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A room in Coriolanus’ house.
A room in Coriolanus’s house.
Enter CORIOLANUS with Patricians
CORIOLANUS enters with Noblemen.





5
CORIOLANUS
Let them puff all about mine ears, present me
Death on the wheel or at wild horses’ heels,
Or pile ten hills on the Tarpeian rock,
That the precipitation might down stretch
Below the beam of sight, yet will I still
Be thus to them.
CORIOLANUS
Let them shout their fury. They can put me to death on the wheel, let wild horses drag me, or pile ten hills on the Tarpeian rock, making the fall so far that you can’t see the bottom. It won’t change who I am compared to them.

A PATRICIAN
You do the nobler.
A NOBLEMAN
You are nobler than they are.



10



CORIOLANUS
I muse my mother
Does not approve me further, who was wont
To call them woollen vassals, things created
To buy and sell with groats, to show bare heads
In congregations, to yawn, be still and wonder,
When one but of my ordinance stood up
To speak of peace or war.
CORIOLANUS
I wonder if my mother still sides with me. She used to call them slaves in rough wool clothes, traders of cheap items who were always taking their hats off to those of higher rank and whose jaws dropped in silent amazement when someone like me made speeches about peace or war.
Enter VOLUMNIA
VOLUMNIA enters.
15


I talk of you:
Why did you wish me milder? would you have me
False to my nature? Rather say I play
The man I am.
I’m talking about you. Why did you want me to be more subdued? Would you have me be untrue to my nature? Would you rather I pretend to be someone else?


20
VOLUMNIA
O, sir, sir, sir,
I would have had you put your power well on,
Before you had worn it out.
VOLUMNIA
Oh, sir, sir, sir, I wanted your power to be made official before you used it up.