Ye’re long abou…


Ye’re long about it.
– First Citizen, Act I, Scene I

In hindsight, the quote above should probably have been the title of this blog. Anyway, before the NTL broadcast next week, here are some quotes from Coriolanus. I can’t remember if all of those are in the Donmar production and don’t have the play text.

As always with Shakespeare, a lot of those can be used at work, at home or in a case of road rage. Personally, I will probably shake some bones out of someone’s garments next week. Enjoy!

He that depends
Upon your favours swims with fins of lead
-Marcius, Act I, Scene I

Were half to half the world by the ears and he.
Upon my party, I’ld revolt to make
Only my wars with him: he is a lion
That I am proud to hunt.
-Marcius, Act I, Scene I

Hear me profess
sincerely: had I a dozen sons, each in my love
alike and none less dear than thine and my good
Marcius, I had rather had eleven die nobly for their
country than one voluptuously surfeit out of action.
-Volumnia, Act I, Scene III


Now put your shields before your hearts, and fight
With hearts more proof than shields.
-Marcius, Act I, Scene IV

make you a sword of me?
-Marius, Act I, Scene VI

I’ll fight with none but thee; for I do hate thee
Worse than a promise-breaker.
-Marcius, Act I, Scene VIII

We hate alike:
Not Afric owns a serpent I abhor
More than thy fame and envy.
-Aufidius, Act I, Scene VIII

I have some wounds upon me, and they smart
To hear themselves remember’d.
-Marcius, Act I, Scene IX

I thank you, general;
But cannot make my heart consent to take
A bribe to pay my sword: I do refuse it;
And stand upon my common part with those
That have beheld the doing.
-Marcius, Act I, Scene IX


Too modest are you;
More cruel to your good report than grateful
-Cominius, Act I, Scene IX

I will go wash;
And when my face is fair, you shall perceive
Whether I blush or no: howbeit, I thank you.
-Coriolanus, Act I, Scene IX

Have we no wine here?
-Coriolanus, Act I, Scene IX

I know you can do very little alone; for your helps
are many, or else your actions would grow wondrous
single: your abilities are too infant-like for
doing much alone
-Menenius, Act II, Scene I

O, he is wounded; I thank the gods for’t.
-Volumnia, Act II, Scene I

One for the old-school comic fans:

True! pow, wow.
-Volumnia, Act II, Scene I

No more of this; it does offend my heart:
Pray now, no more.
-Coriolanus, Act II, Scene I


Know, good mother,
I had rather be their servant in my way,
Than sway with them in theirs.
-Coriolanus, Act II, Scene I


Sit, Coriolanus; never shame to hear
What you have nobly done.
-First Senator, Act II, Scene II

Your horror’s pardon:
I had rather have my wounds to heal again
Than hear say how I got them.
-Coriolanus, Act II, Scene II

No, sir: yet oft,
When blows have made me stay, I fled from words.
You soothed not, therefore hurt not
-Coriolanus, Act II, Scene II


I do owe them still
My life and services.
-Coriolanus, Act II, Scene II

The price is to ask it kindly.
-First Citizen, Act II, Scene III

You are like to do such business.
-Coriolanus, Act III, Scene I

No more words, we beseech you.
-First Senator, Act III, Scene I

Hence, rotten thing! or I shall shake thy bones
Out of thy garments.
-Coriolanus, Act III, Scene I

This is the way to kindle, not to quench.
-Menenius, Act III, Scene I

On both sides more respect.
-Menenius, Act III, Scene I

You are too absolute;
-Volumnia, Act III, Scene II

Consider further,
That when he speaks not like a citizen,
You find him like a soldier: do not take
His rougher accents for malicious sounds,
But, as I say, such as become a soldier,
Rather than envy you.
-Menenius, Act III, Scene III

What do you prate of service?
-Coriolanus, Act III, Scene III

Now we have shown our power,
Let us seem humbler after it is done
Than when it was a-doing.
-Brutus, Act IV, Scene II

Now thou’rt troublesome.
-Coriolanus, Act IV, Scene V

I do not know what witchcraft’s in him, but
Your soldiers use him as the grace ‘fore meat,
Their talk at table, and their thanks at end;
And you are darken’d in this action, sir,
Even by your own.
-Lieutenant, Act IV, Scene VII

When, Caius, Rome is thine,
Thou art poor’st of all; then shortly art thou mine.
-Aufidius, Act IV, Scene VII


This last old man,
Whom with a crack’d heart I have sent to Rome,
Loved me above the measure of a father;
Nay, godded me, indeed. Their latest refuge
Was to send him;
-Coriolanus, Act V, Scene III

Shall I be tempted to infringe my vow
In the same time ’tis made? I will not.
-Coriolanus, Act V, Scene III


Like a dull actor now,
I have forgot my part,
-Coriolanus, Act V, Scene III


O mother, mother!
What have you done?



You have won a happy victory to Rome;
But, for your son,–believe it, O, believe it,
Most dangerously you have with him prevail’d,
If not most mortal to him.
-Coriolanus, Act V, Scene III

it is no little thing to make
Mine eyes to sweat compassion.
-Coriolanus, Act V, Scene III

There is differency between a grub and a butterfly;
yet your butterfly was a grub. This Marcius is grown
from man to dragon: he has wings; he’s more than a
creeping thing.
-Menenius, Act V, Scene IV

No, in such a case the gods will not be good unto
us. When we banished him, we respected not them;
and, he returning to break our necks, they respect not us.
-Menenius, Act V, Scene IV


Thou hast done a deed whereat valour will weep.
-Second Lord, Act V, Scene VI


Bear from hence his body;
And mourn you for him: let him be regarded
As the most noble corse that ever herald
Did follow to his urn.
-First Lord, Act V, Scene VI

My rage is gone;
And I am struck with sorrow.
-Aufidius, Act V, Scene VI

I always wondered where Aufidius directed his energy after having killed Coriolanus. Maybe he went to Africa to find a serpent to abhor?

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