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Coriolanus is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1605 and 1608. The play is based on the life of the legendary Roman leader Caius Marcius Coriolanus. The tragedy is numbered as one of the last two tragedies written by Shakespeare, along with Antony and Cleopatra.Coriolanus is the name given to a Roman general after his more than adequate military success against various uprisings challenging the government of Rome. Following this success, Coriolanus becomes active in politics and seeks political leadership. His temperament is unsuited for popular leadership and he is quickly deposed, whereupon he aligns himself to set matters straight according to his own will. The alliances he forges to accomplish his own will result in his ultimate downfall and death.The play opens in Rome shortly after the expulsion of the Tarquin kings. There are riots in progress, after stores of grain were withheld from ordinary citizens. The rioters are particularly angry at Caius Marcius, a brilliant Roman general whom they blame for the grain being taken away. The rioters encounter a patrician named Menenius Agrippa, as well as Caius Marcius himself. Menenius tries to calm the rioters, while Marcius is openly contemptuous, and says that the plebeians were not worthy of the grain because of their lack of military service. Two of the tribunes of Rome, Brutus and Sicinius, privately denounce Marcius. He leaves Rome after news arrives that a Volscian army is in the field.The commander of the Volscian army, Tullus Aufidius, has fought Marcius on several occasions and considers him a blood enemy. The Roman army is commanded by Cominius, with Marcius as his deputy. While Cominius takes his soldiers to meet Aufidius' army, Marcius leads a rally against the Volscian city of Corioli. The siege of Corioli is initially unsuccessful, but Marcius is able to force open the gates of the city, and the Romans conquer it. Even though he is exhausted from the fighting, Marcius marches quickly to join Cominius and fight the other Volscian force. Marcius and Aufidius meet in single combat, which only ends when Aufidius' own soldiers drag him away from the battle.
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Copyright © 2017 by William Shakespeare.
All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations em- bodied in critical articles or reviews.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organiza- tions, places, events and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
For information contact :
Sheba Blake Publishing
Book and Cover design by Sheba Blake Publishing
First Edition: January 2017
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CAIUS MARCIUS CORIOLANUS, a noble Roman
TITUS LARTIUS, General against the Volscians
COMINIUS, General against the Volscians
MENENIUS AGRIPPA, Friend to Coriolanus
SICINIUS VELUTUS, Tribune of the People
JUNIUS BRUTUS, Tribune of the People
YOUNG MARCIUS, son to Coriolanus
A ROMAN HERALD
TULLUS AUFIDIUS, General of the Volscians
LIEUTENANT, to AufidiusConspirators with Aufidius
A CITIZEN of Antium
TWO VOLSCIAN GUARDS
VOLUMNIA, Mother to Coriolanus
VIRGILIA, Wife to Coriolanus
VALERIA, Friend to Virgilia
GENTLEWOMAN attending on Virgilia
Roman and Volscian Senators, Patricians, Aediles, Lictors,
Soldiers, Citizens, Messengers, Servants to Aufidius, and other Attendants
Rome. A street.
[Enter a company of mutinous citizens, with staves, clubs, and other weapons.]
FIRST CITIZEN.Before we proceed any further, hear me speak.
FIRST CITIZEN.You are all resolved rather to die than to famish?
FIRST CITIZEN.First, you know Caius Marcius is chief enemy to the people.
ALL.We know't, we know't.
FIRST CITIZEN.Let us kill him, and we'll have corn at our own price. Is't a verdict?
ALL.No more talking on't; let it be done: away, away!
SECOND CITIZEN.One word, good citizens.
FIRST CITIZEN.We are accounted poor citizens; the patricians good.
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