Coriolanus

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Flourish. Trumpets sound, and drums
Trumpets sound and drums pound.

ALL

Caius Martius Coriolanus!

ALL

Caius Martius Coriolanus!

CORIOLANUS

75I will go wash;
And when my face is fair, you shall perceive
Whether I blush or no: howbeit, I thank you.
I mean to stride your steed, and at all times
To undercrest your good addition
80To the fairness of my power.

CORIOLANUS

I’ll go wash and when my face is clean, you’ll see whether or not I’m blushing. Thank you for this honor. I’ll ride your horse and try always to live up to this noble title you have given me.

COMINIUS

So, to our tent;
Where, ere we do repose us, we will write
To Rome of our success. You, Titus Lartius,
Must to Corioli back: send us to Rome
85The best, with whom we may articulate,
For their own good and ours.

COMINIUS

Let’s go to our tent. Before we rest, we’ll write to Rome of our success. You, Titus Lartius, must go back to Corioles. Send us the best citizen of Corioles
with whom we may negotiate a treaty, one that is fair to them and to us.

LARTIUS

I shall, my lord.

LARTIUS

I will, my lord.

CORIOLANUS

The gods begin to mock me. I, that now
Refused most princely gifts, am bound to beg
90Of my lord general.

CORIOLANUS

The gods begin to mock me. I, who just refused amazing gifts, must now beg something of you, my lord general.

COMINIUS

Take’t; ’tis yours. What is’t?

COMINIUS

Whatever you want is yours. What is it?

CORIOLANUS

I sometime lay here in Corioli
At a poor man’s house; he used me kindly:
He cried to me; I saw him prisoner;
95But then Aufidius was with in my view,
And wrath o’erwhelm’d my pity: I request you
To give my poor host freedom.

CORIOLANUS

When I was in Corioles, I stayed for some time in a poor man’s house. He treated me kindly, and now he’s a prisoner. He cried out for my help, but I was focused on Aufidius, and anger overwhelmed my pity. I request that you free my poor host.