A monologue from the play "Coriolanus" by William Shakespeare

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About this Monologue

  • Character: Volumnia
  • Gender: Female
  • Age Range(s): Senior (>50)
  • Type of monologue / Character is: Descriptive, Reminiscing life story/Telling a story
  • Type: Dramatic
  • Period: Renaissance
  • Genre: Tragedy, Drama
  • Description: Volumnia praises her son
  • Location: ACT I, Scene 3

Summary

The play is set in the city of Rome and is based on the legendary Roman general Gaius Martius Coriolanus. In the first scene of the play Caius Martius and several Roman rulers have to deal with a riot of the common people that are protesting because of a shortage of grain. A war soon breaks out between Rome and a neighboring tribe, the Volscians, led by Tullus Aufidius. Gaius Martius is sent to war as second-in-command, reporting to Cominius. In the third scene of ACT I, we find Volumnia, Gaius' mother, and Virgilia, his wife, sewing together. In this monologue Volumnia praises his son's talents as a soldier and ...

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Excerpt

VOLUMNIA
I pray you, daughter, sing; or express yourself in a
more comfortable sort: if my son were my husband, I
should freelier rejoice in that absence wherein he
won honour than in the embracements of his bed where
he would show most love. When yet he was but
tender-bodied and the only son of my womb, when
youth with comeliness plucked all gaze his way, when
for a day of kings' entreaties a mother should not
sell him an hour from her beholding, I, considering
how honour would become such a person. that it was
no better than picture-like to hang by the wall, if
renown made it not stir, was pleased to let him seek
danger where he was like to find fame. To a cruel
war I sent him; from whence he returned, his brows
bound with oak. I tell thee, daughter, I sprang not
more in joy at first hearing he was a man-child
than now in first seeing he had proved himself a
man.



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