Coriolanus

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 3 Scene 3

page Act 3 Scene 3 Page 6

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CITIZENS

130It shall be so, it shall be so; let him away:
He’s banish’d, and it shall be so.

CITIZENS

It shall be so, it shall be so. Take him away. He’s banished, and it shall be so.

COMINIUS

Hear me, my masters, and my common friends,—
Listen to me, good people, my friends—

SICINIUS

He’s sentenced; no more hearing.

SICINIUS

He’s been sentenced. There’s nothing more to say.

COMINIUS

Let me speak:
135I have been consul, and can show for Rome
Her enemies’ marks upon me. I do love
My country’s good with a respect more tender,
More holy and profound, than mine own life,
My dear wife’s estimate, her womb’s increase,
140And treasure of my loins; then if I would
Speak that,—

COMINIUS

Let me speak. I have been consul, and I can show you the wounds I’ve received fighting for Rome. My feelings about the welfare of my country are more tender, more holy, and more profound than how I feel about my own life, my dear wife’s reputation, her ability to bear my precious children. So I would like to say—

SICINIUS

We know your drift: speak what?

SICINIUS

We know your loyalty. What do you want to say?

BRUTUS

There’s no more to be said, but he is banish’d,
As enemy to the people and his country:
145It shall be so.

BRUTUS

There’s no more to be said: he is banished as enemy to the people and his country. It shall be so.

CITIZENS

It shall be so, it shall be so.

CITIZENS

It shall be so, it shall be so.

CORIOLANUS

You common cry of curs! whose breath I hate
As reek o’ the rotten fens, whose loves I prize
As the dead carcasses of unburied men
150That do corrupt my air, I banish you;
And here remain with your uncertainty!
Let every feeble rumour shake your hearts!
Your enemies, with nodding of their plumes,
Fan you into despair! Have the power still
155To banish your defenders; till at length
Your ignorance, which finds not till it feels,
Making not reservation of yourselves,
Still your own foes, deliver you as most
Abated captives to some nation
160That won you without blows! Despising,
For you, the city, thus I turn my back:
There is a world elsewhere.

CORIOLANUS

You pack of common dogs! Your breath reeks like the rotting swamps. I value your opinion of me as much as the dead carcasses of unburied men that stink up my air. I banish you! Stay here with your indecisiveness and let every feeble rumor change your minds. When you see your enemies plumed helmets approaching, may you fall into despair! May you retain the power to banish the ones who would protect you, until at last your ignorance—which makes you unable to foresee anything before it happens and leaves you alone in the city as your own worst enemy—leads you to be captured by some nation that defeated you without a fight! With hatred, I turn my back on you and the city. I will seek a new life elsewhere.