Coriolanus

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 2 Scene 3

page Act 2 Scene 3 Page 3

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Exeunt Citizens
The Citizens exit.

MENENIUS

O sir, you are not right: have you not known
The worthiest men have done’t?

MENENIUS

Oh, sir, you don’t understand. Don’t you know that the most honorable men have done this?

CORIOLANUS

What must I say?
50‘I Pray, sir’—Plague upon’t! I cannot bring
My tongue to such a pace:—‘Look, sir, my wounds!
I got them in my country’s service, when
Some certain of your brethren roar’d and ran
From the noise of our own drums.’

CORIOLANUS

What am I supposed to say? “Please, sir”—Curse that! I can’t force myself to say such a thing. “Look at my wounds, sir. I got them while serving my country, while men who were undoubtedly your brothers cried and ran away from the battle.”

MENENIUS

55O me, the gods!
You must not speak of that: you must desire them
To think upon you.

MENENIUS

Oh, gods! You can’t talk about that. You need to get them to think well of you.

CORIOLANUS

Think upon me! hang ’em!
I would they would forget me, like the virtues
60Which our divines lose by ’em.

CORIOLANUS

Think well of me! Hang them! I wish they would forget me, like they have forgotten the virtues that the gods didn’t sufficiently instill in them.

MENENIUS

You’ll mar all:
I’ll leave you: pray you, speak to ’em, I pray you,
In wholesome manner.

MENENIUS

You’ll ruin everything. I’m leaving now. Please, keep it clean with them.
Exit
He exits.

CORIOLANUS

Bid them wash their faces
65And keep their teeth clean.

CORIOLANUS

I’ll ask them to wash their faces and brush their teeth.
Re-enter two of the Citizens
Two Citizens re-enter.
So, here comes a brace.
So, here comes a pair.