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Scene Study (Male-Male)


Where is this fellow? Whence com’st thou? What wouldst thou? Thy name?

Why speak’st not? Speak, man: what’s thy name?


If, Tullus,

Not yet thou know’st me, and, seeing me, dost not

Think me for the man I am, necessity

Commands me name myself.


What is thy name?


A name unmusical to the Volscians’ ears,

And harsh in sound to thine.


Say, what’s thy name?

Thou hast a grim appearance, and thy face

Bears a command in’t; though thy tackle’s torn,

Thou show’st a noble vessel. What’s thy name?


Prepare thy brow to frown. Know’st thou me yet?


I know thee not. Thy name?


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.


O Martius, Martius!

Each word thou hast spoke hath weeded from my heart

A root of ancient envy. If Jupiter

Should from yond cloud speak divine things,

And say “’Tis true,” I’d not believe them more

Than thee, all-noble Martius. Let me twine

Mine arms about that body, where against

My grained ash an hundred times hath broke,

And scarr’d the moon with splinters. Here I cleep

The anvil of my sword, and do contest

As hotly and as nobly with thy love

As ever in ambitious strength I did

Contend against thy valor. Know thou first,

I lov’d the maid I married; never man

Sigh’d truer breath; but that I see thee here,

Thou noble thing, more dances my rapt heart

Than when I first my wedded mistress saw

Bestride my threshold. Why, thou Mars, I tell thee,

We have a power on foot; and I had purpose

Once more to hew thy target from thy brawn,

Or lose mine arm for’t. Thou hast beat me out

Twelve several times, and I have nightly since

Dreamt of encounters ’twixt thyself and me;

We have been down together in my sleep,

Unbuckling helms, fisting each other’s throat,

And wak’d half dead with nothing. Worthy Martius,

Had we no other quarrel else to Rome but that

Thou art thence banish’d, we would muster all

From twelve to seventy, and pouring war

Into the bowels of ungrateful Rome,

Like a bold flood o’er-beat. O, come, go in,

And take our friendly senators by th’ hands,

Who now are here, taking their leaves of me,

Who am prepar’d against your territories,

Though not for Rome itself.


You bless me, gods!


Therefore, most absolute sir, if thou wilt have

The leading of thine own revenges, take

Th’ one half of my commission, and set down—

As best thou art experienc’d, since thou know’st

Thy country’s strength and weakness—thine own ways:

Whether to knock against the gates of Rome,

Or rudely visit them in parts remote,

To fright them, ere destroy. But come in,

Let me commend thee first to those that shall

Say yea to thy desires. A thousand welcomes!

And more a friend than e’er an enemy;

Yet, Martius, that was much. Your hand; most welcome!


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