Coriolanus

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 3 Scene 3

page Act 3 Scene 3 Page 3

Original Text

Modern Text

FIRST SENATOR

Amen, amen.

FIRST SENATOR

Amen, amen.

MENENIUS

A noble wish.

MENENIUS

A noble wish.
Re-enter Aedile, with Citizens
The Aedile reenters, with Citizens.

SICINIUS

Draw near, ye people.

SICINIUS

Come close, you people.

AEDILE

50List to your tribunes. Audience: peace, I say!

AEDILE

Listen to your tribunes. Be quiet!

CORIOLANUS

First, hear me speak.

CORIOLANUS

Let me speak first.

BOTH TRIBUNES

Well, say. Peace, ho!

BOTH TRIBUNES 

Well then, talk! Stay calm.

CORIOLANUS

Shall I be charged no further than this present?
Must all determine here?

CORIOLANUS

Are there any further charges against me besides these? Will everything be settled here?

SICINIUS

55I do demand,
If you submit you to the people’s voices,
Allow their officers and are content
To suffer lawful censure for such faults
As shall be proved upon you?

SICINIUS

Will you agree to listen to the people, respect their representatives, and undergo lawful punishment for the offenses we’ll prove you committed?

CORIOLANUS

60I am content.

CORIOLANUS

Yes, I agree.

MENENIUS

Lo, citizens, he says he is content:
The warlike service he has done, consider; think
Upon the wounds his body bears, which show
Like graves i’ the holy churchyard.

MENENIUS

All right citizens, he says he agrees. Think of the wars he has served in.
Think about the wounds on his body—each of them is like an enemy’s gravestone.

CORIOLANUS

65Scratches with briers,
Scars to move laughter only.

CORIOLANUS

They’re no more serious than scratches from a prickly plant. They’re scars that you’d only laugh at.

MENENIUS

Consider further,
That when he speaks not like a citizen,
You find him like a soldier: do not take
70His rougher accents for malicious sounds,
But, as I say, such as become a soldier,
Rather than envy you.

MENENIUS

Consider also that because he doesn’t speak like you, you think he’s attacking you. Don’t mistake his coarse way of speaking for hateful words. He’s just talking the way soldiers talk. He’s not speaking ill of you.