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MonkeyNotes-Coriolanus by William Shakespeare
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Coriolanus appears unmoved by these pleas and rises to go, but Volumnia restrains him from departing. She appeals to his former sense of honor as well as to what he owes her. She claims he is being dishonorable to her and to Rome if he continues with his plan of attack. She begs her son to negotiate a peace treaty that would be honorable to both sides. Despite the emotional and ethical appeals of Volumnia, Coriolanus still seems unmoved and turns away. As the women turn to leave, Volumnia declares that her ties to him are severed, and she acknowledges him only as a Volscian.

Coriolanus, who has seemed impervious, now gives in to his mother’s appeals and decides against attacking his native country. Taking Volumnia’s hand, he sadly declares that she has won “a happy victory to Rome”, though he will suffer for it. He turns to Aufidius, hoping for moral support, and asks whether he would not have done the same thing if his mother had pleaded with him. Aufidius simply says that he was moved by Volumnia’s words. Coriolanus then states that he will accompany Aufidius back to Corioli.


Aufidius reveals in an aside that he is happy about Coriolanus’ decision to relent. Now that Coriolanus has allowed his mercy to cloud his honor, he feels perfectly justified in destroying Coriolanus; he begins to make his final plans to do away with his enemy.

The women want Coriolanus to come back with them to Rome, but he insists that they must stay and have a drink of wine with him. He praises them for effecting a peace that all the swords in Italy could not have achieved. He also wants them to carry a written peace treaty back to Roman leaders.

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MonkeyNotes-Coriolanus by William Shakespeare

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