• A room in Coriolanus’ house.
    Enter CORIOLANUS with Patricians

    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
    5Below the beam of sight, yet will I still
    Be thus to them.

    A PATRICIAN

    You do the nobler.

    CORIOLANUS

    I muse my mother
    Does not approve me further, who was wont
    10To 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.
    Enter VOLUMNIA
    15I 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.

    VOLUMNIA

    O, sir, sir, sir,
    20I would have had you put your power well on,
    Before you had worn it out.
  • A room in Coriolanus’s house.
    CORIOLANUS enters with Noblemen.

    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 NOBLEMAN

    You are nobler than they are.

    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.
    VOLUMNIA enters.
    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?

    VOLUMNIA

    Oh, sir, sir, sir, I wanted your power to be made official before you used it up.