Coriolanus

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 1

page Act 1 Scene 1 Page 2

Original Text

Modern Text

ALL

Against him first: he’s a very dog to the commonalty.

ALL

We should attack him first. He’s like a cruel dog to the people.

FIRST CITIZEN

Consider you what services he has done for his country?

FIRST CITIZEN

Have you considered the ways he has served our country?

FIRST CITIZEN

Very well; and could be content to give him good
25report fort, but that he pays himself with being proud.

FIRST CITIZEN

I’ve considered them very well, and I’d be happy to honor him for his service, except he already honors himself by being proud.

FIRST CITIZEN

Nay, but speak not maliciously.

FIRST CITIZEN

Don’t speak so harshly.

FIRST CITIZEN

I say unto you, what he hath done famously, he did
it to that end: though soft-conscienced men can be
content to say it was for his country he did it to
30please his mother and to be partly proud; which he
is, even till the altitude of his virtue.

FIRST CITIZEN

Listen, all that he’s famous for doing, he did simply to become famous. Slow-witted men can be content to say he acted on behalf of his country, but the truth is that he fought to please his mother and also, in part, out of pride. He has just as much pride as courage.

FIRST CITIZEN

What he cannot help in his nature, you account a
vice in him. You must in no way say he is covetous.

FIRST CITIZEN

You call it a vice, but being proud is his nature. And you can’t accuse him of being interested in the spoils of war.

FIRST CITIZEN

If I must not, I need not be barren of accusations;
35he hath faults, with surplus, to tire in repetition.

FIRST CITIZEN

Even if I stop accusing him of pride, I’ll still have plenty of other complaints against him. He has so many faults, I grow tired of repeating them to you.
Shouts within
Shouts come from offstage.
What shouts are these? The other side o’ the city
is risen: why stay we prating here? to the Capitol!
Who’s shouting? The other side of the city is taking action. Why are we standing around talking? Let’s go to the capitol!

ALL

Come, come.

ALL

Let’s go.

FIRST CITIZEN

Soft! who comes here?

FIRST CITIZEN

Wait, who’s coming?
Enter MENENIUS AGRIPPA
MENENIUS AGRIPPA enters.

FIRST CITIZEN

40Worthy Menenius Agrippa; one that hath always loved
the people.

FIRST CITIZEN

It’s worthy Menenius Agrippa, one who has always loved the people.

FIRST CITIZEN

He’s one honest enough: would all the rest were so!

FIRST CITIZEN

He’s decent enough. I wish that all the other nobles were!