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Monologues for Men


My name is Caius Martius, who hath done

To thee particularly, and to all the Volsces,

Great hurt and mischief; thereto witness may

My surname, Coriolanus. The painful service,

The extreme dangers, and the drops of blood

Shed for my thankless country are requited

But with that surname—a good memory

And witness of the malice and displeasure

Which thou shouldst bear me. Only that name remains;

The cruelty and envy of the people,

Permitted by our dastard nobles, who

Have all forsook me, hath devour’d the rest,

And suffer’d me by th’ voice of slaves to be

Hoop’d out of Rome. Now this extremity

Hath brought me to thy hearth; not out of hope

(Mistake me not) to save my life, for if

I had fear’d death, of all the men i’ th’ world

I would have ’voided thee; but in mere spite,

To be full quit of those my banishers,

Stand I before thee here. Then if thou hast

A heart of wreak in thee, that wilt revenge

Thine own particular wrongs, and stop those maims

Of shame seen through thy country, speed thee straight

And make my misery serve thy turn. So use it

That my revengeful services may prove

As benefits to thee; for I will fight

Against my cank’red country with the spleen

Of all the under fiends. But if so be

Thou dar’st not this, and that to prove more fortunes

Th’ art tir’d, then, in a word, I also am

Longer to live most weary, and present

My throat to thee and to thy ancient malice;

Which not to cut would show thee but a fool,

Since I have ever followed thee with hate,

Drawn tuns of blood out of thy country’s breast,

And cannot live but to thy shame, unless

It be to do thee service.

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