Coriolanus

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 2 Scene 3

page Act 2 Scene 3 Page 10

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BRUTUS

Did you perceive
He did solicit you in free contempt
When he did need your loves, and do you think
That his contempt shall not be bruising to you,
215When he hath power to crush? Why, had your bodies
No heart among you? or had you tongues to cry
Against the rectorship of judgment?

BRUTUS

Didn’t you notice that he asked for your vote in blatant contempt even when he needed your approval? So don’t you think that his contempt will harm you when he has power to exercise? Didn’t you have any courage? Couldn’t you cry out against the status quo?

SICINIUS

Have you
Ere now denied the asker? and now again
220Of him that did not ask, but mock, bestow
Your sued-for tongues?

SICINIUS

Haven’t you ever refused to vote for someone? And now you give your vote to someone who didn’t even ask for it but mocked you instead?

THIRD CITIZEN

He’s not confirm’d; we may deny him yet.

THIRD CITIZEN

He’s not confirmed. He can still deny him.

SECOND CITIZEN

And will deny him:
I’ll have five hundred voices of that sound.

SECOND CITIZEN

And we will deny him. I’ll get five hundred people to vote against him.

FIRST CITIZEN

225I twice five hundred and their friends to piece ’em.

FIRST CITIZEN

I’ll get a thousand people and their friends, too.

BRUTUS

Get you hence instantly, and tell those friends,
They have chose a consul that will from them take
Their liberties; make them of no more voice
Than dogs that are as often beat for barking
230As therefore kept to do so.

BRUTUS

Go do it immediately, and tell those friends that they’ve chosen someone for the consul who will take away their freedoms and give them no more voice than dogs have that are repeatedly beaten for barking even though their job is to bark.

SICINIUS

Let them assemble,
And on a safer judgment all revoke
Your ignorant election; enforce his pride,
And his old hate unto you; besides, forget not
235With what contempt he wore the humble weed,
How in his suit he scorn’d you; but your loves,
Thinking upon his services, took from you
The apprehension of his present portance,
Which most gibingly, ungravely, he did fashion
240After the inveterate hate he bears you.

SICINIUS

Let them come together and make a wiser judgment to revoke your ignorant election. Emphasize his pride and his longstanding hatred of you. And don’t forget the contempt with which he wore the gown of humility and how in his quest for your votes, he scorned you. Your admiration of his past service kept you from noticing of his present way of being, which was insulting and inappropriate and reflective of the hatred he feels for you.