Coriolanus

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 5 Scene 3

page Act 5 Scene 3 Page 4

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VOLUMNIA

Thou art my warrior;
70I holp to frame thee. Do you know this lady?

VOLUMNIA

You’re my warrior; I helped make you what you are. Do you recognize this woman?

CORIOLANUS

The noble sister of Publicola,
The moon of Rome, chaste as the icicle
That’s curdied by the frost from purest snow
And hangs on Dian’s temple: dear Valeria!

CORIOLANUS

The noble sister of the consul Publicola, the moon of Rome, pure as the icicle that forms from the frost of purest snow and hangs on Diana’s temple: dear Valeria!

VOLUMNIA

75This is a poor epitome of yours,
Which by the interpretation of full time
May show like all yourself.

VOLUMNIA

(showing young Martius) Here is your miniature replica, who in time may grow to be exactly like you.

CORIOLANUS

The god of soldiers,
With the consent of supreme Jove, inform
80Thy thoughts with nobleness; that thou mayst prove
To shame unvulnerable, and stick i’ the wars
Like a great sea-mark, standing every flaw,
And saving those that eye thee!

CORIOLANUS

May the god of soldiers, with the consent of supreme Jove, make your thoughts be noble. And may you be invulnerable to shame, stand firm in the wars like a great beacon for sailors, enduring every sudden blast of wind and helping those that look to you for guidance!

VOLUMNIA

Your knee, sirrah.

VOLUMNIA

On your knee, sir. (young Martius kneels)

CORIOLANUS

85That’s my brave boy!

CORIOLANUS

That’s my brave boy!

VOLUMNIA

Even he, your wife, this lady, and myself,
Are suitors to you.

VOLUMNIA

Even he, your wife, this lady, and myself—plead before you.

CORIOLANUS

I beseech you, peace:
Or, if you’ld ask, remember this before:
90The thing I have forsworn to grant may never
Be held by you denials. Do not bid me
Dismiss my soldiers, or capitulate
Again with Rome’s mechanics: tell me not
Wherein I seem unnatural: desire not
95To ally my rages and revenges with
Your colder reasons.

CORIOLANUS

Please, stop. Or, if you must ask, remember this first: Don’t think that I deny you personally, but I cannot grant your pleas because I have sworn not to. Don’t ask me to dismiss my soldiers or to yield to the common people of Rome. Don’t tell me the ways in which I seem unnatural. Don’t try to mitigate my rage and need for vengeance with your colder reasons.