Coriolanus Act 3, Scene 1 Summary
- On a street in Rome, Coriolanus, Cominius, and Titus Lartius have a little chit-chat about Tullus Aufidius.
- Apparently, Aufidius has slapped together a new Volscian army that is ready to rumble with Rome again.
- Oh, this can't be good.
- Now Sicinius and Brutus show up with more bad news: the plebeians have changed their minds and no longer want Coriolanus to be elected consul. They're all "Gee. Tough break, Coriolanus."
- Coriolanus is seriously ticked off when he hears the news. He accuses the tribunes of turning the people against him. (Which they did, by the way.)
- Naturally, Sicinius and Brutus act all innocent and go through a big "Who, us?" routine.
- Then Coriolanus does exactly what the tribunes were hoping he would do. He flips out and turns into a giant rage-a-holic who says all the wrong things.
- He bashes the plebeians and goes off about how much he hates them and why he thinks the "rabble" shouldn't have any say in how a government is run.
- Coriolanus then threatens to take away the plebeians' right to elect tribunes.
- Big mistake. Sicinius and Brutus accuse Coriolanus of treason and demand that he be arrested ASAP.
- (Remember, the whole concept of a Roman Republic revolves around the idea that the government is elected by voters who have a say in how things should be run.)
- By this time, the mob of plebeians has rushed back onto the scene to demand Coriolanus' death.
- Fortunately for Coriolanus, the Senators help him escape the angry mob.
- Sicinius tells the mob that Coriolanus is a "disease that must be cut away." (Get your highlighters out because that's important. More on this in "Symbols.")
- Menenius finally stops the rioting when he tells the mob that he'll try to talk some sense into Coriolanus and promises to bring him to the marketplace for a public meeting.
People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...