A twist of rotten silk, never admitting
Counsel o’ the war, but at his nurse’s tears
He whined and roar’d away your victory,
115That pages blush’d at him and men of heart
Look’d wondering each at other.

AUFIDIUS

Yes, “Martius.” Caius Martius. Do you think I’ll honor you with that stolen name,
Coriolanus, that you took in Corioles? You lords and heads of state, he has treacherously betrayed your mission and given up your city of Rome—and I mean “your city”—because of a few tears from his wife and mother. He has broken his sworn oath like a rotten braid of silk, never following the advice of his fellow officers, but at his mother’s tears he cried and gave away your victory. The young attendants blushed and the courageous men looked at each other and wondered what to think.

CORIOLANUS

Hear’st thou, Mars?

CORIOLANUS

Do you hear this, Mars?

AUFIDIUS

Name not the god, thou boy of tears!

AUFIDIUS

Don’t invoke the god of war, you boy of tears!

CORIOLANUS

Ha!

CORIOLANUS

Ha!

AUFIDIUS

120No more.

AUFIDIUS

No more.