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Coriolanus

Coriolanus Translation Act 1, Scene 10

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A flourish. Cornets. Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS, bloody, with two or three Soldiers

AUFIDIUS

The town is ta'en!

AUFIDIUS

The town has been captured!

FIRST SOLDIER

'Twill be deliver'd back on good condition.

FIRST SOLDIER

They'll let us have it back once we negotiate the terms of our surrender.

AUFIDIUS

Condition! I would I were a Roman; for I cannot, Being a Volsce, be that I am. Condition! What good condition can a treaty find I' the part that is at mercy? Five times, Marcius, I have fought with thee: so often hast thou beat me, And wouldst do so, I think, should we encounter As often as we eat. By the elements, If e'er again I meet him beard to beard, He's mine, or I am his: mine emulation Hath not that honour in't it had; for where I thought to crush him in an equal force, True sword to sword, I'll potch at him some way Or wrath or craft may get him.

AUFIDIUS

Surrender! I wish I were a Roman, because I cannot be a Volscian if men like you, talking of surrender, are Volscians. Surrender? What good terms can we get from a treaty when we are the ones who have lost? 

[As though to CORIOLANUS]
 Five times, Marcius, I have fought with you, and five times I've lost. You'd defeat me, I think, if we were to fight as often as we eat.

[To the SOLDIERS] By earth and sun, if ever again I meet him beard to beard, he will be mine or I will be his. Our rivalry, which so far has been fought in fair and open terms, will turn dirty: where before I thought to beat him sword to sword, I'll do anything now; I'll thrust at him however I can. If not by wrath, I'll kill him by cleverness.

FIRST SOLDIER

He's the devil.

FIRST SOLDIER

He's the devil.

AUFIDIUS

Bolder, though not so subtle. My valour's poison'd With only suffering stain by him; for him Shall fly out of itself: nor sleep nor sanctuary, Being naked, sick, nor fane nor Capitol, The prayers of priests nor times of sacrifice, Embarquements all of fury, shall lift up Their rotten privilege and custom 'gainst My hate to Marcius: where I find him, were it At home, upon my brother's guard, even there, Against the hospitable canon, would I Wash my fierce hand in's heart. Go you to the city; Learn how 'tis held; and what they are that must Be hostages for Rome.

AUFIDIUS

Bolder than the devil, though not as clever. My honor has been poisoned by all the times he has defeated me. To kill him, I will sacrifice that honor and be devilish. I will kill him anywhere, at any time, honorable or not: if he is sleeping, or naked, or takes refuge in a temple or in Rome; neither the prayers of priests nor their sacrifices will stop my revenge against Marcius. Even if I found him in my home, guarded by my own brother—even there, against all decency and hospitality, I would wash my avenging hand in his heart's blood. Go you to the city; find out how it's holding up, and who is being sent as hostages to Rome.

FIRST SOLDIER

Will not you go?

FIRST SOLDIER

Won't you go?

AUFIDIUS

I am attended at the cypress grove: I pray you— 'Tis south the city mills— bring me word thither How the world goes, that to the pace of it I may spur on my journey.

AUFIDIUS

People are waiting for me at the cypress grove. Please, find me there—it's south of the city mills—and bring me word of how the world goes, so that the news may inspire me on my journey. 

FIRST SOLDIER

I shall, sir.

FIRST SOLDIER

I shall, sir.

Exeunt

Coriolanus
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