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MonkeyNotes-Coriolanus by William Shakespeare
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Notes

The opening conversation between Brutus and Sicinius shows that all their moves have been planned in advance. They are manipulative and power-hungry, and if Coriolanus is exiled or executed, it will open the doors to even more power for them. Their despicable actions are, therefore, guided by the baser instinct of self-preservation rather than out of a genuine concern for the commoners. That Coriolanus speaks the truth when he accuses Sicinius of being a liar falls on deaf ears. By now, the crowd is bent on deposing Coriolanus and will believe anything the tribunes say. They cannot see that Coriolanus’ character is much more noble than that of these conniving tribunes. Although Coriolanus is proud and unyielding, he is honest and honorable.


As his character is attacked, Coriolanus forgets the promise he has made to his mother and criticizes the crowd and the tribunes, proving he is beyond anyone’s control. He cries out to them, “ You common cry of curs! whose breath I hate.” The crowd calls for his death, but the wily tribunes have decided on banishment instead. With Coriolanus permanently out of Rome, they will not longer have to worry about his power or influence. As he leaves for his banishment, Coriolanus curses Rome for sending him away. At least he has the pleasure of knowing he is his own person, loyal to no one but his own self.

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MonkeyNotes-Coriolanus by William Shakespeare

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