A monologue from the play "Coriolanus" by William Shakespeare

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About this Monologue

  • Character: Caius Martius
  • Gender: Male
  • Age Range(s): Adult (36-50)
  • Type of monologue / Character is: Scolding, Persuasive, Complaining
  • Type: Dramatic
  • Period: Renaissance
  • Genre: Tragedy, Drama
  • Description: Caius Martius curses the mob
  • Location: ACT I, Scene 1

Summary

The play is set in the city of Rome and is based on the legendary Roman general Gaius Martius Coriolanus. The story starts with a riot of the common people (plebeians) against the rulers of Rome because grain is being withheld from them. They particularly accuse Caius Martius and denounce him as being responsible for their starvation. On their way to the Capitol at first they meet Menenius, who tries to calm them down, and then Gaius Martius himself. Gaius Martius is not as diplomatic as his patrician collegue and shows contempt towards the mob, he mocks them and curses them.

Written by Administrator

Excerpt

MARCIUS
He that will give good words to thee will flatter
Beneath abhorring. What would you have, you curs,
That like nor peace nor war? the one affrights you,
The other makes you proud. He that trusts to you,
Where he should find you lions, finds you hares;
Where foxes, geese: you are no surer, no,
Than is the coal of fire upon the ice,
Or hailstone in the sun. Your virtue is
To make him worthy whose offence subdues him
And curse that justice did it.
Who deserves greatness
Deserves your hate; and your affections are
A sick man's appetite, who desires most that
Which would increase his evil. He that depends
Upon your favours swims with fins of lead
And hews down oaks with rushes. Hang ye! Trust Ye?
With every minute you do change a mind,
And call him noble that was now your hate,
Him vile that was your garland. What's the matter,
That in these several places of the city
You cry against the noble senate, who,
Under the gods, keep you in awe, which else
Would feed on one another? What's their seeking?



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